Thursday, October 30, 2008

Caption: Maters, PhDs, and post Doctorate candidates posing in front of their Bioprocess and Biosystem Engineering lab with PNG student Gene.

Microscopic alga holds future for PNG and region

By Mathew Yakai, Changchun, China

PROMISING young bio-scientist and student in China, Gene Drekeke Iyovo strongly recommends the Pacific island countries, including Papua New Guinea (PNG) to quickly tap into using waste to produce Microalgae Biodiesel instead of relying too much on non-renewable fossil-fuel.

In May this year I featured Gene in my column about his research and the potential it can rescue vulnerable economies when the talk of the day is ‘high cost of fuel’ that digs into family pockets.

Last week, I did a column on him seeking financial assistance to attend a conference in Singapore from 17th to 18th this month on the subject.

Gene is confident that PNG and regional governments have a brighter future in Microalgae Biodiesel.

From Eastern Highlands in PNG, Gene is doing his masters at Jiangnan University of China, School of Biotechnology, under the Chinese Government Scholarship. His research thesis is “Microalgae Biodiesel using waste”.

Gene sent me an email outlining his current research area which I am compelled to devote this column for your reading.

Below is the email I received. Gene says, “microscopic alga holds the key to the future”.

“Energy is the most important commodity in the world today. From a single microorganism (such as bacteria) to plants and man including animals larger than man need energy. Every invented mechanical goods, use energy derived from fuel.

Today, man use vast amount of energy to move goods around the globe, mechanical vehicles require energy to transport goods to consumer at a price.

The world has moved so fast in industrializing and more fossil energy reserves are being used up, a count down on reserves or supply is increasing prices of goods and services directly or indirectly.

Decent life is measured against fuel.
Are we adequately preparing for the inevitable fuel shortage? The most important thing is to get a clear picture of the situation we're in and the outlook for the future ... an appraisal of where we are and what the time scale is.

Dr.Colin Campbell once came to PNG as a consultant in mining; researches the impact of the peak and decline of world oil production due to resource constraints.

According to him, the total volume of oil consumed by mankind is 1.2 cubic miles of oil per year. Estimated world wide reserve is 32 cubic miles. (One cubic mile = 147.2 billion cubic feet).

The problem is not running out of oil but rather running out of cheap oil, the basis on which industrialization is built upon that ensures a stable economy.

Consequently many countries are now investing in alternative energy sources mainly for bioethanol (ethanol) and biodiesel (diesel) using food crops and large arable land for energy farms.

U.S. is using corn as the source for bioethanol fuel, about two hundred factories across large areas of land are devoted for energy farms, more machineries, human labour, and fertilizers are used provoking eutrophication or encouraging marine plants to bloom causing other living animals such as fish dying due to low oxygen in water and water pollution.

Brazil is on sugar cane for biofuel after wasting billions of dollars to develop the technology to mass produce, Jatropha plant in India and elsewhere, Soya beans also in U.S. and elsewhere.

PNG is settling for cassava starch for bioethanol by a South Korean firm. Rapeseed, canola and other plants are gaining momentum for development of biodiesel worldwide.

Some even collect waste oil from restaurant and convert them to biodiesel.

All of these projects are heavily financed. Making a sustainable profit mainly takes quite a long time to emerge due to heavy operational cost involved.

Bio-ethanol is the major constituent in beer, the starch /glucose is converted to ethanol and is blended with fossil fuel and used in cars basically.

However, the problem is which plant source has the highest composition of oil, how long it takes to cultivate to maturity before making the biofuel, how large an area is required for maximum output, efficiency and productivity, and the energy yield are very important considerations for one to be resourceful and sustainable before terming it renewable and affordable.

Would the microscopic algae hold the key to the future? Yes, according to my research.

Oil prices recently hit $US140 per barrel in U.S. The cost to grow and transport fuel is rising and the global economy is being squeezed, while pollution from burning fossil fuel continues to pollute the planet.

The world needs an abundant source of clean, transportable, inexpensive fuel.

During my research work, I am finding a very fortunate source from which biodiesel can be easily, abundantly and sustainably produced.

Basically in this research, using one of the algae type of the 300 000 known strains to grow them within less than 160 hours and make biodiesel within 30 minutes. Corn, cassava, oil palms, sugar canes and others take months up to a year.

However, at this time, ambitious government fund needs further research and development. Feasibility study, research, locality, identification and development, the earlier the better.

This is amazing since all other energy crops are unable to mature within this short span of time as demonstrated by algae.

Comparing with any oil bearing plants such as oil palm, soya, canola, rapseed and others, it is a very high growth rate in short time .Very high oil content of more than 50 % were detected on each trials and improved with increasing conditions.

The algae are microscopic plants, known to grow six times faster than any plant on earth and contain higher oil, some strains with 70 % oil content by mass. Very high energy efficiency, any diesel engines cars can use without any problems.

According to Montanna Synergy (U.S. Department of Energy) business plan for commercial production of algae for food or fuel, Algae energy gain is 220%, with energy yield of 3.2 units for every unit wasted for its production.

This is the highest and best so far in the world today. Absolutely, algae are now the only alternative that can replace fossil fuel.

This is possible with today’s technology of bioreactors and photobioreactors. In Netherlands, cultivation and processing devices are being invented for continuous daily production of 5 tones or more.

Such capacity could eradicate total dependency on dirty fuels for any small countries.

In couple of years up to mid 2008, there has been a lot of economic chaos, increased cost of living in PNG due to fuel price.

Those who have better financial muscle took bigger bites, others are left vulnerable to high prices or get nothing.

Is it not achievable if algae have the potential? Algae biodiesel can be used for diesel engines vehicles and recently found to be the best option for aviation fuel too!

Solazyme (U.S.) is a company developing algal jet fuel and a leader in algae biotechnology. Recent researches and development indicated that algal biodiesel is very efficient.

