Stirring Trouble Goes All Serious. On The Subject Of Pissing Off The Germans And The French

September 10, 2011

Stirring Trouble Goes All Serious. On The Subject Of Pissing Off The Germans And The French

Anton Goryunov writes from Moscow: It’s been a while really since a British prime minister has been to Moscow. Ever since the Alexander Litvinenko death from Polonium-210 poisoning in November 2006 no British heads of government have been to the Kremlin. Pity really, because Britain and Russia, whatever differences they may have, should be close allies. If only to piss off the Germans and the French, who have been running Europe as if it were their own backyard. But as things stand, relations between the two once great empires are not exactly blossoming. Politically that is. Businesswise they aren’t that bad at all. British companies are doing well in Russia, even though some of them have suffered setbacks recently, like that deal between BP and Rosneft on oil and gas exploration along... 

Are China and the Burmese Junta About to Fall Out?

September 13, 2009

Are China and the Burmese Junta About to Fall Out?

Martin McCauley writes: The armed conflict between Burma’s military (known as the Tatmadaw) and the Kokang militia (known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army) along the Sino-Burmese border in late August underlined the frayed relations between Myanmar (Burma) and the People’s Republic of China. During the engagement the Kokang militia – linked closely to China – was soundly defeated and lost about 40 men. Tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese refugees then streamed across the border into China. This was a startling development and demonstrated the willingness of the ruling junta (the State Peace and Development Council) to defend its perceived interests vis-à vis its northern neighbour.Since June 1989, Myanmar and China have been coming closer together. The... 

Of Pride And The Dangers It Carries For People’s Relations

August 15, 2009

Of Pride And The Dangers It Carries For People’s Relations

Gren-Hilda Duval de Villeneuve writes: Today I want to tackle a difficult subject, pride. Pride, in its classical interpretation given by the ancient wise men and prophets, means that someone considers himself to be God, or even above God. That, in turn, leads to all sorts of horrible crimes committed, on the assumption that gods are allowed to do anything. Many people think that pride can be a good thing as well as a bad thing. They often mistake pride for sense of duty, responsibility and enjoyment of your work and your life. But I would like today to look at the impact of pride as the biggest destroyer of relationships between people. We so desperately want to be taken seriously that our perception of our own greatness, and other people’s achievements, becomes distorted. And it is... 

Is The Obama Administration Intent On Making China Its Top Priority?

May 20, 2009

Is The Obama Administration Intent On Making China Its Top Priority?

Martin McCauley writes: When U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao met for the first time in London on April 1 – during the G20 summit – they announced the setting up of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo will chair the ‘Strategic Track’ and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice-Prime Minister Wang Qishan will chair the ‘Economic Track’. The first round of the dialogue will take place in Washington during the summer.This announcement builds on the relationship established by Henry Paulson, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Robert Zoellick, deputy Secretary of State, during the years of the Bush Administration. Paulson’s Strategic...