China, Olympics and Politics


#1

So  I was reading this article this morning:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1036105/How-Chinas-taking-Africa-West-VERY-worried.html
It’s about how China is becoming almost as imperialistic in Africa as Europe was in past centuries.  It also talks about China’s military support to Sudan, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea, three beacons of medieval barbarism and anti-democratic rules. 
( Read about Steven Spielberg’s reaction to the China-Darfur link)

Then I hear about this story:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080719.CHINA19/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/

So the plan seems to be:  Take over Africa, migrate there, plunder it’s resources and then establish a segregation system based on skin colour. 

Does this sound vaguely familiar to anyone else?  Didn’t something similar happen before? 

It seems that the collective human memory regarding such things is only as effective as  money will allow.

Being a father, I’m trying to be optimistic about the world my children will live in.  I’m trying to teach them that honesty and trust are great values that I hope they will adopt.  I’m trying to provide a loving and respectful home for them to grow hoping that they will remember and practice this when they become adults.
But nowadays, it seems that being genuinely optimistic is linked to being blind to the situations outside our immediate lives.  It’s hard to hear about Darfur, Rwanda, Tibet, Global Warming, increased oil exploration,  iranian lapidation and so on, and still remain cheerful and full of hope for our world. 
Damn internet, it makes you smarter and more aware of the world but the flipside is hard to swallow.
So I will continue to work hard with my kids hoping that cynicism doesn’t take over me when they ask questions about the world.


#2

Yeah, I sort of agree with you BigThumb.  But whenever you hear yourself say “nowadays” you should know that people in the previous generations thought the same way.

Shoot yourself back to 1985 and explain nuclear holocaust to your kids, and why the superpowers want to destroy the world.

Or try ten years earlier and explain the killing fields, South Africa, Vietnam, etc.  How about a generation before that?  Or a generation before that?

The world is shitty, and it’s always been shitty.  It’s not something new.  That doesn’t stop us from trying to make it better.  You can go back through any era and find how shitty the world was, but you can also find just how awesome humans can be in the face of the shittiness. 

China is now a superpower and is playing the same game that the US has been playing since WWII.  There’s nothing new here.  The USA has been doing the exact same thing in Africa since WWII, when they replaced the other Europeans as the dominant power there (with a little USSR-sponsored conflict for balance).

The other side of the coin is that the AU is finally stepping up (see their adventures in Somalia, despite American-sponsored Ethiopian interference), and the EU & AU are deployed in Eastern Chad in an unprecedented mission. 

Our problem here in North America is that our news cycle just ignores all these things.


#3

I didn’t use the expression “nowadays” to express that the world was worst now than before.  I used it to express the fact that, in general, we are more knowledgeable about world situations than generations before us were.  Instant and constant information is available to us but wasn’t to previous generations who had to wait for their news in a traditional way. See what I wrote:

Having this capability is wonderful but the bad part is that one is faced with horrible stories at the same rate as the good ones. 
In my post, I wanted to express how difficult it is to remain optimistic when hearing about such horrible situations so often.  I’m certainly not advocating that we ignore these to be more happy.


#4

hmmm too much small person to talk about… these all.!!!


Headlights Corporate Gifts


#5

[quote=“BigThumb”]
So  I was reading this article this morning:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1036105/How-Chinas-taking-Africa-West-VERY-worried.html
It’s about how China is becoming almost as imperialistic in Africa as Europe was in past centuries.  It also talks about China’s military support to Sudan, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea, three beacons of medieval barbarism and anti-democratic rules. 
( Read about Steven Spielberg’s reaction to the China-Darfur link) [/quote]

I find this very interesting about this article.

China, being biggest import partner of Sudan, and one of the largest investors in Sudanese oil thanks to US sanctions, is also the first non-African contributor of peacekeepers in Darfur.

It’s no doubt China being accused of militarily supporting the Sudanese government, eventhough 87% of the weapons received by Sudan is from Russia. Russia is the second largest exporter of weapons in the world, after the US and followed by China.

The article is, if not maliciously, one sided. There are many reason why Africa generally favoured China more than the West these days, and it’s not just because China is a second-world economic giant but maybe loss of faith and trust in the West.

[quote]
Then I hear about this story:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080719.CHINA19/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/[/quote]

That story was first reported on the South China Morning Post, and it is subjected to dispute. But it’s not the Chinese government that is disputing, many in Beijing (local and foreign) are questioning the report that “is there really such a ban?”

One foreign blogger living in Beijing got an answer: Shoddy reporting.

beijingboyce.com/2008/07/22/ … story-iii/


#6

[quote=“MiG”]
Shoot yourself back to 1985 and explain nuclear holocaust to your kids, and why the superpowers want to destroy the world.

Or try ten years earlier and explain the killing fields, South Africa, Vietnam, etc.  How about a generation before that?  Or a generation before that?[/quote]

Or try this:

Taliban fighting against the Soviets during the Cold War: Freedom fighters
Taliban after 9/11: Terrorists

Osama bin Ladin during cold war: Freedom fighter
Osama bin Ladin after cold war: Terrorist

O_O

Just to be fair, the real world we live is and always very unfair.

Well China isn’t a superpower yet.

It may seem inevitable but there are many problems that held China down. Same reasoning applies to India.

