Unlike the Australian tycoon who could not even put a rivet to his dream of a Titanic replica, the Chinese are half done on their own version reports the UK Daily Mail.
The construction of a full-size replica of the Titanic in China is now half complete. Builders are said to be working around the clock on the £105 million tourist attraction in order to finish the project by the end of the year. Six out of the nine decks of the ship are said to have been built.
The copy of the luxurious passenger ship, which sank in 1912 killing 1,500 people, will be a part of a grand theme park in Sichuan, south-west China, and will be painstakingly reproduced.
According to press reports and interviews, the ship will be an exact replica but docked permanently as part of the Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort. And it will also offer people the opportunity to stay aboard and experience what it was like back in 1912. Scrapped from the original plan was the idea of a sinking simulator. It was dropped after it got severely criticized by Titanic groups and descendants of Titanic survivors.
The ship is scheduled to be completed this and open in 2019.
No word if Clive Palmer plans to attend its grand opening.
The South China Morning Post is reporting that Linda Ching, the daughter of Ching Mo Yeung who is accused of financial crimes by China, is no longer part of the Dinoking deal and replaced by another investor. Her investment was revealed in documents filed with the British Columbia Securities Commission and the US Securities and Exchange Commission. However Dinoking has informed Premier that the funding note involved was replaced by another investor on 6 Jul 2015.
Interestingly the three members of the finance group that Dinoking put together are difficult to verify. The Post was unable to confirm one identity and two are firms in the British Virgin Islands making it impossible to learn the owners due to secrecy laws.
Okay so we have investors whose names and identities are deliberately being kept secret. And a connection to a figure seeking refugee status in Canada who the Chinese say committed financial crimes (and also being sought by Interpol as well). Does make one wonder if the motive behind the Seller’s lawsuit is buyers remorse. And this is a way to scuttle the deal. Well just a thought.
Arabianbusiness.com is reporting that Titanic II will be launched in late 2018 according to a Palmer spokesman. The article points out that back in 2013 Palmer and Blue Star Line were involved in discussions with companies in the United Arab Emirates about Titanic II which included coming to Dubai for its maiden voyage. Could this signal perhaps a change in course (pun intended) about the ship construction? All the reporting so far is that Palmer has had real problems getting Chinese backers and his spat with the Chinese government made things look bleak. Add to it they are already building a Titanic replica for a theme park seems to go against it being built there.
How about Abu Dhabi? Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri expanded their shipyard in Abu Dhabi in 2012 to build more ships for the UAE navy. It is a joint venture with Etihad Ship Building (ESB). Now the Italian shipyard is focused on building naval vessels but what if the UAE wants Titanic II built there? Stay tuned folks. Of course this could just be puffery and Palmer is known for it. Then again he might have found investors there more eager to invest in Titanic II than in China.
It is not the first criticism of this idea but it is the latest. Presently a full scale Titanic replica is being built for a Chinese theme park. Not a movie set type but the real thing that will be permanently docked. It will even rent out rooms so people can experience the era and even eat foods they did back then. It will also feature a sinking simulator so that you will feel, see, and hear the iceberg strike Titanic. John Wilson, chief executive of the Liverpool Seafarers’ Centre believes it is in bad taste. He is not against them have a Titanic attraction but thinks the sinking simulator is wrong.
“But having an attraction where it replicates what it’s like to sink is out of order and disrespectful to those who did lose their lives and their relatives. A lot of lives were lost and this is not something which sits easy.”
Titanic-Not By Clive Palmer-Replica Gets Noticed
The fact that in 2017 visitors to a Chinese theme park will be able to board a full size Titanic replica is really played up all over the world. Not only will it look authentic, it will also serve food served on the famous liner, and even offer accomodations. Still not enough? Well you can experience the Titanic Sinking Simulator. They are spending $150 million on this tourist draw. Las Vegas style of entertainment is planned. You get the point. This is not like Titanic Belfast with its historic tours and ability to learn lots about Titanic. This is a Las Vegas style type of entertainment built on the grand scale.
