Monday, December 29, 2008

The World - Changes

Read this article on the marked changes in the World political and economic landscape in 2008.

Since this piece is a combination of both fact and fiction; fact in the events happenings, fiction in the analysis, I thought I'd add my own thoughts and opinions.

The bottom-line message is the world is changing and the U.S. is getting in the way. Typical world view, but what is lacking in this article is the amount of good the U.S. is doing to assist the world.

If the U.S. went down the world would surely be a different place, economically, politically, and especially with regards to Christianity.

I doesn't mean that the U.S. is a perfect place. Not by any means. The shame of the economic crisis, shows the greed of a few and their effect on the many. Some of the decisions regarding war will be debated for many years to come. In my opinion those decisions will be vindicated as a necessary but not a sought after road.

Here's the article: (China's view of the World) - My comments in italic and in green
Marked changes in world's political, economic landscape

by Sun Ruijun and Bao Erwen

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The world has undergone remarkable changes this year, but international security situation on the whole remained stable with "peace" and "development" prevailing as the themes of the times.

In 2008, the world has continued moving toward multi-polarization, resulting in a distinctive shift of international forces. Globalization is developing in depth and regional cooperation is gathering momentum.

What the heck is multi-polarisation? By 'regional cooperation' does this mean the team of Russia and China to replace the U.S. status in the world?

The world has been confronted with one hotspot issue after another and non-traditional threats are increasing. The world economic growth took a turn for the worse due to the outbreak of the global financial crisis.


In recent years, the international political structure has transformed gradually from "one superpower coexisting with several other powers," formed after the Cold War, to multi-polarization.

The transformation picked up speed this year, with significant changes in the balance of international forces.

The United States has been acting as the world's only superpower in 2008, but the financial turmoil, which broke out in Wall Street in September, showed its vulnerability.

The U.S. remains the only superpower. However, along with that status so goes the superpower responsibility of responding to the needs not only of this nation but to the rest of the world. The U.S. not only for the year 2008 but along all of it's superpower existence has remained the most giving nation in the world bar none.

This past year and years past, many catastrophes natural and man made have occurred. The U.S. has often been the first to help with aid and assistance... free. Not so with nations like China or Russia or even the our European friends.

In addition, the country is still deep in trouble with its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has undermined its international image.

It's a war we have fought on our own mostly. We were attack on 911 and we responded. Maybe not all the decisions pertaining to the war were correct but the main reason 'to protect our nation' from further attack has been accomplished with this administration.

I don't see China or Russia assisting the U.S. With the exception of the U.K. the same. As far as NATO in the Afghanistan. their assistance is lacking. As far as I'm concerned our international image is only good when someone needs the U.S. to do something. And the U.S. is always there. There is plenty of American blood on Free Foreign shores to prove it.

Some analysts attributed the waning U.S. strength to its policy of unilateralism and expansionism on international issues, and its practice of a laissez-faire free market economy at home. It remains to be seen what consequences of these policies will have on U.S. national strength.

Expansionism? Laissez-gaire free market? By "what consequences of these policies will have on U.S. national strength" I guess it's meant the collapse of the U.S. as a superpower or worse is the underline message.

We will recover, we will hopefully learn from your errors and we will no doubt do it on our own.

By contrast, Russia's flexing of strong muscles in the international political arena in the outgoing year indicated a marked recovery of its strength.

Hurry ! Here come the Russians! Rah, Rah, Sis-boom-bah!

After sending troops to Georgia in August, Moscow announced its recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and established diplomatic ties with them.

You mean brutal invasion of a democratic State.

Furthermore, the Russian military forces also carried out operations in Latin America, which has long been considered the "backyard" of the United States.

Why not use the word 'Expansionism' here?

Washington, which has been pushing NATO's eastward expansion and trying to deploy anti-ballistic missile systems in East Europe, seemed to have no effective measures to deal with Russia's counterattack.

The former Eastern-axis State of the Old Soviet Union know that NATO status is their only hope to maintain their freedom. Of course China is rooting for a return to the old.

The growing strength of Russia has something to do with its leaders' strong will to make their country regain world power status. Over the past years Russia had seized the favorable opportunities by pursuing a pluralistic and pragmatic diplomatic policy, reviving its national economy and safeguarding its national interest.

Russia's economy in real 'hurt', right now. With the price of oil on the decline, their revenue is slowly decaying. Their stock market is in even worse shape than ours. They had to suspend trading for a few days.

Also in 2008, after standing the test of natural disasters following the Wenchuan earthquake in May, China succeeded in hosting the "truly exceptional" 29th Olympic Games in August. In October, the country sent Shenzhou-7 spacecraft into orbit, accomplishing its first ever space walk.