Pacific island countries are aligned in the equator, tropical sunshine with a lot of sunlight, temperature and humidity are just the kind of conditions the bioreactors and photobioreactors try to maintain for the growth of the algae.

Then we have the potential to quickly invest and develop. 365 days daily production is possible and can sustain economic activities, restore and relief living cost for public at large to a larger degree.

These algae take in carbon dioxide which is blamed for global warming for their photosynthesis then make energy for us.

In other words, the carbon dioxide produced from car by using biodiesel is removed from the air again to make the fuel, that is to say nothing is put into the air as pollution.

While tons and tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel put away in the earth is put in to the air daily causing global warming we face today.

In Jiangnan University, China, there are many sponsored research from both government and private bodies.

Other researches are done in the state research laboratory, one of the 200 state laboratories across China with yearly budget going up to 200 billion Yuan.

The growing economy and rapid development needs research and development in all aspect as in China is an important institution.

Many new researches are coming up for bioethanol, biodiesel and other renewable energy forms.

In my school, many professors within and other universities have shown their interest. Sooner, more research will come up for biofuels, investments and developments will finally eventuate.

People’s Republic of China’s scholarship is inline with open up policy and all non Chinese individuals are eligible to apply.

A country of immense size, population and a 5000 years history has many to learn from. It has increased consumption in the past couple of years and will continue to increase more energy consumption.

The two hundred national laboratories are spanning into many areas of research from biotechnology, Agriculture, applications and new developments.

The “Dragon” is tapping more research and development into renewable green energy. Bioethanol and biodiesel are on the list.

She will realize the potential for algae biodiesel, if so will quickly develop. Already researches are underway for such developments.

Worst snow storm, earthquake then Beijing Olympics and Shengzhou 7 rocket into space all in span of one year. This shows her mighty strength to maneuver progress if need be.

Our island nations including PNG are yet to see and do things for the future. When to learn and act seem unfeasible.

Feasible developments, sustainable, renewable and cheap fuel research are major race today. Pacific islands nations need vital research and developments, projects that we may benefit in long run.

There may be option to wait for others to develop for the trade; however, it will take centuries before surplus is achieved.

This is fuel Armageddon. The time to start may not be tomorrow. Fuel crisis is when Dragons, Lions, Bears and Eagles will compete to quench their fuel hunger.

Others, vulnerable spectators may experience economic decay, including the Kumul.

Government support today for further research and development may buy the future for the people and the nation. The best way to predict the future is to invent it and it’s in biofuel.”

Note: Please contact the writer on, or +86-13174486296 or Gene on or +86-13771426219 for further information and queries.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Caption: Gene and his laboratory Chinese friend who studies in solid fermentation for development of pest resistance crops development.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Caption: Gene and Deng Yu, a fermentation engineer admiring the rich growth of algae in flask bottles before transferring them to reactors for maximum growth performance. The algae are so dense in just two days culture and very high in lipid oil for the biodiesel production.

Algae profits bloom: algae biofuels!

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

COMPELLED by his continues passion that future for Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the region relies on algae biofuel, as opposed to non-renewable fossil fuel makes me to share this column.

In May this year (2008), I did an article about a PNG student, Gene Drekeke Iyovo, doing Masters of Science majoring Biotechnology at Jiangnan University of China under the Chinese Government Scholarship.

His topic of research is “Use of waste and optimization of Biodiesel production from Algae.”

His research has produced positive results and confident if the government that always talks about billions of kina in the trust fund, if diverted into this kind of research then PNG’s future is secured.

Now he needs help from any individual, private organization, companies, research institutions, and the government to fund one of his important trips to Singapore, for an important conference in this important period on Algae Biofuels.

I firmly believe that young scientists like Gene should be recognized in his area of research because PNG absolutely needs scientists to move forward. Below is what Gene has to tell you.

“You probably seen or experienced algae bloom in swamps and rivers polluting drinking waters, killing plants and animals. Sometimes referred to as ‘’pond scum’’. Well, these nuisance have turned to blessing, it can bloom millions of money.

Now they bloom more fuel for us! Keep reading.

My uncle wrote a letter to me this month. He lives a few kilometers out of Goroka Township, Eastern Highlands, PNG.

’Dia Gene,

Mipela long ples ibagarap stret. Petrol prais igo antap stret,mekim prais blong stua kaikai igo antp moa yet wanwan dei, sop, solt, suga em hat stret long baim. Bai mi lusim taun na go long bus na planim kaikai na stap long bus ples, atin gapman ibagarapim laip pinis. Lusim skul na kam lukautim mipela hia’’

This is an extract of the letter in the pidgin language, the second common language in PNG, translated as;

’’ Dear Gene, life is too harsh. The increase of fuel prices have triggered price of other basic goods and services like salt and sugar becoming expensive to afford everyday. I will quit my town life and going to village and sustain the family. I think the government fails us. If you can, please quit your studies and come help us’’.

This is the portion that brings tears. I replied and told him that what he plans to do is the right choice at this moment. We can only wait and see how the government can drive this nation.

Thereafter, I received an invitation letter from Ummu Hani, General Manager for promotion, Center for Management and Technology in Singapore.

On the 17th -18th November 2008, there will be a very important conference titled “Algae world 2008” in Singapore.

He advised me to attend, and learn as to why multibillion companies like Shell, Chevron, Origin Oil Inc, Boeing, Airbus and Honeywell are investing billions of dollars to develop algae biodiesel overnight, which is inline with the research I am currently doing in China.

In this conference, there are panels of scientists, investors, developers and inventors coming to address their findings, inventions, technology and latest developments to gear up for commercialization tomorrow, according to Ummu.

Others including developers and investors bringing their technology to display, publicize, advertise and promote a dynamic exchange of the latest research.

Algaelink, Petro Algae, solazyme, Sapphire Energy, Petrosun, groups and individuals like Bill Gates are investing earnestly.

Algae link is linking with KLM, one of the largest Airline Company in Europe to produce aviation fuel.

