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China

Attempting to sell secret IBM source codes to undercover FBI agents posing as tech investors, a former developer pled guilty to economic espionage.

A Chinese national and computer science graduate from the University of Delaware, Xu Jiaqiang stole the secrets during a 2010-2014 stint at IBM "to benefit the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China." 

The U.S. Justice Department does not identify IBM in its statement, instead referring to "the Victim Company." However, other media outlets and Xu's former LinkedIn page prove his employment at the company.

  fortune.com
Nothing in the appearance of China's BYD, the world's largest battery and electric vehicle maker, suggests a comparison with Elon Musk's slick car. But it's Tesla that should be flattered by the comparison to BYD.

While Musk and much of the American media breathlessly noted the opening of Tesla's "Gigafactory," that same milestone (1 gigawatt of annual battery production) was reached by BYD at least three years ago.

These days, BYD's single battery factory near the southern city of Shenzhen is more than eight times larger than Musk's in the Nevada desert.

Increasing its Chinese electric vehicle sales by 70 per cent to 114,000 units last year, the company plans to bring a further 4 gigawatts of capacity online, making its annual battery output 12 times larger than Tesla's. afr.com
China has for the first time extracted gas from an ice-like substance under the South China Sea considered key to future global energy supply.

Chinese authorities have described the success as a major breakthrough.

Methane hydrates, also called "flammable ice", hold vast reserves of natural gas.

Many countries including the US and Japan are working on how to tap those reserves, but mining and extracting are extremely difficult.

Officially known as methane clathrates or hydrates, they are formed at very low temperatures and under high pressure, they can be found in sediments under the ocean floor as well as underneath permafrost on land.

Methane hydrates are thought to have the potential to be a revolutionary energy source that could be key to future energy needs - likely the world's last great source of carbon-based fuel. bbc.co.uk
The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterwards.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades.

It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause.

Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States.

Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. nytimes.com
Two Chinese fighter jets have buzzed a U.S. spy plane that sniffs out nuclear radiation while flying over the East China Sea, underlining Beijing’s discomfort with American surveillance in its neighborhood.

The incident, reported Friday, also comes amid disagreement between the two countries on how to confront the nuclear and missile programs of North Korea, which depends on China as its main economic lifeline.

The American plane, a WC-135 Constant Phoenix, collects samples from the air to detect nuclear explosions.

The U.S. Air Force said it was on a routine mission in international airspace.

An American official told CNN, however, that the plane has been regularly deployed in Northeast Asia to gather evidence of possible further nuclear tests by North Korea. washingtonpost.com
China’s plan for a maritime “Silk Road” to Europe is helping channel funds to Southeast Asia for roads, railways and ports.

But amid the deals bonanza, one country risks missing out.

Despite strong historical and cultural ties to China, the tiny state of Singapore has found itself in Beijing’s crosshairs, in part for its stance over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

As other Southeast Asian leaders lined up to meet President Xi Jinping at a summit in Beijing this week for his Belt-and-Road Initiative, Singapore was represented by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

China views Singapore as being less supportive of Xi’s plan because unlike other countries that announced their leaders would attend without requiring a formal invitation, Singapore sought an invite, according to people familiar with the matter.

They asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information. bloomberg.com
Examined during a recent study of Chinese people during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, 175 skeletons revealed chemical signatures suggesting opportunity for men.

The earliest bone chemistry indicated male and female diets to be fairly similar. Shortly after, a significant menu switch occurred, one that showed lessening levels of protein in women's diets and higher amounts of wheat. 

Women's bones also began showing cribra orbitalia, a type of osteoporosis and indicator of childhood malnutrition, meaning young girls were treated poorly early on. 

Women's graves also started to include fewer burial treasures than men's during the Bronze Age, suggesting females were treated poorly in death as well. scientificamerican.com
New images by photographer Edmon Leong offer a first look at the nearly completed glass volumes of MAD's Chaoyang Park Plaza – a commercial and residential complex based on rock formations in Beijing.

MAD's 120,000-square-metre complex of skyscrapers, office blocks and public spaces is located in Beijing's central business district, which sits on the southern edge of Chaoyang Park – one of the largest parks in the city.

In building Chaoyang Park Plaza, the architects intended to create a "city landscape" by referencing the lakes, mountains and stones depicted in traditional Chinese shan shui scenic paintings. dezeen.com
First reported by the local media in 1873, bordering China and Russia, the prehistoric Sikachi Alyan petroglyphs near Malyshevo village date back to third century B.C. and were thought to be the 'gateway to the underworld.'

Carved into the shores of the Amur River, the petroglyphs feature faces, shaman masks, woolly mammoths, horses, snakes, and hunting scenes.

Modern graffiti artists have recently visited the site and added their unmistakable imprint, in doing so destroying these ancient messages from prehistory. Sprays of white lettering now hold prominence over the indigenous history of 1,300 villagers. topbuzz.com