Monthly Archives: October 2006

Gabor Steingart’s World War on Wealth

SPIEGEL editor Gabor Steingart have written a book about the global economy called Global War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity and SPIEGEL ONLINE is publishing a series of daily excerpts from the book that are having an important impact on the blogosphere.

The “China Threat syndrome” is emerging in Europe as Steingart’s statements shows: “world war for wealth, two camps (US+EU vs Asia), what paralyzes the West is how quietly the enemy is advancing, Asian elite politely brush off everything that matters to us, the Asians still need us more than we need them, the TAFTZ it would serve as a fortress — at least for those who consciously reject, or even denigrate, Western values.

Steingart thinks Asia is all the same (same, same, but different), doesn’t make much differenciation… but we know he is writing about India and specially China. He is very provocative, with some good points, but his discourse it’s a mix of economic protectionism and clash of civilizations. Are we heading to a new Cold War with China? Steingart says yes, so we should start preparing our defense.

Here I post one of it’s exerpts:

An Argument for a Trans-Atlantic Free-Trade Zone (Der Spiegel)

By Gabor Steingart

Asian businessmen are probably the friendliest conquerors the world has ever seen. But despite the politeness and the smiles, Western governments must act quickly to combat the rise of China and Asia. The West should discuss an ambitious project: a European-American free-trade zone.

For 50 years it was a highly controversial institution. Today, though, every schoolchild knows that without the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, free Europe wouldn’t exist. If the Western alliance hadn’t ostentatiously demonstrated its power — with its fighter jets, tank divisions and continually updated weaponry — Soviet communism would have expanded westward instead of imploding as it did. By the end of the Cold War, even NATO’s fiercest critics had learned their lesson: The dove of peace could only survive because the hawk was ready on his perch.

The world war for wealth calls for a different, but every bit as contradictory, solution. Alas, once again many lack the imagination to see that the aims of our economic opponents are far from peaceful. Yet what sets this situation apart from what we usually call a conflict — what paralyzes the West — is how quietly the enemy is advancing.

The two camps are divided between Europe and America on the one side and Asia on the other. But so far there has been no shouting, no bluster and no shooting. Nor have there been any threats, demands or accusations. On the contrary, there is an atmosphere of complete amiability wherever our politicians and business executives might travel in Asia. At airports in Beijing, Jakarta, Singapore and New Delhi red carpets lie ready, Western national anthems can be played flawlessly on cue — and they even parry Western complaints about intellectual property theft, environmental damage and human rights abuses with a polite patience that can only be admired. The Asians are the friendliest conquerors the world has ever seen.

A stoic and dark superpower

Their secret is stoic perseverance, the weapon they use to pursue their own interests while at the same time disregarding ours. What looks like a market economy in Asia, actually follows the rules of a type of society which former German chancellor Ludwig Erhard liked to call a “termite state.” In a termite state, it is the collective rather than the individual which sets the agenda. Tasks that serve the aims of society’s leaders are assigned to the individual in a clandestine manner that is barely perceptible to outsiders. It is a state that encourages as much collective behavior as possible but only as much freedom as necessary. We don’t know what they feel, we don’t know what they think and we have no way of guessing what they are planning. Indeed, this is what makes China a dark superpower.

Even if no one is prepared to say it outright, there are signs of a similar indifference to Western values all across Asia. But it is precisely that unspoken that separates the two worlds. Free labor unions are neither vilified nor permitted. Lip service is paid to the environment as something that should be protected, but at the same time it is torn apart like a car in a wrecking yard. Child labor is condemned even as it is actively tolerated. And a whole range of laws exist to protect Western intellectual property, but those rules are seldom applied.

The Asian elite politely brush off everything that matters to us — the social framework surrounding daily working life, the idea of individual achievement and state-guaranteed fair competition. What we see as essential characteristics of a civilized society, they see as nothing more than bourgeois niceties.

The state (India) or party (China) is responsible for setting prices, promoting technology, ensuring provisions of raw materials, protecting industries and providing the impulse for just about any kind of economic or political activity. Like the West, Asian societies also operate with a certain give and take. The difference here, however, is that the state or the party, and not the individual, determines what is to be given or taken. The overwhelming success of their export industries is seen as proof that their way is the right one.