They have been in good contact with me, promoting their latest inventions that can produce tons per day production.

And they have separately advised me of the algae world conference where none dares to miss when the cost of fuel is torturing the world.

I need the support from my Government or organizations to fund for this rescue mission conference if possible.

“At the “2008 Algae World” you will gain an in-dept understanding of the potential of algae as energy resources and the market outlook of algae –fuel and other applications and Techno-economic perspective,” the General Manager stressed.

According to my algal biodiesel laboratory research experiments, frankly this is not a colored exaggeration. I seriously know WHY he emphasized.

Why not the multi billion dollar fossil oil companies stand their way and discourage algae development and its market? Obviously, incredible alternative biofuel is found!

Algae World 2008 guarantees objective insights on Commercialization of Algae Biofuels, latest advances and constraints in Algae cultivation, harvesting & processing.

It will bring about a dynamic exchange of the latest research, investment outlook and pathways to the widespread commercialization of Algae Biofuel around the world.

Algae World 2008 objectively examines Algae’s potential to address some of the world’s most pressing issues including climate change, pollution, the need for alternative fuels, and global economic development.

It will be a premier Buyer-Seller meet, provides an excellent networking platform for the match-making of Major Technology/Solution providers and Energy Developers.

Pacific region has its own challenges in terms of meeting increasing energy demands.

As nations in Asia-Pacific wean themselves off imported oil, biofuels are increasingly prominent in the Asia-Pacific energy equation.

That begs the question, “How can Algae contribute in meeting Asia-pacific Biofuels Needs?” a question that Algae World 2008 will answer.

“This will be answered, which will be presented by Cliver Gibson of the Global Consulting powerhouse, now you need to be in that conference given your research and the global fuel crises now and the future prospect that your country will have the algae developed,” Ummu insisted.

There is a time when fuel supply and demand will surface unbalanced in the supply and demand chain.

It’s already here, there is a need to develop better energy policies, supply, demand and cost must equate to sustainable level to keep cost of living at affordable level, alleviate poverty and increase economic activities.

The algae biofuel comprising basically biodiesel (bioethanol/biogas) are no longer laboratory scum that is researched and forgotten.

Recent developments are producing tons per day. If developed and installed in PNG then it can last to end of times! This is the beauty part of the algae fuel.

Ignorance today can cost serious consequence a life time, when cheap fossil fuel era is gone, biofuels will take a long time to reach international markets because of the internal market demand of the producing countries.

Within these lengths of time, none biofuel producing countries may exchange life for drop of oil.

Knowing developers, inventors, investors, experts participating in this conference is very important as far as the coming biofuel era is concerned.

I have to find finance to fund for this two day (17th -18th November, 2008) conference from China to Singapore. This conference is very important for the nation and the Pacific wide.

PNG including pacific islands countries have their potential to develop this cheap oil. We can invent the future today!

An idea such as investing our non renewable resources to gain renewable resources is novel idea!

The Green Fuel Review produced a Special Report Review investigating on the algae biofuel investment.

The report concluded that algae alone can supply all biofuel needed in the form of biodiesel to all fuel needs in the US.

180 000 gallons of biodiesel can be produced every year from just one acre of algae, the report claimed.

The potential is so large, one acre can produce so much oil about thousand times more oil than oil palm, the plant that produce edible oil.

This exhibited by the photobioreactor according Dr Glen Kartz of the Vertical Valcent products.

According to U.S. Department of Energy research, 15 000 gallons can be produced per acre algae while food based cannot even afford 20% to match per year.

Sugar cane, oil palm, Soya beans, cassava and Jatropha plants are way below these algae

A process that takes millions of years to liquefy solid matter and concentrate them to crude oil that we mine and used as fuel is made possible by science to produce within days!

Fuel is the number one commodity that defines our destiny, every good and service is priced, taking into consideration the cost of fuel. If fuel supply is decreased, simple commerce lessons taught us that prices hike.

The cheap fossil fuel era is long gone. My uncle is an example of the 80% of 6.2 million people suffering in PNG now due to high fuel prices causing price increase in basic goods and services.

The other 20 % may have a job but according to media reports, they also suffer.

Obviously there is a very high cost of living nationwide; other Pacific island nations are no exception.

The conference is very important in regard to alternative fuel search worldwide.

Are the algae biofuels running on hype, hope or ready to market science? Can algae biofuels grow to become a true solution for the global biofuel needs?

These are the questions I have been searching during my research and there are answers from experts all over the world coming to interpret at the Singapore conference.

I do not see any reasons as to why PNG or other Pacific Island countries will not attend.

If any organizations, departments or government want to invest in this profound dynamic green high demand, please contact me on my contact details below.

You can make your donations for my travel to this conference in Singapore. Secure the future today, invest in algae biofuel now. or phone contact; 0086 13771426219"

Friday, October 17, 2008

Caption: Inside one of the many Catholic chapels in China. Zhao Wang, a student at Jilin University inside the Catholic chapel in Jilin City. Pic by Mathew Yakai

Praising God in China is awesome

By Mathew Yakai, Changchun, China

JACKSON Siru from Gaulga tribe in the Tambul District of Western Highlands Province once asked me during one of my many telephone calls earlier this year whether there are churches or Christian denominations in China.

His question emanated from the fact that many Papua New Guineans (PNG)as well as foreigners think that Great China, being the remaining communist state restricts any religious organizations.

I told him bluntly that I have heard of Catholic Churches, Muslim worshipers and other denominations in China and Changchun, the city I am currently living.

Since arriving on Sep 1, 2007, I have never been to the Catholic Church in Changchun.

The last time I went to Church was at Koke Good Sheppard, while living at Badili King Christ Hostel. The English sermon at Koke was always relieving and breathe taking to forget the world and dwell in the spiritual realm of God.

