O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador China. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador China. Mostrar todas as postagens

sábado, 17 de novembro de 2018

O novo Gulag no Xinjiang: totalitarismo moderno - Cato Institute

The New Gulag Archipelago: How China “Reeducates” the Uyghurs and Why the World Should Be Alarmed


Policy Forum • Wednesday, November 28, 2018 • 12:00PM - 1:30PM

Featuring Nury Turkel, Chairman, Uyghur Human Rights Project; Sophie Richardson, China Director, Human Rights Watch; and Sigal Samuel, Religion Editor, The Atlantic. Moderated by Mustafa Akyol, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

The Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people who primarily live in Xinjiang, a northwestern region in China, have long suffered the repressive regime of the Chinese Communist Party. Since early 2017, however, a new wave of repression began, as Chinese authorities initiated a comprehensive “reeducation” program involving state propaganda, mass surveillance, and the internment of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in concentration camps. Using the handful of violent extremists among Uyghurs as a pretext, the Beijing government, as observed by international media and human rights organizations, has embarked on a crusade to erase the identity, religion, culture, and language of a minority.

This story is a major human rights crisis in itself, yet it also signals a broader threat to freedom in other parts of the world. In Xinjiang, Chinese authorities are testing their new products for social control, such as drones disguised as birds to surveil citizens and state-issued tracking devices on human bodies. This cutting-edge totalitarianism can easily be exported to other regimes around the world that are eager to spy on their citizens and persecute their dissidents.

DETAILS & REGISTRATION

sexta-feira, 16 de novembro de 2018

Futuro chanceler: perto de Trump e longe da China - Lu Aiko Otta (OESP)

Futuro chanceler está perto de Trump e longe da China

Escolhido para chefiar Itamaraty diz que mudança climática é uma trama marxista para favorecer País asiático

Lu Aiko Otta, O Estado de S.Paulo 
16 Novembro 2018 | 05h00

O futuro chanceler brasileiro, o embaixador Ernesto Fraga Araújo, de 51 anos, acredita que a mudança climática é um dogma científico influenciado por uma cultura marxista que quer atrapalhar o ocidente e favorecer a China. “Esse dogma vem servindo para justificar o aumento do poder regulador dos Estados sobre a economia e o poder das instituições internacionais sobre os Estados nacionais e suas populações, bem como para sufocar o crescimento econômico nos países capitalistas democráticos e favorecer o crescimento da China”. 
A tese publicada em seu blog, o Metapolítica 17, no último dia 12 de outubro, revela a aversão à esquerda do futuro ministro das Relações Exteriores. Em ensaios e artigos, Ernesto Araújo coloca a China como um inimigo do desenvolvimento do Ocidente. Ele afirma que o “globalismo” tem entre seus projetos “transferir o poder econômico” do Ocidente para o País asiático e que esse movimento era algo que o presidente dos Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, estaria tentando evitar. 
O “globalismo”, diz o futuro chanceler, “surgiu quando alguém entendeu que o consumismo era o melhor caminho para o comunismo” e a ideia de um mundo onde não haveria fronteiras para o comércio e o investimento avançou para um mundo no qual os países não têm mais identidade. “É a globalização econômica que passou a ser pilotada pelo marxismo cultural”. 
O futuro chanceler afirma que o “marxismo cultural” estaria transformando os seres humanos em uma “paçoca maleável” incapaz de assumir um papel social ou ter ideias “que não sejam os chavões politicamente corretos veiculados na mídia”. Esse processo estaria enfraquecendo o Ocidente não do ponto de vista econômico ou militar, mas do ponto de vista da identidade, do “espírito”. Por isso, ele afirma que o “globalismo” é “anti-humano” e “anticristão”. 
Em artigo publicado na revista do Instituto de Pesquisas de Relações Internacionais (Ipri), ele sustenta que Trump é um raro líder que identificou o processo de decadência do Ocidente e decidiu reagir. É nesse contexto que Trump estaria travando sua guerra contra a China. 
A China, diz ele num post, está até hoje sob um sistema de dominação “disfarçado de pragmatismo e abertura econômica”. Em outro post, ele menciona o maoísmo. “Haddad é o poste de Lula. Lula é o poste de Maduro, atual gestor do projeto bolivariano. Maduro é o poste de Chávez. Chávez era o poste do Socialismo do Século XXI de Laclau. Laclau e todo o marxismo disfarçado de pós-marxismo é o poste do maoísmo. O maoísmo é o poste do inferno. Bela linha de transmissão”, escreveu. Ernesto Laclau era um teórico político argentino identificado como “pós-marxista” que viveu entre 1935 e 2014. 
No artigo, Araújo diz que, além de uma política externa, o Brasil precisa de uma metapolítica externa, “para que possamos situar-nos e atuar naquele plano cultural-espiritual em que, muito mais do que no plano do comércio ou da estratégia político-militar, estão-se definindo os destinos do mundo.” 
O quanto das ideias de Araújo será transferido para a prática da política externa brasileira ainda não se sabe. A sua escolha não foi propriamente uma surpresa no Itamaraty, já que ele era cotado há várias semanas para o cargo. Mas avaliava-se que, pelo fato de ser um diplomata recém-promovido a embaixador, ele deveria perder o posto para algum colega mais experiente e ocupar alguma outra posição na equipe do presidente eleito. 
A ruptura dessa lógica causou mal-estar e preocupação. Porém, os diplomatas são treinados para seguir instruções com um rigor semelhante ao dos militares. Até para proteger a instituição, o sentimento predominante é o de “dar uma força” ao jovem chanceler. 
Procurado, Araújo não se manifestou. As assessorias do Itamaraty e da equipe de transição informaram que, por ora, ele não concederá entrevistas.

