Will China’s Methods Of Spreading Influence Abroad Come Back To Haunt It?

November 30, 2008

Will China’s Methods Of Spreading Influence Abroad Come Back To Haunt It?

Martin McCauley writes from London: The world is involved in a new game of brinkmanship. It’s called ‘Taming China’ and it is all about one thing: how to stop the inexorable rise of China? Resorting to pressure or using military force against China is unthinkable. So a ‘gentle’ approach is needed by projecting influence that would not anger the Asian giant. The more China is involved in international organisations, for example, the less likely it is to engage in irrational behaviour. Engaging China in international efforts to resort global and regional problems makes Beijing’s goals and aims look more transparent and less threatening. The rise of China is fuelling suspicion and anxiety in all corners of the globe. Washington appears to regard China as its future... 

Attacks In Mumbai Raise Disturbing Questions That Need To Be Answered. Soon

November 30, 2008

Attacks In Mumbai Raise Disturbing Questions That Need To Be Answered. Soon

Now that the terrorists, who had brought death and destruction to Mumbai, the leading financial centre in India, are wiped out or captured by the security forces, it is time for reflection. You may say that it is too early to learn from the lessons of Mumbai and that the terrible tragedy is still too vivid in people’s imagination: blood stains have not been wiped off the street payments and carpets in hotels and the collective shock has not yet passed.I would agree with you on that. But I am not asking you to call on the people of Mumbai and the whole of India to look calmly at what has happened and start drawing conclusions. I’m suggesting that we, as outsiders, should analyse what has occurred and try to understand what it could all mean. First of all, we should mourn the loss... 

Carla Bruni Could Have Done Better With Her Second Album…

November 29, 2008

Carla Bruni Could Have Done Better With Her Second Album…

Andrew Rose writes: An alien with an interest in EU politics might be puzzled by the excistence of mutual Anglo-French suspicion. He or she or it would reflect that yes, the two nations have fought in the past, but it happened so long ago. They can’t really continue to squabble with each other over things that no one really remembers any more. The alien would be wrong, of course. The feeling of suspicion remains. The French have the edge in food and wine, but the British are wealthier and can buy it all up, or move over to France and indulge themselves, till death takes them. The curious alien would be baffled. And then his or her or its beady antenna, or whatever ocular organ he or she or it has, would pick up a slim female figure strolling in a trouser suit, feet bare, along a river... 

The Scandal With Jonathan Ross Has Revealed One Thing: The Media Generally Supports The BBC

November 29, 2008

The Scandal With Jonathan Ross Has Revealed One Thing: The Media Generally Supports The BBC

It is getting crazier by the day: in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding the obscene messages, left by those great masters of comedy, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, on the answering machine of a retired actor, Andrew Sachs, the BBC has launched a campaign of assuring the public that it is going to cut down on the swearing in its programmes. Get it? Not ban or banish, but cut down. So the message coming from the BBC is: swearing on air is important to us. We can’t just simply put a stop to it. We find it deeply poetic. It makes people laugh. It’s entertainment, innit it? And the most amazing thing about it is that all the rest of the British media treats this idiocy as if it is some victory for common sense. Oh look, look, the newspapers are writing, the BBC is changing for... 

Is Taiwan Being Incorporated In China? It Sure Looks Like It

November 28, 2008

Is Taiwan Being Incorporated In China? It Sure Looks Like It

Martin McCauley writes: Taiwan is desperate to modernise its armed forces and has been asking the US to supply it with new weapons. But its requests for new military hardware were frozen by President George Bush’s administration in December 2007. However, there was some good news for Taipei last month: Washington finally agreed to upgrade Taiwan’s defence forces. The bad news was that systems as diesel powered submarines and Black Hawk helicopters were not included. The reason is quite simple: Washington did not want to antagonise China. But even despite this Beijing raised a hullabaloo about the sales and suspended various military exchange programmes with the US. Although it was more of a symbolic gesture rather than some damaging practical move. The new systems will reduce slightly... 