The Chinese government isn’t really keen to become a superpower.

That’s the really sad part.

HTMF is my source for news now.

Thanks goes to MiG for making that possible.

EDIT:

I love Google Ad  :smiley:


#7

I love how the line between the media and their advertising customers is so blurry.

“Do Company X’s products contain Chemical Y? Are your children at risk? Find out after the break.”

Mostly this is just an excuse to post this comic:

http://www.wellingtongrey.net/miscellanea/archive/2007-05-27–the-truth-about-wireless-devices.png


#8

They are becoming an economic superpower, they are the USA’s banker.  The US is currently borrowing billions from China to pay the interest on their ever-increasing debt. 
Bush on occasion will issue mild statements directed towards China about human rights, but, there are no sanctions behind the empty rhetoric. 
You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you. :smile:


#9

China is an economic powerhouse, we know that, but China still isn’t really a rich country. China has 1.3 billion people, and to be as wealthy as an average individual Canadian, China need a bigger economy.

Also China holds half a trillion of US debt, so you wonder how on Earth the Americans are going to pay it off before the Dragon roast them. lol

[quote]Bush on occasion will issue mild statements directed towards China about human rights, but, there are no sanctions behind the empty rhetoric. 
You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you. :smile:[/quote]

Well Bush and other people screaming about China’s human rights certainly don’t have the moral high ground to tell other countries what to do and what not to do.

Let’s face it: China’s human rights is getting better. Compare today to 1949, human rights have improve very significantly, sometimes at the expense at traditions and culture. Before 1949, the times of two civil wars, Sino-Japanese war, the Nanjing era, the warlord period, and the 1911 overthrow of the Qing Empire, there were literally no human rights.

Anyway, the only way China can improve it’s human rights is to encourage the government, not annoying and berating them. Because doing so just like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders did will hinder improvements to human rights in China, and the Chinese people will wonder “why they tell us what to do and what not to do?”


#10

For starters it is believed that China holds far more US debt. Remember that fiat currency is nothing more than a promissory note.  When the US made a noise about some Chinese imports and threatened trade embargo’s China’s reply was to go ahead and they would buy gold with their US dollars which would have the value of the Greenback plummet. That ended the threat of any actions by the US.

A few months ago some of India’s tourist attractions quit accepting US currency because it’s value on the world markets was too unstable. Remember when the Loonie’s value “went way up”? It was really mostly the value of the Greenback dropping. Plug in the currencies, go to the one year chart, and look for yourself x-rates.com/

I’ll get to the pay off part shortly … really … but there is more background.

If you followed the M3 money supply (that Bernanke quit publishing almost a year and a half ago) a few people are still crunching the numbers to find the M3 real inflation rate in the US.  I’ve read figures ranging anywhere from 12% to 20%, with the most respected figures ranging from 14% to 17%. This is ‘just a tad different’ than the CPI being spoon fed to Joe Sixpack. :unamused:

Finally the payoff! If you loaned me $1000 at 5% fixed interest and real inflation was running 15% at the end of one year (if I never made any payments) I would owe you $1050 that would have the purchasing power of $892.50 at the time the loan was made. Who’s winning this one?

An extreme example of this is the Weimar Republic in the early 1920’s. It was possible for people to easily pay off a fixed interest rate mortgage because the value of the Mark had dropped so drastically the outstanding mortgage balance in Weimar Marks was worth next to nothing.

The problem was people couldn’t afford to eat because inflation was so high food prices would go up between the time you entered the store and the time you got to the checkout.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_ … r_Republic
(Please look at the link and enlarge the image of the postage stamps)

If the value of debt is measured in US dollars and the value of the US dollar plummets, doesn’t the debt almost go away on it’s own? Recently Bernanke gave $600 to every American to “stimulate the economy”. All this really did was lower the value of the US dollar by increasing the money supply without adding value to the US economy. Obamma wants to continue this “economic stimulation”. :unamused:

Let’s go back to the $1000 loan you made to me
one year value $892.50
two year value $796.56
three year value $710.93 worth of purchasing power on the day the loan was made with not even the 5% interest being paid. So with this arrangement I could sell goods worth $711 on the day the $1000 loan was made and pay you off in full.

Guess what the US is doing to the trillions of dollars of debt to China?

(Just a note, don’t take this as a suggestion to take on mountains of debt. With variable interest rates this could lead to your financial demise, just ask anyone who was holding debt 30 years ago.)


#11

Always an interesting exercise to read official American policy on Cuba versus the same with respect to China.  Complete opposite of each other.  Thankfully, most American voters can’t even find China or Cuba on a map, never mind asking their politicians about the hypocrisy.


#12

bigthumb - check out the following TED video, as I think it will answer some of your questions about our world and violence.  Namely that the world isn’t as violent as it seems.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html


#13

Agreed.  Most Americans do not take the time to delve into complex issues. 

On a different topic I find it ironic that Americans accept the negative campaign strategies employed in their country.  Unfortunately negative attack advertisements work.  John Kerry was too slow to react to the Swift Boat attack in 04.  I’m hopeful that Obama will be able to get down and dirty and return some good counter punches against McCain.  I truly hope that America doesn’t fall for McCain’s bullshit.
Interesting days ahead! :smile:


#14