"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, October 14, 2005

China launches 2nd manned spacecraft on 5 day mission

China has successfully launched its second manned spacecraft, carrying two Chinese astronauts,Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng into orbit in a blaze of publicity ...but overlooked by the Western mainstream press and TV.

The first foray into space 2 years ago lasted 21 hours and was conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy, typical for the military-backed program.

The lift-off, from Jiuquan in the Gobi desert, was shown live on state television and included views from a camera on the outside of the craft.

The Shenzhou VI will orbit the Earth for five days, during which the astronauts will carry out experiments.There have been some small problems with the planned orbit requiring some in flight adjustments, but the 2 pilots, are reported in good health and are undertaking a full program of experiments. One celebrating his 41st birthday on board - which his daughter has shared with him live on national TV .... no slouches at PR bullshit.

China's budget for developing the Shenzhou capsule series has reached roughly 19 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion), less than 10% of the United States' annual spending on space programs

A much-talked about program for moon exploration is also in the pipeline. Last year, China inaugurated a project to collect lunar samples and this summer opened a lunar exploration center in Beijing.

The National Space Centre center is tasked with overseeing the launch of a moon orbiter in 2007, a lunar lander in 2012 and a third satellite designed to land on the moon surface and bring back soil samples for research in 2017.

A curious endorsement of their acheivement came fromUgandan Minister of State for Information Nsaba Buturo who said on Thursday ......

"We are excited and really congratulate China for launching its second space mission. We wish the two Chinese astronauts the best and hope that their findings are used to benefit humanity," he said, adding that Uganda looks forward to continuing cooperating with the Chinese government."

Meanwhile in Beijing the 6th Sino-US textile talks ended on Thursday, with both sides failing to reach an agreement, said Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC). The closed-door consultation lasted one and a half days, and ended half a day ahead of schedule.

Recent blogs on same topic here

Chief US negotiator David Spooner issued a brief written statement, saying that "We have not come to an agreement that meets the needs of our domestic manufacturers and retailers", but giving no indication of whether the two sides made any progress or the reason they failed to reach agreement.

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