China Changes Its Approach To North Korea

February 28, 2009

China Changes Its Approach To North Korea

Martin McCauley writers: The recent visit by Wang Jiarui, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was to mark the beginning of the ‘Year of China-DPRK Friendship’. Even more significant was his meeting with the ‘Dear Leader’, Kim Jong-Il. It was the Korean leader’s first public appearance with an international guest since his rumoured stroke in August 2008. It also marked Beijing’s continued efforts to maintain a high level dialogue with the DPRK which were broken off after Pyongyang’s test of a nuclear device in October 2006. Kim wanted to demonstrate to the world that he was fit and in control. Pyongyang has been toning down its anti-American rhetoric lately. This is a signal to Washington... 

Turkey Wants To Speak For Africa In The UN Security Council

February 27, 2009

Turkey Wants To Speak For Africa In The UN Security Council

Martin McCauley writes: Turkish President Abdullah Gul has just completed a visit to Kenya and Tanzania. The President thus becomes the first Turkish head of state to visit these sub-Saharan states. Kenya and Turkey signed an agreement on civil aviation and health care. Turkish Airlines has begun direct flights between Istanbul and Nairobi. In Tanzania, Gul pointed out that all but two African states had supported Turkey’s candidature for a non-permanent seat for 2009 and 2010 in the UN Security Council. The Republic of Turkey, he said,  will be the ‘voice of Africa in the UN. It will support Africa on all issues’. Gul mentioned that over 60 per cent of the issues which come before the UN Security Council relate to Africa. The President’s tour is a continuation of the... 

RBS Announces Record Losses Of £24.1 Billion. Well Done, RBS! A Record Is Still A Record

February 27, 2009

RBS Announces Record Losses Of £24.1 Billion. Well Done, RBS! A Record Is Still A Record

Adam Lovejoy writes: Today we salute the Royal Bank of Scotland that has posted a record loss in British corporate history of £24.1 billion yesterday. As a result the government would have to pump another £13 billion into RBS, on top of the £20 billion that have already been given to the group. As a result the Treasury would from now on control 84 per cent of RBS. We, at StirringTroubleInternationally, say: well done RBS! We always had faith in you. In a further dramatic development yesterday Sir Fred Goodwin, the former boss of RBS, who is credited with presiding over record losses, was told by the Treasury that he should forgo his annual pension of £650,000, which he draws already even though he is only 50-years-old. Sir Fred has told the government to go to hell. Well done, Sir Fred!... 

Sino-Indonesian Military Relations Not Developing As Beijing Hoped

February 26, 2009

Sino-Indonesian Military Relations Not Developing As Beijing Hoped

Martin McCauley writes: US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, visited Indonesia last week as part of a tour of East and South East Asia. It underlined the fact that Asia is the main priority of the new US Administration. Military relations between Jakarta and Washington were normalised in 2005 after being frozen because of alleged Indonesian breaches of human rights in East Timor and Papua. Mrs Clinton called Indonesia a ‘dynamic country’ and one which shares democratic values with the US. She anticipates a closer relationship in the near future. The only country that can challenge American hegemony in the region is China. Its military relations with Indonesia began in 2005 but have shown little development since then. China and Indonesia enjoyed close ties between 1963 and 1965.... 

President Robert Mugabe Has Turned 85 Last Week. The Nation And The Whole World Rejoice

February 26, 2009

President Robert Mugabe Has Turned 85 Last Week. The Nation And The Whole World Rejoice

R.F.Wilson writes from Harare: That favourite politician of ours, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, has turned 85 last week. We even held a party at Stirring Trouble Internationally to mark the big occasion. No expense was spared. Donations were accepted to help Mr Mugabe continue his struggle against colonial powers and reach that milestone – 30 years in power next year, first as Prime Minister in 1980-1987 and then as President. We even had a banner hanging across the room with the words on it: ‘Come on Mr Mugabe, we know you can do it!’ Say what you will, but President Mugabe looks great for his age. Smooth skinned, with not a wrinkle on his face, very articulate, strong physically, if you consider the way he held on to power despite all attempts to unseat him. We were... 