segunda-feira, 12 de novembro de 2018

O pensamento de Xi Jinping, nova disciplina universitaria - Economist

O pensamento Xi Jinping, agora entronizado ao mesmo título que o pensamento de Mao Tsé-tung, que não sei se ainda é estudado. Por exemplo: "o poder está na ponta do fuzil"; bem representativo.
Essa coisa de "socialismo com características chinesas" seria um pouco como "tutu à mineira", ou "cuscus paulista", ou "feijoada carioca", ou "sarapatel à baiana"?
Acho que ultrapassa a dimensão culinária e vai muito mais longe. Uma longa marcha, enfim...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

China is struggling to explain Xi Jinping Thought

Universities have been mobilised to help

The Economist, 11/11/2018

THE INSTITUTE of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era occupies several rooms in the Marxism department of Renmin University in north Beijing. Qin Xuan, the institute’s director, says it is one of ten similar centres for the study of the philosophy that is attributed to China’s president. The institute has only a small administrative staff but about 70 affiliated academics. It produces research, offers advice to policymakers and organises seminars.
Mr Qin says that part of his team’s job is to explain Xi Thought to journalists, foreign diplomats and Chinese youngsters. In October he and researchers at other such institutes, all founded in the past year, appeared as judges and commentators on a youth-targeted game-show called “Studying the New Era”. It involved students who stood on the bridge of a starship and answered questions, posed by an animated robot, about Mr Xi’s speeches and biography. The show was part of an unusually lively series of programmes about ideology called “Socialism is Kind of Cool”, produced by a provincial television station.
A year has passed since Mr Xi, at a five-yearly Communist Party congress, declared that China had entered a “new era” and outlined how the party should manage this. The congress gave its rubber-stamp approval and revised the party’s charter to enshrine Mr Xi’s thinking on the topic as one of its guiding ideologies (he and Mao are the only ones named in the document as having Thought with a capital T—a mere Theory is ascribed to Deng Xiaoping).
Since Mr Xi took power six years ago, his aim has been fairly clear: to boost the party’s control over China’s fast-changing society while enhancing the country’s influence globally. But his Thought is woolly: a hodgepodge of Dengist and Maoist terminology combined with mostly vague ideas on topics ranging from the environment (making China “beautiful”) to building a “world-class” army.

