Friday, March 5, 2010

Global Problems Of Today And China

The course of human civilization has run through many intermittent periods of ups and downs, progressions and regressions. The ultimate victory of humanity against all odds has mostly been because of our ability and intelligence in quickly identifying the roots of a problem and then counteracting it with a solution. Examples abound of such human feats. This era of progress too, has now confronted a stream of problems and issues affecting the pace of human progress towards ultimate perfection. Global Warming, Terrorism, Piracy and Intellectual Property Rights infringements, and Human Rights are a few of these problems, which without a solution threaten the very foundations of this civilization.
With globalization being the word of the century, China has emerged as one of the major players in global politics and economics. Its tremendous growth over the last few decades has placed it right at the top of global power hierarchy. Some might say even above the United States. But has the PRC (People’s Republic of China) realized the responsibility that comes with great power? In the following paragraphs we will analyse the role of China vis-à-vis global problems.

Global warming is an issue that has been able to resound throughout the globe and has generated interest by almost every country of the world. Developed and developing countries sat together at various conclaves, seminars, conferences etc to figure out a plausible solution. One essential thing that came out was the realization that global carbon emissions are one of the major causes for global temperatures to rise. The cut in carbon emissions across the globe would essentially reduce the problem of global warming to a manageable level. According to Netherlands environmental assessment agency, china is now the no.1 carbon dioxide emitter since 2006, surpassing even the US. Despite many efforts at last year’s Copenhagen summit China refused to give in to carbon emission cuts even to a reasonable level. It lobbied many other Asian countries, especially India to counter U.S lead proposal and came up with another proposal that hardly even scratched the surface of the problem. A report on the summit in NYT described the efforts by the Chinese in utilizing its unfair trade pressure advantage in stalling in purposeful or meaningful agreement at the summit. All substantial efforts in reducing Global warming cannot succeed without bringing China into the loop. The growing Chinese economy, a single party communist rule governing China, and vested interests of major business players in China (many of whom are senior Communist party members) are the major reasons behind Chinese incompliance to any reasonable climate treaty.
China’s role in global terrorism is something that might sound too farfetched, yet facts say differently. The September 11 attacks in U.S brought terrorism to the forefront of global stage. Terrorism no longer remained an issue that was restricted by borders or interests. Terrorism today is not just a problem of US, entangled in waging war in Iraq or Afghanistan, but a result of global geopolitics and vested interests of nations as well as individuals. In this losing battle, where US is mostly taking the beating, almost in all aspects, there are inconspicuous winners who are gaining at what we are losing. A direct relationship exists between terrorism, its various facets and “Arms Sale”.
The economics of “Arms Sale” and the native political leverage that comes with it is not hard to fathom. “War” is the market that fuels an economy based on “Arms Sale”. China has become the key player today in supplying arms and various technologies associated with it to various regions of conflict. According to an Amnesty International Report, China is fast emerging as one of the world’s biggest, most secretive and irresponsible arms exporters. The report further declares China as the only major arms exporting power that has not signed up to any multilateral agreements with criteria to prevent arms exports likely to be used for damaging purposes. In a report by a US based think tank group called RAND (Research and Development), it is found that China’s arms transfers are not motivated primarily to generate export earnings but by foreign policy considerations. It’s selling of missile technology to nations like Iran is yet another example of its tactic of using arms sale in foreign policy. An analysis piece by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., former director of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C, in “The Middle East quarterly” states The foregoing transactions represent but a fraction of the reported instances of PRC involvement in activities that result in the transfer of dangerous technologies into the hands of the Middle East's most worrisome regimes.”
Defeating terrorism would involve far more than fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would require concerted efforts in effectively curtailing Chinese ability to sell arms without any responsibilities and with ulterior motives.
Piracy and Intellectual property rights infringements are issues that are growing in concern and yet lacking in an effective solution. The damages that piracy and intellectual property rights infringements do to economies of various countries run in billions of dollars of revenues. The reason is not the lack of laws safeguarding these rights, but the lack of effective execution by various nations in curbing this menace, that is not only causing loss of revenues but jobs too. Piracy is a market that mostly harms economies, but in the case of China, it has in fact generated an alternate economy.
In an article by Paul Magnusson in “Business Week”, Chinese piracy is causing US software firms an annual loss in revenues of about $6.7 billion dollars. China ranks 25th when it actually comes to buying licensed software. The lack of stringent measures in place and the ambiguity of the applications of intellectual property rights in china have led to the blossoming of this alternate economy. The failure of executing international piracy and intellectual property rights in china not comes more from its practicality but more so from the Chinese indifference in executing it. This is mostly because of the economic benefits it reaps for china in terms of jobs and social stability. However, Chinese seriousness in effectively curbing piracy and infringement of intellectual property rights might in fact nip the problem right in the bud. This would only be possible, if there is more transparency in their legislative (so called) and bureaucratic set up of the PRC’s administration.
