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China warns of 'grim situation' in foreign trade


08:10, October 20, 2011

BEIJING -- The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday warned of a "quite grim situation" for the country's foreign trade as new global uncertainties weigh on the world's second largest economy.

"The import and export situation will be quite grim in the fourth quarter of this year and next year, or at least in the first quarter of next year," said MOC spokesman Shen Danyang at a press conference.

He attributed the prospect to changes in the domestic and foreign economic environment, "especially increasing instabilities and uncertainties that have affected China's foreign trade in recent few months."

China's exports slowed to 17.1 percent year-on-year growth in September from 24.5-percent growth in August, according to customs figures.

Imports in September climbed 20.9 percent from a year earlier, compared with the 30.2 percent year-on-year expansion in August.

In September, China's trade surplus fell for the second straight month, dropping by 12.4 percent year-on-year.

Shen said the declining surplus showed "the determination and forceful acts of the Chinese government to promote trade balance."

Trade surplus only accounted for about 4 percent of China's total foreign trade and more than 2 percent of China's gross domestic output in the first three quarters and both percentages fell, Shen said.

"It's unreasonable to question China's trade surplus and attempt to press China with that excuse," he said.

Shen said China's foreign trade maintained stable and relatively fast growth in the first three quarters and "is in good operation overall."

However, he predicts trade growth will retreat later this year due to such factors as rising costs, exchange rate changes and carryover effects.

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[email protected] at 2011-10-20114.244.62.*
China should not continue appreciating the Yuan while the US is aggressively depreciating the dollar. This Yuan appreciation results in making China loss its competiveness in the world market and the USA is gaining market share by making its goods cheaper with a weak dollar.
Canada at 2011-10-2070.36.49.*
China beware - FYIA highly sophisticated computer worm which has many of the same characteristics of the virus used to attack Iran"s nuclear programme has been discovered targeting companies in Europe.Although the virus appears to have been spying on the systems it infiltrates - rather than attempting to vandalise them - experts say its code is so similar to the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran, that it may have been engineered by the same people.The US and Israel were widely thought to be behind Stuxnet, which sent many of the centrifigues at Tehran"s nuclear facilities spinning out of control. It took this kind of cyberwarfare to a new level.The new virus was discovered by Symantec, a leading cybersecurity firm, and has been called Duqu.Symantec would not disclose which firms had been targeted, but the company said one of its customers raised the alarm on Friday. An internal system at the firm "raised a number of red flags" and an investigation was launched."The majority of the code is consistent with the Stuxnet code," said a spokesman for Symantec. "So this new worm either came from the authors of Stuxnet, or someone was given access to the Stuxnet source codes."Symantec said that the information Duqu gathers is sent to a server in India, but that this doesn"t give any likely indication of who launched it, or who is accessing the material it finds.It believes Duqu has been targeting a specific number of organisations in Europe and was designed to automatically remove itself from systems after 36 days.Symantec suspects that Duqu may have been the first in a wave of new Stuxnet-style viruses, and that further sophisticated versions of it with a more aggressive purpose may emerge in the coming months.Its experts suspect Duqu was looking for information such as design documents, which could help it mount a future attack on an industrial control facility."Stuxnet really laid new territory in terms of being able to get into and being able to control these nuclear power facilities [in Iran]," said the spokesman."The significance here is that since Stuxnet we have not seen anything else of that level of complexity. It has gone a little quiet since then. The question we are now asking is: "Do they have a new goal or purpose?""The fear would be that Stuxnet-style viruses become mainstream, he added.According to the New York Times, Symantec launched its inquiry after being contacted by a "research lab with strong international connections". .A Symantec"s analyst, Vikram Thakur, told the newspaper: "This is extremely sophisticated, this is cutting edge."Stuxnet showed that cyberwarfare is developing fast, and is increasingly being thought of by states as a means of inflicting maximum damage with minimum risk. Earlier this year the Guardian revealed that the UK is developing its own "first strike" capability, and is investing millions in beefing up security around key services such as energy, and government departments such as the Ministry of Defence.

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