But those moments have gone when I left for China. Like any other new students, I was excited with the growing cities in China with “bright lights”, new food, nice people, and four different seasons and above all busy with studies.

Given the double digit economic growth of China, the world was focusing on the ‘middle kingdom”, which many observers thing would become the new “middle kingdom” in the 21st Century.

So I was also interested in China, and wanted to know more about this amazing country so that it would help me to assist PNG to work along with China in the future.

That has kept me so busy, digging into books, surfing internets, meeting Chinese in pub and restaurants to have casual discussions on regional and international issues relating to China’s growth, and try to associate them to PNG’s situation.

But Sunday Oct 12 2008 is the date I will remember in my life in China. This is the day that made me feel how wonderful and awesome to praise God in China, the country I once though had never even allow a bible or preaching of gospel.

At 4:20pm (Beijing time) I was in a group of international students left our hotel in the Church bus to two other universities within Changchun city to pick up more international students.

By the time we picked up the last lot of students, the bus with more then 50 seats was full with joyous students from Africa, Asia, South America, Caribbean and I was the only one from Pacific.

The students who are all under the Chinese Government Scholarship were heading for the Onnuri Community Church, a representative Protestant church in Korea and have more than 50,000 members.

The group was a real international gathering for the usual 5pm to 7pm Sunday Church service. When we arrived at the church ground, there were Korean church goers.

At that time I felt within my heart, “In a land far away like China, God is so kind to bring men and women from different ethnicity and cultural background to worship in one family.”

I met student’s church goers from all over African countries line Nigeria, Togo. Others from India, East Timor, Iraq, Mexico, USA, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and Albania.

The fellowship started from 5pm to 5:15pm. Following thereafter was bible class from 5:15 to 5:50 pm and main worship at 6pm to 7pm.

In the room filled with people of different nationality and ethnicity was so awesome worshiping in Gods name.

What really touched me were the prayers when people said in their own language. I would not imagine that one day, a Chinese would pray in Chinese language.

Then you also hear a Korean praying in Korean language, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Nigerian, Brazilian …it was like the call by China to speak thousand of tongues under one God.

And I thought if God’s royal line is open then He must have his angels who are able to understand different languages to convey the essence of the prayers to His throne.

Imagine, God is awesome and he hears ones prayer in different tongues from different parts of the world.

The resident pastor at Onnuri Community Church is Pastor Joseph Kim from South Korea. He was born in Korea, has a Canadian Citizenship and an American lawyer and has a Masters of Divinity. A well educated man of God.

Pastor Kim took us through the message from Philemon 1:8-22. When hearing the world of God it was after one year since I left PNG’s Koke Good Shepherd in late August 2007.

After one year, the Word was so sweet like the salt that can still keep your mouth filled with sliver.

He also emphasized his churches mission as most of the people there were new comers. The church aims to foster loving relations between God and his people, wants to train young people to become global leaders through the word of God, worship must be based on the world of God alone and wants to establish international network of people to share the love of God.

Pastor Kim emphasized to the international students that with God, they can achieve great things in their lives and serve their country by being great global leaders in the 21st century.

“That is why China gave you scholarship and brought you here to study”

“I am sure that many of you here will be the president and prime ministers of your country, or advisors to your governments, or ambassadors, or secretary general of the UN, or powerful preachers,” pastor Kim told the audience at the church, who were mainly international student in Changchun city.

Pastor Kim has a big mission to spread the word of God in China and other parts of the world.

Onnuri was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1984 with the vision of modeling itself after the early church in the book of Acts, centered on anointed preaching, passionate worship, and the globalization of the Good News of Jesus.

It has 55,000 church members and 24 visions (branch) churches world-wide. It has established Jeonju University, Torch Trinity Seminary, CGN TV and Duranno Publishing Company.

In Changchun, Onnuri Community Church is planning to open a Christian bookshop and cafeteria to spread the ministry.

The Onnuri Community Church in Changchun was established in 2000 and on Oct 12 it marked its 8th Anniversary.

The English service called the Mosaic community was established in March 2008. Now people with various backgrounds serve as members, excluding the Chinese citizens, Korean citizens and North Korean citizens.

The Onnuri Community Church in Changchun is an example of the rising church observance in China today, particularly after China’s economic reform and opening up in 1978.

According to Council on Foreign Relations, religious observance in China is on the rise.
A survey published in a state-run newspaper, 31.4 percent of Chinese adults are religious, a figure that is three times the initial government estimate.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is officially atheist, but it has been growing more tolerant of religious activity for the past twenty years.

China's constitution explicitly allows "freedom of religious belief," and in 2005, the State Council passed new guidelines broadening legal rights for state-sanctioned groups.

In March, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recognized these efforts and removed China from the State Department's list of top human rights violators

Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution says that Chinese citizens "enjoy freedom of religious belief." It bans discrimination based on religion, and it forbids state organs, public organizations, or individuals from compelling citizens to believe in—or not to believe in—any particular faith.

In 2005, the State Council passed new Regulation on Religious Affairs, which allow religious organizations to possess property, publish literature, train and approve clergy, and collect donations as long as they have registered with the state.

According to Chinese criminal law, officials who deny citizens of their right to religious belief can be sentenced up to two years in prison.

But religious freedom is still not universal in China. The state only recognizes five official religions—Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism—and considers the practice of any other faith illegal.

Religious organizations are required to register with one of five state-sanctioned patriotic religious associations, each of which is supervised by the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). Religious groups that fail to affiliate with one of the five official religions are denied legal protection under Chinese law.

Well, its better to start somewhere then never at all.

During the recent Olympic Games, the Olympic Committee distributed bibles to international visitors and designated venues for worship, a clear indication of China’s respect for religion.

After 30 years of economic reform and opening up, China has also progressed in allowing its people to worship God.

