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China launches new supercomputer prototype

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

Sunway exascale computer prototype (Image courtesy to CCTV via Reuters)

 

China put its next-generation supercomputer into operation on Sunday, with the latest prototype exascale computing machine set to play a huge role in scientific research and offer a boost to the medical field, according to developers.

The Sunway exascale computer prototype was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC), the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan of east China’s Shandong Province, and the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao). An exascale computer is able to execute a quintillion calculations per second.

The NRCPC led the team that developed the Sunway TaihuLight, which was crowned the world’s fastest computer two years in a row at both the 2016 and 2017 International Supercomputing Conferences held in Frankfurt, Germany.

Another prototype exascale supercomputer the Tianhe-3 passed the acceptance tests on July 22. Its final version is expected to come out in 2020.

The two prototypes marked a further step towards China’s successful development of the next-generation supercomputer.

Supercomputers are playing vital roles across many fields of life such as in weather forecasts, calculation of ocean currents, financial data analysis, high-end equipment manufacturing, and car collision simulations.

The new-generation supercomputers will provide strong support to scientific research across several sectors, including in the medical field.

“With the supercomputer, the research and development process for medicines can be shortened from several years to just a few weeks. It will greatly reduce the research and development costs as well as the prices of new medicines,” said Zhang Yunquan, director of the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan. — Reuters

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China makes key breakthroughs in space station development

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

 

Animation on China’s Tiangong space station | REUTERS

China has made key technological breakthroughs in developing its Tiangong Space Station, as announced at the 5th Manned Space Conference, which opened on Tuesday in Xi’an, the capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The Tianhe core capsule of the space station will exhibit in full size at the upcoming 12th Zhuhai Airshow which runs from Nov 6-11.

The China-developed space station consists of a core capsule and two experiment modules. It can hold three astronauts and a maximum of six during change of the crew members.

China has long been making preparations for constructing and launching the space station. For example, it will launch the Long March-5B carrier rocket into space in 2019 to help carry the core module and experiment modules to the space station.

“Currently, we are making steady progress in the space station research and construction. Key technological breakthroughs have been made in producing the three modules including the core capsule and the Long March-5B carrier rocket. Selection of the third batch of reserve astronauts is also underway as scheduled,” said Hao Chun, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.

The space station will enable experiments in multiple areas, including space science, biological technologies, and microgravity fundamental physics and materials sciences in space.

“We will complete on-orbit construction of the space station around 2022 as planned. It will be a national orbital space lab in the long run after being completed,” Hao said. — Reuters

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Without ICC treaty, PHL can’t sue China if it invades Panatag, Scarborough — Carpio

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines July 20, 2011.
REUTERS/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has concluded the oral arguments on the petition questioning the validity of the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It was the Executive Department’s turn to argue that there is no explicit constitutional provision that states Senate concurrence is required in treaty withdrawal.

Solicitor General Jose Calida explained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate the Constitution, but only exercised his power as the chief architect that crafts and implements foreign policy.

But Justice Antonio Carpio said the ICC treaty is the only legal deterrent that can protect the country from China’s abuses, specifically, the Kampala Amendment which activated the court’s jurisdiction on crimes of aggression.

“If China invades Pag-asa [Island] and puts up a naval base in Scarborough Shoal, we will not be able to sue President Xi Jin Ping and his military leaders because we have withdrawn already from the ICC, correct?
I mean we cannot take advantage of this legal defense anymore because we are withdrawing from the Rome Statute.

Calida suggested that there might be other international treaties that can be used, but Carpio insisted otherwise.

“This is the only treaty in the world that holds political and military leaders of a state that commits the crime of aggression,” Carpio said.

The Philippines withdrew from the treaty in March 2018 via note verbale sent to the United Nations amid the preliminary examinations on Duterte’s war on drugs by ICC prosecutor Fathou Bensouda.

But according to constitutional law professor Tony La Viña, whether or not the high court rules in favor of the president, investigations on his controversial drug war will continue.

“Kahit sabihin ng Supreme Court natin na valid ang pag withdraw ni Duterte di ba? For any case filed against him, for acts he committed noong member pa tayo, continue iyon. Ang consequence lang ng pagwithdraw natin sa ICC ay any acts committed after April or March, when it takes effect, is no longer covered,” La Viña said.

The petitions asking for the nullification of the withdrawal were filed by opposition senators and the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court. — Mai Bermudez

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Gov’t: PHL-China joint oil exploration could solve surging oil prices, energy security

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A child holds national flags of China and the Philippines before President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

 

MANILA, Philippines — The government believes that the possible joint oil exploration between the Philippines and China in the West Philippines Sea will help address surging oil prices and ensure the country’s energy security.

The government is eyeing to sign a formal agreement with China during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country this year.

However, Malacañang clarified that the agreement will not be immediately implemented pending processes and studies to be undertaken on the matter.

“That’s why we are studying it and the administration is pushing for the joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea because based on the initial study, there is natural gas or diesel especially in what we call the Service Contract No. 72,” said Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

 

 

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