The Olympics were a wonderful show, however China failed to hide the true nature of their society. This is not an example of a Nation up and rising for their people. It's evident their growth is centered on a military influence on the rest of the world.

China has showed to the world its overall national strength is on constant increase following 30 years of reform and opening-up. China has become one of the major engines for world economy and contributed significantly to world economic growth.

Protecting their markets from free trade and manipulating their currency is not by any means beneficial to the world economy.

Moreover, China has played more important roles in international affairs, such as the financial summit and the informal meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) this year.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) continued to enhance its independence and influence in international affairs.

In March, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said their countries share a vision of a "global Europe."

"We need Britain and France at the heart of Europe, a global Europe, that is reforming, open, flexible, outward-looking," the two leaders said in a joint statement.

The outgoing 2008 has also seen a large number of developing countries rise with increasing momentum.

From a geopolitical perspective, the center of world power is shifting from both sides of the Atlantic to the western Pacific region, as the emerging countries are mostly located in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

This shows that the existing international system is undergoing readjustment with new reshuffles and restructuring profoundly changing the balance of power in the world.

... away from the U.S.


The in-depth development of economic globalization has made economic ties and interdependence between countries even closer, boosting the sustained growth of world economy, and benefiting many countries.

The Doha Round of talks of the World Trade Organization, aimed at furthering global trade, remained deadlocked this year. However, the financial summit and the 16th Leaders' Meeting of APEC in November sent out a strong signal for boosting the talks and gave them fresh impetus.

Yet, economic globalization has not been plain sailing this year.

Some developed nations, out of their selfish interest, asked too much of their developing counterparts, leaving the Doha Round of trade talks in an impasse.

After the outbreak of financial crisis, trade protectionism gained ground in some developed nations. However, economic globalization will continue despite twists and turns, as it is the inevitable outcome that corresponds to the development of productive forces of today's world, and constitutes the general trend of world economic growth.

It is hoped that developed nations would establish an equal, mutually-beneficial and win-win partnership with developing nations, so as to advance economic globalization toward balanced development, shared benefits and win-win progress.

This is code for 'the U.S. didn't want to make further concessions to free-trade policies which could be very detrimental to the U.S. economy.

Regional integration is another highlight in 2008, with regional and sub-regional cooperation further strengthened.

The EU continued to boost the process of its integration. Except Ireland, the Czech Republic and Poland, all EU member nations have ratified the Lisbon Treaty, signed by EU heads of state and government in December 2007 and designed to reform EU institutions and streamline decision-making in the ever-enlarging union.

That's up to Ireland and the rest. They each have their own reasons

A charter of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),which was ratified by parliaments of 10 members of the regional bloc and formally entered into force on Dec. 15, clearly set the strategic goal of setting up an ASEAN community.

In Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) inaugurated a free trade area in August.

In October, the SADC and two other regional blocs, the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, held a summit in the Ugandan capital of Kampala to discuss Africa's economic integration.


International security situation remained stable on the whole this year despite sporadic traditional threats.

The U.S.-led NATO continued to take "containment" measures against Russia. Meanwhile, Washington has reinforced its military strength in East Asia.

You can thank the U.S. is still somewhat on the ball...

The armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia took the world by surprise. Observers noted however, the root cause of the conflict lies in Russia's perceived threat to its strategic security posed by NATO's continued eastward expansion that will recruit Georgia and Ukraine as new members and Washington's insistence on deploying anti-ballistic missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, rather than the apparent differences over South Ossetia's sovereignty.

Brutal supresson by Russia is the true cause...

The year 2008 has also seen new changes in some old hotspot issues, and the emergence of some new hotspot issues.

The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula achieved a breakthrough, but also encountered new obstacles.

After the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) formally submitted a declaration on its nuclear program, Washington removed the country from the "list of state sponsors of terrorism."

But the two countries were far apart on the issue concerning verification of the DPRK's declaration.

Iran's nuclear issue remained deadlocked. Tehran refused to halt its sensitive uranium enrichment activities, while Western nations threatened to launch a new round of sanctions against the country.

The need to apply pressure on Iran to prevent a Nuclear Iran is a no brainer. If there was a trully combined effort by the European States with the U.S. more progress could take place.

Iraq's security situation has improved, with violent attacks on decline as compared with last year. Washington and the Iraqi government reached a deal on the status of the U.S. forces stationed in the country. But sectarian conflicts, political confrontation, terrorist activities and the U.S. military presence were still threatening Iraq's stability.