The Ultimate Game Trophy of All Time
Steven Speilberg has made a lot of movies over his career. Most of them have done very well and even won awards. Jurassic Park, his 1993 adaptation of the excellent Michael Crichton novel, wowed audiences and made them believe the age of dinosaurs was back. Last year a photo circulated, taken in 1993, of Spielberg sitting in front of an animatronic dinosaur used in the movie. When I first saw the picture, I knew exactly what it was: a dinosaur and not a real one either. Well that picture caused some heat from animal rights people and generated all kinds of negative posts. It did not matter that this was of an extinct creature or that it was simply a glorified stage prop. Nope. Spielberg was roundly criticized for his cruelty. Except he had the last laugh when all those idiots were made as fools.
However noted author Joyce Carol Oates recently saw the picture and sent out a message on her Twitter account:
So barbaric that this should still be allowed… No conservation laws in effect wherever this is? https://t.co/hgavm9IBaM
— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) June 9, 2015
Oh dear. You do not know whether to laugh at her foolishness or utter “what an idiot!” Something has really gone off the rails when a simple photo of a director with a prop is misidentified as the real thing. It is logical fallacy at play that speaks of both ignorance and illiteracy. It goes something like this: My dog has four legs, a cat has four legs. Both have mouths and ears. Therefore my dog is a cat. You could it put off to other things but far too many people seem to follow this logic. Which why when pranksters put pictures of hunters standing over a supposed dead Yeti (a creature that so far has not proven to exist except in folklore and grainy photos) they get called all kinds of nasty names. One good thing came of this: I decided to re-watch Jurassic Park in the near future.
Your Egg Breakfast Is About To Become A Luxury Item
Chicken egg prices are rising fast to due a lot of hens being killed due to bird flu. Not all the hens are infected but once it is found in one, the chances of it spreading are pretty good considering the close quarters hens are kept in. The result is that everything that uses eggs for commercial products are seeing massive price spikes. Meanwhile eggs needed for such production will have to be imported. The rising cost from all of this is already starting to be noticed in US eastern and middle sections. And spreading west. For the first time in recent memory, organic eggs will actually be the same price as regular eggs and perhaps, in some cases, a few cents cheaper. Even when the bird flu is over it will take a while for supplies to resume. Which means your plate of eggs at the local diner is going to get a lot more expensive or not available at all in some parts of the USA. Of course producers of duck, pigeon, and quail eggs might get some new business. And one ostrich egg equals about twenty chicken eggs. You will need a special drill,goggles, and a very large pan. 🙂
Things Not Well For Chinese Shipbuilding These Days
1. The Chinese shipbuilding industry appears to be in financial trouble. The major shipbuilders are either in bankruptcy or teetering on the edge of ruin. A combination of bad management, low bids, and rising costs are causing lots of problems. So if that Australian tycoon is still planning on making a Titanic replica, China does not look promising at all. He might have to consider, gasp!, having a European firm build it. That is of course if he is truly serious about building it.
Source: Shipbuilding Industry In China Has Titanic Money Problems(1 June 2015,Want China Times)
2. Now One Pass To See Titanic Belfast and Nomadic
Until recently you had to pay separate tickets for Titanic Belfast and Nomadic. No longer. Now there is a White Star Premium Pass that covers both attractions. It is priced at £25 per adult, £20 for seniors/students and £15 for children.
Using the ultimate Titanic experience ticket, visitors can now not only enjoy the delights of Titanic Belfast but the SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star Line vessel, as well as the award-winning Discovery Tour, which highlights the famous barrel-vaulted Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, the slipways and the building’s iconic structure for one price.
3. SS Carpathia: The Unassuming Ship That Became Famous
Maritime Executive has a nice write-up of SS Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic survivors. Neither a grand ship or a clunky cargo hauler, she was built to carry immigrants from the old world and bringing tourists from the new world. A nice bit of writing and a reminder of a bygone era.
Source: Carpathia’s Role In Titanic’s Rescue(31 May 2015,The Maritime Executive)
According to Ecns.com, Chinese government owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) is now building parts for the full Titanic replica. The replica will be the main attraction at Seven Star’s planned theme park in Daying where it will be permanently docked. It is scheduled to open in 2017. U.S. based designers are working with Seven Star to develop precise dimensions and layout. The replica will meet all current safety standards and is estimated to cost $161 million or 1 billion yuan. The sinking simulator apparently will be a separate simulation in the same theme park.
As for Clive Palmer’s Titanic replica, not a word.
