July 4, 2016

Satellite Imagery Suggests China is Secretly Punishing North Korea (Source: National Post)
CSIS worked with imagery analysts at the commercial satellite firm DigitalGlobe to collect and examine satellite photos of several key trade-related areas on both sides of the China-North Korea border, including the Sinuiju railroad station and customs area on the North Korean side, the Dandong railroad station and customs area on the Chinese side, and the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge that links the two countries.

They compared activity at the sites year over year, first by examining imagery from January and March of 2015 and then comparing that with imagery collected this February, just after the latest nuclear test. The images showed a “substantive reduction of economic activity on the Sino-North Korean border” as evidenced by a huge drop in the number of railcars at the stations, trucks in customs areas, trucks on the bridge and undocked boats in the Yalu River.

At the Sinuiju rail station, most of the train cars appeared to be in storage early this year, with no engines attached to the freight cars. In the Sinuiju customs area, there were 111 trucks shown in the satellite image from January 2015, but in the February 2016 image, there were only five. On the Chinese side, there were 32 trucks spotted in the Dandong customs area in March 2015, but by this Februarythere were only six. (7/3)

Wenchang's Rocket Launch Center Boosts Tourism in the City (Source: Yibada)
China’s small step toward the Moon has become a giant leap for a city’s tourism industry as thousands of space enthusiasts and tourists flood the area to witness the country’s newest rocket launch site. Before June ended, the Middle Kingdom began its long march to colonize the Moon via the launching of the Long March 7 rocket at the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center.

More than 20,000 enthusiasts were able to witness the historic launch done at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. This is a significant progress for the city since Wenchang is the first one to open its launch station to the public and the only one with space and science-themed parks for enthusiasts and scientifically curious minds alike. This means that the people as well as the local government will be able to raise more funds from the tourism industry, which might even be bigger than last year's 1.7 million tourists and around 1.2 billion yuan revenue. (7/2)

China Eyes Hunt for ET with Giant Scope (Source: AAP)
China has hoisted the final piece into position on what will be the world's largest radio telescope, which it will use to explore space and help in the hunt for extraterrestrial life, state media said. The 500m-Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is the size of 30 football fields and has been hewed out of a mountain in the poor southwestern province of Guizhou.

Scientists will now start debugging and trials of the telescope, Zheng Xiaonian, deputy head of the National Astronomical Observation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which built the telescope, told the official Xinhua news agency. "The project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life," the report paraphrased Zheng as saying. (7/3)

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