Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Posts Tagged ‘Munich’

Munich Security Conference: Will China be a driver of “Westlessness”?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 febbraio 2020

Interview with Helena Legarda, analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin.
Even though the Coronavirus crisis will probably hinder some high-ranking Chinese officials from attending the MSC, China will be very present in most discussions about the international security landscape. In a declaration issued at the end of its December summit, NATO recognized the challenges posed by the rise of China – a first for the western defence alliance. Why did it do that? ­
The statement by NATO leaders was the culmination of a process of assessing China’s growing international role and its rise as a global security actor. Asia is normally outside the alliance’s area of operations. But issues like Huawei and 5G, China-Russia relations, China’s rapid military modernization and NATO more frequently encountering the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) overseas have brought China into focus. Although the language of the statement is careful – it notes China presents “both opportunities and challenges” – its mere existence is hugely significant as it shows that China has become a point of concern for the alliance. ­
Many European governments are currently struggling to deal with China’s determination to participate in Europe’s 5G infrastructure. They view the possibility of Chinese infiltration as a serious threat to their national security. Do you expect the Chinese delegation to address this issue in Munich? ­
The issue of Europe’s 5G networks and Huawei’s role in supplying them is very likely to come up at the Munich Security Conference. There are delegates from China, the US and Europe, so the war of words over the security implications of using Huawei equipment in 5G networks will most likely continue, especially as most European countries, including Germany, have not finally decided the issue (as we highlight in our contribution to the Munich Security Report, page 31f.). We can expect the US delegation to continue making the case for a Huawei ban, while the Chinese delegation will push for Europe not to exclude Huawei, possibly threatening consequences if countries choose to ban the Chinese telecommunications giant. ­
New research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests China is the world’s second-largest arms producer, behind the USA but ahead of Russia. Does China want to dominate the market? ­
The arms-sales figures of China’s defence companies aren’t very transparent, so it is difficult to exactly determine their position in the market. But it is quite clear that China overall is currently a net global arms exporter, having left behind its traditional position as a net importer. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reckons China exported about EUR 14.4 billion worth of conventional weapons between 2008 and 2018, making it the fifth largest arms supplier in the world. But China is working to increase its global arms sales by moving beyond its traditional buyers in Asia, in particular Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. China is increasingly intent on strengthening its foothold in new markets in Africa and the Middle East, where Russia and the US have traditionally been much bigger players. China’s advantage is that Chinese weaponry – although sometimes less advanced – tends to be cheaper than the Russian and especially the American alternatives.
How do you expect China’s participation in arms-control regimes to develop?
The collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) has lent a new sense of urgency to the issue of arms control. Developing a new arms-control regime that includes China and other global powers like the US and Russia has become a priority for many governments. Both Washington and Berlin have repeatedly invited Beijing to help negotiate a new treaty, be it trilateral or multilateral. But China has rejected these calls and argued that Moscow and Washington must take steps to reduce their nuclear arsenals before they ask other countries to do the same. Beijing is reluctant to embrace full transparency when it comes to its arsenal and assigns its missiles an important role in its military strategy and global ambitions, so including China in a new regime that is similar to the INF Treaty will be an uphill battle. But incremental steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of an arms race. ­
At the next National People’s Congress (NPC), China is expected to announce new military-spending plans. Do you expect a big increase in expenditure? ­
This year’s National People’s Congress was supposed to meet on March 5, but it is likely to be delayed by the coronavirus outbreak, so it may be some time before China’s defense budget for 2020 is published. But it does seem likely that this year’s budget will grow by about 7-8 percent, as it has over the last few years. This would continue the upward trend of China’s military expenditure, which has almost doubled since 2010. The growing military budget and other national policies like Made in China 2025 and the Civil-Military Integration strategy have clearly contributed to the PLA’s modernization. Beijing has rapidly developed increasingly advanced platforms – the first domestically made aircraft carrier, stealth UAVs, fifth-generation fighter jets like the J-20. China’s ultimate goal is to have by 2049 a military that can fight and win wars – even if the PLA still has a number of big hurdles to clear to get there. ­
This year’s MSC report defines the concept of “Westlesness” as a trend by which not only the world is becoming less Western, but the West itself may become less Western too. When looked at it like that, China could definitely be seen as a driver of “Westlessness”. China’s rise and its growing influence in global economic, political and security matters is having a clear impact on the Western-led liberal world order. China is using its growing influence in international organizations, its economic clout and its expanding global military footprint to present itself as an alternative to the West for many non-Western countries – and as an alternative to the United States for European states. This has created fault lines in the transatlantic relationship, as some countries try to balance close economic ties to China with political ties to Washington.
Helena Legarda together with Meia Nouwens (IISS) will discuss at the MSC side-event “The future of China’s participation in arms-control regimes”, followed by a policy comment by Sebastian Groth (Director of Policy Planning Department of the German Federal Foreign Office). The event will take place at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof on February 15. Relevant Sources:MERICS China Global Security TrackerMunich Security Report 2020: Westlessness