Cartographic contortions

Xi Thought is now being “hammered home harder” than any set of ideas since Deng launched his “reform and opening” policy nearly 40 years ago, says Kerry Brown of King’s College, London. Most universities have incorporated lectures on the topic into the basic-level ideology courses which all Chinese students are required to take. Some have created additional elective courses for undergraduates. This academic year high schools have been supplied with new materials to help them teach it, too.
The indoctrination effort extends well beyond academia. In May the party’s propaganda department published a 355-page, 30-chapter book which it said provided an “in-depth” understanding of Xi Thought. It said every party cell must study the work. Last month the party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, published on social media a labyrinthine mind-map based on the book (for a high-resolution image of this map, see economist.com/xismind). It is so packed with ideas and quotations that much image-expanding effort, as users complained, is required to make it legible. The map’s complexity conveys the ordeal that those trying to master the Thought are facing.




A slog, but it’s the thought that counts

To help them, some big firms have set up Xi Thought “study rooms”. So too have libraries and community centres. In July Global Times, a tabloid owned by the People’s Daily, crowed that the Thought was being “studied in all corners of society, from local governments to media outlets, from university students to street cleaners”.
One purpose appears to be to enhance Mr Xi’s stature as a leader comparable in power to Mao. Deng Theory is less often mentioned these days. Last month Mr Xi made his first publicised trip in six years to Guangdong, the southern province where many of Deng’s reforms first took hold. During his tour Mr Xi did not even mention the architect of those reforms—a striking omission given that next month China will mark the 40th anniversary of their launch.
In April Qian Xian, a party journal, said there had been continual debate over the meaning of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, the concept at the heart of Deng Theory. In an apparent dig at a weakness of the Theory, the article said “some people” thought the phrase was another way of saying “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”. This, it said, had created “theoretical chaos”. Mr Xi stresses that socialism with Chinese characteristics is in fact about “socialism and not any other kind of –ism” (point two, subsection three on the mind-map).
Deep understanding is not required. The party has a long history of requiring people to mouth leaders’ slogans as a way of showing loyalty. Research on Xi Thought is mostly banal. Kevin Carrico of Macquarie University in Australia studied the Thought through a distance-learning course run by Tsinghua, one of China’s best universities. He wrote in Foreign Policy that the video lectures repeated platitudes that would be “familiar to anyone who has spent time in Beijing in the last 40 years”. They offered, he said, “an unprecedented opportunity to observe the poverty of China’s state-enforced ideology”.
Xi Thought is formally described as a summary of the “collective wisdom” of the party, and to some degree it is. In addition to borrowing from his predecessors, it is likely that Mr Xi relied heavily on the work of Wang Huning, a former academic who has played an important behind-the-scenes role in devising party-think since early this century, including Mr Xi’s notion of a “Chinese dream” (number three on the mind-map, with numerous subordinate points). Last year Mr Wang joined the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the pinnacle of party power.
Yet promoting Mr Xi as China’s thinker-in-chief could put him at risk. The more he is linked to China’s “new era” the harder it will be for him to deflect criticism for anything that goes wrong. A speech late last month by Deng Pufang, one of Deng’s sons, gave a hint of dissent within the elite. In it Mr Deng appeared to criticise Mr Xi’s assertive foreign policy. China, he said, should “keep a sober mind and know our own place”. That idea is not on the map.

For a high-resolution image of this map, see economist.com/xismind



This article appeared in the China section of the print edition under the headline"Mind-boggling"

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2018

A nova Guerra Fria, desta vez EUA contra a China: os EUA perdem agora... (WP)

Minha pequena "teoria": estamos em uma nova Guerra Fria, desta vez não mais a geopolítica entre EUA e URSS entre 1947 e 1990, mas uma Guerra Fria econômica, entre EUA e China, sendo que a China não fez nada para provocar essa nova guerra fria, a não ser o que fazem todos os impérios: roubar, trapacear, espionar, contrabandear, piratear, copiar, chantagear, enfim, tudo normal, como fazem todos os impérios. Só que a China tem a estratégia correta, e já ganhou essa guerra contra os EUA (sem querer ser contra, apenas aproveitar o conhecimento produzido no império americano), e estes vão perder, pois estão numa estratégia defensiva...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 11/10/2018

