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Sunday, July 31, 2022

Bark more than bite: 'The Tree Whisperer’


Corporate giant: ‘The Tree Whisperer’, the official biography of Tan Sri Dr Lee Shin Cheng, founder of IOI Group, was published recently, three years after his death. –YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

The Tree Whisperer – The official biography of Tan Sri Dr Lee Shin Cheng,  founder of IOI Group - 大将出版社
RM78.00 MYR* · In stock · Brand: 大将出版社
Author: Lee Hoong Lian Published Date:2022/6 Language: English Number of pages: 448 pages ISBN:9789672949206

 The Official Biography of Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng, founder of IOI Group

HE lived a frugal life despite his fortune of billions and had no interest in or knowledge of luxury brands.

The late Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng was more comfortable in his simple shorts while at his sprawling palm oil estates. True to his nature, he even showed up at the office in the evenings in his modest attire.

In fact, his shirts were often less than RM100 each and for 30 years, he carried a grey Samsonite briefcase bought in the 1980s.

Yet, he had no qualms about contributing millions of ringgit towards Chinese education, especially to the development of the centuries-old old Kuen Cheng High School and Shin Cheng (Harcroft) Primary School.

He also donated 30 million yuan (RM20mil) to Xiamen University Malaysia without hesitation.

The Kuala Selangor born Lee dropped out of school twice – once while in primary and later during secondary level – and was denied jobs in rubber estates, run by the British then, because he couldn’t speak English fluently.

Lee on his walkabout around his greenfield plantation in Sabah..
 Lee on his walkabout around his greenfield plantation in Sabah.

He was turned down for a job at an estate owned by the British company, Dunlop Estates, in the late 1960s, due to his inadequate academic qualifications.

But after making enough money about two decades later, he bought the holding company of the same estate that didn’t employ him.

Lee understood the importance of education and was determined that future generations of Malaysians would not be like him, having been born at a time of economic hardship.

Lee, the founder of IOI Group, died on June 1, 2019, just two days shy of his 80th birthday.

Three years on, his official biography (in English, no less) has finally been published and released early this month.

Most of his business friends, staff and associates are aware of his story, but this book will serve as a testimony to ordinary Malaysians in search of inspiration and useful lessons in tackling challenges.

At the tender age of 11, Shin Cheng left school to become an ice-cream seller, and in fact, was even too short to get onto the bicycle.

He tried his hands at everything, including starting off as a rubber estate cadet in Banting, Selangor, and later, a failed attempt as a pig farmer, petrol station dealer, property developer to finally, opening a whole new plantation frontier in Sabah and other parts of Malaysia. 

 Lee as a young man.

Lee as a young man.Lee as a young man.

Spending more of his time in remote areas to tend to his oil palm trees than his family, Lee would end up being aptly called “The Tree Whisperer.”

Lee was also known as the tree whisperer because he loved talking and singing to his trees. He once said every tree is different, just like women.

So, he would talk to them, get to know them better, saying it would help them grow better, according to a report in The Edge.

Known as a stern and intimidating boss who would not tolerate laziness and negligence, his management staff were known to be wary of him.

He had a keen eye for detail and in his “management walks” of his numerous businesses, everyone was expected to answer his questions.

Lee, who was fluent in Tamil, was able to interact with the Indian staff at his estates.

With a fortune worth US$4.7bil (RM19.7bil), Lee was ranked by Forbes as Malaysia’s fifth-richest man and the 325th richest man in the world in 2019.

IOI Corp, with a market capitalisation of RM26.32bil then, remains an integrated palm oil company which has operations in eight countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

It’s among the 30 largest companies listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, forming one of the component companies of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, the stock exchange’s benchmark index.

As for IOI Properties, valued at RM7.37bil, it’s a property development and investment company which has a substantial presence in Singapore and China.

It was the property arm of IOI Group prior to its spin-off listing on Bursa Malaysia in January 2014.

