Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chop! Chop!

China traffic

... while horrific traffic jams are a sign of its present and future

Canadian authorities were recently alarmed to find the Chinese interested in exploring the Arctic Ocean, in a bid to get a share of the minerals beneath the thawing icecap.

In eastern Siberia, Russians worry that China is by default taking over their empty land.

The West has long seen Africa as its backyard, but Western diplomats now worry that not just Africa, but South America, too, is being lost to China.

And Western governments are concerned that the rules of the game are changing. Most worryingly, as China's brutal suppression of the once independent Tibet shows, this is not a superpower that respects Western standards on human rights.

From Darfur to Myanmar, China is cuddling up to murderous dictators.

At home, it holds mass executions of criminals with bullets in the back of the head while transplant surgeons stand by to harvest their still pulsating organs.

Yet Western governments have been in such awe of China's looming power that their response has not been to challenge its abuses, but to try to silence their own protesters at home.

From the UN to the IMF to the World Bank, the international institutions that attempt to govern the planet were made in the image of the victors of World War II. Now power is shifting from West to East, the whole liberal democratic world order will face its first serious challenge in decades.

Many fear that things could get ugly.

There is only one thing worse than an unchallenged superpower - it is a superpower with a victim mentality, which feels the world owes it a favour.

And the bitter truth is that, after centuries of humiliation in foreign affairs, there is a nationalist mood in China that the country's time has come again, that it can again claim its rightful place as the world's most powerful country.

Its comparative weakness over the last few centuries is, in fact, but a blip in the last 2,000 years, during which China was the world's most economically and culturally advanced nation.



BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign debt reached 373.62 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2007, up 15.68 percent over the previous year, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) announced on Wednesday.

China's medium and long-term borrowing totaled 153.53 billion U.S. dollars at the end of last year, an increase of 14.17 billion U.S. dollars, or 10.17 percent, according to the SAFE.

Meanwhile, the country's short-term borrowing increased 36.46 billion U.S. dollars to 220.08 billion U.S. dollars, up 19.85 percent.

Of the total external debt, 34.89 billion U.S. dollars was the sovereign debt; foreign invested enterprises accounted for 74 billion U.S. dollars; and the amount for foreign financial institutions in China was 46.31 billion U.S. dollars.

Preliminary statistics showed all of China's foreign debt indices were under the international standard safety line in 2007,the SAFE said.


Mere peanuts on a global financial scale.

Now the USA

The Gross National Debt



DEN said...

For your counting needs, I recommend ZFacts

David B. Benson said...

Den --- That's a nifty debt counter!

David B. Benson said...

Macaber humor:

Breaking News: The Great Ice Age of 2008 is finally over — next stop Venus!

DEN said...

OK I'm going to have some fun before it's too late.

carey said...

Yes Den, that is nifty, the debt counter. Perfect too, we must emphasize that in our arguments against McCain. How Republicans raise the debt.

Well guys, I bought myself a condo.

I'm happy, a little in shock that it went so quickly and smoothly. No regrets, it's a good buy as far as I can tell. The owners finally got serious about the sale and I happened to find it first. Just lucky. More importantly--it is a restful place full of trees--similar to this place.

Smaller, of course. And no huge backyard anymore--to be replaced by a balcony.

Here I go!

The Sunday shows predictably focused on Obama's "bitter" remarks. They forgot Bill C. fibbed earlier in the week. The ins and outs of the Hillary/Barack fight--geez, it's so banal. Plain boring.

David B. Benson said...

Carey --- Less housecleaning!

Alan said...

Anybody else watching the Masters at Augusta National? The place is so beautiful.

David B. Benson said...

Oh goody!

Alberto Gonzales Finding It Tough To Land A New Job

micki said...

Perhaps, Alberto could get a teaching job at the Escuela de las Américas (now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).

1) Speaks Spanish. Check

2) Understands "unique" version of rule of law. Check.

3) Understands the "necessity" to use repressive techniques. Check.

4) Unafraid to engage in human rights atrocities. Check.

5) Willing to lie for a "cause." Check.

6) Ability to disregard international treaties. Check.

7) Able to answer any question with "I don't recall." Check.

Or is Gonzalez even too toxic for Escuela de las Américas?

CAREY!!! That's exciting! Yea for you and Brandon!

carey said...

Succinctly put, Micki. Little turdface.

Yes, that's one thing, David. No more sweeping giant patios, count them---two!!

Alan, that's one of the reasons I haven't been around as much. I have luxuriated myself in Augusta. My soul thanks me.

DEN said...

Carey, finally a place for you and Brandon to call home.

Got a garage?

Alan said...

Skydiving over Houston

Houston Chronicle reporter gets to scratch another thing off his life's to-do list. The Army's Golden Knights invited him to particpate in a promotional thingy for the U of Houston. They landed on the U of H campus, but you can see part of downtown with the tall buildings and I even made out part of the Houston Ship Channel. Not in great detail or anything, but still, it was a cool video.

Hajji said...


I've been to Augusta...Augusta National is, indeed a beautiful place. The flora there is just a week or so ahead of what's happening here, so Dogwoods, Cherries, Azaeleas, etc, here are planning a big week of blooming.

'Course I'll be about an hour north of Philly this weekend, seein' wha's up with the Obamans and potential Obamans, there.

Much of Augusta is quite nice, but only a couple months ago, I was walking through some of the not-so-nice parts, the weekend before "Super Tuesday". The Southwest side of the downtown area contains neighborhoods is such dis-repair...well, it was sometimes hard to find a single, occupied house in an entire block.

The winds that were testing Tiger yesterday were twice- to three-times as strong here yesterday. Got funneled up by the slant of the Blue-Ridge Escarpment.

Was finishing hanging the gates for Jill's garden. Stuff blowing all over! The donkey is pissed at me, again...she thought it was gonna be "Pabla Rosalitia's" garden.

Congrats on your new home, Carey, I'm sure you'll find there's "no place like" it!

I agree with you that the Sunday Talks were mostly worthless, focus on the worst of the pundits on MTP was downright shameful.

I DID enjoy seeing Jimmy Carter, (best ex-president EVER!)from Nepal on "This Week". It was hillarious to Defense Secretary Gates F-up the "Nepal/Tibet" thing.

I'm off for a haircut, then it is "Princess Picnic" time with the Grand-baby gals...I wonder if I'll get to be the "Old, dying King" AGAIN!? (where do little girls GET this stuff?)


Hajji said...

Sorry...that was Hadley, ...I gotta start drinkin' less on Sunday Mornings!