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Munich Re, US Appoints Kerner CEO of New Munich Re Specialty Insurance Unit

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 17 dicembre 2018

Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. (Munich Re, US) announced today the appointment of Michael Kerner as Chief Executive Officer for Munich Re Specialty Insurance, a new commercial insurance unit in North America. He will report to Tony Kuczinski, President and Chief Executive Officer, Munich Re, US. In this new role, Kerner will have oversight for uniting several Munich Re Group business units under the new primary specialty commercial insurance umbrella.“We are pleased to welcome Mike, an insurance industry veteran, to this new leadership role,” said Kuczinski. “His deep insurance industry expertise and experience managing multiple functional areas in a global organization are important assets that will help unify and grow our primary specialty commercial insurance business. Munich Re Specialty Insurance will complement American Modern, Hartford Steam Boiler and other parts of the Munich Re family in the U.S.“ Peter Roeder, Chairman of Munich Re America and Board Member of Munich Re, said, “Munich Re Specialty Insurance will unite the expertise of our multiple commercial specialty insurance divisions. I am convinced that the new unit will become an important and profitable part of Munich Re in the U.S. Mike Kerner is the ideal candidate to successfully lead Munich Re Specialty Insurance, and I am happy to have him on board.” Kerner brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the global re/insurance market. For the past two years, he served as Executive Vice President, Risk Management and Strategy at Everest Re. Prior to that, Kerner spent 23 years at Zurich Insurance Company in a variety of senior executive roles, including Chief Executive Officer of General Insurance, Chief Executive Officer of Global Corporate North America, Global Chief Underwriting Officer, Global Head of Group Reinsurance, and Chief Operations Officer of North America Specialties. In the past, Kerner also held actuarial leadership roles in the industry.“I’m very excited to join Munich Re and help fulfill the company’s vision of better serving our clients and brokers and becoming a more capable and relevant participant in the North American specialty commercial insurance market,” said Kerner.Kerner has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton where he currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Harpur College Advocacy Council. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

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Greater democracy through mathematics