1. A Toronto-based human rights group has requested a police and coroner’s investigation once the Bodies Revealed exhibition closes on 1 Oct. A disclaimer on the website is what led them to make the charge. That disclaimer can be found here and says:
This exhibit displays human remains of Chinese citizens or residents which were originally received by the Chinese Bureau of Police. The Chinese Bureau of Police may receive bodies from Chinese prisons. Premier cannot independently verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons.
This exhibit displays full body cadavers as well as human body parts, organs, fetuses and embryos that come from cadavers of Chinese citizens or residents. With respect to the human parts, organs, fetuses and embryos you are viewing, Premier relies solely on the representations of its Chinese partners and cannot independently verify that they do not belong to persons executed while incarcerated in Chinese prisons.
Which is to say, we have really no idea whether these remains are what they are represented to be. So we are going to trust an authoritarian regime in Beijing which has a long history of repressing dissidents and mass murder? Really? It would be like in the old days accepting bodies from the Soviet Union and taking their word they were not executed for crimes against the state rather than dying of natural causes.
Linus Hand, director of sales and marketing at Niagara Falls Bodies Revealed exhibit says it refers to a different exhibit. He might be right. The exhibitions listed do not include one for Canada so it is possible that none of the bodies at the Canada exhibition require such a disclaimer. Still it is very discomforting that the American ones have bodies from China. Trying to wiggle out of moral responsibility here cuts no slack from me. Imagine the outrage if they used remains from German concentration camps run by Hitler’s regime in their Bodies Exhibition. It would make front page news as they got denounced by everyone. But from China, not much of a protest.
Source:Human Rights Group Wants Body Exhibit In Niagara Falls Investigated(5 Sep 2014,Sun News)
Clive Palmer took the airwaves recently saying unkind things about the Chinese. He called the Chinese government “bastards” setting off a firestorm of criticism for his tirade. His remarks were condemned by the Australian prime minister and of course the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He sent a written letter of apology to Chinese ambassador in which he states:
“I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater understanding for peace and cooperation in the future.”
He explained later that his comments were directed at a Chinese company, CITIC Pacific, which he is locked in a legal fight concerning cost overruns and royalties involving the Sino Iron project in Western Australia. That project is a major investment for the Chinese company which until recently was state owned (CITIC Group was acquired by Hong Kong based CITIC Pacific and will begin publicly trading under that name). As such the former state owned company will be subject to stricter rules and disclosure requirements. But many in the financial community are not sure, despite this change, it will really result in major changes. Foreign directors may or may not be involved and the CITIC chairman has said that they are not necessary.
Palmer also said of CITIC in the Sino Iron project in western Australia that it was a “small horse pulling a big cart.” That cart is bigger now. It may be officially and legally a Hong Kong corporation but no one believes it is independent of government control. Beijing calls the shots behind the scenes and Palmer knows that. And even if he had just said it about CITIC, they would still be upset that he attacked a Chinese company. At any rate, it just makes building of Titanic II even more remote unless, as I noted before, he goes to Beijing and performs the kowtow.
[Correction 21 July 2014-In my haste in writing this up I noted “it seems they let people continue to believe might be launched this year all the while covering themselves in this release.” Of course it will not be launched this year but what has been put off is the date the keel will be laid. It was supposed to be done early this year, then switched to Fall 2014. However no formal contract has been signed or reported as signed with the Chinese company that will build Titanic II. So that date is subject to change.]
Governments often try to avoid public notice of something that will cause a stir by burying it inside a large document or give a brief mention of it seemingly as a routine matter in some filing. Blue Star Line has tried this approach, according to the Australian newspaper Courier Mail, by briefly mentioning in the last paragraph of a release that was issued way back in May. The press release is from 9 May 2014 and its subject line is “BLUE STAR LINE SIGNS TITANIC II MOU WITH AVIC AND DELTAMARIN”
Nearly the entire release is about how this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will enhance Blue Star’s ability to get sponsors to help finance Titanic II. Sounds pretty boiler plate until you get to the very last line:
Titanic II is scheduled to be launched from its construction base in China in 2018, before her maiden passenger voyage retracing its original journey from Southampton to New York.
I have to admit being duped on this. I did not read the full release as close as I ought to have. I did a write up on the MOU but did not notice that little line at the end. And nor did anyone else but, if I recall correctly, Blue Star did not point people to it either. Instead it seems they let people continue to believe might be launched this year all the while covering themselves in this release.
Of course it might be moot if the dispute between Palmer and the Chinese government remains unresolved.