The book is essentially divided to his childhood days, his meeting with his future wife, Puan Sri Hoong May Kuan, who was a teacher in a rural school, his early working days and business ventures, his growing family, his expanding ventures, his relationship with his family and responsibilities, and more importantly, his contributions to the community.

Lee and Puan Sri Hoong tied the knot in 1963. 
Lee and Puan Sri Hoong tied the knot in 1963.

On the corporate front, Lee was ever the polite gentleman. But even gentlemen can be aggressive if the situation warrants it.

Two chapters have been devoted to the hostile takeover bid by Sime Darby Bhd to gain control of Palmco Holdings Bhd, an oleochemicals manufacturer in which IOI Corp was the single largest shareholder at the time.

Sime Darby had, in July 2001, made an unexpected conditional voluntary offer for all the shares – at RM4.35 apiece – in Palmco.

A few hours later, IOI Corp, which held a 32.1% stake in Palmco then, said it had no intention of accepting Sime Darby’s offer.

It was a dramatic business story as the media played up the fight between IOI and Sime Darby.

Within days, IOI Corp launched a takeover on Palmco by matching Sime Darby’s offer, forcing the latter to raise its asking price to RM4.60 per share.

Lee emerged the victor finally. The takeover saga ended in October after IOI Corp got hold of more than 50% stake in Palmco.

Lee never stopped working. In 2017, though, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. After several visits to the hospital for treatment, it was finally time for him to go home.

However, he arrived an hour later than expected.

“It turned out that he had asked his driver to make a stop at IOI City Mall before heading home.

“At that time, construction work for the mall’s second phase of expansion was already underway, and he wanted to look.

“Too weak to walk or stand, Shin Cheng could only remain in the car while he met with executives from different departments.

“They formed a neat circle around the car, taking turns to answer his questions and update him on the construction’s progress.”

Although Lee was a well-known public figure, he kept deferring writing a book because he was still energetic and wanted to do more in business and education before committing himself to a book. The decision to publish this biography was made by his family not long after his passing.

His biography is a page-turner because it’s well-written with in-depth research, especially on some of his corporate deals. The author, Angeline Lee Hoong Lian, is also a good storyteller and can hold her readers. The English translation was done by Michelle Tan Ching Wuen.

The Chinese version was released in January this year with the English version published in early July.

Certainly, this is a highly recommended book because it’s not just about Lee’s business success, but an inspirational journey about how a man, who had nothing, could reach the pinnacle of his career through his tenacity and enterprising spirit.

And yet, he remained humble and down to earth, preferring to be known for his contributions to education and helping the poor.

Lee was small in stature, but he was indisputably a giant in the Malaysian corporate world and will go down in history as a legend.

‘The Tree Whisperer’ is available for purchase at major bookstores or online at

  Source link' The Tree Whisperer: A Tree-Huggers Biography Told in 15  Episodes: 9781627099004: Dresdner, Jack: Books

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CLICK TO ENLARGE Entrepreneur, philanthropist, get-rich-quick ‘hero’ wanted in M’sia and China He lorded over a mighty empire – hotels, res...


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Weaker ringgit raises concerns


Paying more: A file picture showing a truck passing by stacked containers. The ringgit’s loss of value against the US and Singapore dollar attracts attention, considering that Singapore is Malaysia’s second largest import source, next to China while the United States is the fourth largest import source, according to economists. — Bloomberg

Economists call for the preservation of fiscal and debt sustainability THE weakening ringgit against the currencies of two of Malaysia’s largest …


 Weaker ringgit raises concerns - The Star

Are exporters making a killing from the low rate? - The Star

Are exporters making a killing from the low rate?

Are exporters making a killing from the low rate? | Economy

Weaker ringgit raises concerns - KLSE Screener

Fed aiming for soft landing | The Star

US economy shrank 0.9% last quarter, its second straight drop: Experts

Is the falling yen a cause for concern? - The Star


Is the falling Japanese yen cause for concern?


