We found 33 articles for "China"
We found 33 articles for "China"
In recent years, China has evidently become a significant actor in the Arctic – a region located around the circumpolar north comprising territories of eight states and the Arctic Ocean. In 2013, China’s achievement of observer status at the Arctic Council – the high level inter-governmental forum of these eight circumpolar states – provided the country with legitimacy in its growing engagement with the Arctic region and its actors. A number of interests in the region motivates this engagement, most crucially that the Arctic is a resource rich region full of potential to further boost China’s local economy. The region contains, among other resources, approximately one-fourth of world’s undiscovered oil and gas resources. The increased melting of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean as a result of global warming is gradually opening access to water routes, and the region itself. The Arctic sea routes, in particular the Northern Sea Route (NSR), have already been identified as crucial navigation routes for China to expand its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to the Arctic. The expansion is now widely known as the Silk Road on the Ice or the Polar Silk Road wherein China closely cooperates with Russia and other Arctic states to promote the infrastructural development to operationalise the NSR. China’s investments in a number of projects are making the country an influential actor in the Arctic region. As such, China’s Arctic engagement is at times perceived as an attempt to enhance its ambitions, not only in terms of its economic interests, but also to move a step further towards gaining great power status in world politics. While China firmly commits to respect the sensitive environmental considerations existing in the Arctic and the sovereignty of the Arctic states, it also explicitly highlights its legitimate rights under international law, i.e., freedom of navigation through the Arctic sea routes. In this context, the following article explores the extension of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt to the Arctic vis-á-vis the possible geopolitical dynamics, and whether China’s increasing engagement in the Arctic accelerates its political ambition to expand its great power status.
Regional cooperation and integration are among the most important trends in contemporary international relations. The Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have joined pre-eminent international organizations and institutions, such as the UN and OSCE. However, there are challenges, similarities and contradictions within the multilateral relationships in Central Asia (such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Silk Road Economic Belt, Central Asia plus USA (C5+1), the EU strategy, Central Asia plus Japan, Central Asia–Republic of Korea and others). Moreover, there are link between local–regional–global processes in Central Asia. Descriptions and explanations must take into account particular local and regional situations, as well as internal and regional economies, cultures, and politics. Transformations are affected by the competitive international environment. Current and future Central Asian transformation will be prompted by interlinking local, regional, transregional, and global issues and challenges.
Energy storage plays a critical role in facilitating penetration of renewable energy and reducing carbon emission of conventional energy system. Among various energy storage technologies, thermal storage allows energy to be stored in form of heat or cold so that it can be used, later on, for heating and cooling purposes as well as for power generation. Development of highly efficient and cost-effective thermal storage materials as well as the corresponding devices has attracted much attention. Composite materials based on latent heat storage (LHS) have shown great potential for many thermal storage applications. This paper firstly elaborates the recent progress in the study of micro-structured LHS composite materials in light of three different types of material synthesis methods including incorporation, impregnation and microencapsulation. Detailed discussions about morphology, performance enhancement of thermal storage and heat transfer, and various applications are carried out for current micro-structured LHS composite materials. The latest study progress in macro-structured LHS devices are then summarized, which includes the structural design of devices, optimization of heat transfer and device efficiency, as well as the performance of the devices with different storage media. Lastly, opportunities for future work are identified.
Owing to its excellent thermal and mechanical properties of graphene, graphene-based composites have attracted tremendous research interest in recent years. In particular, graphene with high thermal conductivity becomes an important and promising filler in composites for thermal management. This critical review focus on the recent advances in graphene-based composites with high thermal conductivity. After the introduction of thermal conductive mechanisms of graphene-based composites, the fabrication methods of graphene-based composites are summarized. Then we also discuss currently researches of various graphene-based composites such as graphene/thermoplastic composites and graphene/thermoset composites. Herein, the mechanisms, preparation, and properties of graphene-based composites are discussed along with detailed examples from the scientific literature and the guidance are provided on the fabrication of composites with high thermal conductivity.
