By Jane West
The bellicose response by the US and others to the latest developments in North Korea is in no way a proportional response to any real threat from the small East Asian state, but an excuse for quite other military objectives.
The US used its known language of war – ‘a real and clear danger’ – to announce its decision to extend its advanced missile defence system to the Pacific island of Guam. As no one in their right mind believes that North Korea has the capacity to hit the US – or virtually anywhere very far from its own borders – with a nuclear-armed missile, this step has other purposes. The country in the US’s binoculars is not North Korea but rising China, and the Guam move is a further step in its announced ‘pivot’ to Asia aimed at militarily encircling China.
The following article by John Ross analyses the economic policies underpinning the slowdown and then the accelerated growth of China's economy in 2012. Since the article was published on china.org.cn on 1 January, the release of new economic data confirms the article. They show that China's GDP expanded by 7.9 per cent year on year in the fourth quarter of 2012, accelerating from 7.4 per cent in the third quarter, and resulting in 2012 full-year growth of 7.8 per cent.
China's economy in 2012 was "a tale of two halves": In the first six months slowdown, even a feeling of developing crisis; in the second half recovery and accelerating growth. The story therefore had a happy ending. But it is worth noting what went wrong in the first half, and how it was corrected in the second, as this contains lessons for the future.
By Neil Martin
The outcome of the Japanese general election marked a sharp turn to the right in Japanese politics.
The poll delivered an overwhelming victory for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior ally the Komitei, following the failure of the Democratic Party (DPJ) to take steps to revive the economy.
The following article by John Ross which evaluates the economic projections of the recent Chinese Communist Party congress, appeared in Global Times on 12 November.
The central economic goal outlined in General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao's report to the 18th National Congress of the CPC is achieving a "moderately prosperous society". This created discussion of whether this goal is realistic and in what time scale.
By Jane West
The recent visits by the leader of the opposition and two members of the Japanese cabinet to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo solidifies a lurch to the nationalist right in Japanese politics.
While US imperialism has turned its attention from Libya to Iran and Syria, it has not taken its eyes off the threat that it sees in China.
By Jane West
The election victory of the populist, left of centre, Puea Thai (For Thais) party in Thailand last weekend is a further indication of the continuing rise in struggle and shift to the left in a series of semi-colonial and developing countries – a trend in contrast to the predominant one at present in the US and Europe.
It is extremely difficult for those in imperialist countries, although as we shall see not for those in semi-colonial ones, to understand the full importance of the Chinese Revolution – which is, with the Russian Revolution of 1917, the most important event in modern human history.
By Jane West US imperialism is facing a threat to its global economic, and therefore also political, dominance. Even at market exchange rates the latest estimates are that the size of China’s economy will overtake that of the US within ten years. The recent prediction by the IMF that on current trends the size of the Chinese economy, measured in PPP terms, will overtake the US in as little as five years’ time, created international comment
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