- Balloon fleets on a global mission
- Ways out of solar dependency
- Pensioners protest against social cuts
- Research council EFI warns against cooperation
- Accusations of semiconductor espionage at ASML
- Official figures overestimate emissions
- Heads: art curator Andreas Schmid
China’s balloon was not a solitary balloon but belongs to a large family. They have been produced in great numbers for years. Michael Radunski reveals which engineers are behind the program and which companies are involved. Reconnaissance over enemy territory had already been going on for years – and even the suspicious neighbors Japan and Taiwan didn’t realize for a long time what was floating over them.
Germany was once a proud pioneer in solar energy. Then China ousted German suppliers with irresistibly cheap panels, leaving not only dependence on finished products but also on Chinese technology. Nico Beckert spoke with business and supply chain experts about ways out of the situation. And they agree: The way out of the trap would be bumpy and expensive – but possible.
The white-paper protests were mostly fueled by a young student movement and lasted loudly for days. Now the authorities are facing the fury of another age group – perhaps one with more social pressure – pensioners. In the city of Wuhan, senior citizens are currently taking to the streets, as Fabian Kretschmer reports. They are protesting against cuts in the social and health care system. This is because the latter has been pushed to its financial limits due to zero-Covid. The displeasure of the elderly could become a threat to the leadership in Beijing.
We wish you an exciting read!
Large balloon fleets on a global mission – on Xi’s orders
The breakthrough was achieved in 2019 – many years before US forces pulled a suspected Chinese spy balloon out of the sky off South Carolina and the world public witnessed just how extensive China’s technical capabilities are.
Four years ago in August, Professor Wu Zhe revealed his success to the Chinese newspaper Nanfang Daily: With the “cloud chaser” (追云 zhuiyun), an unmanned airship had circled the earth for the first time at altitudes of 20 to 60 kilometers – including over North America. The dean of the research institute at Beihang University in Dongguan had a clear vision: To send steerable balloons into so-called near space to provide early warning of natural disasters, monitor environmental pollution, or even conduct aerial surveillance.
Over 200 high-altitude balloons
Wu Zhe is one of the leading scientists in Chinese aerospace research. He works at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Beihang, 北京航空航天大学). For nearly two decades, he has worked in airship development – a program that has astonished the world’s public over the past few weeks.
- spy balloon
Continue reading now
… and get free access to this Professional Briefing for a month.
Are you already a guest at the China.Table? Log in now