We report on a simple and practical application of HARK, an easily available and portable system for bird song localization using an open-source software for robot audition HARK, to a deeper understanding of ecoacoustic dynamics of bird songs, focusing on a fine-scaled temporal analysis of song movement — song type dynamics in playback experiments. We extended HARKBird and constructed a system that enables us to conduct automatic playback and interactive experiments with different conditions, with a real-time recording and localization of sound sources. We investigate how playback of conspecific songs and playback patterns can affect vocalization of two types of songs and spatial movement of an individual of Japanese bush-warbler, showing quantitatively that there exist strong relationships between song type and spatial movement. We also simulated the ecoacoustic dynamics of the singing behavior of the focal individual using a software, termed Bird song explorer, which provides users a virtual experience of acoustic dynamics of bird songs using a 3D game platform Unity. Based on experimental results, we discuss how our approach can contribute to ecoacoustics in terms of two different roles of sounds: sounds as tools and subjects.
The article looks at the processes, metaphors and politics of the “Silk Road” as an ideological concept and the ways in which “authenticity” is actively constructed, implemented and performed as a strategy for development by government, non-governmental agencies and business owners. Case studies from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan are touched upon and material from interviews, observations and examples from material culture presented. This project seeks to analyse: the culture of the textiles business in Central Asia and how this operates at the seams of national-ethnic identity within the Eurasian context; the formal and informal business practices of the everyday, operating within the discourses of economic development; and how consumer culture may be interrogated as a means for performing identity at the local and global perspectives. Contemporary intersectional approaches to understanding the business of textiles and fashion in Central Asia should redress the marginalisation of academic efforts across multiple disciplines to unite the region inwardly and outwardly and call for an integrated approach to considering both the cultural and economic value of handmade textiles, which acknowledges and makes visible the role of the artisan, the designer, the entrepreneur, the retailer and all the stages that exist in the value chain between production the final consumer. The precursors to the current framework of research necessarily lie in the work of scholars of development and industrialisation established during the Soviet period. Their expertise must be called upon to enrich the perspective presented here, which is focused on contemporary craftsmanship and enterprise in Central Asia and how current practices in design and business may offer fruitful opportunities for development of the New Silk Road project, both intellectually and economically.
Standardized methods for biodiversity monitoring are needed to evaluate conservation efforts. Acoustic indices are used in biodiversity assessments, but need to be compared to traditional wildlife methods. This work was conducted in the Santa Rosa National Park between June and November, 2015. We installed recorders and conducted bird point counts in twelve sampling sites. We compared acoustic indices (Acoustic Evenness Index [AEI], Acoustic Diversity Index [ADI], Acoustic Complexity Index [ACI], Bioacoustic Index [BIO], Normalized Difference Soundscape Index [NDSI], Total Entropy [TE], Median Amplitude Envelope [MAE], Number of peaks [NP]) with indices from bird point counts (Bird Abundance, Bird Richness, Bird Diversity and Bird Evenness), and discuss the utility of acoustic indices as indicators for biodiversity monitoring in tropical forests. ADI, ACI, BIO and TE presented a similar temporal pattern peaking between 5 am and 6 am; and an additional peak at 5 pm, except for ACI. These patterns were consistent with the daily biological rhythms. AEI, ACI, BIO and Bird Abundance were related to characteristics of younger forests (lower percentage of canopy cover) but NP, ADI, TE, Bird Diversity and Bird Evenness were related to characteristics of older forests (higher percentage of canopy cover and a lower number of patches). ACI was positively correlated to Bird Abundance and NP was positively correlated to Bird Diversity. ACI reflects biological activity, but not necessarily a more diverse bird community in this study area. This might be an indication of a strong acoustic competition, or several highly dominant bird species in younger forests. Furthermore, acoustic communities in tropical forests commonly include insects (cicadas) and frogs, which might affect resulting acoustic indices. A variety of methods are probably needed to thoroughly assess biodiversity. However, a combination of indices such as ACI and NP might be considered to monitor trends in abundance and diversity of birds in dry forests.
This study examines ethno-cultural associations—public institutions representing interests of minority groups—and discusses their role in the development of civil society in ethnically rich Kazakhstan. Minority associations developed in Soviet times inherited Soviet-era property and certain charitable and social practices. The Soviet footprint translates into hierarchy and state subordination. Based on interviews with representatives of associations and their visitors in Almaty, the study focuses on their quotidian activities and attempts to explain why these associations are providers of various resources for civil society development. The findings show evidence of the state being a part of the institutional synergy in the civil sphere. As part of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan and being “government-organised NGOs,” ethno-cultural associations add their voice on “togetherness” and “unification” of diverse nationalities and to the official rhetoric of the new patriotic act. Despite transparent loyalty to the authorities and lacking a formal political agenda, cultural and social activities of these associations remain relatively autonomous. The study concludes that their real non-decorative functions deal with creating unionism, providing opportunities for social capital development, and fostering an understanding and appreciation of ethnic diversity. These associations have a potential to bridge the gap between communities while providing platforms for civic exchanges and being intermediaries between the public, the state and their kin states.
