World watch – Monday

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For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

17 Comments

  1. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 8, 2018

    Interesting times for China, as Evan Osnos points out: in pursuit of a larger role in the world while America’s in pursuit of a smaller one. Such a smart “soft politics” move for the Chinese to be building roads and infrastructure in Africa instead of drone bases

    In recent years, it has taken steps to accrue national power on a scale that no country has attempted since the Cold War, by increasing its investments in the types of assets that established American authority in the previous century: foreign aid, overseas security, foreign influence, and the most advanced new technologies, such as artificial intelligence. It has become one of the leading contributors to the U.N.’s budget and to its peacekeeping force, and it has joined talks to address global problems such as terrorism, piracy, and nuclear proliferation.

    And China has embarked on history’s most expensive foreign infrastructure plan. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, it is building bridges, railways, and ports in Asia, Africa, and beyond. If the initiative’s cost reaches a trillion dollars, as predicted, it will be more than seven times that of the Marshall Plan, which the U.S. launched in 1947, spending a hundred and thirty billion, in today’s dollars, on rebuilding postwar Europe.
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/08/making-china-great-again

    It certainly looks as if the Chinese government has Donald Trump’s number and are reading him like a book. Like other world leaders, they are finding Trump both profoundly ignorant of international issues and easy to manipulate:

    Shen went on, “China knows Trump can be unpredictable, so we have weapons to make him predictable, to contain him. He would trade Taiwan for jobs.”

    [snip]

    Russel spoke to Chinese officials after the Mar-a-Lago visit. “The Chinese felt like they had Trump’s number,” he said. “Yes, there is this random, unpredictable Ouija-board quality to him that worries them, and they have to brace for some problems, but, fundamentally, what they said was ‘He’s a paper tiger.’ Because he hasn’t delivered on any of his threats. There’s no wall on Mexico. There’s no repeal of health care. He can’t get the Congress to back him up. He’s under investigation.”

    It’s hard to argue with the fundamentals in those observations, and I’m not at all surprised that international diplomats were quickly able to see trump as shallow, stupid, and prone to both flattery and grift. It’s obvious: even the man’s friends have said the same.

    The 19th century was England’s. The 20th century was America’s. The 21st will be China’s.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  January 8, 2018

      The 21st will be China’s.

      Excellent, Joe. You’ll be able to enjoy life under the communist dictatorship you’ve always dreamt about.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  January 8, 2018

        How about you get back to me when you have something useful to say…

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 8, 2018

          Winners are grinners, Joe. I’m sure you’ll raise a smile when the Party monitors and censors your internet access.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  January 8, 2018

          As if Instagram, Facebook, and Google aren’t already monitoring and censoring what we see on the interweb…

          Wake up you crusty old Occidentalist.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  January 8, 2018

            Bad news, Joe. Google is blocked from China. So is Facebook. So is Instagram. Your life will be transformed for the socialist better.

            • Gezza

               /  January 8, 2018

              Xi has been expanding China’s influence everywhere. Their increasing presence around the world not only garners them influence in those countries, including Africa, but access to resources & experience & contacts for their workers & managers.

              I don’t think it’s a good thing, overall, for some of them to get too beholden to China economically, but they are following the same pattern of the US & Britain whose influence is diminishing. This century will be about China challenging the US in all spheres, including military. They’ve caught up. Now they’re expanding.

              I agree that Xi and Putin know how to manipulate Trump by appealing to his vanity. So do the Saudis, & Netanyahu. But he can turn on an ally, or someone he says he likes, in a flash after seeing something on Fox News, so they’re careful.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 8, 2018

              Chinese emigrants are a long-term risk to China as they discover the uncensored world and report back. Of course the Party is practised at dealing with dissent since taking over Hong Kong.

    • NOEL

       /  January 8, 2018

      The belt road sure is cutting down the over produced steel stockpile they couldn’t sell.
      Communists into capitalists?rr

  2. duperez

     /  January 8, 2018

    The good old “crisis of legitimacy” attack.

  3. Pickled Possum

     /  January 8, 2018

    “The EPA, whose mission is to “to protect human health and the environment,” has approved Monsanto’s request to allow levels of glyphosate (Roundup) contamination in your food up to a million times higher than have been found carcinogenic.”

    Safety of Monsanto/Dow’s Newly Approved Frankenfood (RNAi Corn) Called Into Question
    Another study confirms what activists and scientists alike have been warning: the next generation of RNA interference GM foods may seriously compromise the genetic integrity of our species.
    We are eating cardboard and drinking sugar so who really cares about the health of our future generations Not America it seems
    https://wakeup-world.com/2018/01/08/safety-of-monsantodows-newly-approved-frankenfood-rnai-corn-called-into-question/

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 8, 2018

    Why do people travel to these Muslim shit holes?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/dubai-prescription-drugs-rules-uae-medication-tourists-can-you-take-law-illegal-customs-a8143916.html

    I watched an Emirates flight crew ponce thru Auckland airport a couple of months ago and wasn’t impressed though the airline seems to have a good reputation.