With every machine, the West sells part of its soul

Americans and Europeans could, of course, respond tolerantly to this differing view of how a country should be run — if, that is, free trade didn’t result in severe side effects for the West. But the reality is that, where there is no referee to ensure that everyone plays by the same rules, the West is encouraged, sometimes even forced, to make its own society a harsher place. In order to avoid losing business to low-wage countries, worker’s councils are tamed, rules for environmental protection are watered down and responsibility for social welfare is gradually handed back down to families and individuals.

The West believes it is selling machines, cars and planes. But as part of the deal, it is also selling its soul. It’s as if politicians and companies are committing suicide to escape the fear of death.

But the West should have more confidence in itself. Foregone conclusions are an unknown concept in history and it is entirely possible to find a solution. Or, at the very least, to ease our problems.

Postponed Power: The Rise of China and India

<!– –> The role NATO played in an age of military threat could be played by a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone in today’s age of economic confrontation. The two economic zones — the European Union and the United States (perhaps with the addition of Canada) — could stem the dwindling of Western market power by joining forces. Together the Europeans and the Americans are still a force to be reckoned with. Representing about 13 percent of the total world population (only!!!!) and 60 percent of today’s global economic power, they stand ready to act as producers and consumers not only of goods, but also of values.

There are few reasons to oppose the Americans

There are three reasons the idea is particularly attractive, and the first is political. Such cooperation would lead Americans and Europeans closer together again. The temptation to childishly score points off each other — dangerous in light of the Asian challenge — would be removed. And while there may be plenty of reasons to oppose US President George W. Bush, there are few reasons to be against America. From an economic point of view, there are many tangible reasons that it makes sense to work together with the West’s leading power.

The military alliance which was forged in the Cold War could be carried over into the global economic war. The aim of maintaining freedom and increasing prosperity would remain — only the methods of pursuing those aims would change. A free-trade zone would inevitably lead to a convergence of the two economic systems. Europe would become more Americanized and the US would become more European, albeit slowly in a process which would last decades.

Countries that remove all trade barriers and unify accounting standards, technical norms, copyright laws and stock market practices would also ensure that their financial, social, taxation and environmental policies didn’t drift apart. Governments would have more room to maneuver, as well as greater opportunities and responsibilities.

The second major advantage is economic. A domestic market as reliable and as big as an EU-US free-trade zone would be advantageous for both investors and workers. Economic growth would be fuelled, though perhaps not drastically. But investment creates jobs. The West could at least win back part of what it has lost. For one thing, it would regain the power to set technical standards — even if that does mean, in the global economy that is more a question of promoting standards than actually “setting” them.

The most imposing effect of such a mega-merger of markets would doubtlessly be felt in the Far East. The boom region of the last decade and a half would rightly sit up and take notice. The new message would be this: The price of a product is still important, but the way in which it has been produced is equally relevant. Countries that refuse to tolerate trade unions — or which exploit women, children and the environment, to name just a few issues — would no longer be spoiled by preferential treatment at customs.

Freedom on the inside, a fortress on the outside

Asia’s current economic behavior could for the first time prove to be a disadvantage. Inside, the free-trade zone would give its residents courage, but on the outside, it would serve as a fortress — at least for those who consciously reject, or even denigrate, Western values. This would rectify one European Union mistake: Until now it has been servile towards enemies of freedom. By allowing almost every third state the right to the same conditions, the EU has to a large extent destroyed the advantage of being a member. The EU Commissioners are the last true believers in the religion of free trade.

A trans-Atlantic free-trade zone would have greater aims than simply defending the interests of importers and exporters. “Peace in Freedom” has always been NATO’s motto. “Prosperity with Values” could be the aim of the trans-Atlantic free-trade zone. One of those values would be the goal that this prosperity reach as many people as possible.

The notion of a confident and strong West is also one that is important to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In the rare moments when Merkel is able to look past the day-to-day grind of political life and see the bigger picture, it is the trans-Atlantic free-trade zone which catches her eye. She envisions it as the fusion of the like-minded. At the very least, it would counteract the Asian strategy of pitting the Europeans and the Americans against each other. Indeed, the upcoming German EU presidency in the first six months of 2007 presents itself as a handy platform from which to push what could be the project of the century. Merkel speaks of a “fascinating idea.”

When Merkel talks about a free-trade zone though, she isn’t thinking exclusively about economics. It’s true that the most transparent benefits for companies of lifting customs barriers and abolishing bureaucracy are most easily measured in dollars and cents. But there is another invisible advantage — one that influences the landscape of power even if it doesn’t appear anywhere on the ledgers. Merkel speaks of “non-material values” that could be preserved and indeed strengthened by the free-trade zone. For years and years, fear of globalization has preoccupied governments at the cabinet level in virtually all Western capitals — and an alliance of the democracies and market economies surrounding the North Atlantic could do everyone there tremendous good. It would also re-energize the West.