Under Trump, U.S. enters a new ‘Cold War’ with China



The Washington Post, October 11, 2018

The Trump administration is throwing down the gauntlet in front of China. It has already launched the first major salvos of a trade war. It approved a $330 million arms sale to Taiwan last month. And now its top officials are taking part in a rhetorical offensive against Beijing that shows few signs of abating.
In a speech last week at a conservative think tank, Vice President Pence called for a reset in U.S.-China ties. He attacked China for its alleged hacking and espionage attempts within the United States, its theft of U.S. technological secrets, its supposedly unfair trade practices, its bullying diplomacy abroad and its crackdown on the rights of ethnic and religious minorities at home. Pence argued that the White House now sees Beijing as a rival in an age of “great power competition” — a marked departure from previous administrations, which hoped to accommodate a rising China as a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system.
“The speech’s real significance was its promise that the United States will newly confront Beijing’s worldwide economic and strategic aggression, oppose its internal repression and compel the Chinese government to change its behavior on both fronts,” my colleague Josh Rogin observed. This new China policy, which marries economic nationalism with brute hawkishness, “would have been unthinkable coming from the Obama administration,” he wrote.
Pence reiterated the message in a radio interview aired Wednesday. “China has largely abandoned the pathway of more freedom,” the vice president told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt, cataloguing a list of complaints about Chinese behavior, including the central government’s construction of “an unparalleled surveillance state.”
Elsewhere on Wednesday, a congressional commission that monitors human rights in China discussed Beijing’s sweeping repression of Uighur Muslims in the far-western region of Xinjiang. Reports indicate that as many as 1 million Uighurs and other minorities have been interned in “political reeducation” camps. “The commission’s co-chairmen, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), unveiled a bill that seeks to condemn the Chinese crackdowns in Xinjiang and urged the U.S. government to consider sanctions on Chinese leaders,” my colleagues reported.
Analysts suggest that Chinese officials have been stung by the White House’s overt hostility. “This will look like the declaration of a new Cold War, and what China may do is more important than what it will say about Pence’s speech,” Zhang Baohui, professor of international relations at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, told the New York Times.
Indeed, Beijing has reacted frostily so far. After swinging through the Korean Peninsula over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a brief, combative stay in the Chinese capital. “We demand the U.S. stop such misguided actions,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference, referring to Washington’s harsh words as well as to the trade tensions that have cast “a shadow” over relations.
Wang added that those disagreements would impair cooperation between the two countries on other issues, including North Korea. “Two major powers and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council need to, and should, increase communication and cooperation, taking on responsibilities in international society,” Wang said.
The sparring between the two countries seems set to continue. “Trump vowed last month to impose levies on all Chinese imports if Beijing refuses to abandon trade practices he considers predatory, including a requirement that U.S. companies surrender trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market, and the theft of intellectual property from American companies,” noted my colleagues. “But Xi has dug in his heels, pledging to boost domestic industries, increase exports and pour billions of dollars into infrastructure projects.”
Prominent members of the American business community — including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who visited China this week — lament the tense climate. But they do not have many sympathizers in the administration, which seems enthused by the prospect of an epic clash with a geopolitical adversary.
“To the mix of longtime China hawks and trade hawks now driving U.S. policy, national security matters more than economic friction, and many of the protestations from the U.S. business community may fall on deaf ears,” Walter Russell Mead wrote in a column for the Wall Street Journal. “Both China and the U.S. are likely to move quickly, unpredictably and disruptively as they struggle for advantage; Wall Street should brace itself for further shocks.”
Critics of the administration’s China policy warn that Trump is opting for confrontation over coherent strategy. Is he simply trying to hold the line in the Pacific? Or is he hoping to ultimately push for a radical shake-up in Beijing? “It surely feels good, for officials and policy wonks who have worried about China’s rise for years, to talk frankly about Beijing’s misdeeds and declare that competition is no longer a ‘four-letter word,’” wrote Hal Brands of Bloomberg View. “Yet until the U.S. figures out what its long-term objectives are, until it assembles a comprehensive set of policies for obtaining those objectives, it is unlikely to win the struggle it now seems to be embracing.”
Robert Kaplan, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, argued that U.S. allies in Asia, particularly those enmeshed in dangerous maritime disputes with Beijing, need Washington to play its traditional role of “balancer” in the region — not that of “an outright enemy” of China.
“President Trump has communicated more uncertainty in the minds of our Asian allies than any previous U.S. leader of modern times. This might force them to conclude separate understandings with China,” Kaplan wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “Such a process will be insidious, rarely admitted and almost never on the front pages. Yet, one day, we will wake up and realize that Asia has irrevocably changed.”

