Y2K - China Efforts Lack Funds & Coordination

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Y2K - China Efforts Lack Funds & Coordination

By Christiaan Virant



BEIJING - China's efforts to prevent a nationwide computer shutdown on January 1, 2000 face a critical lack of funds and inadequate coordination, a senior information official said on Monday.

"As the year 2000 draws near, resolving the Y2K problem has become a burning issue which brooks no delay," said Ministry of Information Industry official and senior Y2K planner Zhang Qi.

"Interdepartmental cooperation and coordination is not adequate, there is a huge gap in funds required and there is a lack of understanding of and preparation for the legal disputes that may arise," she told a news conference.

Fearing that the millennium bug will wreak havoc on China's banking and transportation sectors, the government is considering closing banks on December 31.

"This year we plan to change the year-end settlement date from December 31 to December 30 so that we can take a day off," said Chen Jing, technology director at the People's Bank of China.

Aviation officials have also ordered air traffic controllers to ensure planes flying in the hours just before and after midnight December 31 maintain a 15 minute distance gap, up from the regularly-mandated 10 minutes.

Nevertheless, Zhang and other information industry officials are optimistic they can root out major problems before the end of the year.

"I can firmly assure that security of China's flights will be maintained," said Lu Zongping, deputy director of information at the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

China began to address the Y2K problem in 1996, when the financial sector studied how the millennium bug would affect its rapidly-modernizing securities and banking system.

Since then, the sector has spent at least five billion yuan ($600 million) to ensure trading and banking systems will not crash when some systems confuse the millennium with the year 1900, since early software writers used just two digits to specify the year in order to save memory.

Chen said internal banking and securities systems tests would be complete in May. The sector will then begin network testing during weekends in June, July and September, he added.

China's telecom sector and the national power grid are also expected to remain operable after Jan. 1, 2000, Zhang said.

"Almost the entire Chinese power grid is fully automated," she said.

A new Y2K-compliant power grid will soon go on-line in China's northern and northeast provinces and some 60 percent of other grids have been made bug-free.

"The Y2K problem has already been resolved for 99.9 percent of the power carrier system and more than 60 percent of the telecom system," Zhang said.

But outside the large, national computer systems, Y2K compliance is low and problems could plague all sectors, including state-run enterprises.

The military has established its own, internal Y2K compliance program.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 21, 1999



Good article, here's a similar one:

http://www.usat oday.com/news/world/nwsmon04.htm

It seems as though the rest of the world is closing in on us awful fast, and a lot of them desperately need money. This article says that China will need to spend $600 billion. Isn't that how much they thought it would cost for the entire world less than a year ago? Pretty scary!

-- @ (@@@.@), April 21, 1999.

Well, at least their warheads will be up to date:


A comprehensive new analysis by U.S. intelligence officials has concluded that China stole design information related to the United States' most advanced nuclear warhead from a government nuclear weapons laboratory, the NEW YORK TIMES is reporting in wednesday editons.

Pulitzer winner Jeff Gerth files a story that details a new intelligence report that is expected to be presented to the Clinton administration and Congress on Wednesday.

"Previously, the White House, citing other intelligence reports, had said that the evidence of Chinese atomic espionage is less conclusive," writes Gerth.

-- a (a@a.a), April 21, 1999.

I would like to point this out:

1. China now has the ability and means to actually target nuclear missiles at the United States. They can easily reach us.

2. China is communist, and regardless of what our government-with-a-smile keeps telling me, I keep remembering the communist -- what is it, manifesto? -- that spells us out quite clearly as the enemy.

3. The United States currently has NO ballistic defensive system. Think about that. I always assumed if someone shot a missile at us, our radars would pick it up way the hell outside the country, our own weapons would take it out in the air, and so forth. It turns out our "defense" against ballistic missiles is, in fact, John Doe American wondering if he can shoot it with his .38 before it hits the ground -- as if that would make any difference.

4. China has a truly obscene amount of people. So many that as a land-soldier troop, or kamikaze troop en masse, they could easily take on the world's armies through sheer numbers and come out on top. All these people need to be fed. Etc.

5. We had better hope that China is not desperate when Y2K comes. We had better hope they really are mostly compliant. We had better hope the trade issues with OUR country don't do them in due to transport or sheer economic problems. Because:

6. Why is it that we are afraid our friendly neighbors next door may come shoot us for our grain if they're hungry, and yet we don't think a communist country would target our country if they wanted to demand food?

Just a paranoid thought.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 21, 1999.

A friend of mine recently flew cross-country seated next to some honcho with a major Wall Street brokerage firm. According my friend, the analysts at this guy's shop are giving China 3 to 5 days post y2k before a complete technological meltdown occurs. Pure heresay, maybe. But also consider the fact many Asian computers run pirated software for which no upgrade patches will ever become available. Poetic justice, perhaps. After all ... what goes around, comes around !

-- Yan (no@no.no), April 21, 1999.

Got vegible? That's ( veg- eh- bull)

-- SCOTTY (BLehman202@aol.com), April 21, 1999.

CNN has an excellent site that may scare you silly, but is sure to inform. Question: Anybody know the distance between China and the U.S.? I ask because China's ICBMs can travel over 6 thousand miles.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 21, 1999.

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