There is considerable debate over how and in what form Central Asian (CA) states should conduct relations among each other and with other post-Soviet states. The notion of the “Silk Road” has become one of the symbols of extended economic and political cooperation. Notably, however, Japan (Silk Road Diplomacy, 1996–1999), China (One Belt, One Road [OBOR] or the Belt and Road initiative [BRI]) and South Korea (Silk Road Strategy, 2011) have used the rhetoric of reviving the Silk Road to imply closer engagement with the CA region but with different connotations. This paper focuses on the formation of this discourse of engagement with the CA region through the notion of the Silk Road in China, South Korea and Japan and raises the following questions: What are the approaches that facilitate the most effective ways of engaging CA states under this “Silk Road” rhetoric? What are the principles that have detrimental effects on the successes and failures of the engagement of China, Japan and South Korea? The primary objective of this paper is to address these questions and to stimulate debate among both academics and policy makers on the formats of engagement and cooperation in Eurasia.
The application of acoustic indices is incipient and still needs validation before it can reliably characterize soundscapes and monitor rapidly disappearing hot-spot areas as the Brazilian tropical savanna (Cerrado). Here we investigate which of six acoustic indices better correlate with the 24 h zoophony richness of insects, anurans, birds, and mammals. We sampled one minute every 30 minutes for seven days on three sites in Serra da Canastra National Park (Minas Gerais state, Brazil) and extracted the sonotype richness and six indices based on recordings with a bandwidth of up to 48 kHz. The Acoustic Diversity, Evenness, Entropy, and Normalized Difference Soundscape indices followed the temporal trends of the sonotype richness of insects and anurans. The Acoustic Complexity (ACI) and Bioacoustic (BIO) indices did not correlated with sonotype richness. ACI and BIO were influenced by sonic abundance and geophony. We emphasize the need to include insects and anurans on soundscape and acoustic ecology analyses and to avoid bias on avian fauna alone. We also suggest that future studies explore measures of sonic abundance and acoustic niche occupation of sonotypes to complement measures of zoophony richness and better understand what each faunal group is telling us about indices.
The term energy security is undergoing a sea change from a state-centric economic conception to a sociological one. The definitional aspect is undergoing a transformation because of the changing pattern of relations between “energy producing and consuming states” along with “transit states”. Eurasia is one such region where the broader definition of energy security can be applicable. The existence of historically rooted social conflicts like Chechnya, South Ossetia, Crimea, “simmering discontent” in Siberia and Far East, and primordial apprehensions between ethnic groups (Armenian and Azeri) in Nagorno Karabakh are providing a structural basis for the accentuation of regional conflicts. Most of these conflicts are taking place in Eurasia due to existence of natural resources like energy. Often competition over controlling transportation corridor is also generating societal tension. Some of these trajectories are putting this geopolitical space into a “cauldron.” Against this backdrop, Constructivism is emerging as a major theoretical approach to study the securitization processes in Eurasia.
This article takes a long historical perspective on the Silk Road, attempting to see it from a Chinese point of view. It focuses on five themes that figure in the Chinese imagination of the Silk Road, all rooted in China’s history. These include influences that came to China via the Silk Road in prehistoric and early historic times, patterns of military expansion of Chinese power in the Western regions, the threat of invasion from the northern and north-western frontiers, commercial exchanges and individual travel. Individuals journeyed across the Silk Road for diplomatic, military, commercial and sometimes religious reasons and the various themes overlap to some extent. Some myths are also dispelled: first, the Silk Road was not one route but many; second, other commodities besides silk travelled along it and third, the maritime Silk Road should also be included in the concept. Under Mongol rule, the route was at times an unbroken corridor between East and West on which many people travelled in both directions. When the Mongol empire broke up, travel overland was restricted again, which may have been why China took to the seas in the Ming. At present, China is building a New Silk Road to connect with the rest of the world in a more integrated way than ever before. The focus of this article is on establishing the patterns of the past in the hopes that it will contribute to the discussion of whether these patterns will be repeated in the present or if we are in completely uncharted territory.