Saturday, January 22, 2011

China is not Russia: Why the US and China can be strategic partners

In the cold war mindset,a country that didnt agree with you ideologicallywas an adversary.
Many in the US view China's economic rise in adversarial terms but China is no USSR.
It is not communist in the strict sense of the world and its pursuit of export market capitalism rules it out of the strictly marxist-lennist lane.
To understand that China is not the ideological opposite of the United States one needs to go back to the power struggle between Mao Tse Tung and Deng Xiopeng in the early 1970s.
Chairman Mao, at the time the paramount leader of China,espoused marxist ideology and wanted China to follow a purist leftist doctrine in its politics and economy. Deng Xiopeng who is the father of China's economic reformation-and therefore it's recent rise to the second largest economy in the world,wanted China to pursue a leftist political ideology but a more liberal economic regime.
China and the United States need each other. They need to see themselves as strategic partners in the coming decades.
A strong and vibrant United States is good for China. Most of China's foreign reserves are in US dollars. The United States is a leading destination of Chinese products.
All major US corporations have operations in China where labor and expertise are cheap.
China constitutes a huge market for US products. The buyer of the Hummer brand of General motors was from China and almost all US computer hard ware companies such as Hewlett Packard,Dell etc have operations in China.
The US and China can strike up a dual partnership that can shape the coming decades.
The thorny issues of a devalued Chinese currency and human rights concerns can be resolved diplomatically without a recourse to more adversorial approaches.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hope fading for Gbagbo removal from power

Hope is fading fast for the removal of Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivorian leader who defied a presidential election loss and has continued on president despite stringent international pressure to step down.
Diplomatic efforts and threats of his removal by force seem to have done little to weaken his resolve to cling to power despite clearly losing to Outtara according to the Independent Electoral commission of Ivory Coast and UN observers.
Despite several diplomatic pleas including visits by Thabo Mbeki,and an ECOWAS presidents' delegation and Kenyan Prime Minister Odinga's visits to Abidjan under AU urging to plead with Gbagbo to step down, the Ivorian leader is still hanging tough and rejecting any pleas to vanquish state power.
The United States recently proposed to him a generous offer for a post-presidential residency in America which he flatly declined.
Even threats of a military removal have not bore fruit.
And cracks are beginning to emerge in West Africa's ECOWAS resolve to bring Gbagbo to relinquish power.
Ghana announced yesterday that it would not take part in the military removal of Gbagbo because its military is 'overstreched',a clear signal that the alliance against Gbagbo's removal is cracking.
Already the international press is talking about a 'unity government', language which just a few days ago, was alien territory.
It would appear that the prospects of Gbagbo's removal from power are fading fast and a Kenyan-Zimbabwe option seem progressively alluring.
The losers will be Ivory Coast and electoral democracy on the African continent.
The Kenyan and Zimbabwean precedent and now in Ivory Coast seems to point to the demise of African presidential electoral democracy.