One of the important international economic developments in recent years has been the increasing trade and cooperation of China with Latin America and with Africa – two of the continents most oppressed by imperialism. This has given an important extra room for manoeuvre for these countries in providing an economic alternative to simply trade with the US and other countries. The economic ties of China with Brazil and South Africa, for example, are strongly growing in importance. The following article, which originally appeared in China’s Global Times, makes an assessment of the recent revolutions in the Middle East from this angle. It is also interesting in characterising clearly the hypocrisy of the US and European powers in propping up Arab dictators to the very last minute.
China’s media carries a wide range of different views. A significant part of this is pro-capitalist. It is therefore of interest that Global Times, one of China’s main English language papers, has just carried an interview stating the ‘superiorities of the socialist system’, seeing the international financial crisis as ‘an unprecedented crisis of capitalism’, and concluding that ‘the China path… is not only a brand new one that has never been seen before but also a path that is becoming more and more successful.’ The interview was with Hu Angang, Director of the Center for China Studies of Tsinghua University, Beijing. Extracts from the interview are below and the full interview may be read in Global Times here.
By Juliet Altan
Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey attacks Israeli President Peres over Israel’s assault on Gaza at the World Economic Forum, January 2009.
On Sunday 12 September 2010, the 30th anniversary of the bloody military coup in 1980, Turkey voted to accept constitutional amendments that have widely been viewed as moving the country away from the grip of the army.
The turnout was 73.71%, of which almost 58% approved the reform package, whilst just over 42% rejected it. There was a high abstention rate of almost 27%, mainly as a result of the call by the main Kurdish party BDP for a boycott of the referendum.
Since the election of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in 2002, and its re-election on a strong vote in 2007, there has been a power struggle between the army and the government in Turkey. There were several attempts, some covert and some very overt, to destabilise the government over the last few years.
By Sammy Barker
The relative decline of US imperialism has underpinned the domestic debate about President Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan.
In his speech to the Corp of Cadets at West Point on 1 December, Obama said: ‘…as we end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan responsibility, we must rebuild our strength here at home. Our prosperity provides a foundation for our power. It pays for our military. It underwrites our diplomacy. It taps the potential of our people, and allows investment in new industry. And it allows us to compete in this century as successfully as we did in the last. That is why our troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended because the nation that I am most interested in building is our own.’
This drew a fierce response from the Wall Street Journal, which supports the surge as a necessary expression of power, not as an unfortunate diversion from its exercise at home:
First published: 24 May 2006
An earlier article (‘The US Gulag’ – 22 May) pointed out that in terms of the relative size of their populations the US has six times as many people in prison as China, and that it is clear from the statistics of ethnic composition of those imprisoned that this greater rate of imprisonment in the US specifically hits racial minorities. In short the US has not only an extremely large scale but also a racist gulag. Knowledge of such data is obviously extremely relevant to judging the lack of credibility to be given to US government protestations concerning its supposed commitment to human rights, as opposed to economic and military self-interest, in criticising China.