April 19, 2006

Haves V. Have-nots

WARNING: This post contains references to Australia. If you do not know the difference between Australia and Austria, skip ahead...

Rioting in the Solomon Islands cannot be disassociated from Australia's support for the Bush US corporate global fascist state. We think these island people are ignorant savages - if we think of them at all - but they have been watching carefully as we mutate into an arm of corporate global power. Now we want to impose an unpopular business-friendly regime on them? Get serious!

Today's meeting between Bush and President Hu Jintao of China poses similar questions of cultural and economic stereotypes, I recommend US readers take a look at the UK Inedependent's coverage:
Some analysts see America entering a period of "managed decline" not unlike that which Britain has experienced since the end of the Second World War and the end of empire...

More than half of all industrial goods are made in [China's] factories. The production and export of these goods, their prices kept low by Beijing's manipulation of the renminbi currency, has generated the cash behind China's growing economic power...

But this opening has been undermined before Mr Hu even arrives. The Chinese leader is being given full military honours on arrival but Mr Hu's journey is not being labelled an official "state visit" as such, but something further down the chain.

Face matters in Asia, and some are reading this as a loss of face for Mr Hu. A dangerous move perhaps, given the shape of things to come.
And just check out these stats on China:

* 1.3 billion


* World's fastest growing economy

* Economy has grown 9.5 per cent annually for 25 years

* GDP quadrupled from 1980 to 2000

* 400 million people have been lifted out of poverty in 25 years


* 30th largest US trading partner in 1977; now third

* World's second largest recipient of foreign direct investment

* US exports have grown five times faster than to rest of the world. US corporations have invested more than $50bn in China

* Worker earns 5-10 per cent of an American worker's wage

* 2004: Produced half of all digital cameras and 60 per cent of microwaves, photocopiers and DVD players in the world


* Has 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities

* Half of the population has polluted water supply

* Produces 3.7 billion tons of sewage a day

* World's largest consumer of coal; second only to US for oil


* 2005: China says it spent $30bn on its military, the Pentagon says $90bn was spent

* 2000: Estimated size is 2.5 million personnel; 10,000 tanks; 400 nuclear warheads


* 2003: UN estimates 840,000 have HIV

* 17 per cent of people live on less than a $1 a day

* One-third of the world's cigarettes are smoked in China
The USA's reign as the "world's only superpower" was always going to be short. In the wake of the Cold War, it was indeed an historic opportunity. Sadly, it has already been squandered by loud-mouthed fools ignorant of global realities.


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