August 14, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Late Wednesday night, a massive explosion ripped through the city of Tianjin in northern China, killing at least 50 people and injuring over 700 others. Tianjin is China’s largest harbor and a very important region for commerce. The explosions took place at a warehouse known to store dangerous, toxic chemicals. Videos of the event show several huge fireballs shooting up into the air.
Several blocks of buildings were destroyed and thousands of nearby cars were completely burned out. The BBC stated that twelve firefighters are dead with at least 36 more still missing.The Xinhua news agency reports that President Xi Jinping promised an in-depth investigation and “transparent information disclosure to the public.” As of yet, no explanation for the cause of the explosion has been given.
Reuters reports that firefighters attempting to fight the initial fire may have exacerbated the situation by spraying water.
“The warehouse, designed to house dangerous and toxic chemicals, was storing mainly ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate and calcium carbide at the time of the blasts, according to police. The official Xinhua news agency has said several containers in the warehouse caught fire before the explosions.
Chemical safety experts said calcium carbide reacts with water to create acetylene, a highly explosive gas. An explosion could be caused if firefighters sprayed the calcium carbide with water, they said.”
While the Chinese government investigates the cause of the explosion, several other interesting situations are developing. Before reading any further, please remember that The Anti Media absolutely mourns the death of the innocent individuals caught up in this explosion. However, we also find it increasingly important to question the official narratives proposed by the corporate media and government authorities.
Following the explosion, it was reported by Xinhua News that one of China’s supercomputers was forced to shut down for safety reasons. Though Liu Guangming, director of the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, said the Tianhe-1A supercomputer was running smoothly and protected by a reinforced room, it was still temporarily shutdown. Tianhe-1A can perform 2.57 quadrillion computing operations per second and was recognized as the world’s fastest computing system in 2010.
This is interesting to note when taking into consideration that the U.S. government recently denied China access to technology needed to upgrade the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. In April 2015, IEEE Spectrum reported:
“When China wanted to upgrade Tianhe-2, currently the world’s fastest supercomputer, it turned to U.S. chipmaker Intel. But the U.S. government has blocked Intel from helping with the tech upgrade and blacklisted several Chinese supercomputing centers over concerns for their involvement in nuclear weapons development. Experts warn that in the long run such a move may hurt the business of U.S. chipmakers and encourage China to speed up its homegrown chip development.
The U.S. Commerce Department initially denied Intel an export license for supplying chips to China’s supercomputing centers last fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Commerce Department followed up by posting a notice on 18 February that listed the Chinese supercomputing centers as having been ‘involved in activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.’ Specifically, the notice cited those centers’ involvement in ‘nuclear explosive activities’ that could cover anything from research and development to testing.”
Although the denial of services to China could be seen as an attempt to hurt the rising superpower, some experts believe it will actually have the reverse effect of helping the Chinese economy and hurting the U.S. economy. Is there any significance to the proximity of the explosion to the supercomputers?
The explosion also comes just days after the U.S. Department of Defense accused the Chinese government of hacking “the personal emails of all top national security and trade officials.” While the source of this claim was reported by NBC News as “anonymous government sources,” it does make sense that China would attempt to hack the U.S. as both nations are currently in a struggle for global hegemony. The Guardian reported that “these attacks – among the more than 600 hacks attributed by officials to hackers working for the Chinese government – sought personal email info from top administration officials and began in 2010. NBC’s source said the hacks were still going on but would not name any of the officials targeted.”
The alleged Chinese hack comes after another breach attributed to hackers working for the Russian government. Again, the hacker claims come from “anonymous government sources” speaking to NBC. Wired reported that “the anonymous officials say the intrusion took place around July 25th and affected around 4,000 Joint Chiefs of Staff personnel (both military and civilian). It’s not entirely clear why the attack is being attributed to Russia. The Pentagon responded by shutting down the entire unclassified email system and internet during the investigation. The system has been shut down for around two weeks.”
The Guardian also points out that the hacking claims bode well for supporters of the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which will likely come before the Senate next month. Could this simply be a case of U.S. government propaganda designed to promote another authoritarian bill? Or are we really witnessing a cyber-war between Russia/China and the United States?
We should also consider some recent economic downturns in China. Recently The Anti-Media’s Claire Bernish reported, “China’s stock market is hemorrhaging without a sufficient tourniquet to stem the massive loss—now $3.25 trillion and counting. To bring it into perspective, that figure is more than double the annual GDP of Canada—and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it.
In fact, since June 12, the Shanghai Composite Index has lost a whopping 32%. And the Shenzhen—China’s largely tech index, often compared to the U.S. Nasdaq—is down 41%. By every indication, things will only get worse.
Why this matters to any of us can be summarized in a contextual comparison. What’s taking place in China now bears an uncanny similarity to what occurred there before the global financial disaster in 2008-2009—but on an unnervingly larger scale.”
Well-researched readers might be tempted to look at the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia (especially in relation to Ukraine), Russia and China’s involvement in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) association, and attempts to create an alternative to the Western dominated World Bank — and assume this apparent accidental explosion could be an inadvertent attack on the enemies of the U.S. government. What are your thoughts?
This article (Massive Explosion in China: Do We Know the Full Story?) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Burnell McCray. Help us fix our typos: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us