sexta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2018

Os mandarins e o seu custo para a sociedade: um caso de auto-defesa na China - The Washington Post

E se eu decidisse atacar os mandarins do Estado brasileiro e o seu custo para a sociedade, como de fato sempre o faço? Eu seria demitido de meu cargo de servidor do mesmo Estado, como sou hoje?
Ou eu seria demitido de meu cargo de professor numa universidade privada, como de fato exerço esse segundo cargo por vontade própria?
O que dizer, por exemplo, do enorme custo para a sociedade chinesa, pelo fato de ter de cobrir as despesas de 20 MILHÕES de mandarins oficiais, os atuais funcionários do Partido, que supostamente exercem "funções produtivas na sociedade"?
Um professor universitário que ousou questionar esse custo, e o seu efeito sobre a economia, foi não apenas demitido, como também bloqueado de qualquer possibilidade de continuar questionando esse fato pelas redes de comunicação social da China comunista.
O assunto é tratado neste "Editorial board" do Washington Post.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

A professor dared tell the truth in China — and was fired


CHINA’S COMMUNIST Party is a massive superstructure that dictates the direction of the government, the media, the economy, social policy, security and more. The party demands fealty and does not tolerate competition. It is also an enormous organization in its own right, with a ubiquitous, paternalistic presence. That was on the mind of a Chinese professor, Yang Shaozheng, when he dared publish an article last year questioning the enormous weight of the party as an organization on China’s economy.
The article came after Mr. Yang’s teaching at Guizhou University was abruptly suspended Nov. 10, as well as his supervision of graduate students. He had been a professor in good standing there for 11 years, teaching game theory and microeconomics. His questions about the Communist Party were trenchant. Mr. Yang estimated that the party’s 20 million officials cost 2 trillion yuan, or about $291 billion annually, to support. In a separate, longer article, he pointed out that in two different countries, one with such a big burden and one without, the one without would do better. The country with a massive overlay of officials, he said, would eventually become “impoverished,” and he added, “As long as nothing changes, the society that has to sustain the more government officials will ultimately collapse.”
Mr. Yang’s first article was sent to the New Tang Dynasty television station, in New York City, that is affiliated with Falun Gong, a spiritual practice persecuted by the Chinese authorities. That surely got him in hot water. In both articles, he raised a discomfiting question for a party that presents itself as integral to China’s future: Why was no one talking about the economic burden of the party? The first article was titled “Can We Really Leave the Party Out of Our Economic Research?”
The professor has slowly been receiving the party’s answer. His blog was shut down. His WeChat account was closed. His classrooms were silenced. His written appeal to the university president was ignored. Then, on Aug. 15, the university expelled him. According to the website China Change, which chronicles human rights issues in China, the reasons given were his “long-running publication and spreading online of politically mistaken speech, writing a large number of politically harmful articles, and creating a deleterious influence on campus and in society.” He was also accused of “being unrepentant” and refusing to accept “educational help.”
Mr. Yang had clearly touched a third rail by raising even the slightest bit of doubt about whether the party was worth the expense. His ouster is another sign of a campaign being undertaken across academia in China to squelch freedom of expression and inquiry. These are at the heart of learning and scholarship, and China will be the loser for undermining them. According to China Change, the professor, shorn of his ability to speak out, turned to Twitter. His first tweet said: “The more I think, the more distressed I become. It’s hard to pursue the truth; it’s hard to speak the truth; and it’s hard to be a truthful person. Being able to freely express ourselves, without terror, is our dream.”


segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2018

China is Not the Soviet Union - Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni é um dos melhores e maiores especialistas em relações internacionais nos EUA. Concordo absolutamente com ele, e fico surpreendido com a paranoia estúpida do Pentágono e das agências de inteligência e segurança dos EUA, ao tentar renovar para a China as mesmas obsessões equivocadas que os mesmos personagens mantinham em relação à URSS durante a Guerra Fria. Acho que impérios quando ficam velhos também ficam estúpidos: bem os EUA exibem apenas pouco mais de cem anos de desempenho imperial, mas como agora tudo corre mais rápido, pode ser que seus declínio também será rápido. Mister Trump faz tudo para acelerar o processo...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida


The National Interest, August 13, 2018  Topic: Security  Region: Asia 

China is Not the Soviet Union

Some are talking about China in the same expansionist terms as the late USSR—these assessments are wrong.
In evaluating recent alarmed assessments of China’s ambitions, one must recall that for decades the American intelligence community, in particular the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), vastly exaggerated the power and hence threat posed by the Soviet Union. These assessments were the basis of huge military outlays by the United States, as well as its military interventions in places such as Vietnam and Afghanistan, which Washington feared were the next “dominoes” to fall. These concerns were scaled back only after the USSR collapsed, mainly under its own weight. We are now told, in an article published in Newsweek , that “China is waging a ‘cold war’ against the United States and trying to displace it as the world’s leading superpower” according to Michael Collins, the deputy assistant director of the CIA's East Asia Mission Center. Newsweek adds that “His comments echo those of other U.S. intelligence chiefs, who earlier warned of the challenge posed by China’s bid for global influence.”
These claims fly in the face of a key observation: during the Cold War the USSR was an expansionist power, which strongly believed that it was called upon to impose its kind of regime on other nations—if need be, to occupy them to bring about the needed changes. The USSR openly sought to dominate the world. China shared this expansionist ideology but abandoned it decades ago. It has not invaded nor occupied any nation and although it prides itself on having developed its own kind of regime (authoritarian capitalism, my words)—it has shown few signs that it seeks to impose this kind of regime on other nations, let alone the world. 
The CIA official cited by Newsweek provides no evidence in support of his claims. It is provided by a leading anti-China hawk Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, in an article published in the Wall Street Journal . She asserts that China has “destabilized the region” by militarizing seven artificial islands. However, where are the signs that the region has been significantly affected, let alone destabilized? There have been no regime changes in any of the countries in the area. None of them have allied themselves with China. On the contrary, the United States has increased its military presence and ties in several of these countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and India. Freedom of navigation has not been curbed, despite various claims of exclusive zones. 
Ms. Economy repeats the often-cited fact that China opened one military base in Djibouti. The United States happens to have one in the same country, and—more than one hundred bases in other countries in the region. Economy is also alarmed by China’s Belt and Road Initiative: “Railroads, ports, pipelines and highways built by Chinese workers and funded by Chinese loans are already connecting countries across six global corridors.” It is true that China—which is highly dependent on a steady flow of energy and raw materials, because it has little of its own—is seeking to develop a variety of pathways to secure this flow. However, the various nations involved benefit from the improved infrastructure and enhanced trade. Economy finds that “Chinese state-owned companies have assumed control or a controlling stake in at least 76 ports in 35 countries” which is part of China’s drive to secure a steady and reliable flow of imports. Economy adds that “despite Beijing’s claims that such ports are only for commercial purposes, Chinese naval ships and submarines have paid visits to several of them.” It is a ritual all powers engage in, to show their feathers, to demonstrate friendly relationships, but hardly evidence of a Cold War. It would be a rather different story if Chinese warships were stationed in these countries. However, so far this is true only for American ones and those of its allies.
China has been reluctant to assume global responsibilities. It presents itself as a developing nation that needs to focus on its own growth. However, in recent years it has significantly increased its contributions to peacekeeping forces, foreign aid, humanitarian aid, and fights against piracy and terrorism. 
To the extent that China does loom larger on the global scene, it is largely due to the leadership vacuum created by President Trump. It is China that now is championing free trade, forging free trade agreements in its own region and with the EU. And it works with Russia and the EU to save the agreement with Iran. The Cold War metaphor seems hardly appropriate. 
Amitai Etzioni is a University Professor and Professor of International Relations at The George Washington University. He is the author of Avoiding War with China. A short film summarizes his international relations work.