The sins of growth

The history of the well-fortified West has taught us that those who defend their values also spread them. The principle of fair trade could also be spread in the Far East in the same way that the 1975 Helsinki Conference set off a process which ultimately benefited human rights in the entire Eastern bloc. Asia has a right to succeed. But the West also has the right to fight to preserve its own accomplishments.

Can a Western free-trade zone really prevent Asia’s ascendancy? Clearly not. Nor is that the goal. However, what it can do is to help reduce the slope of Asia’s ascent and prevent our flight paths from crossing too frequently.

But doesn’t that sound too defensive? Is the energy needed to set up a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone worth it? Absolutely. A plane can take off in different ways: There is a violent updraft that creates turbulence on the ground and there is milder form of thermal wind which can also take others up with it. This take-off may not be as steep and as fast, but it is less destructive. Yes, global growth would slow down. But that wouldn’t be nearly as tragic as many people think. The growth of the last few years has been impossible to enjoy anyway because of the many sins committed along the way, both in Asia and the West. Plus, it has been bought with other people’s money — namely through hefty borrowing and the money of future generations.

The creation of a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone would also send a strong political message: Look here, it would say, like-minded nations are coming together. The nations that gave birth to the Enlightenment are devoted to the individual’s right to freedom, but not at the expense of the collective. World leadership may ultimately end up in others’ hands, but we won’t stand complacently by while it happens. The Asians still need us more than we need them: They thirst for Western capital and technological expertise. And without Western markets, the Asian export industry would soon fall apart.

No one less than Henry Kissinger, the godfather of modern American foreign policy, is encouraging Western government leaders to take steps in the direction of such a free-trade zone. The enormity of the task should not be a deterrent. The duty of governments, after all, Kissinger says, is to lead societies from where they currently are to places they have never yet been.

Realpolitik europea en Asia Central

El Parlamento Europeo ha decidido levantar parte de las sanciones impuestas tras la masacre de Andijan (entre ellas los visados a altos oficiales uzbekos), tras una visita casi secreta para negociar nuevas relaciones bilaterales con uzbekistan. Parece que las presiones de Alemania, muy interesada en conseguir gas uzbeko (especialmente tras los problemas del año pasado con Rusia) han jugado un papel clave en la decisión. Así pues, una vez más, el pragmatismo económico y la realpolitik se imponen a los derechos humanos.

Por otro lado, la Comisión Europea está impulsando un acuerdo para incremantar la producción e importación de uranio en Kazakhstan. Actualmente solo el 3% del uranio importado por la UE procede de Kazakhstan, pero el país va a convertirse en el principal productor mundial en 2010 (aumentado la oferta) y los estados de la UE están apostando por dar un nuevo impulso a la energía nuclear para reducir la dependencia del petróleo (aumenta la demanda) por lo que su comercio espera crecer exponencialmente.

19/06/2006 Declaración de la Presidencia en nombre de la Unión Europea sobre Uzbekistán
15/05/2006 Sesión nº 2727 del Consejo Asuntos Generales y Relaciones Exteriores Bruselas, 15 de mayo de 2006
9/03/2006 Uzbekistán
24/11/2005 Declaración de la Presidencia en nombre de la Unión Europea sobre la Posición Común 2005/792/PESC del Consejo de 14 de noviembre de 2005 relativa a la adopción de medidas restrictivas contra Uzbekistán
18/11/2005 Declaración sobre el juicio de Andijan
15/11/2005 Sesión n.º 2689 del Consejo Educación, Juventud y Cultura Bruselas, 14 y 15 de noviembre de 2005
14/11/2005 Uzbekistán – El Consejo adopta medidas restrictivas
8/11/2005 Declaración de la Presidencia sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en Uzbekistán
4/10/2005 Sesión nº 2679 del Consejo Relaciones Exteriores – Luxemburgo, 3 de octubre de 2005
4/10/2005 Sesión nº 2678 del Consejo – Asuntos Generales – Luxemburgo, 3 de octubre de 2005

Resolución del Parlamento Europeo sobre Uzbekistán aprobada el 26 de octubre de 2006.