European Leaders Get Together In Berlin. A Repeat Of Last Year’s Gathering Takes Place

February 25, 2009

European Leaders Get Together In Berlin. A Repeat Of Last Year’s Gathering Takes Place

Adam Lovejoy writes: We have been saying it all along: we are here to entertain our readers first and inform them second. Humour mixed with politics – that is what StirringTroubleInternationally is all about. And if sometimes we say things, in a funny sort of way, that later prove to be correct then it just goes to prove that humour can sometimes hit the target as well as serious political analysis. If not better.Take the recent mini-summit which was hosted by German Chancellor Angela Frankel in Berlin on February 22nd and was called to work out possible solutions to the current economic crisis in the world. Just like the previous mini-summit in Paris last October the current gathering involved the four biggest European economies – Britain, Germany, France and Italy – the... 

Team China Outmanoeuvring Team Obama. Diplomatically

February 24, 2009

Team China Outmanoeuvring Team Obama. Diplomatically

Martin McCauley writes: America is devoting its energies to turning around its economy. The outside world will have to take second place. This leaves a geopolitical void which China has rushed in to fill. ‘Team China’ has been sending an unprecedented number of leaders around the world to demonstrate that the Middle Kingdom is now a major international player.This month, Hu Jintao, President and Secretary General of the Communist Party of China (CPC) visited Saudi Arabia and Africa; Vice-President Xi Jinping covered Latin America; Prime Minister Wen Jiabao attended the Davos economic summit and then toured Europe; Deputy Prime Minister Hui Liangyu dropped in on the leaders of Argentina and Ecuador. The tours were given added significance by the fact that Xi Jinping is expected to succeed... 

Jade Goody’s Wedding Had Nothing To Do With Rising Cancer Awareness. It Was A Media Circus

February 24, 2009

Jade Goody’s Wedding Had Nothing To Do With Rising Cancer Awareness. It Was A Media Circus

Just like reality television has very little to do with reality itself, reality TV star Jade Goody’s highly publicised wedding on Sunday had little to do with raising awareness of cervical cancer, the disease that she is dying from.For some people to claim that her ‘fairy tale wedding’ would give inspiration to other cancer sufferers is nothing short of offensive. How is it exactly that this media circus was supposed to cheer up cancer sufferers who are either fighting the decease or are succumbing to it? What sort of bizarre and twisted thinking is that?The whole thing was about money, primarily. OK, I can understand Goody’s desire to leave a bit more money for her two children but what about all the publicity for the companies that have provided everything for the wedding... 

Russia Has Been Celebrating A National Holiday Yesterday. Which Should Not Be A Holiday At All

February 24, 2009

Russia Has Been Celebrating A National Holiday Yesterday. Which Should Not Be A Holiday At All

Anton Goryunov writes from Moscow: You might not know this but yesterday, on the 23rd of February, was a national holiday in Russia. It was the Defender of Motherland Day, previously known as the Red Army Day and, since 1949 till the break-up of the Soviet empire in 1991, celebrated as Soviet Army and Navy Day. Since 1992 it was known as simply Armed Forces Day but last year it was renamed into what it is now, Defender of the Motherland Day. Until this year the holiday was not official and was a working day, although most people would mark it as a sort of Men’s Day, to counterbalance International Women’s Day that was and still is celebrated on March 8. The irony of the whole thing is that the Red Army Day was introduced by the Bolsheviks in 1918 to mark the date when a mass daft... 

Joy At 10 Downing Street: Prime Minister Brown Will Be First European Leader To Meet President Obama

February 23, 2009

Joy At 10 Downing Street: Prime Minister Brown Will Be First European Leader To Meet President Obama

Adam Lovejoy writes: What a relief for everyone at 10 Downing Street! Prime Minster Gordon Brown has finally secured a meeting with US President Barack Obama, on March 3, in Washington. Brown’s aides must be patting each other on the shoulder and rejoycing. He will be the first European leader to hold talks with Mr Obama in Washington and, what is even more important, he has managed to beat that annoying man, French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who was threatening to outshine the British Prime Minister and get to meet the US President first, putting into question the ‘special relations’ that are supposed to exist between the United States and Britain. (We at StirringTroubleInternationally think that these relations have been very one sided in the last several years: when the US... 

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