Friday, July 29, 2022

Rise and fall of Tedy's empire, King of money games dethroned


Entrepreneur, philanthropist, get-rich-quick ‘hero’ wanted in M’sia and China

He lorded over a mighty empire – hotels, restaurants, agro parks, housing estates with fancy theme parks, the sprawling M Mall – and even had his own digital currency Mcoin. But big man Tedy Teow has fallen hard. Caught in Thailand for money-laundering, the MBI boss now faces criminal action in three countries.

GEORGE TOWN: He once lorded over much of Penang as the “King of money games”. But how the mighty has fallen.

Tedy Teow, the founder of MBI – Mobility Beyond Imagination – can now start imagining himself being restricted in prison cells in three different countries, all of which want him for questioning over several money-laundering cases.

ALSO READ: Malaysian billionaire businessman held in Thailand

It’s a far cry from his glory days. Then, he ruled over an “Mpire” that had pretty much everything – housing development, malls, a chain of hotels, an ehailing service and even its own brand of smartphones.

Not bad for a kid who had started out selling pencils, exercise books and combs.

ALSO READ: Thailand to deport fugitive Tedy Teow

His MBI was also on top of the money game world.

It was during a time when there were plenty of get-rich-quick schemes in Penang which prom

It was during a time when there were plenty of get-rich-quick schemes in Penang which promised high returns – JJ Poor To Rich (JJPTR), Richway Global Venture, Mama Captain, and Change Your Life (CYL) – but MBI was the darling of them all.

Teow had a large following here particularly with the hawkers, self-employed professionals and ordinary folk who wanted to make a fast buck.

ALSO READ: Police apply to repatriate ex-fugitive Teow from Thai custody

“He was my hero. I made a few thousand ringgit monthly from my investment in MBI then. But eventually, I lost it all after I doubled my investment, only to see the company collapsing later on,” said hawker BK Khor, 58.

While many heaped praise on the big man, some also nearly lost their life savings when MBI was red-flagged by authorities in 2019.

A technician at a factory in Bayan Lepas free-trade zone, who wanted to be known only as James, said he learnt about the scheme through one of his friends.

“This was about four years ago. After earning a profit each month for about one year, I put in everything I had. I was lucky to break even in the end,” he said.

From glory to gloom: The M Mall, which was once bustling with activity (below), now stands practically abandoned along Jalan Datuk Keramat in Penang. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star 

From glory to gloom: The M Mall, which was once bustling with activity (below), now stands practically abandoned along Jalan Datuk Keramat in Penang. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

Fast-forward to today, Teow is now in custody in Thailand and awaiting deportation after he was arrested in Songkhla last Friday. And both Malaysia and China want him in their hands.

The Malaysian police are applying for a repatriation exercise for Teow to return to the country to assist in investigations under Section 420 for cheating.

Beijing police also reportedly want him for questioning. This is after a suit filed end of last year by about 400 investors from China to recover investments worth some RM100mil.

In 2019, about 100 Chinese nationals staged a peaceful protest outside the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur to complain that they had been cheated by an online pyramid scheme operated by MBI.

Coincidentally, it was in China that Teow got his “second shot at life” according to a YouTube video released in 2013.

Titled The Story of MBI International’s Boss, the video was a biography of Teow as an enterprising schoolboy in the 1970s, bringing pencils, exercise books, combs and assorted items to sell in his school. 

The video also described Teow’s view of great potential in the franchising industry, which led him to start his beverage company called “Island Red Cafe” in 2008.

The company boasted having the best and trendiest coffee culture in the country but it was actually little more than just a chain of coffee shops.

Anyone interested could invest in the company. A year later, many shareholders stopped getting their returns. And police reports were lodged.

In 2011, Teow and his son Chee Chow were sentenced to a day’s jail and fined RM160,000 after admitting to two counts of cheating and misleading investors of more than RM1mil in the Island Red Cafe scheme in 2010.

Not long after came MBI. It took Penang by storm with offers of “lucrative” returns and was big news in 2015.