El Parlamento Europeo ,

– Vistas sus anteriores resoluciones sobre las repúblicas de Asia Central y Uzbekistán, en particular sus resoluciones de 9 de junio de 2005(1) y 27 de octubre de 2005(2) ,

– Visto el Documento Estratégico de la Comisión para el Asia Central 2002-2006, (Muy Interesante!!!)

– Visto el Acuerdo de colaboración y cooperación entre las Comunidades Europeas y sus Estados miembros, por una parte, y la República de Uzbekistán, por otra, que entró en vigor el 1 de julio de 1999,

– Vistas las conclusiones de las reuniones del Consejo de Asuntos Generales y Relaciones Exteriores de 18 de julio y 3 de octubre de 2005,

– Vistas las declaraciones de la Presidencia del Consejo sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en Uzbekistán en 2005 y 2006,

– Visto el informe del Grupo de Trabajo de las Naciones Unidas sobre desapariciones forzosas o involuntarias, publicado el 27 de diciembre de 2005,

– Visto el informe de la Oficina para las Instituciones Democráticas y los Derechos Humanos de la Organización para la Seguridad y la Cooperación en Europa (OSCE) sobre la observación de juicios en Uzbekistán, publicado el 3 de marzo de 2006,

– Visto el informe del Relator Especial de las Naciones Unidas para la Tortura, Manfred Nowak, sobre los derechos civiles y políticos, incluida la cuestión de las torturas y detenciones, publicado el 21 de marzo de 2006,

– Vista la carta sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en Uzbekistán enviada por el Representante Permanente de la República de Uzbekistán ante las Naciones Unidas al Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas el 26 de junio de 2006,

– Visto el apartado 5 del artículo 115 de su Reglamento,

A. Considerando que la próxima reunión del Consejo de Cooperación entre la Unión Europea y la República de Uzbekistán está prevista para el 8 de noviembre de 2006,

B. Considerando que el Consejo de Asuntos Generales y Relaciones Exteriores estudiará previsiblemente el 13 de noviembre de 2006 si amplía las sanciones adoptadas el pasado año tras los sucesos de mayo de 2005 en Andijan,

C. Considerando que el Gobierno de Uzbekistán no ha tomado en consideración las condiciones que el Consejo estableció cuando se aplicaron las sanciones,

D. Considerando que el Gobierno de Uzbekistán sigue sin autorizar una investigación independiente sobre los sucesos acaecidos en Andijan el 13 de mayo de 2005, pese a las constantes y reiteradas solicitudes en este sentido formuladas el pasado año por diversos organismos internacionales,

E. Considerando que tras la matanza de Andijan en 2005 las autoridades uzbekas lanzaron una campaña de represión contra los defensores de los derechos humanos, los periodistas independientes y las instituciones de la sociedad civil, procesando a centenares de personas sospechosas de participación en la revuelta,

F. Considerando que, según las organizaciones internacionales de defensa de los derechos humanos, a lo largo del pasado año no hubo noticias de los miles de personas que fueron detenidas para ocultar la verdad; considerando que los detenidos corren un grave riesgo de verse sometidos a torturas y otros tratos vejatorios; considerando que no se ha permitido a los observadores seguir los juicios de muchos de los acusados de delitos castigados con la pena capital,

G. Considerando que, según el informe del Relator Especial de las Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura, publicado en marzo de 2006, no se han producido cambios sustanciales en el uso generalizado de la tortura o en las políticas y prácticas que podrían combatirla eficazmente; considerando que el Gobierno uzbeko no ha dado pasos significativos para acabar con la cultura de la impunidad,

H. Considerando que la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) en Tashkent fue clausurada el 17 de marzo de 2006,

I. Considerando que tras los sucesos de Andijan cientos de ciudadanos uzbekos se vieron obligados a huir a la República Kirguisa y otros países vecinos; considerando que algunos refugiados uzbekos han sido extraditados a Uzbekistán, contraviniendo así flagrantemente la Convención de las Naciones Unidas de 1951 sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados,

J. Considerando que la sociedad uzbeka es en buena medida secular y que el limitado extremismo religioso que en ella existe es alimentado fundamentalmente por la injusticia social; considerando que la lucha contra el extremismo religioso únicamente puede acometerse por medios legales y nunca mediante la represión,

K. Considerando que las sociedades civiles de Asia Central, incluido Uzbekistán, reclamen cada vez más una mayor apertura que permita el pleno respeto de las libertades individuales y los derechos humanos, así como el cambio democrático,