Praise God, now Jackson knows that he can still practice his faith in China.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Caption: Quality supervision official Qu Rui'e(right) monitors milk tests at a dairy company in Shaanxi Province on October 4. Latest tests on Chinese dairy products have found no traces of melamine, following a scandal involving powdered milk tainted with the chemical.(Xinhua Photo)

Globalization and the question of food security

By Mathew Yakai, Changchun, China

SCANDAL of melamine – contaminated milk products that sickened thousands of babies throughout Mainland China poses great risks to humanity, not only in China but throughout the world given the “globalization” trend today.

China has admitted the scandal and promised it will tighten up its production process in the future.

The unfortunate scandal came at the time when China received overwhelming applause following the successful hosting of the Olympic Games and the return of Shenzhou 7 manned rocket.

President Hu Jintao admits to the world through the United Nations that China has weakness in its food manufacturing and will improve on that. This is an assurance to the world from the top leader.

But the fact that there may be more food scandals in other manufactured products in the future, not only from China but other countries where Papua New Guinea (PNG) trades with poses greater risks.

If you check all supermarkets in Port Moresby and other major towns, you will discover that the shelves and freezes are occupied with foreign manufactured food staff.

Even the mere agricultural produces that can be grown in PNG are imported.

Due to “globalization”, a particular food that you eat is produced in many countries, through many assembly lines and eventually ends up on your dining table.

Is it the result of “globalization”, often treated by politicians and journalists as something new?

Although it is true that the end of the Cold War and the information revolution accelerated interdependence at multicontinental distances, the 1990s was not the first era of globalization.

As early as 1848, Marx and Engels wrote that “in place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal interdependence of nations.”

Globalization is also sometimes treated as if it were synonymous with Americanization. But globalization is more a product of modernization than of Americanization, according to academia Joseph Nye.

Advances in technology and communication were creating multicontinental interdependence long before there was a United States. Indeed, the United States itself was the product of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century globalization.

If globalization creates interdependence amongst states in this international system of anarchic world order then the “food safety issue” should not be compromised with human health and societal order.

In china alone, the contaminated baby formula has killed at least three infants and left more than 53,000 with urinary tract problems, including kidney stones. About 13,000 infants are still being treated in hospitals, according to Xinhua.

The “middle kingdom”, no doubt puts people first in its economic, political and social development and would never had any intention to allow the companies involved in the production of baby milk to sicken the vulnerable.

People who have followed China’s integration in the regional and global system since 1978 would agree that this scandal is “unfortunate”, and would never tarnish China’s diplomacy in international relations.

China alone enjoys a huge domestic market. But what is important is the regulation that governs food security, both in China and other countries.

PNG, as a developing country has failed to address the issue of food security or safety, if it will be a serious problem today, though is has been on the national agenda.

Food security originated only in the mid-1970s, in the discussions of international food problems at a time of global food crisis.

The initial focus of attention was primarily on food supply problems - of assuring the availability and to some degree the price stability of basic foodstuffs at the international and national level.

That supply-side, international and institutional set of concerns reflected the changing organization of the global food economy that had precipitated the crisis.

Given this, PNG is located at a vulnerable point, bombarded with imports from all over the world, and not only China as in the case of baby milk.

Lamp flaps, for instance, that is imported from Australia, which every knowledgeable person knows that Australians themselves do not consume.

Many Papua New Guinean have died at their prime age, where medical reports reveal of heart failures and other chronic diseases, which are directly caused by the type of food eaten.

Given China’s 1.3 billion people, the country takes food security as one of its main concerns to make sure the people do not go hungry.

The 14 Pacific island countries have a population of approximately 8 million, with PNG being the highest with 5.6 million.

Oceania boasts its fertile landmass and vast resources but yet 80 percent of the population does not have three meals a day, and most food eaten do not comprise the necessary elements the body requires.

The minimum wages are very low and most families live below one U.S. dollar per day. The government does not pay any attention on this vast majority, making them prone to products of low quality that threatens future generations.

But given its land and population size, China is a major contributor to world food security by feeding nearly a quarter of the global population and involving in aid to other countries, China's agriculture minister admits.

"China has managed to feed 1.3 billion people, mostly relying on domestic production, which in itself is a major contribution to the world food security," Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai told a world summit on food security hosted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in June this year.

When the world is experiencing a dramatic price hike, Sun said besides the success of feeding almost a quarter of the world population, China is also committed to contributing to the development of the world food and agriculture.

"China actively makes contributions and donations, within the limits of its capacity, to international food and agriculture agencies and provides food assistance to countries in food emergencies," he said.

"On the other hand, China is taking advantage of its agricultural expertise such as hybrid rice to assist other developing countries to increase agriculture and food production," the minister added.

China has established or is establishing over 20 demonstration centers of agriculture technology in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and has dispatched nearly 1,000 agricultural experts and technicians to other developing countries to train locals, according to the Chinese official.

China will continue to strengthen the exchange and cooperation with other countries in the field of food and agriculture and Oceania stands to benefit.

If China can feed its vast population then PNG with only 5.6 million people with vast arable land mass has no reason to go for a day without breakfast or lunch as seen in most urban areas, leave alone the rural 80 percent.

Instead of engaging the unemployed youths in agriculture in the country that can promote food security, PNG government and other regional governments like Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are crying at the corridor of Canberra to engage them as seasonal workers.

Theoretically, the regional governments are exporting bunch of youths, who will be exploited by the Australian farmers, and the produce will be imported again by the regional governments.

It will be a vicious cycle, making the regional governments so dependent on Canberra, this time not on the “boomerang aid” but Australia will decide what the pacific islanders should have in their meals.

Oceania’s sovereignty will be tugged under Canberra’s hegemony, where the regional governments will not have any bargaining powers.

Taipei, Beijing and Seoul scientists have reveal that rice can be grown in surplus locally to feed PNG. Yet Australia plays down the research just to protect its market.

May be the island leaders have their dining room and pub in Canberra while running their respective offices in their home countries.

China’s recent leadership demonstration since the Melamine scandal broke out shows how serious they are with food security.

