Archive for the ‘influence’ Category

U.S. Intelligence Experts Point To Future American Decline

November 21, 2008

The political, economic and military influence of the United States will substantially decline over the next two decades, according to the country’s leading intelligence organisation.

By Alex Spillius
The Telegraph (UK)
The National Intelligence Council analysis Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World will serve as a sobering reminder to President-Elect Barack Obama of the challenges he faces leading a country that might no longer be able to “call the shots alone”.

The use of nuclear weapons will grow increasingly likely by 2025, the report found, forecasting a tense, unstable world shadowed by war.

“The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over scarce resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons.”

Mr Obama will assume power in January with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a resurgent Russia, an Iran determined to build a nuclear bomb and instability over the Palestinian territories.

The report also predicted that some African and South Asian states may wither away altogether, and organised crime could take over at least one state in central Europe.

Struggling to find a bright spot, researchers concluded that terrorism could decline if “economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced”.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/north
america/usa/barackobama/3492802/US-influence
-to-decline-NIC-intelligence-report-predicts.html

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Fading American Economic and Military Dominance; Even More Global Danger – Experts

November 19, 2008

The top U.S. intelligence panel this week is expected to issue a snapshot of the world in 2025, in a report that predicts fading American economic and military dominance and warns of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

By Nicholas Kralev
The Washington Times

The predictions come from the National Intellignce Council (NIC), part of Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell’s office.

The NIC report, a draft copy of which is titled “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World,” is slated for release as early as Thursday.

The report also predicts “a unified Korea” is likely by then, and that China  will be the world’s second-largest economy and a major military power.

“The United States will remain the single most powerful country, although less dominant,” according to a “working draft” of the document obtained by The Washington Times. “Shrinking economic and military capabilities may force the U.S. into a difficult set of tradeoffs between domestic and foreign-policy priorities.”

A senior intelligence official said some details have changed in the final report, but “the thrust is the same.”

The draft says:

“The next 20 years of transition toward a new international system are fraught with risks, such as a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and possible interstate conflicts over resources.”

“We see a unified Korea as likely by 2025 and assess the peninsula will probably be denuclearized, either via ongoing diplomacy or as a necessary condition for international acceptance of and cooperation with a needy new Korea.”

Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence for analysis and chairman of the NIC, said Tuesday that the report “should not be viewed as a prediction.” Even “projection” is not entirely correct, he said, though he used that word several times during a luncheon at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/nov/19/panel-foresees-lesser-us-role/

Russia foresees new problems with the West

March 18, 2008

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The West may face new diplomatic problems with resurgent Russia because of European and U.S. efforts to stifle Moscow‘s influence, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in an annual review on Tuesday.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L), US Secretary of State ...
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L), US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (C) and Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov hold a press conference after talks in Moscow. The United States and Russia failed in talks here Tuesday to bridge gaps over US missile defence plans and the fate of the main strategic arms treaty, but vowed to make a clean break with past tensions.(AFP/Pool/Kevin Lamarque)

“The events of 2007 show that one cannot exclude problems in global politics in the period to come,” said the document posted on the ministry Web site (www.mid.ru). “This primarily refers to Europe where the inertia of bloc approaches…is most visible.”

Last year saw tough anti-Western rhetoric coming from the Kremlin as it prepared for a transfer of power from President Vladimir Putin to his handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev, who takes office on May 7 after winning this month’s election.

Russia has clashed with the United States over Washington’s plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Europe, over Iran and Western recognition of independence for Serbia‘s breakaway province of Kosovo.

Echoing earlier statements by Putin, the review criticized U.S. policy as “destructive … aimed at breaking strategic stability, imposing its military superiority in the world.”

It also criticized the European Union for what is viewed in Moscow as an attempt to restrict Russia’s influence.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080318/wl_nm/russia_diplomacy_dc_1

Japan urges China to sway global issues

December 28, 2007
By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – Japan urged China to use its growing influence to make an impact on key global issues such as climate change as the visiting Japanese prime minister opened a day of summit talks Friday with Chinese leaders.

The countries have a history of animosity stemming from disputes over territory, resources and wartime history, but Yasuo Fukuda’s four-day visit — his first as prime minister — follows several friendly meetings between leaders and a Chinese warship’s historic port call to Japan.

“In the long history of our relations, there has never been a time when Japan and China has had more influence or responsibilities in Asia and the world,” Fukuda said at a joint news conference with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071228/ap_on_re_as/china_japan_summit;_
ylt=Aozw7X8S854_ueLU0ACGBaKs0NUE

China flexes its new muscle

December 20, 2007

By Willie Lam
International Herald Tribune
December 20, 2007

Beijing’s decision to cancel a port visit to Hong Kong by the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk last month could go down in diplomatic history as a watershed in China’s foreign policy.

The high-decibel “no” to the carrier group – and also to the U.S. frigate Reuben James, which wanted to dock at Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve – coincides with a tough stance Beijing has assumed in sovereignty disputes with Vietnam over islets in the South China Sea.