Teow was then director of Mface International Bhd and MBI Marketing Sdn Bhd, two companies under the MBI group.

The company set up M Mall 020 in Jalan Datuk Keramat as its headquarters. The mall had several convenience stores which sold its own brand of body lotions, shampoo products and general trading.

Members could use digital currency called Mcoin to buy and redeem stuff from M Mall.

The company even launched its own line of MBI International smartphones then.

MBI also had a chain of hotels including one in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and a Chinese restaurant in Jelutong. It also operated an e-hailing service called MULA car.

MBI’s popularity skyrocketed and there was a huge development project next to the Penang International Airport called Mpire Residences being proposed. It never materialised.

The company spread its wings to Kedah with a housing project in Kulim called MBI Desaku.

Teow turned philanthropist when he set up MBI Charity 100, a social responsibility effort by MBI Group to help the poor and the needy. The objective was to hold 999 charity events each year.

But in 2017, Teow’s world came crashing down. M Mall was raided by police, while 91 bank accounts linked to MBI International were frozen. The accounts held RM177mil.

Teow would later face two charges of issuing unrecognised payment instruments. In 2018, he was fined RM2.5mil and RM3mil by Bank Negara for financial irregularities.

Last year, police said Teow and his two sons were also involved in a Macau scam totalling up to RM336mil.

Teow’s family has not been spared, too. His son was held at knifepoint after three Chinese nationals broke into the family’s house looking for him for a refund.

The intruders fled but not before dropping two fake bombs in the house.

But now, the real bombshell has fallen. Teow is under police custody. But his story has surely not ended yet. 

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US pushes chip bill to encircle China, but ‘unable to lure firms to decouple with mainland’


US 'Chips Alliance' scheme will exacerbate global chip crunch. Illustration: Chen Xia/GT


A chip manufacture machine Photo: VCG

A chip manufacture machine Photo: VCG


The US Senate on Wednesday passed a chip bill that is intended to counter China's high-tech rise under the guise of shoring up US competitiveness and protecting national security, a "dream" that is very difficult to achieve considering problems like mounting debts and industrial hollowing-out in the world's largest economy, experts said.

r countries and regions that have been kidnapped by the US bill to secede their chip supply chains from China, some might make symbolic gestures to follow the US orders but postpone real actions, like setting factories in the US, because what the US is pushing runs counter to their tangible benefits, observers noted.

The bill, aimed at boosting US semiconductor production, passed the US Senate 64-33 on Wednesday and will move to the House and US President Joe Biden for approval, US media reported.

The package, known as "CHIPS-plus," includes about $52 billion of funding for US companies making computer chips, a provision that offers a tax credit for investment in chip production, as well as funding to spur innovation and development of other US technologies, the report noted.

Although US officials have used many expressions to justify the bill, like economic security, national security or "America's future," its real intention of containing China's development has nowhere to hide judging from the bill's requirement for companies to pick only one of two choices - business ties with China, or subsidies from the US government.

The legislation would prohibit companies from expanding their semiconductor manufacturing in China for 10 years after they take a grant to build a US plant, Bloomberg reported on July 18. Companies could continue to invest in "legacy" chip manufacturing in China, but the definition of that term is unresolved.

"The US is using the bill to force companies in countries and regions of key status on the global chip supply and industrial chains to play by US rules, as well as encircling and suppressing chip industries in emerging markets," Wang Peng, a research fellow at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the bill is aimed at containing China's development and putting the US on a more competitive footing with China in the technological edge.

Stuck in difficult position

As US officials mount efforts to push the bill toward passage, which experts interpreted as shifting from a "stick" approach by forcing companies to leave China to a "carrot" tactic with subsidies as bait. Chip companies, either in the US or in other countries and regions, are finding themselves in the difficult position of having to take sides.

A CNBC report noted that the CHIPS act has elicited divided responses from the US chip industry, as some players are concerned that the bill could provide disproportionate support to manufacturers like Intel while doing little to support other chip firms that do not produce chips by themselves.