At a press conference on Wednesday (8th Oct), Wang Xuening, deputy director of the ministry's Health Supervision Bureau, released new rules for the dairy industry.

Wang said a maximum of one milligram of melamine per kilogram of infant formula was the new limit. A maximum 2.5 milligrams per kilogram was allowed for liquid milk, milk powder and food products containing at least 15 percent milk.

"The limits mainly aim to curb the deliberate adding of melamine," he said.

According to the standards of the Unites Stated Food and Drug Administration, the safety reference value (tolerable daily intake or TDI) for melamine is 0.63 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day.

A child weighing 30 kilograms would have to drink around 1.2 kilograms of milk powder containing 15 milligrams of melamine per kilogram a day to have exposure reaching the TDI.

In tests by China's quality watchdog, the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), last month (Sept), Sanlu products had the highest content of melamine, at 2,563 milligrams per kilogram, out of the 109 baby formula producers tested.

The country had sent more than 150,000 officials to overhaul milk-collecting stations and cow feed supply chains. Altogether 18,803 milk-collecting stations had been registered and checked by then.

The ministry also investigated 98 dairy producers and farms, banned 151 illegal companies and transferred to the police three manufacturers of feedstuff that contained melamine.

It urged local authorities to reinforce bailout measures and technical guide on cow feeding and epidemic control.

In an effort to encourage dairy producers to buy raw milk, the Ministry of Finance said last month (Sept) that interest rate for loans to dairy producers' raw milk purchase will be reduced by 3.1 percent, or half of the six-month lending rate, from October to December.

"Melamine is neither a raw food material nor a food additive. Deliberately adding the chemical to food items is prohibited. Once such cases are spotted, they will be investigated according to law,” the ministry said.

So far, 27 people have been arrested over the scandal, while hospitals through out China treats the sickening babies, and subsidizing the farmers and setting up rules to ensure such scandal do not repeat.

But one fact remains. Melamine is used to make plastics and food packaging materials.

When asked why China allowed any melamine at all dairy products, Wang said it was impossible to have "zero levels". The chemical can seep into food from its packaging.

So, any packaged manufactured food can contain melamine, not only from China but other countries as well.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Caption:China’s space technology reached a new milestone after the successful return of astronauts, Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng to earth on Sunday 30th landing on the grassland of inner Mongolia after four days in space, a great achievement for China. (China Daily)

2008: The Special Year for China

By Mathew Yakai, Changchun, China

YEAR 2008 marks a special moment for all Chinese, both in and abroad.

China feels the momentum of pride, despite all the set backs that it faces.

What is impressive is the current rapid economic growth which am directly benefiting as a student in China under the Chinese Scholarship.

In the Pacific, islanders always complain on things they can afford.

School fees, for example. Current and the successive governments should build roads, create markets, and encourage people to engage in farming to sell their produces….and create employments for the graduates.

The economic equation is then complete. There is a means and an end, people have ways to earn money and spend. One does not need to ask a Member of Parliament or the government to provide school fees or help transport the dead relative.

The governments failed in the past by providing “freebies”.

Look at Australia’s welfare system that corrupts many young Australian female students, into pregnancy out of wedlock.

Research has shown that third or fourth generations of single mothers are living together, depending on the Federal Governments welfare system. This system convinces young female Australians to think that it is okay for them to get pregnant without completing school as that system will feed them.

The system also gets many Australian Aborigines drunk and sleep on the streets in major cities. Most of their children do not go to school.

Oceania has adopted this cult mentality, and always looks upon the government. Islanders are so lazy, sitting under the “coconut tree expecting the ‘dry coconut’ to fall”.

Unless one climbs the tree or there is a strong wind, the “dry coconut” will never fall.

Malaysia and Singapore governments provide commodities that people can not afford. Rest is up to the people with government’s assistance. How about China?

Li Teng is a Business Economics student at Jilin University. His parent is a farmer. He has one younger brother.

He comes from Sichuan Province in China, the province that experienced the devastating earth quake on May 12, 2008.

I invited him for a week to tell me about his family and village life and feel what life was like when he was a young boy compared to today since China marks it 30th Anniversary of opening up and economic reform this year.
When he was a small boy, his parent would earn less then 5000 Chinese Yuan (K1,860.00) per year. The money was sufficient for them, though it did not come easily. They had to work tirelessly in the field.

Li said, they never had electricity and water. In a month they would have shower for two or three. All their village roads were muddy during rainy days.

Li’s parent did not want to see him on the farm like them so they worked extremely hard and sent him to school. Today he is attending one of the top ten universities in China, Jilin University.

Li is the only student from his village to enter the highest and renowned university. He is the pride of his family and the village.

Currently doing his final year undergraduate, Li opened a shop close to Jilin university and brought his younger brother to manage, while he looks for other business opportunities. Last time he told me that he gave up the idea of looking for a job and wanted to venture into business.

The story is long, and interesting. But the essence of this introduction is this. After the opening up and economic reform in 1978, China’s economy grew impressively, providing opportunities for young entrepreneurs to venture into businesses.

Li does not want to work with a company or government, but wants to establish his own business because the Chinese government is providing the economic and political environment.

In the Pacific, most people will not live longer to see this, or never at all, if the governments do not learn from countries like China.

China and its people cry together, laugh together and inspire together this year.

This reminds me of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s word after the deadly Sichuan earthquake, "I firmly believe that no difficulty can daunt the Chinese people.”

I applauded with my colleagues in my room when the Shenzhou-VII crew capsule landed on the Inner Mongolia steppe on Sep 28.

The successful Shenzhou-VII mission is really exciting news for China to lighten the National Holiday on Oct 2.
In 2008, the eyes of the world are on China. China fought against natural disasters, China hosted the Olympics, and China walked in space.

Personally, I am so proud of this country and happy that I am here to experience by going through all the joys and pains in 2008.