China also has reacted with uncharacteristic vehemence to the hospitality that the United States, Canada and especially Germany have shown the Dalai Lama.

It appears that the Chinese Communist Party leaders have decided to flex their muscles in a way they deem commensurate with China’s new-found quasi-superpower status.

The late Deng Xiaoping’s 1990s-era axiom for Chinese diplomats – “keep a low profile and never take the lead” – seems passé. The same is true for Deng’s dictum on how to handle America: “Work on cooperation and avoid confrontation.”

Instead, after decades of teeth-gnashing silence, Beijing is publicly thumbing its nose at what it perceives to be U.S. interference in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Kitty Hawk incident coincided with one of the largest shows of force by the Chinese military this year, a war game over vast swaths of the South and East China Seas. Crack units from four major People’s Liberation Army divisions test-fired Russian-procured and indigenously developed hardware, including 022 stealth missiles and Russian-made SS-N-27 “Club” anti-ship cruise missiles.

Apart from simulating a naval blockade of Taiwan, the exercises were meant to warn Washington and Japan against “meddling” in the Taiwan Strait.

It did not appear accidental that the United States, in apparent protest over the Kitty Hawk incident, had the carrier sail through the Strait on the way back to its base in Yokosuka, Japan.

That move prompted Beijing to express “serious concern,” implying that foreign vessels wishing to traverse the strait had to seek China’s approval, even though the strait has always been regarded as international waters.

The Taiwan-related war games extended well beyond the Taiwan Strait. The PLA conducted exercises near the Paracel Islands, claimed by Vietnam, drawing a protest from Hanoi.

In a related development, thousands of Vietnamese held demonstrations earlier this month outside the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi over Beijing’s establishment of the new Sansha municipality in Hainan Province, which will have jurisdiction over three islets Vietnam claims in the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos.

PLA forces also demolished a few unmanned Indian forward posts near two Indian bunkers in the vicinity of the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet border. The Indian media reported that Beijing told New Delhi that the bunkers violated Chinese territorial integrity.

And China adopted what analysts called an unusually strident stance at the recent annual China-EU summit meeting in Beijing. The deputy prime minister in charge of foreign trade, Wu Yi, heatedly disputed remarks made by the EU trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, on Beijing’s supposed failure to stem the export to Europe of “a tidal wave of counterfeit goods.”

Moments after Mandelson finished his speech, Wu rushed to his side and issued a verbal protest. “I am extremely dissatisfied”‘ with Mandelson’s speech, she told astounded reporters.

While meeting EU leaders, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao launched a strong attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel for according VIP treatment to the Dalai Lama. He demanded that Berlin “acknowledge and rectify” its mistakes.

Beijing’s high-profile quarrels with the United States, Vietnam and Germany have followed a pattern of power projection that began last January when PLA missiles downed an old weather satellite. The feat, widely perceived in the West as the start of the PLA’s militarization of space, was followed by the successful launching of the country’s first lunar probe.

Moreover, the PLA has departed from its usual protocol of keeping new weapons under wraps. Semi-official military Web sites have recently showcased soon-to-be-deployed hardware ranging from the Jian-12 jet fighter to the Jin-class submarine, which is said to carry nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.

According to Hong Yuan, a military expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the defense concerns of the new leadership and the force projection “have gone way beyond the Taiwan Strait.” Hong sees the next five years as “a period of rapid development in areas ranging from the PLA’s establishment, institutions and hardware to the extent and means of force projection.”

The show of strength also bolsters the leadership at home at a time when old Marxist values are losinmg their luster. As Wen said at the ceremony marking China’s impending conquest of the moon, the achievement was “a major manifestation of the increase in our comprehensive national strength and the ceaseless enhancement of our innovative ability.”

Beijing is undoubtedly aware that such assertiveness could feed fears abroad of a “China threat.” But both the Communist Party and the Army leaders seem convinced that this is the price the reinvigorated dragon has to pay to keep its place in the sun.

Willy Lam is an adjunct professor of China studies at Akita International University, Japan, and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

From Peace and Freedom: Our thanks to Professor Lam.

China’s influence spreads around world

September 2, 2007

By WILLIAM FOREMANSeptember 2, 2007

KARRATHA, Australia (AP) – For nearly three decades, Chinese peasants have left their villages for crowded dormitories and sweaty assembly lines, churning out goods for world markets. Now, China is turning the tables.

Here in the Australian Outback, Shane Padley toils in the scorching heat, 2,000 miles from his home, to build an extension to a liquefied natural gas plant that feeds China’s ravenous hunger for energy.

At night, the 34-year-old carpenter sleeps in a tin dwelling known as a “donga,” the size of a shipping container and divided into four rooms, each barely big enough for a bed. There are few other places for Padley to live in this boomtown.

Duct-taped to the wall is a snapshot of the blonde girlfriend he left behind and worries he may lose. But, he says, “I can make nearly double what I’d be making back home in the Sydney area.”

The reason: China.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070901/ap_on_re_as/china_global
_impact;_ylt=Anvh._jDca2u_w00LFIgskms0NUE