1. Insiste en la importancia de las relaciones UE-Uzbekistán y reconoce el papel fundamental de Uzbekistán en la región de Asia Central, pero destaca que estas relaciones deben basarse en el respeto por ambas partes de los principios de la democracia, el Estado de Derecho y los derechos humanos, tal y como establece claramente el Acuerdo de colaboración y cooperación UE-Uzbekistán;

2. Pide al Consejo que renueve la actual política de sanciones por un período de doce meses adicionales y que la amplíe de modo que:

incluya en la prohibición de expedición de visado de la UE al Presidente Islam Karimov, al Ministro del Interior Bahodir Matliubov, al Ministro de Defensa Ruslan Mirzaev, al Ministro de Justicia Buritosh Mustafaev, al Fiscal General Rashid Kodirov, al Jefe del Servicio de Seguridad Nacional Rustam Inoyatov, y al Gobernador Regional de Andijan Saidullo Begaliev;
bloquee los activos de todos las personas a las que se aplica la prohibición de expedición de visado, de manera que no puedan acceder a ninguno de los activos que puedan tener en la UE ni utilizar en modo alguno el sistema bancario en territorio de la UE;

3. Pide al Consejo que el 13 de noviembre de 2006 tome una decisión sopesada con vistas a unas mejores relaciones en el futuro sobre la posible ampliación de las sanciones, basada en los compromisos contraídos por la parte uzbeka en el Consejo de Cooperación UE-Uzbekistán del 8 de noviembre de 2006 y en la información obtenida por los diplomáticos europeos radicados en la región;

4. Señala que la política de sanciones selectivas no se ha traducido en resultados positivos hasta la fecha, por lo que pide a la Comisión y al Consejo que revisen detenidamente la situación a fin de encontrar vías para alcanzar los objetivos políticos fijados;

5. Insiste en que debe mantenerse el embargo sobre la venta de armas y las transferencias de material militar;

6. Pide a Uzbekistán que coopere plenamente con la OSCE y con las Naciones Unidas, especialmente en relación con el llamamiento en favor de una investigación independiente creíble y transparente, y que se atenga al Derecho internacional y sea receptivo con cualquiera de los procedimientos especiales de las Naciones Unidas para los que se han formulado peticiones y abiertos a los supervisores de la OSCE y a los observadores independientes;

7. Pide al Consejo que adopte todas las medidas necesarias en el seno del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas para garantizar que el procedimiento confidencial “1503” deje de aplicarse a Uzbekistán y para someter a este país a un mecanismo de control público según recomendó la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Louise Arbour, en su informe sobre la matanza de Andijan;

8. Pide al Gobierno de Uzbekistán que libere a todos los defensores de los derechos humanos, periodistas y miembros de la oposición política que permanecen detenidos y les permita trabajar en libertad y sin miedo a la persecución, y que ponga fin al acoso a las ONG;

9. Insta a las autoridades de Uzbekistán a que autoricen la reapertura de la oficina del ACNUR en Tashkent;

10. Pide a la República Kirguisa y a los otros países vecinos que respeten plenamente la Convención de las Naciones Unidas de 1951 sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados, que impide recurrir a la fuerza para devolver a los refugiados a sus países de origen, y por consiguiente que no extraditen refugiados uzbekos a Uzbekistán; insta en este sentido al Consejo y a la Comisión a que vigilen estrechamente la situación de todos los refugiados uzbekos ya extraditados a Uzbekistán;

11. Encarga a su Presidente que transmita la presente Resolución al Consejo, a la Comisión, al Representante Especial de la UE para Asia Central, a los Presidentes, Gobiernos y Parlamentos de Uzbekistán y Kirguistán, al Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas y al Secretario General de la OSCE.

(1) DO C 124 E de 25.5.2006, p. 560.
(2) Textos Aprobados, P6_TA(2005)0415.

Votaciones en la AGNU

Una pequeña curiosidad sobre las votaciones sobre desarmen en la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas de ayer, 26 de octubre. Para ver todo el documento ir aquí.

Vote on Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

The draft resolution on renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/61/L.32) was approved by a recorded vote of 168 in favour to 4 against, with 8 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, India, United States.

Abstain: Bhutan, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Myanmar, Pakistan.

Absent: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Kiribati, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Syria, Tuvalu.

Vote on Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The draft resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/61/L.48/REV.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 2 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United States.

Abstain: Colombia, India, Mauritius, Syria.

Absent: Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Kiribati, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Tuvalu.