I watched the opening gala in my room with a Japanese friend. We were astonished by the show that was masterminded by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

On Aug. 8, the start of the Olympic Games was hailed by Time Magazine (Asia edition) in its "Beijing 8/8/08" cover story published on Aug. 18 as an event that "heralded the return of China to the center of the world's stage."

Peter M. Herford, the former producer of the U.S. show "60 Minutes" who is now a guest professor teaching journalism at Shantou University in south China's Guangdong Province, said "the opening was the single event that impressed the outside world more than others. So many aspects of China came together."

"And more that, the use of state-of-the-art tools to produce the spectacle underlined China's modern infrastructure in a way no other event could have accomplished," Herford said.

Herford added that the year 2008 was certainly the "Year of China" and "other events of 2008 cannot take away from the joy of the Olympics."

Earlier this March, the riot in Tibet's capital Lhasa led to the deaths of at least 18 civilians and one policeman. During the overseas legs of the Olympic flame relay, particularly in France, Tibetan separatists and their supporters, protested for an "independent Tibet" and grappled with torchbearers.

All these unexpected disturbances, not to mention the May 12 earthquake which has been the worst natural disaster for China in the past 30 years, shadowed the nation's preparation for the Olympics, but China's resolution to host a successful Olympics was not disturbed.

China made it a sporting and spectacle success. Whatever attitudes other countries may have towards China, they are watching the Olympics and caring about China.

During the Olympic season, I watched on TV the events like weight-lifting, basketball, the Chinese diving queen Guo Jingjing, American swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt. Keeping close watch on the Games became as regular as having meals every day.

It was all about Olympics, wherever you are. People I met on the streets, both foreigners and Chinese, were either watching or talking about the Olympic Games.

I donated 500 yuan (K185.) towards the disastrous Sichuan Earthquake that killed more than 69,000 people in the country.

I know the money is only a drop in the ocean, but millions of people like me were doing the same thing, and together we made a difference.

China used 'unity is strength' as its slogan to get over the disaster, and it did it.

The 8.0-magnitude quake erupted without any warning on May 12. Professor Herford said the government was impressive in its organization of relief efforts and China showed the world how people could come together to help those in need.

“The volunteers were a phenomenon that impressed many with the Chinese commitment to help their fellow citizens," Herford said.
I experienced several earthquakes in PNG, but the one in China was beyond my imagination.

People all over the country became so connected after the quake happened. The government was quick to act, money was collected in short time, and makeshift houses were built soon. The army, doctors and volunteers were quick too.

At 2:28 p.m. on May 19, exactly a week after the quake, when all sirens and horns wailed and people stood for three minutes in silence to mourn tens of thousands who died in the quake, I was in class, praying in my hearth, “God bless the deaths, and comfort those survived.”

Emotional support and financial aid came from both home and abroad. Domestic and foreign donations exceeded 8.6 billion U.S. dollars in cash and goods. Some overseas Chinese even rushed back from abroad to help with relief work in quake-hit areas.

I was, for the first time, overwhelmed by the nation's indomitableness and fortitude to unite and fight. Somehow, I feel lucky I am going through whatever happens in China.

While having scored tremendous achievements in the past decades, China has also been going through many trials, especially in 2008.

Take the recently-revealed toxic milk scandal for example. It challenges the reputation of "made-in-China" products. Premier Wen Jiabao admitted at the World Economic Forum recently that the country was weak in the production supervision process, but "we will try to ensure that all China-made products are safe for consumers."

Confucius said 2,500 years ago that a man should be independent at the age of thirty. Li, at the age of "independence", is starting his own company, which is very important to him.

"Problems always exist, both for the country and individuals, but we are brave enough to move forward. This year we cry together, we laugh together, and we are all inspired," Li said.

At his home town, his parents today earn good money, have electricity and water in their new house and all roads are sealed.

His kind parents invited me to go with Li during the winter holiday, and I am looking forward to meeting his humble parents, who have never seen a foreigner before, according to Li. May be the whole village, he jokingly admitted.

China’s 30th anniversary of opening and economic reform celebration is for good reasons, while in PNG and Oceania, the countries ares still staggering behind.

If PNG and Oceania have to experience economic prosperity then look no further then China, because the traditional western powers have done nothing.

The 19th century historian Thomas Carlyle famously wrote, “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.”

So, the history of PNG and Oceania lies with current leaders.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

H. E. Ambassador Wei Ruixing
Trade Between China and PNG soars
TRADE between China and Papua New Guinea continues to grow with the total volume of bilateral trade for the first half of this year recording US$488 million, according to Chinese Ambassador Wei Ruixing.

Mr Ruixing, when disclosing these figures at a reception marking the 59th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Chinese Embassy on Tuesday night, said this was an increase of 38% from the previous year.

He predicted that these figures would soar with Ramu Nickel Mine Project to start operations in 2009.

“… a good momentum has been maintained in the bilateral relations between China and PNG, with constant expansion in scope and depth of our bilateral trade and economic cooperation,” he told government ministers and departmental secretaries, MPs, members of the diplomatic corps and other guests.

“The total volume of our bilateral trade for the first half of this year recorded USD488 million with an increase of 38%.

“More and more reliable Chinese enterprises have been investing in PNG, with about US$11 million last year.

“PNG has been the largest trade partner and investment destination country of China among the South Pacific Island countries during the past few years.”

“With the construction of Ramu Nickel Mine Project to be completed and put into operation in the second half of next year, the economic cooperation between China and PNG will be lifted to a higher level.”

Mr Ruixing said exchange and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture, education, health, agriculture, fishery, and others also yielded fruitful results.

This is seen in 26 PNG students granted Chinese government scholarships to pursue their degree studies in China; over 50 government officials and technical personnel of different sectors being trained in China for various programmes; the 4th Chinese medical team dispatched by Chinese government will arrive in Port Moresby in November to provide continuous medical services to the local people; and a series of Chinese government-aided projects, such as teachers’ houses and students’ dormitories of Vudal University and Lae fish processing factory were completed and put into operation.