sábado, 28 de julho de 2018

Welcome to the Chinese World Order: interests, not values - BergGruen Institute (WP)

Weekend Roundup: China is laying the groundwork for a post-American world order
A China-led world order would be based on interests, not values.

Nathan Gardels, Editor in Chief
Visit the WorldPost at http://www.theworldpost.com 
A map of the new Silk Road, connecting Asia to Europe. (Maxiphoto/Getty)
As the United States abandons the postwar multilateral system it once led, China is stepping into the breach, laying the groundwork for a post-American world order.

We are already getting a glimpse of what is to come through China’s various initiatives, ranging from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to the Belt and Road project and the 16+1 group, which is developing Chinese-financed projects in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. China is also seeking to connect a global electricity grid powered by wind and solar as a means to sustain development while fighting climate change.

This new order will not be like the old. At least for now, it is not multilateral but comprised of multiple bilateral relationships linked to the Chinese core. And given China’s “one world, many systems” perspective, it is based not on a convergence of values, but of interests.

President Xi Jinping has cast these initiatives with a positive spin as building “a community of shared future for mankind.” The most cynical critics regard them as a thin fig leaf disguising China’s quest for global dominance and merely a means to find markets for overproduction as its domestic economy slows. Xi’s vision is also clouded by manifold reports of debt overload and kickbacks for corrupt leaders. In Sri Lanka, China has taken over a port it built because Sri Lanka couldn’t afford the debt. The same dynamic seems to be developing in Pakistan and Laos; the new Malaysian government, meanwhile, has put its Chinese-financed rail project on hold, citing corruption and disadvantageous terms negotiated by the previous regime.

There is no mileage in being naive about China’s ambitions and its self-interested motives. But lining up with hostility against China’s initiatives the way Joseph Stalin and his minions did toward the Marshall Plan after World War II — which did wonders for a devastated Europe while also benefiting the United States through purchases of imports from American companies that were required to cross the Atlantic on American merchant ships — is a mistaken course for the West. And let’s not forget that the American expansion of railroads westward in the 19th century also led to a crisis of corruption and over-indebtedness. Despite the turmoil and losses, when it was all sorted out, the result in the end was a connected continent that became a foundation of American prosperity.

Twenty years from now, the same will likely be true of Eurasia and Africa as a result of China’s initiatives, even with all of their faults. That is why, to diminish the downsides, the proper stance would be for the West to join with China’s efforts at global development so that the process is more transparent and less corrupt, with terms that don’t foster debt traps and amount to creditor imperialism. The experience of the “clean, lean and green” AIIB, which many Western nations — though not the United States — have joined, shows that high standards can be imposed if the West is a participant instead of an outsider as the new order is being built.

After all, it is not as if Western nations on their own are going to finance and construct infrastructure around the world. No one needs reminding that the United States has been unable to build a single high-speed rail project anywhere on its vast territory. By and large, it can’t even manage to finance the repair of old infrastructure, much less invest in anything new. The European Union remains mired in deep disagreements about how to manage its own internal finances.

While critics carp from the sidelines, those in need of help are grateful. “When we were faced with financial crisis, amidst the wider challenges of the E.U., China helped us,” Greece’s former prime minister George Papandreou recalled in a recent conversation with me. “China was one of the few nations to buy our sovereign bonds. This was an important vote of confidence. Then China began its investment in the Port of Piraeus, an early investment that is now one of the major components of the new maritime Silk Road. These investments showed great trust in my country’s capacity to overcome the crisis, where few others would.”

In The WorldPost this week, we address these issues of a growing vacuum in the world order and China’s attempt to fill it, for good and for ill.

Ali Wyne sees the demise of the American-led postwar order as less a consequence of President Trump’s wrecking ball and more a victim of its own success. That order, built to avoid another devastating world war among major powers, achieved its goal. Along with an open trading regime, it was this stable absence of global conflict that enabled China’s peaceful rise.

The result of success, Wyne contends, has been a complacency that has eroded the founding urgency that sustained a broad and deep commitment of states and their publics. That makes revitalizing the order a challenge. “The modernization of the world order would ideally result from farsighted diplomacy,” writes Wyne. “It is more likely, though, that policymakers will do little more than push for incremental improvements to an inadequate system” thereby allowing “forces — ranging from external challenges to populist uprisings — to continue testing its foundations. The potential result of indefinite erosion — a vacuum in order, without a coherent alternative to replace it — is unpalatable.”

Noting that the creation of new orders has historically followed upon cataclysmic events like the world wars, Wyne concludes: “In a nuclear age, though, it is terrifying to consider what might have to occur for a new order to emerge.”

To the extent that China is fostering an alternative to the vacuum, Jonathan Hillman doesn’t like what he sees. “The Belt and Road is a masterstroke in geopolitical advertising. Wrapping the effort in Silk Road mythology, Xi is effectively selling a Sino-centric order to the world,” he writes from Budapest. “In practice, the Belt and Road is a sea of bilateral deals between China and participating countries, including many markets where few others dare to go. More than half of the countries participating in the Belt and Road have sovereign debt ratings that are either junk or not graded. China’s emphasis on building big-ticket infrastructure projects resonates with foreign leaders looking to impress at home and establish a legacy.”

For Hillman, this mix of a debt trap with the megalomania of corrupt local autocrats will not spell stability and progress but a costly waste of resources as nations become tributaries beholden to Chinese largesse.

As China extends its influence globally, it will inexorably be drawn into local conflicts, just as the United States was in its period of dominance. “For decades, Beijing refrained from meddling with sovereign nations’ internal affairs,” Denise Hruby writes from Juba, South Sudan, where the China National Petroleum Company owns a 40 percent share of the country’s largest oil fields. “As long as economic ties flourished, it would turn a blind eye toward human rights abuses and corruption. But with increasing investments abroad comes more clout, and as the United States scales back its international commitments, China is emerging as an obvious development partner.”

Hruby reports that while China initially sought a direct role in ending the South Sudan conflict, which threatens its investments, it was soon overwhelmed by the complexity of militia and tribal politics. China fields its largest contingent of U.N. peacekeeping forces there, but it has reverted to a stance that “African problems must have African solutions” and looks to the African Union and other local mediators to resolve the crisis while it stands on the sidelines.

Jeffrey Sachs sees Trump’s effort to staunch China’s newfound influence while abandoning America’s own successful model of development as achieving the opposite of its intent. “American prosperity since World War II has been built upon science and technology breakthroughs spurred by a powerful innovation system linking the federal government, business, academia and venture capital,” he writes. “U.S. innovation policy has been successfully emulated in Europe and Asia, most recently by China. President Trump’s trade war against China aims to slow China’s technology ascent but is misguided and doomed to fail; instead, American prosperity should be assured by doing what America does best: innovating at home and trading with the rest of the world.”
Nathan Gardels, Editor in Chief
Kathleen Miles, Executive Editor 
Dawn Nakagawa, Vice President of Operations
Peter Mellgard, Features Editor 
Alex Gardels, Video Editor 
Clarissa Pharr, Associate Editor 
Rosa O’Hara, Social Editor 

The WorldPost, a partnership of the Berggruen Institute and The Washington Post, is an award-winning global media platform that aims to be a place where the world meets. We seek to make sense of an interdependent yet fragmenting world by commissioning voices that cross cultural and political boundaries. Publishing op-eds and features from around the globe, we work from a worldwide perspective looking around rather than a national perspective looking out.