Después de todo parece que Estados Unidos y Corea del Norte sí pueden ponerse de acuerdo en algo… y ser los únicos!!!
Estados Unidos fué el único país que votó en contra de todas las propuestas aprobadas, excepto en las referentes a la creación de Asia Meridional cómo zona libre de armas nucleares (India y Pakistán votaron en contra en esta ocasión).
Sin embargo todas fueron aprobadas, sin caracter vinculante, of course….

T de Teoria

En Lluc m’ha fet arribar aquest link amb papers del principals teòrics de les RRII, l’he trobat molt bò:

Graham Allison

John Gray

Karl Marx

Raymond Aron

Jurgen Habermas

Walter Mead

Zygmunt Bauman

Stanley Hoffmann

John Mearsheimer

Peter Berger

Samuel Huntington

Hans Morgenthau

Stephen Brooks

John Ikenberry

Joseph Nye

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Robert Jervis

Richard Rosecrance

Barry Buzan

Chalmers Johnson

James Rosenau

Edward Carr

Alastair Johnston

John Ruggie

Manuel Castells Robert Kagan Georg Simmel
Thomas Christensen Robert Kaplan Jack Snyder
Wilhelm Dilthey Peter Katzenstein Susan Strange
Michael Doyle Robert Keohane Immanuel Wallerstein
Emile Durkheim Henry Kissinger Stephen Walt
Niall Ferguson Stephen Krasner Kenneth Waltz
Erich Fromm Thomas Kuhn Max Weber
Francis Fukuyama Charles Kupchan Alexander Wendt
Anthony Giddens Thomas Luckmann William Wohlforth
Robert Gilpin Herbert Marcuse Lluc Lopez

També recomano Directory of Open Access Journals, on tens això, el llistat de revistes acadèmiques free online… n’hi ha moltes però els en falten encara… així que si en saps alguna els la pots suggerir.

Technical Analysis of the DPRK Nuclear Test

Policy Forum Online 06-89A: October 20th, 2006
Article by Jungmin Kang and Peter Hayes

L’article és molt més llarg, però us adjunto un petit fragment, i les conclusions. fa un recull de dades i càlculs, etc. que permeten desarrollar les conclusions finals, que us incloc a continuació:

(…)

The US Geological Survey has published a reading of 4.2 on the Richter scale at location of 41.294°N and 129.134°E for the DPRK nuclear test. The Complete Test Ban Treaty Organization announced that it registered at 4.0 on the Richter scale. (4)
A reading of 4.0 and 4.2 on the Richter scale would corresponding to a nuclear explosive yield of about 0.5 and 0.9 kt of TNT-equivalent, respectively, according to the above equation. Thus, the most easily obtained estimate of the size of the explosion is 0.5-0.9 kt. This is a yield given for small tactical nuclear warheads formerly in the American arsenal; and is a small fraction of the yield of first tests of other countries (19 kt US, 25 FSU, 25 UK, 60 France, 22 China, 12 India, ~9 Pakistan). (5) It led some pundits to wonder whether the DPRK even conducted a nuclear explosion at all at the test site.

(..)