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 27 giugno 2017

munichMunich (TUM). For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes. When populations shift, districts need to be redistributed – a complex and, in many countries, controversial task when political parties attempt to influence redistricting. Mathematicians at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed a method that allows the efficient calculation of optimally sized voting districts.When constituents cast their vote for a candidate, they assume it carries the same weight as that of the others. Voting districts should thus be sized equally according to population. When populations change, boundaries need to be redrawn.For example, 34 political districts were redrawn for the upcoming parliamentary election in Germany – a complex task. In other countries, this process often results in major controversy. Political parties often engage in gerrymandering, to create districts with a disproportionately large number of own constituents. In the United States, for example, state governments frequently exert questionable influence when redrawing the boundaries of congressional districts.“An effective and neutral method for political district zoning, which sounds like an administrative problem, is actually of great significance from the perspective of democratic theory,” emphasizes Stefan Wurster, Professor of Policy Analysis at the Bavarian School of Public Policy at TUM. “The acceptance of democratic elections is in danger whenever parties or individuals gain an advantage out of the gate. The problem becomes particularly relevant when the allocation of parliamentary seats is determined by the number of direct mandates won. This is the case in majority election systems like in USA, Great Britain and France.”
Prof. Peter Gritzmann, head of the Chair of Applied Geometry and Discrete Mathematics at TUM, in collaboration with his staff member Fabian Klemm and his colleague Andreas Brieden, professor of statistics at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces, has developed a methodology that allows the optimal distribution of electoral district boundaries to be calculated in an efficient and, of course, politically neutral manner.
The mathematicians tested their methodology using electoral districts of the German parliament. According to the German Federal Electoral Act, the number of constituents in a district should not deviate more than 15 percent from the average. In cases where the deviation exceeds 25 percent, electoral district borders must be redrawn. In this case, the relevant election commission must adhere to various provisions: For example, districts must be contiguous and not cross state, county or municipal boundaries. The electoral districts are subdivided into precincts with one polling station each.
“There are more ways to consolidate communities to electoral districts than there are atoms in the known universe,” says Peter Gritzmann. “But, using our model, we can still find efficient solutions in which all districts have roughly equal numbers of constituents – and that in a ‘minimally invasive’ manner that requires no voter to switch precincts.”
Deviations of 0.3 to 8.7 percent from the average size of electoral districts cannot be avoided based solely on the different number of voters in individual states. But the new methodology achieves this optimum. “Our process comes close to the theoretical limit in every state, and we end up far below the 15 percent deviation allowed by law,” says Gritzmann.The researchers used a mathematical model developed in the working group to calculate the electoral districts: “Geometric clustering” groups the communities to clusters, the optimized electoral districts. The target definition for calculations can be arbitrarily modified, making the methodology applicable to many countries with different election laws.The methodology is also applicable to other types of problems: for example, in voluntary lease and utilization exchanges in agriculture, to determine adequate tariff groups for insurers or to model hybrid materials. “However, drawing electoral district boundaries is a very special application, because here mathematics can help strengthen democracies,” sums up Gritzmann.
Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading research universities, with more than 500 professors, around 10,000 academic and non-academic staff, and 40,000 students. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, combined with economic and social sciences.

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Catella to invest in Munich and Nuremberg through new fund Catella Bavaria

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 dicembre 2016

monaco di bavieraMunich-based investment manager Catella Real Estate launches a new real estate fund, Catella BAVARIA. The fund will focus on the metropolitan areas of Munich and Nuremberg, with an equity target of EUR 250 million. Investment in the new fund is reserved for experienced retail investors as well as semi-professionals wishing to commit at least EUR 100,000. The fund aims to reach an equity target of EUR 250 million and is authorised to invest in Bavaria, prioritising the Munich and Nuremberg regions. The intention is to acquire core and core+ properties valued at EUR 5 million or more.“The metropolitan regions of Nuremberg and Munich are the showcases of Bavaria. The area around Munich is benefiting from population growth, resulting in a shortage of affordable housing in the city. This long-term trend leads to stable price performance. With its strong economy, the Nuremberg metropolitan area enjoys sustained positive development,” says Dr Thomas Beyerle, Group Head of Research at Catella.“As a Munich-based company, we have been able to build an excellent acquisitions network in both regions. The acquisition of the first properties for the new fund is imminent.” says Henrik Fillibeck, Managing Director of Catella Real Estate.Catella BAVARIA will complement its predecessor fund, Catella MAX, which focuses on Munich. The new fund has greater flexibility in terms of sectoral and regional allocation. In addition to the wider geographic allocation, investments in the residential, office and retail types of use will help achieve a balanced risk/return profile. Furthermore, acquisitions of project developments are also planned to diversify the mix. Since it was launched in 2010, Catella MAX has generated a net asset value of EUR 228 million and has invested in real estate assets of EUR 266 million in 13 properties.