Come on, the U.S. efforts and sacrafices is the only reason for the progress in Iraq

As insufficient U.S. and NATO troops were unable to deal effective blows to Taliban insurgents, Afghanistan underwent the most turbulent year in 2008 since the fall of the Taliban regime, with at least 5,000 people killed in violent attacks this year.

More effort is needed to turn Afghanistan around. Now that Iraq is on more stable ground, the focus will be on Afghanistan.

In the Middle East, Israeli and Palestinian leaders failed to honor their commitment of a peaceful deal made at an international meeting in the U.S. city of Annapolis last November.

Meanwhile, Fatah and Hamas, two major factions in Palestine, were locked in frequent clashes due to different political views.

... and now as of today 12/29/08, the Palestinian/Israeli cease fire if off. Major Prayers are needed!

In November, the Sudanese government announced an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn western region of Darfur to pave the wayfor the Arab-sponsored peace negotiations with the rebel movements. But in July, a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) demanded an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omeral-Bashir, accusing him of "genocide" and other war crimes committed in Darfur.

Darfur continues to be a mess. Hello, is anybody out there besides the help. It's aweful quite

The ICC move set a precedent for an institution transcending states prosecuting the incumbent leader of a sovereign state, causing grave concerns among Middle Eastern and African nations, as the move threatened the current international order based on the UN Charter.

In February, Kosovo's declaration of independence drew mixed reactions from the international community, with Washington voicing support and recognition for Kosovo's independence, EU nations holding different views on the issue, and Serbia and Russia expresses strong opposition to Kosovo's independence.

Moscow maintained that Kosovo's independence would endanger the system of international law and leave negative consequences for the Balkan region and the world at large.

They would feel better if Kosovo was under their (Russian) influence (control)

In Thailand, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, different political factions, as representatives of different interest groups, got into furious disputes over election issues.

The year 2008 has also witnessed increasing non-traditional security threats, including terrorism, climate change and piracy.

On Nov. 26, more than 200 people were killed and some 300 others injured in terror attacks in Mumbai, India's largest city. Afghanistan and Pakistan also fell victim to terror attacks.

As for climate change, a disaster caused by freezing rain and snow hit a large area in southern China. Hurricanes pounded Central America and the Caribbean. More than 77,000 people were killed and nearly 56,000 people went missing in a severe tropical storm in Myanmar.

Since the beginning of 2008, more than 120 cases of piracy occurred off Somalia, a war-torn country in Africa, with more than 30 ships hijacked and some 600 sailors held hostages.

As rampant piracy is posing increasing threats to maritime trade and shipping, some countries were forced to use military force to ensure the safety of their commercial vessels.


In September this year, a financial "tsunami" that broke out in Wall Street, quickly turned into the most serious global financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

According to the U.S. company Goldman Sachs & Co., global financial institutions would suffer a loss of 1.4 trillion dollars in the U.S. subprime crisis. Global financial crisis had already plunged the United States, the euro zone and Japan into recession, and slowed down the growth of emerging economies.

Greed at it's worst..and it's not over yet. These bailouts smell of further errossion of the American value system. One of 'work hard and honesty'.

The International Monetary Fund has predicted a 3.7 percent growth rate for world economy this year, lower than the 2007 figure of 5.0 percent.

The global financial crisis is blamed on the laissez-faire economic policy adopted by the U.S. government and its failure to exercise effective financial regulation amid the dramatic expansion of financial derivative products since early this century.

Though the U.S. crisis is evident in it's effects on the rest of the world, the U.S. isn't totally to blame. The European Nations as well as Asia and Russia has been in financial straits for awhile.

People expect the international community to draw lessons from the crisis and undertake necessary reform of international financial system in a comprehensive, balanced, incremental and result-oriented way, so as to establish a new international financial order that is fair, just, inclusive and orderly and fostering an institutional environment conducive to sound global economic development.

As long as it joins forces, the international community will be able to tackle all political, security and economic challenges and continue to advance the world further toward justice, peace and prosperity, observers said.

Look, while the U.S. is not a perfect nation, and can even be blamed for some of the struggles of the rest of the world, it is by no means the demon and all evil source of the worlds problems.

The U.S. will continue to be looked to as a guiding light especially during a world crisis. We in the U.S. will overcome our hardships as well as be instrumental in assisting other nations.

This article is nothing but a propaganda piece, viewing the world through the eyes on a nation that would like to see the demise of the United States.

A nation that oppresses it's people, and wants to spread that form of totalitarian government to other nations.

Sorry China we're here to stay.

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