Indian Prime Minister Accuses ‘Outsiders’ Of Attacks In Mumbai. How Does He Know?

November 28, 2008

Indian Prime Minister Accuses ‘Outsiders’ Of Attacks In Mumbai. How Does He Know?

So, while the hotels in Mumbai were still burning after the terrorist attacks and the security forces were still searching for the attackers in the city, Indian Prime Minister, Manmoth Singh, came on national television and said that the group behind the outrage was based ‘outside the country’. He did not say where exactly these terrorists, who call themselves Deccan Mujahideen, were based but everyone figured that Singh was talking about Pakistan. Where else could they have come from? The Indian media conveniently reported about some mysterious boats arriving at Mumbai from out of nowhere – read Pakistan, of course – and even claimed that Indian security forces had recently discovered a suspicious boat that could have been used to bring explosives to Mumbai by the... 

The Terrorist Attacks In Mumbai. Of Words And Deeds

November 27, 2008

The Terrorist Attacks In Mumbai. Of Words And Deeds

Christopher Lee writes: We demand that our politicians react to outrages like the one that has taken place in India, with appropriate language, and then our instincts tell us that they are simply mouthing platitudes. We scorn them for not saying the right thing, but deep down we know that there is no right thing to say.This is part of our universal contempt for the political class that is aggravated because we understand how powerful they are when deciding our comfort, yet powerless when it comes to exercising their authority at home and abroad. Just like bankers, politicians still collect the bonuses that their great offices provide them and just like bankers they often create a mess that we then all have to overcome. Because of their history, the British have strong feelings towards India.... 

BBC Controllers Will Have To Approve The Use Of Every Single Swear Word On Air. The Poor #@*#@!

November 27, 2008

BBC Controllers Will Have To Approve The Use Of Every Single Swear Word On Air. The Poor #@*#@!

Sorry to be banging on about Jonathan Ross and the scandal surrounding his and Russell Brand’s disgraceful escapade on radio with those obscene phone calls to former actor Andrew Sachs but every day brings some new twist in the shameful saga, as it is gradually becoming clear that the corporation is run by people who seem to be living on a different planet all together.It has transpired yesterday, for example, that all senior BBC producers have been told by the corporation’s top brass that in the future they would need the approval of controllers of each channel to allow the use of swear words on air. From now on every time some thuggish foul-mouthed presenter or comedian decides to spice up the contents with an F-word or a C-word the recording of the programme or a show would... 

Would Beijing’s Fiscal Stimulus Work?

November 27, 2008

Would Beijing’s Fiscal Stimulus Work?

Martin McCauley writes: First it was the United States; then Britain. China followed suit by producing it own ‘fiscal stimulus’ that is supposed to kick start the recovery of the Chinese economy. In case you did not know, China is also suffering from the world recession. True to form, the Americans went for broke and have undertaken the largest injection of state cash into the economy in their history. Britain, true to form, did not have the courage to do something similar: its package is modest compared to the American. China has declared that it was going to put in an equivalent of $586 billion, or about 16 per cent of GDP. This underlines the fear in Beijing that a slowdown in the economy could threaten the continued rule of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Beijing’s new... 

Labour Is Unfit To Run This Country. It Should Go. Now!

November 26, 2008

Labour Is Unfit To Run This Country. It Should Go. Now!

So now we know: Gordon Brown’s government is only keen to save itself and safeguard the interests of big banks and retailers. Because that is what the so-called Pre-Budget Report, unveiled on Monday by Chancellor Alistair Darling, is all about. The scale of borrowing announced by Darling (I wish he’d change his name or something!) is astronomical – £120 billion projected only for the next year and £300 earmarked for the next three years – and betrays gross mismanagement of the economy by Labour. For nearly 12 years it has been wasting huge amounts of taxpayers’ money without achieving much and, with the new projected borrowing levels, by 2011 Britain’s national debt would reach £1 trillion pounds. With all the zeros this sum looks like this: £1,000 000... 

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