Conclusions

We know from the seismic analysis that the explosive yield of the announced DPRK nuclear test is 1 kiloton or less of TNT equivalent. The US Director of National Intelligence confirms that the analysis of air samples that appears contain radioactive xenon of greater than minimum detectable concentration was collected and that the test was indeed a nuclear explosion. If we knew the isotopic ratios of the plutonium debris resulted from the DPRK nuclear test, we could calculate the exact yield of the DPRK nuclear explosion, as analyzed in this study. We speculate that at this stage, it is unlikely that such information has been collected outside of the DPRK; but if it is available, that it would likely simply confirm that the range was between 0.5 and 1 kilotonne of TNT equivalent.
There are many possible reasons why the DPRK nuclear test yielded less than 1 kilotonne of TNT equivalent. The pre-detonation of the DPRK nuclear explosion could be caused by poor machining of the device, the non-simultaneity of the detonation of the explosive charges used to compress the plutonium mass, the poor shaping of these charges, the small amount of plutonium used and/or mixture of non-pure-plutonium nuclides that might lead to pre-detonation, difficulties with the neutron initiator, and other environmental factors such as the performance of a neutron reflector. (13)
Whatever the explanation, we conclude that the DPRK test was more a failure than a success in physical terms defined with respect to a usable nuclear device configured as a warhead. However, it was also a technical success in four possible respects. The first and most important is that nuclear criticality was achieved. The DPRK has likely been designing nuclear explosives of various scales for many years. The DPRK scientists and engineers working on the test program will have learned a great deal from this first exercise, and will use this knowledge to improve their design for a second test. Achieving any level of nuclear explosion is a significant technical achievement and a pre-detonated critical mass is simply one event along a spectrum of possible outcomes, all of which offer substantial learning opportunities and a basis for on-going design work.
The second is that the DPRK may be confident that it can explode larger nuclear weapons and decided to tackle small warheads at the start of its test program in order to increase the speed with which it has a deployable long-range weapon on a missile or other delivery system. This is more challenging technically and this first test would assist them in this objective even if it did not yield the desired explosive power.
The third is that the DPRK may not have much plutonium due to difficulties with operating their reactors in the last two decades and with separating it from the spent fuel, and was economizing on their use of this scarce resource.
The fourth is that the DPRK may have been trying to minimize the risk of radioactive emissions and the political reaction to its test by keeping the test very small. A combination of these four and other factors may also be at play.
Nonetheless, the fact is that the DPRK is now a self-declared nuclear weapon state, but not an actual or demonstrated nuclear weapons state. This is not a domestic political problem for Kim Jong Il at this time. Indeed, on October 20, 2006, the leadership staged a “mass rally” in central Pyongyang to “welcome the historical successful nuclear test” and, as one gigantic placard stated, to” ardently congratulate the scientists, technicians, and workers who succeeded in a nuclear test.”
But for the reasons outlined above, the other nuclear weapons states know the true state of affairs. Until the test, it was possible for the DPRK to employ the “Israeli model” of nuclear opacity as the basis for nuclear threat, whatever the purpose of having such a threat capacity, and to keep everyone guessing.
Having tested and failed, the DPRK can no longer rely on opacity as the basis for having a credible nuclear force, at least sufficiently credible to threaten its adversaries with a nuclear explosion. The DPRK might believe that a half kilotonne “mininuke” still provides it with a measure of nuclear deterrence and compellence; but it could not rely on other nuclear weapons states to perceive it to have anything more than an unusable, unreliable and relatively small nuclear explosive device.
In short, the DPRK has now demonstrated that it does not yet have a nuclear capacity that enables it to threaten nuclear Armageddon against anyone but itself.

Therefore, although it could exploit the residual ambiguity that still shrouds its remaining capacity to deploy nuclear weapons and not test again, we judge it to be more likely that the DPRK will test again to assert the credibility of its nuclear arsenal and thereby, to truly join the ranks of the nuclear weapon states.
The exact timing of the next test will determined by how non-technical factors such as “managing China’s response” and “picking up food aid from South Korea for the next winter” interact with the DPRK leadership’s perception of the need to “fix” the demonstrated non-capability from the first test. (14) This latter factor is also political and will be primarily a function of the DPRK leadership’s view on how to (not) use nuclear threat to compel the United States to engage it on terms that it finds acceptable, whether bilaterally, at resumed six-party talks, or at some other venue and time.
Thus, via this last factor, the United States has continuing and unique ability to influence Pyongyang’s decision on when and if the DPRK conducts more nuclear tests.

Brand India – from mystic and spirtual to economic and strategic power

After de Bran China and Brand Spain, we focuse on India Brand… it’s all about soft-power?

India wants the world to see it as it sees itself
Amelia Gentleman
in IHT


<!–THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2006
–> Published: October 26, 2006

NEW DELHI Copywriters at the headquarters of a campaign to rebrand India have been agonizing over a slogan to sum up their revamped product.

First they tried: “15 years, six governments, five prime ministers, one direction, eight percent GDP growth,” which provided plenty of information about economic progress but hardly tripped off the tongue.

Then they hit on “India: Fastest- growing free market democracy” – which was still not very catchy, but did at least mark a clear break with notions of a country of elephants, spirituality and exotic mysticism.

Concerned that its global image is 50 years out of date, India has embarked on a radical makeover of its image, working to project a fresh face – a face constructed around ideas of economic achievement, democracy, Bollywood glamour and cultural excellence.

The battle to sell New India is being waged from an office just beyond the unmoving traffic, unfinished flyovers and heavy urban pollution that scar the fringes of south Delhi – a constant reminder of some of the problems that make the campaign so urgent.

The India Brand Equity Foundation – a lobbying group financed by the government and various businesses – is trying to “dismantle the negative stereotypes that cloud Brand India,” in the words of Ajay Khanna, the CEO, and to broadcast instead its positive stories.

“We’ve been trying to break down stereotypes and showcase instead a contemporary India,” Khanna said. The group, he said, spent $4 million on its Brand India campaign at the world economic forum: “We got a lot for that money. Davos left a huge buzz.”

Along with the advertising push, India has engaged in a frenetic burst of worldwide cultural displays, also aimed at updating attitudes.

The Festival of India opened this month in Brussels, driven by a desire to push the world to shake off misconceptions about Old India and see instead a modern nation.

Pavan Varma, director of the India Council for Cultural Relations, which organized the festival, said India had to change perceptions and exploit the concept of “soft-power diplomacy” to win greater international influence.

“India before was seen as exalted exotica,” Varma said, “and the world still doesn’t know much about it beyond the stereotypes, the idea of the mystic Orient, of its spiritual tradition. But people are making a new attempt to find out about a country that is now on the radar as an economic and strategic power. Foreigners are trying to understand what India really is and what makes its people tick. We are projecting our cultural heritage to a far more interested audience.

The whole business of soft power is about trying to leverage that interest. We have so much to project. Culturally we are already a superpower.”

Khanna agreed: “It is the mind, but also the heart, that helps people make economic decisions. The campaign is working. More people want to come here and do business.”

The drive to trumpet modern India’s triumphs inevitably leads to moments of embarrassing excess. Every achievement by anyone of Indian origin is corralled into the argument by a domestic media eager to sustain the superpower India hype.

Kiran Desai wins Britain’s Man Booker Prize? It’s a proud day for India (despite the fact that she hasn’t lived here permanently since the 1980s). Indra Nooyi is named chief executive of Pepsico? Another Indian coup (although she left India in 1978). Tata Steel bids for the British company Corus? It’s not just a routine business story but also symbolic of India’s emerging global supremacy.

Will the branding exercise work? Its creators know that if this is to become anything more than slick advertising, the country needs to maintain its annual growth rate of 8 percent – which more than any cultural display is what attracts interest – and also act quickly to deal with the myriad problems that undercut any picture of India as a future superpower: the crumbling infrastructure, the failing health and education systems, the widespread poverty.

“There is no substitute for growth,” said Kant of the Tourism Ministry.

¿Anti-corrupción o purga?

Parece que Hu ha decidido utilizar la lucha contra la corrupción cómo mecanismo para la purga de aquellos adversarios políticos (el clan de Shanghai, corriente liberal, opositores, competidores, etc.) y así consolidar y extender su poder. Ver IHT:

Nearly all of those implicated to date are viewed as loyalists to China’s former top leader, Jiang Zemin, or as having resisted the policies of Mr. Hu, the party boss since 2002.

As such, the crackdown serves two purposes, the people told about the leadership’s goals say. Mr. Hu and Zeng Qinghong, the vice president and day-to-day coordinator of Communist Party affairs, have sought to warn underlings that they intend to punish corruption, widely seen as a worsening problem within the ruling party, even at the highest levels.

But the two leaders have also signaled that only those they consider allies will have the power to resist investigations of their financial affairs. That message seems intended to shore up support as the leadership prepares for its five-yearly political transition with the convening of the 17th Party Congress next fall.

The party leaders of Beijing and Shanghai, who control great wealth and enjoy broad autonomy, have traditionally served on the ruling Politburo. No major investigations of their activities are likely to be initiated without the approval of the top-most leaders.

Mr. Hu has recently worked hand in hand with Mr. Zeng, the No. 5 ranking leader who is also viewed as one of Mr. Hu’s possible rivals, to consolidate power. Though China’s one-party system concentrates authority in the hands of Mr. Hu, he must also navigate personal, regional and institutional allegiances that can make it difficult to carry out decisions made in Zhongnanhai, the leadership compound.

Esta lucha anti-corrupción a la carta, demuestra la poca independencia y falta de madurez del sistema legal y jurídico chino y no és más que otra forma de corrupción en por si misma, eso es, una lucha anti-corrupción corrupta. Algunos analistas destacan que, de ser investigados, casi todos los altos líderes politicos podrían ser acusados de corruptos así pues sólo es necesario escoger quien va a ser investigado y aquí la decisión parece provenir de lo más alto del poder político, relegando el poder judicial a simple ratificador.

En China el corrupto viene a sustituir al revisionista, el burgués capitalista, etc… es el que no comulga ideológicamente con el líder supremo. El “enemigo interior” junto, claro está, con el terrorista.