Despite major economic growth the 21st century has seen, the comparative progress in the preventing human rights violations across the globe has been feeble. Economic concerns and subjective geopolitics among nations has in fact prevented necessary efforts in protecting millions from genocide. The crisis in Darfur still remains looming, while nations like China continue to veto and counteract any international intervention in the matter. The result is a whopping 3 million displaced human beings in refugee camps. The reason for this continued appalling situation comes from the fact that the Chinese have extensive economic and military ties with the region. Mineral deposits to fuel its burgeoning economy and a market for its arms motivate china to veto any international efforts for resolving the situation in Darfur.
The deplorable human rights condition in Myanmar (Burma) is also another direct result of Chinese foreign policy. The extensive economic and military aid by the PRC for the Junta regime effectively arms the regime to continue its extensive human rights violations in the country. The 2007 monks protest in the country clearly displayed the lack of support among the Burmese populace for the Junta regime. The only clear reason as to why the regime continues to rule with power is the vast amount of support it receives from the neighboring China.
Human rights violations within China continue unabashedly. The 2010 report by Human rights watch details the various aspects of violations blatantly and continuously carried out by the PRC during and after the Olymipic. Media rights are continuously marginalized and controlled. The report states China's journalists, bloggers, and estimated 338 million Internet users are subject to the arbitrary dictates of state censors.”
PRC’s human rights violations in regions of Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia also continues. Chinese government’s involvement in Human rights violations go beyond its boundaries and it’s a direct result of its foreign policy measures across the globe. With growing economic stature, its becoming more and more difficult to bring China to table to engage it in elevating human rights conditions across the globe.
A responsible China can play a major role in solving all these major global problems. All these problems require a sustainable solution without which any quick fixes would only result in the resurgence of these problems. Such a sustainable solution can only be achieved if China truly leads the world with responsibility and empathy.
The current structure of Chinese governance based on communist principles and elitist party member dominance obstructs the true and real will of the Chinese people. Constant persecution of Chinese academicians, intellectuals and human rights activist would only prevent China from attaining the responsibility as a global leader. Fear of instability and national chaos rocks the minds of party member day in and day out. Resulting in the controlled manner in which both information, freedom and intellect is effectively curtailed and censored. What could then change, that could make a difference in the role China now plays globally? What is the solution that would not only lead China towards global leadership but also solve major global problems at the same time?
The answer to these questions is “Tibet”. An effective and viable solution to the issue of Tibet could in fact pave the way for a more transparent and responsible government throughout China. It could in fact serve as the beginning of a chain reaction that will not only enhance China’s global image but also its role in solving major global problems. A step by step scenario of such an eventuality will be presented in my proposal.
For now, it’s essential to see that the world’s problems and China have a very interdependent relationship. Any solution that deals with these problems would have to be something that keeps China in perspective too.
1) Netherlands environmental assessment agencyChina now no. 1 in CO2 emissions; USA in second position”.
2) Kanter,James. “At Climate Talks, Trade Pressures Mount” New York Times: Environment Web.Dec 17.2009.
3) Press, Release. "Document - China: Secretive Arms Exports Stoking Conflict and Repression.”Amnesty International. 11 Jun 2006. Amnesty International, Web. 2 Mar 2010.
4) Byman, Daniel, and Roger Cliff. China’s Arms Sales. 1st ed. Santa Monica: RAND Research, 1999. 7-10. Print.
5) Bill Gertz, "China Sold Iran Missile Technology, The Washington Times, Nov. 21, 1996.
6) Gaffney, Frank. "China Arms the Rogues." Middle East Quarterly 7 September 1997: n. pag. Web. 2 Mar 2010.
7) Dixon, Robyn, and Mary Curtius , “Help Will Come Too Late for Western Sudan,” Los Angeles Times , June 28, 2004, p. A5
8) Demick, Barbara, "Protests in Tibet Unnerve an Already Besieged China," Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2008, p. A3
9) Borosage, Robert. "Rogue Nation: How Does the US Deal With China?" Huffington Post (2010): n. pag. Web. 2 Mar 2010.
10) Mydans, Seth. "Monks’ Protest Is Challenging Burmese Junta." New York Times 24 September 2007: n. pag. Web. 5 Mar 2010.
11) China Report. 09 Jul 2009. Human Rights Watch, Web. 2 Mar 2010.
12) Marshall, Patrick G. "Software Piracy." CQ Researcher 3.19 (1993): 433-456. CQ Researcher. Web. 26 Feb. 2010.
13) Magnusson, Paul , “Beijing's blatant piracy could slash U.S. trade,” Business Week, April 22, 1991, p. 46

1 comment:

  1. Hi!
    This is Kevin Woo, a graduate student studying in Public Relations. I am very interested in your site. Could you help me to answer some questions? I am doing a research about social media. Thanks a lot!

    1, What is the principal reason, in your opinion, why your blog exists?
    2, Is the blog Renaissance Tibet meeting the need for which it was designed?
    3, Do you see the world of social media, including blogs, as replacing traditional media?
    4, Was any post on your site introduced or quoted by traditional media? If yes, which post and which media?
    5, Were you interviewed by traditional media regarding your site? If yes, could you give me the link about your interview?
    6, Compared with Chinese government propaganda, what is the advantage of your site?

    Thank you very much for your time!
    Have a good day!

    Kevin Woo