But even companies like Intel are not one hundred percent satisfied with the bill. According to a report from Politico, Intel and other chipmakers are lobbying to curtail limitations on their operations in China.

Experts stressed that large US chip companies always know that globalized distribution is the best option for them, as the mode has supported their business growth over many years.

"If companies build plants in the US, where do they get cheap labor and construction materials from? How do they cover their factory operating expenses? Why build a factory where the end market is far away?" questioned Ma Jihua, a veteran technology analyst.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, said on Wednesday that for some large US companies, getting the subsidies and giving up the Chinese market will mean more losses than gains. For instance, Intel is unlikely to completely give up the Chinese market, which accounts for 20 to 30 percent of its entire annual revenue.

For US allies like Japan and South Korea, whose semiconductor industrial chains are deeply integrated with the Chinese mainland market, the situation is even more difficult.

"If they listen to the US, their companies might get tens of billions of dollars from the US, but they will lose hundreds of billions of dollars or even more due to decoupling with the mainland markets," Ma said.

They will not only lose Chinese chip customers, but could also see spillover effects on other products as well, similar to how South Korean companies suffered in Chinese mainland market after the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) crisis, the expert said.

Ma anticipates that Japan is prone to saying yes to Biden but would not cut its cooperation with China in reality, while South Korea is likely to face severe opposition from its large chipmakers.

Xiang said that enterprises from Japan and South Korea may make some symbolic adjustments under this bill, like building factories in the US, but they may repeatedly postpone such investments because of the high cost of the technology.

The US proposed the idea of the "Chip 4" semiconductor alliance and sent invitations to Japan, South Korea and China's Taiwan island. Though South Korea may ultimately join the bloc, Seoul's long hesitation to give a clear answer is evident of its dilemma.

Plan invalid

Experts said that the effect of the US chip bill may not meet the US' anticipation in reshaping the world's semiconductor supply chains, in which China now play an important role in producing parts.

For example, Gao Lingyun from CASS said that the overall cost of making chips in the US is not very competitive on the global market, primarily due to its high labor cost, although it might have strong abilities in upstream industrial sections like research and development.

"Past experience showed that efforts to set up a chip facility in the US, for example the US plant of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), has progressed slowly, which further underscores the difficulty of setting up chip factories in the US," he told the Global Times.

Other factors are straining the US as well, such as mounting debts that are restricting Washington's abilities to materialize subsidies, their manufacturing hollowing-out that leads to insufficiency in everything from workers to materials, as well as the fact that the US might soon have another president, analysts said.

According to Ma, there could be two results with the passage of the bill. First, it will not be implemented properly. Second, the US government could return to the "stick" approach if it receives scant support from companies. If the second way becomes reality, the world's semiconductor industry, which is already facing downward pressure, might enter a dark period with many companies going bankrupt, he said.

A worker checks a chip at Jade Bird Fire Co in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province, on March 27, 2022. Jade Bird makes firefighting products. Its self-developed Zhuhuan chip, which integrates fire detection capability, communication technology and integrated circuit technology, is widely used in China. Photo: VCGA worker checks a chip at Jade Bird Fire Co in Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province, on March 27, 2022. Jade Bird makes firefighting products. Its self-developed Zhuhuan chip, which integrates fire detection capability, communication technology and integrated circuit technology, is widely used in China. Photo: VCG

China's rise

Despite US attempts to reshape the world's chip supply chains to a US-led one, China's chip industry is developing in a stable manner, be it the technologies or the markets, inspiring confidence among analysts that China will make breakthroughs in key chip technologies in about three to five years.

According to South Korean Customs statistics, South Korea's exports to China totaled $13.4 billion in May this year, while imports reached $14.9 billion, showing a deficit on the South Korean side for the first time, electronics information portal reported.