“Further development of China-PNG friendly and cooperative relations is in conformity with the common interests of the two peoples,” Mr Ruixing said.

“The Chinese government is ready to work with the PNG Government and people to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, expand and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields, continue our mutual support and sound cooperation in the international and regional affairs, so as to ensure the stable and sound bilateral relations between the two countries in the years and decades to come.”

Note: The Chinese Ambassador’s full speech can be seen below.

Toast by H. E. Ambassador Wei Ruixing at the Reception Marking 59th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

Government Ministers and Department Secretaries,
Members of National Parliament,
Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening! My wife and I feel very much delighted and greatly honored to have you at the Chinese Embassy to join us in celebrating 59th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China. I wish, on behalf of the entire staff of the Chinese Embassy, to extend to all of you our warm welcome and best wishes.

I also wish to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation and sincere thanks to all of you for making unremitting efforts and contributions to the promotion of the friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Papua New Guinea.
Ladies and Gentlemen: The year of 2008 is of special significance to China and to the Chinese people of all ethnic groups.
First this year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up.

During the past 30 years, great and historic changes have taken place in China, with remarkable achievements in economic development and social undertakings.

China has maintained rapid and sustained economic development for the past three decades. The aggregate GDP grew by about 20 times with the average annual growth rate of about 9.7%, and the volume of foreign trade increased more than 100 times making China rank 3rd in the world.

The Chinese government successfully lifted 230 million rural people out of poverty, making a Chinese miracle witnessed by the world.

There have been great improvements in the material and cultural life of the Chinese people, who are now enjoying a greater comfort and an improved quality of daily living. Despite the slowdown of world economy since the beginning of this year, China has maintained steady economic development.

The total GDP of the first half of 2008 recorded US$1.93 trillion at the growth rate of 10.4% compared with the corresponding period of last year.

The total volume of foreign trade amounted to US$1.72 trillion, an increase 26.4%. The total value of actual utilization of foreign investment reached US$67 billion, up by about 13%. By the end of June, the foreign exchange reserve totaled US$1.81 trillion. Confronted with many difficulties and challenges, China remains one of the countries with fast economic development.Second, Beijing successfully hosted 29th Olympiad and 13th Paralympics. The Chinese Government and people have honored their commitments to the international community by sparing no effort to make the two Games high-level and unique sports events with Chinese characteristics.

More than 1,200 athletes from 204 countries and regions competed under the Olympic Flag with more than 4 billion people around the world witnessing this largest gathering in the history of the Olympic Games.

Beijing Olympics gathered peoples of different nations, cultures and religions to promote their mutual understanding and friendship, carried forward the Olympic spirit of unity, friendship and peace, and made great contributions to the building of a harmonious world with lasting peace and common development and prosperity of humankind.PNG made a historic breakthrough in Beijing by winning a silver medal in the Paralympics.

Congratulations! The Chinese people share the joy with all Papua New Guineans and wish PNG athletes even greater success in the future.Third, China successfully launched its third manned spacecraft Shenzhou VII on September 26th, 2008 with three astronauts on board making the country's first-ever space walk the following day. The Shenzhou VII mission marks a historic breakthrough in China's manned space program, which is hailed as another feat on the Chinese people's journey to ascend the peak of science and technology.Fourth, China suffered a series of natural disasters this year. From late January to early February, extreme weather conditions of sleet and snowstorms struck southern China, and in May, the most disastrous earthquake which had not occurred in the past century rocked Sichuan province and surrounding areas, causing great loss of life and property.

The Chinese Government mobilized all forces throughout the country for this unprecedented disaster relief and the Chinese people rallied together and united as one.

Soldiers, police officers, fire brigade and medical personnel and volunteers from all over the country worked day and night in their rescue efforts and disaster relief.

Under the leadership of the Chinese Government and with the concerted efforts of all rescue and disaster relief workers and the international community, tens of thousands of survivors were saved from the ruins, millions of the injured were treated promptly, tens of millions of the affected people were properly resettled, power transmission lines, public telecommunication services, radio and TV networks and water-supply pipelines have been restored gradually, and the reconstruction is now well under way.

The Chinese community and PNG friends made their generous donations to the disaster relief.

On behalf of the Chinese Government and the people of the disaster-stricken areas, I wish to express our sincere gratitude.Fifth, a good momentum has been maintained in the bilateral relations between China and PNG, with constant expansion in scope and depth of our bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

The total volume of our bilateral trade for the first half of this year recorded USD488 million with an increase of 38%. More and more reliable Chinese enterprises have been investing in PNG, with about US$11 million last year.

PNG has been the largest trade partner and investment destination country of China among the South Pacific Island Countries during the past few years. With the construction of Ramu Nickel Mine Project to be completed and put into operation in the second half of next year, the economic cooperation between China and PNG will be lifted to a higher level.

The exchange and cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture, education, health, agriculture, fishery, etc. also yielded fruitful results.

26 PNG students were granted Chinese Government Scholarships to pursue their degree studies in China. Over 50 government officials and technical personnel of different sectors were trained in China for various programs.

The 4th Chinese Medical Team dispatched by Chinese Government will arrive in Port Moresby in November to provide continuous medical services to the local people. A series of the Chinese Government aided projects, such as the Teachers’ Houses and Students’ Dormitories of Vudal University and Lae Fish Processing Factory, were completed and put into operation.Further development of China-PNG friendly and cooperative relations is in conformity with the common interests of the two peoples.

The Chinese Government is ready to work with the PNG Government and people to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, expand and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields, continue our mutual support and sound cooperation in the international and regional affairs, so as to ensure the stable and sound bilateral relations between the two countries in the years and decades to come.
In conclusion, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to each and every one of you for joining us in the auspicious occasion, and wish you an enjoyable evening.

Thank you.

Source: Malum Nalu: