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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. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;

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

terça-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2021

O submundo da violência política criada pelo criminoso Trump - CGTN

 Opinion 12:09, 12-Jan-2021


Why Trump ban is a band-aid to a bullet wound
Updated 14:55, 12-Jan-2021
CGTN Insight

An armed simpleton who invades a pizza restaurant to break up an imaginary pedophile ring he read about online is a national punchline.

Thousands of armed believers launching a deadly attack on Congress is a national security threat.

The mob that stormed Congress on January 6 was not simply whipped into a frenzy by President Donald Trump's speech in front of the White House earlier that day.

Rather, the participants had coalesced over time around conspiracies alleging a Democratic child sex ring and mass election fraud, and started organizing online in December, after the president had started hyping the rally, tweeting to followers, "Be there, will be wild!"

The violence that ensued was organized online, complete with GoFundMe pages and advice to bring zip ties and weapons to arrest lawmakers – or rope to hang them.

Calls for violence occurred on mainstream sites like Twitter and TikTok. On niche web sites and platforms like Parler and Gab, people talked in detail about plans to violently storm the Capitol.

Insurrectionists are continuing their online planning. Some have called for an armed march on all U.S. state capitols on January 17. There are calls for a Million Militia March in Washington on January 20, the day of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

In response to the looming storm, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms have banned Trump. The right wing social media platform Parler has been driven offline for the time being.

Screenshot of an official blog post by Twitter explaining the reason for the suspension of U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter account.

These responses seem like applying a band-aid to a bullet wound.

First, they won't work. If U.S. authorities are incapable of acting on danger signs posted on Facebook, will banning Trump and closing one of many social media platforms improve their capability?

This leads to the second problem. Big tech corporations have chosen to ban Trump and Parler to solve public relations problems and protect their shareholders.

They don't care about online extremism, because until now it has not been a threat to their bottom line.

As part of Trump's feud with big tech, the outgoing president and his allies want to revoke the law known as Section 230, which protects internet companies from being liable for content published by a third party.

The aspect of this law that the right wing dislikes protects tech companies from getting into trouble for the political decisions behind their moderation decisions.

Many right-wingers want content on the internet to be unregulated unless it violates a law. In this view, hate speech, which is legal in the U.S., could not be banned by a company like Facebook.

However, more generally, Section 230 also removes any liability for extremist content, making it safe for big tech to allow people to advocate views that could hurt society or lead to violence to flourish.

This protection from liability is why big tech is not particularly worried about its impact on U.S. national security. This was highlighted by the response to threat of alleged foreign interference in national elections – first ignoring it, then doing as little as possible.

This is also why tech companies make a big deal of banning Trump, but take no responsibility for fomenting the January 6 violence, and no substantive action to prevent it from happening again.

Exceptions to Section 230 have been carved out for child exploitation and prostitution. So why hasn't Section 230 been revised to hold big tech responsible for allowing calls for violent extremism?

The prosaic answer is that this kind of moderation would cost a lot of money and hurt tech companies' bottom line. More broadly, this could push Big Tech into shortcuts and workarounds that would chill free speech, raising First Amendment issues.

As the threat to the U.S. government changes from an abstraction to attacks being planned for later to this month, the rules around online content are dangerously broken, with no fix in sight.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com.) 

domingo, 13 de dezembro de 2020

Os cinco anos do acordo de Paris, segundo Beijing (CGTN)

 Climate 18:39, 12-Dec-2020

Paris climate accord turns 5: Is the world doing enough to save itself?
Updated 12:35, 13-Dec-2020

Hours before the Paris Agreement came to fruition, there were still doubts if it was going to happen.

After all, too many things could go wrong in any treaty that involves 196 countries, especially with the failure of the last conference held in Copenhagen fresh on the mind. Even tiny nuances in wording could send the decades-long negotiations back to the drawing table, again.

The grueling process that led up to the landmark climate deal was often compared to running a marathon. For two weeks, diplomats huddled in the town of Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris, holding hotel room meetings late into the night while scanning details as small as a punctuation mark within the mountains of documents.

The exhausting days and nights culminated on Saturday, five years ago, when French foreign minister Laurent Fabius finally appeared on stage after a two-hour delay and banged down the small green-topped gavel that signified global cooperation – the deal that involved every nation on Earth was approved.

In the most ambitious climate deal in history, all countries are required to limit greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the overarching goal of bringing global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and constraining temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

If the 2-degree-Celsius threshold is breached, argued the world's top scientists, a series of natural disasters such as the sea-level rise and prolonged flood and drought would set the world on an irreversible course to climate catastrophe and lead to some 1.2 billion people being displaced by 2050, according to a recent analysis by the Institute for Economics and Peace.


Diverged paths

After the deal was reached, China and the United States – the world's biggest and second-biggest polluters – have taken drastically different paths in responding to the threat of climate change.

Riding on a wave of populism, U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly cast doubt on global warming, calling it an "expensive bullshit" and a "hoax" created by the Chinese to "make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." After rolling back nearly 100 environmental initiatives enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump ultimately fulfilled his campaign promise of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement earlier last month.

"The Paris Agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country's expense," Trump stated after the decision. "They don't put America first. I do, and I always will."

Trump's brazen cynicism in the face of a pending global crisis was criticized by world leaders, including U.S. allies such as France and Canada. Nonetheless, U.S. emissions somewhat decreased "because the forces of the market and businesses are going in the opposite direction," said Erik Solheim, former UN Environment Executive Director, during an interview with CGTN. "Big U.S. companies are far ahead of politics."

Meanwhile, China and other nations have stepped up their effort in developing renewable energy and reduced their reliance on fossil fuels, from government policies to market forces. China's forest area has expanded fast for the past decade, leading the world in forest growth. The country has also contributed massively in clean R&D, reaching $6.3 billion – the first among all member states. Half of the world's solar panels are sourced from China, according to Solheim, also former UN under-secretary-general.

The European Union (EU), the planet's third-largest emitter, provided the most public climate fund to developing nations, and in the meantime spent 20 percent of its budget on curbing global warming between 2014 and 2020.

In the southern hemisphere, Australia has been developing the fuel of the future that won't produce any CO2 – hydrogen.

"Five years on, it's clear the Paris Agreement is driving climate action," said Professor Niklas Höhne of NewClimate Institute. "Not only is our warming projection for government climate pledges falling to just over two degrees, a level that puts the Paris Agreement 1.5 Celsius target within reach, but we're also seeing a drop in projects for real world action."

In the absence of the U.S., the EU, China, India, and several other large emitters launched the International Platform on Sustainable Finance to mobilize private investment into environmental sustainability.

Adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, Paris, France. /Reuters

Looking to work in unison

Fighting climate change is a long-haul one, requiring effort from all parties involved – governments, businesses, academics, and the public. According to data from the Climate Action Tracker in December 2020, "2.9 is the median of the low and high ends of current policy projections." The slight fall from 3.6 degrees Celsius, it predicted five years ago, could partly be attributed to the historic climate agreement.

But the world could have done more. If countries had taken action a decade ago, they would have needed to cut emissions by 3.3 percent every year, according to the 2019 emissions gap report released by the UN Environment Program. Now they have to meet an annual reduction of 7.6 percent till 2030, a threshold most countries find out of reach with their current climate action plans.

"Now we are at the moment in history when all the forces are going at the same time in the right direction," Solheim noted. "But the speed is too slow."

One of the major obstacles came from the absence of the world's biggest historical emitter and second-largest emitter currently. But with a Joe Biden presidency approaching, climate cooperation among major polluters is set for a seismic shift. Biden appointed John Kerry – the key U.S. official in shaping the Paris climate accord – the U.S.'s first climate envoy, expected to take the country out of the climate change limbo by facilitating a transition away from coal, oil, and natural gas toward renewable energy. "Five years ago today, the world gathered to adopt the Paris Agreement on climate change. And in 39 days, the United States is going to rejoin it," Biden tweeted on Saturday. 

Read more: Climate cooperation could signify return to China-U.S. diplomacy

Across the pond, China has committed to leveling off carbon emissions no later than 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. "China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by adopting more vigorous policies and measures," said Chinese President Xi Jinping, who called for a "green revolution" during the 75th session of United Nations General Assembly held in September. He reiterated on Saturday some commitments for 2030, including lowering CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by over 65 percent from the 2005 level, and increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25 percent.

Read more: Full text: Xi Jinping's speech at Climate Ambition Summit 2020

"By the term 'green revolution,' it means we have to undergo a revolution of not just production mode but also lifestyle," Fang Li, China director of the World Resources Institute, told CGTN. Consumers are both contributors and victims to emissions and hence must be involved in this "revolution." Her institute estimates that the water used to produce food that has been wasted could sustain Beijing for eight years.

"The declaration made by Xi that China will go carbon neutral by 2060 sent shockwaves into the entire global environmental system," Solheim said. Japan and South Korea, which heavily rely on fossil fuels, followed up to make carbon-neutral pledge by 2050.

India – the fourth largest emitter – intends to cut emissions intensity by 33 to 35 percent below 2005 levels, along with generating 40 percent of electricity from non-fossil-fuel resources by 2030.

"It's widely anticipated that China, the U.S., the EU, and other member states can sit at the table and look for feasible solutions in the next few years," Fang added. Both she and Solheim agree that constructive competition will probably dominate future climate actions. "There's nothing bad if we have a green competition on the verge of irreversible climate change," said Solheim.

(Video editor: Chen Shi)

segunda-feira, 26 de outubro de 2020

China debate mais um plano quinquenal de desenvolvimento - CGTN

 A China insiste em ter planos de desenvolvimento, o que não é desconhecido no Brasil: nós temos os nossos PPAs, por exemplo, nas eles não parecem servir para grande coisa.

A questão principal é que a China tem um governo autoritário que acredita nos seus planos, e tem meios de implementá-los, mas não apenas por ter um Estado autocrático, e sim por ter mandarins instruídos e guiados basicamente pela ideia do desenvolvimento, o que também já foi uma obsessão nacional (mas deixou de ser, há muito tempo).

Esquecendo essa mistificação do “socialismo com características chinesas” (que representa apenas uma legitimação para a ditadura do PCC), o fato é que a China conduziu e conduz o mais impressionante processo de modernização mais impressionante da história mundial, numa escala e dimensões jamais conhecidos na história humana e na economia mundial.

Esta matéria da CGTN explica um pouco o que está em jogo nesta conjuntura e nos próximos 15 anos. Não tenho nenhuma dúvida de que a China já venceu a presente Guerra Fria econômica — que não foi ela que iniciou — e que, infelizmente, o mundo em geral e os países pobres em particular não vão se beneficiar de uma possível e necessária cooperação (e mesmo integração econômica) entre a China e os EUA. Ficará para o futuro, quando os EUA tiverem lideranças mais esclarecidas, ou quando eles tiverem decaído bem mais, ao ponto de se tornarem mais humildes. Aposto mais nesta segunda hipótese...

Paulo Roberto de Almeida

How will China shape its new journey for the coming five years?
Updated 21:19, 26-Oct-2020

China is holding the widely-anticipated fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing starting from Monday, with a focus on the blueprint for the country's future.

Undoubtedly, China will keep upholding the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC and staying on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, but on the future prospects of the world's second-largest economy as it prepares economic and social development plans for the next five years, questions remain.

How will China navigate this new stage of development? What will China's economic and social roadmap be in the post-epidemic era? The following is a comprehensive guide for you to catch the pulse of the meeting.

Why does the meeting matter?

The highest decision-making bodies of the CPC, China's ruling party, are composed of two parts: the CPC National Congress, and the CPC Central Committee elected by its national congress.

Here is a review of all such plenary sessions since late 2012:

The fourth plenary session last year reviewed and adopted the CPC Central Committee's decision on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance.

According to the agenda of this year's session, the proposals for formulating the country's 14th Five-Year (2021-2025) Plan for Economic and Social Development and future targets for 2035 will be assessed.

Drawn up every five years since 1953, the FYP is a major feature of China's governance system, setting growth targets and defining economic and social development policies to ensure national strategies keep pace with the times.