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China’s Precarious Global Power Status

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 febbraio 2016

MunichFor the first time, the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) will be present at the Munich Security Conference. The Berlin based think tank will focus on current contradicting developments in China with two events. China’s diplomats have never been more active on the global stage than in the past two years. The Chinese government has expanded the scope of its activities in the region as well as its global reach. By abandoning traditions of relative restraint and adjusting key priorities of its foreign policy, Beijing has embarked on a new course in global affairs. Yet there are fundamental challenges to China’s expanding international role. “China is turning into a precarious global power as it confronts an increasingly complex international environment at a time when it undergoes the most challenging period of its domestic economic transformation for decades”, said Sebastian Heilmann, President of MERICS. “The way in which the PRC leadership applies its domestic policy approaches to international issues will be the ultimate test of its global leadership aspirations.”
The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin was set up by Stiftung Mercator in 2013. MERICS has grown into one of the biggest independent institutes of its kind around the world, dedicated to the policy-oriented research into and knowledge of contemporary China.
MERICS strives to provide a more nuanced and better-informed perspective on China in Europe. Based on in-depth research and up-to-date analysis, MERICS aims to enrich and improve the public debate on China. It serves as a key contact for the media on a broad spectrum of China-related issues. At the same time, MERICS provides analysis to European decision-makers in politics, business and other areas of society.
Friday, February 12th, 2016; 1:45 pm: Press Briefing
“China’s Global Reach: Expanding, Yet Precarious” with:
Professor Sebastian Heilmann, President of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)
Mikko Huotari, Head of Foreign Relations Programme, MERICS
Where: MSC Press Center, Room „Theatiner“; Hypo Vereinsbank (HVB), 1st Floor, Kardinal-Faulhaber-Str. 1, 80333 München.
Saturday, February 13th, 2016; 3 – 4:30 pm: MERICS Panel „Doubling Down? China and the International Order(s)” Professor Sebastian Heilmann, President of MERICS, hosts the panel with:
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia
Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (tbc)
Bob Corker, US-Senator of Tennessee (tbc)
Fu Ying, Vice Minister of the Foreign Ministry of China
Ng Eng Hen, Defense Minister of Singapore

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Sungrow’s SG30KTL Obtains Double-A Grade from Photon Lab’s Test

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 aprile 2013

Munich, PRNewswire Sungrow’s SG30KTL has been awarded a double-A grade evaluation (“Sehr Gut”) by Photon Lab for both medium and high irradiation, commendably following its siblings, Sungrow’s 4kW and 15kW inverters. So far, the SG30KTL has climbed to 5th in the Photon ranking of all tested inverters and 1st of all Asian inverters, as well as the 1st in all string inverters with power above 20kW. The SG30KTL, the highest capacity wall-mounted inverter on the market, was launched in 2012 and certified by CE, TUV, BDEW, VDE AR N 4105, AS4777 and CEI0-21 at that time. Excellent structural and circuitry design makes it very compact and the lightest inverter in the same power class. The 65kg inverter can easily be handled by two workers during installation requiring no lifting machine, meaning that installation and maintenance costs can be reduced significantly. With the outdoor design and integrated DC combiner box function, system costs can be further lowered. The maximum efficiency of the SG30KTL is 98.3%, while EU and CA efficiencies are both 98.1%. The function setting on single or dual MPPT enables the SG30KTL to achieve higher conversion efficiency, higher system flexibility and more cost efficiency. “It’s the top inverter over all the tested inverters,” raved Photon Lab. The SG30KTL has been widely installed in China, Germany, Spain and many other countries.
This award of “double-A” grade from the prestigious Photon Lab not only assures the quality and performance of Sungrow’s inverters, but also supports and accelerates the process of internationalization. As the largest PV inverter manufacturer in Asia, Sungrow has gained a reputation of providing high quality products and effective services to customers. In addition, through deep study of client’s requirements, Sungrow is dedicated to technological innovation in product design and performance in order to reduce product and system costs.

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