One important stimulus for the situation is that China's exports of semiconductor products, which account for about one-sixth of the country's total exports to South Korea, surged 40.9 percent in the month, data provided by the Korea International Trade Association showed.

Besides, the rising popularity of China's electronic products like mobile phones has boosted demand for domestic chip products. For example, Chinese mobile phone brand Xiaomi recently launched a phone equipped with a China-made chip JR510, according to media reports.

On the technology side, Chinese companies are also making rapid progress. The country's chip giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) said it had made a breakthrough in the first generation FinFET technology and entered mass production in Q4 of 2019, while the tech's second generation, rendered equivalent to the 7nm and 5nm manufacturing process of TSMC, is also in a period of pilot production.

SMIC's profits surged 147.7 percent on a yearly basis in 2021 in yuan's terms, the company's annual report showed.

According to Ma, China's sense of urgency for chip industrial independence has enhanced a lot over recent years. This is giving rise to strengthened input, from the industrial, research and university sides, into the industry, bringing positive results such as a surge in chip product categories from hundreds to thousands.

In terms of technologies, China is also "leaping in progress," he said, adding that though China still has several technological bottlenecks to break through, it should be able to solve those bottlenecks after 3-5 years of stable development.

Xiang predicted that the large-scale storage in China's chip industry will start in 2023, as compared with chips from Europe, the US and South Korea, China's domestic chips are of good quality, priced about 60 percent lower than that of other countries.

"In a sense, Chinese companies already have the ability to produce high-end chips, and they just need time to achieve mass production. The US chip blockade for China has in turn greatly facilitated the development of the country's chip industry," Xiang said. 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022



Before the end of this year, China will complete the construction of the space station. The Chinese Space Administration has announced that the Chinese space station will be open to countries around the world. Now 17 countries have become the first partners of the Chinese space station (including India), and they will board the Chinese space station for scientific research and exploration. Of course, the US is the only exception.

The United States has been clamoring for fierce competition with China, and China is now showing the United States what true competition is in all areas. 



Shenzhou-14 crew enters Wentian lab module, as China's space station is near completion


The Shenzhou-14 crew members, Chen Dong (center), Liu Yang (right) and Cai Xuzhe salute from the Wentian (Quest to The Heavens) lab module on July 25, 2022 from some 400 kilometers above the Earth. The three taikonauts checked in to their office and home unit in space at 10:03 am. Photo: cnsphoto

The Shenzhou-14 crew of three taikonauts, who watched live the epic launch of the Wentian [Quest to The Heavens] lab module from some 400 kilometers above the Earth and cheered it on with applause on Sunday, did not wait long to check into their office and home unit in space, as they opened the gate of the freshly docked new module and entered the Wentian at 10:03 am on Monday, the Global Times learned from the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

It was a historic first that the taikonauts entered the scientific lab module in orbit, the CMSA noted in a statement it provided to the Global Times on Monday morning, while disclosing that the crew shall execute missions including space station combination attitude control, verification of robotic arms, and use of the Wentian airlock and its small robotic arm to perform spacewalks under the plan.

The Wentian lab module conducted a smooth rendezvous and docking with the China Space Station's Tianhe core module at the front port at 3:13 am on Monday, some 13 hours after it was launched via a giant Long March-5B carrier rocket from South China's tropical island province of Hainan.

It was a first for two pieces of 20-ton level spacecraft to execute the "heavenly kiss" in the country's history, and it also marked an unprecedented milestone event that took place while the China Space Station combination was carrying taikonauts onboard, the CMSA announced.

Before China, only the former Soviet Union and the US were capable of assembling ultra-large spacecraft in orbit.

Designed mainly to support space science and biology experiments, the 23-ton Wentian lab module is heavier than any other single-module spacecraft currently in space, including those with the International Space Station (ISS), the Global Times learned from the mission contractor, the state-owned space giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC).

The Wentian also hosts eight experimental cabinets onboard. It will mainly focus on the study of space life sciences, which can support the growth, development, genetics and aging of multiple species of plants, animals and microorganisms under space conditions, Lü Congmin, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and deputy chief designer of the space utilization system of China Manned Space programs, told the Global Times.