Since 1953, China has formulated and implemented 13 FYPs. This year, for the first time, a 15-year "long-term vision" is mentioned along with the 14th version of the FYP, aiming for 2035 when the country's socialist modernization is expected to be basically achieved.

Eyes on China's plan for coming years

Development goals set for the 13th FYP period (2016-2020) are about to be accomplished, which will mark a new and major step forward in China's economic and scientific power, as well as national strength.

Analysts said that given growing uncertainties, the 14th FYP has attracted great attention, as it will be the first FYP after China accomplishes building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realizing its first centennial goal in 2020, as well as making all-out efforts to achieve its second centennial goal – to build a great modern socialist country around 2049.

"The 14th Five-Year Plan will be a critical plan, drawn up at a critical time," said Wang Changlin, president of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has said that the FYP is a "vivid practice of China's socialist democracy." But how?

China has solicited public opinions online on compiling the 14th FYP since August 15, and by convening and presiding over a number of symposiums, Chinese President Xi Jinping has directly listened to opinions and advice on the country's economic and social development in the 2021-2025 plan period from all walks of society.

Read more:

Xi Jinping encourages public advice on China's 14th Five-Year Plan


After gathering suggestions widely, how will the blueprint be drawn up? 

Clues can be found from the Political Bureau's meetings, during which the following principles are stressed in making the 14th FYP – upholding the overall leadership of the CPC, maintaining and improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, putting people first, building a new development pattern, deepening reform and opening up and forestalling and defusing major risks and challenges.

Adhering to these key points, three aspects may be highlighted in the plan.

- Dual circulation

First introduced in May, the new development pattern known as "dual circulation," which takes the domestic market as the mainstay while letting domestic and foreign markets boost each other, has been placed high on the authorities' agenda.

In pursuing the new development pattern, scientific and technological innovation, especially making breakthroughs in core technologies, is widely regarded as the key to shaping domestic circulation.

Read more:

Guide to China's dual circulation economy


When talking about what to expect for the next five-year plan, Bert Hofman, former World Bank Country Director for China, told CGTN during an interview that the dual circulation is a vital strategy in China's economic blueprint.

"Two elements of more domestic demand and more domestic capability and innovation are, I think, an important part of the dual circulation. It does not mean that China is going to close down," he said, and added that the domestic circulation is going to be more important than the international circulation when rebalancing towards more domestic capabilities.

"Over the past decade, China has increased household consumption in GDP a little bit, from 35 percent to about 40 percent but it has a long way to go," he said.

- High-quality development in economy

While chairing a meeting on the new plan in November last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed several principles of making the new plan, including to keep the economy running within a reasonable range, to promote high-quality development, to emphasize the vision of people-centered development and to highlight the role of reform and innovation in tackling difficulties.

Following the principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, all regions and departments have deepened the all-round reform, taken the initiative to further open up and maintained medium-high economic growth within a reasonable range, he said.

Read more:

China unveils guideline on improving the socialist market economy

Wang Tao, the chief China economist at UBS Investment Bank, predicted in his article that the 14th FYP will emphasize fostering structural changes domestically and improve the quality of growth.

"This means that the 14th FYP will likely set ambitious targets for urbanization (likely another 5-point increase in hukou urbanization rate), new urban employment growth (possibly another $50 million in 2021-25), increase in shares of consumption and services, improvement in the social safety net, and an increase in education and research and development spending," said the economist.

- People's sense of fulfillment, happiness and security

Aside from providing the general direction, the 14th FYP is more like "a super policy package" – setting quantitative indexes on many fields, including economic growth and environmental protection, and listing major programs and infrastructure projects affecting people's livelihood, Yan Yilong, a research fellow with the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times.

Meeting people's ever-growing needs for a better life has always been an important issue in China, and Xi Jinping has called for efforts in promoting the development of China's education, culture, health and sports sectors to reach the goal.

In this regard, policies concerning these areas will undoubtedly be covered in the 14th FYP.

Managing editor: Duan Fengyuan
Video editor: Zhang Rongyi 
Copy editor: Moosa Abbas
Chief editor: Chen Ran
Producer: Dang Zheng 
Managing director: Zhang Shilei