More than 10 research directions have been planned and more than 40 scientific projects have been established for the Wentian, Lü said.

To meet the high energy requirements for the large number of scientific experiments in space, the Wentian is equipped with a pair of the largest flexible solar panels that the country has ever developed.

The full wingspan of the solar panels on the Wentian is more than 55 meters, longer than half a soccer field, and each panel has an unfolded area of about 110 square meters. Photo: Courtesy of CASC

The full wingspan of the solar panels on the Wentian is more than 55 meters, longer than half a soccer field, setting a new record for solar panels used for China's spacecraft. Each panel has an unfolded area of about 110 square meters, the Global Times learned from the developers.

The two solar panels will effectively collect more solar energy, generating an average of more than 430 kilowatt hours per day and providing sufficient power for space station operations. If placed on Earth, the daily power generation of the solar panels would be enough to support the power demand of an average Beijing household for a month and a half.

During the "heavenly kiss," the enormous wings of the Wentian unfolded in two stages by plan, where the solar panels were only partially unfolded to sustain the power supply needed during the docking and became fully unfolded afterwards, which was done to avoid any damage from the impact of two giant modules with fully unfolded wings.

Explaining to the Global Times, the solar panel system developer, the Shanghai Academy of Spacecraft Technology, said that if the Wentian's wings were unfolded all at once, it would be approaching the Tianhe core module with one giant sail on each side. In that case, even trivial shaking of the sail would affect the control precision of the velocity, relative location and attitude control of the Wentian, so that it would add difficulties to its safe rendezvous and docking with the Tianhe module.

The Global Times learned from the Second Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) that microwave radar developed by the academy's 25th institute also played a guiding role in the rendezvous and docking process.

Also, the Wentian is equipped with a urine recycling system developed by the CASIC's second academy Institute 206, the second of its kind onboard the China Space Station combination. The first was installed on the Tianhe core module and successfully supported the space stays of the Shenzhou-12 and -13 crews. The urine recycling system on the Wentian will serve as a backup for the Tianhe, the CASIC told the Global Times.

According to the official plan, the Mengtian, another space lab, will be launched in October.

And before that, the Wentian will move to the right side of the Tianhe core cabin, forming an L-shaped structure, China Space News, the official joint news outlet of the China Aerospace Science and the Technology Corp and the China Academy of Space Technology, reported. For this to happen, the Shenzhou-14 taikonauts will perform three complex steering maneuvers to adjust the Wentian to a vertical position with the help of the robotic arm.

In the coming months, people on Earth will be able to witness the construction of the China Space Station, which will be completed at a speed that has no precedent in mankind's history.

The first ever space station in history, the Salyut 1, launched by the former Soviet Union, had its core module delivered into orbit in 1986. In 10 years' time, the station completed the assembly of six modules with a total weight of 130 tons.

Construction began on the ISS in 1998 and took 12 years, with the coordination of 15 countries, to build its 15-module structure.

The China Space Station is planned to become fully operational before the end of 2022, aiming to accomplish the in-orbit assembly of the country's most ambitious program in less than one year and a half since the launch of the Tianhe core module in April 2021. 

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A recent report by US magazine The National Interest demonized China's achievements in space by interpreting China's space exploration missions, including the lunar program and manned spaceflight, as "threats to US leadership in space" and a "detriment to US national security." This report is just the tip of iceberg in the US' sustained attempts to suppress and discredit China's space program. The US has also published military reports that incorrectly describe China's military capabilities in space, with the new NASA chief personally slandering China's space achievements, to promote the mindset of a new Cold War in space and the "China threat" theory. But facts show that the US is the biggest threat in space with its space hegemony based on its technological advantages. Meanwhile, China sees space as a new field to expand international cooperation while sharing its achievements with other countries by providing them with opportunities to make use of space resources.


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