Spotlight on Geopolitics

Extending the war in Irak will probably be regarded by pundits as the biggest foreign policy blunder the US has made in recent memory. Much as a consequence of it, the war in Afghanistan has been fought with less resolve, enabling Al-Qaida and the Talibans to regain their strength and challenge the Western forces present… » read more

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The current economic tsunami has accelerated integration moves between ASEAN countries, China and other regional powerhouses. The planned launch of Asia’s and the world’s largest trade bloc has prompted me to ask Professor Bruce McKern, a renowned International Management expert, for an interview concerning its prospects in emulating the European Union’s economic integration experience. Professor… » read more

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Is Libertas CIA-Backed ?

Last Sunday I have watched in disbelief the BBC debate between Declan Ganley, the founder of Libertas, and MEP Richard Corbett. The way Libertas tells it on their site, Mr Corbett was “savaged” by the would-be saviour of European democracy, i.e. Mr Ganley. As I saw it, the British MEP was barely allowed to reply… » read more

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After much horse-trading between the continental Europeans and the Anglo-Saxons, the G20 Summit in London has ended with an “almost historic compromise” (Angela Merkel). Known for their reluctance to regulate financial markets and to rein in hedge-funds or rating agencies, the American and British teams at the summit were coaxed by the Sarkozy-Merkel team to… » read more

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The Turkish local elections ended on Sunday after a tense, national-like campaign designed by the ruling party AKP’s leaders to win key cities in Kurdish-dominated zones. Although it has won 39 percent of the vote, this is 8 percent short of the projected win envisaged by premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Moreover, this is the first… » read more

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Last week the Czech prime minister, Mr Topolanek, has lobbied hard for the admission of Croatia in the European Union. Talking to EurActiv, he stated that stopping EU enlargement is a “road to hell”. According to him, many EU members would favour the admission of Croatia, but delay accession talks with Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro or… » read more

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On the final days of last week’s National People’s Congress (NPC) session, its president Mr. Wu Bangguo has assured his conservative audience that China is not about to embark on a Western-style democratisation process and that it will not indiscriminately emulate Western political theory and institutions : “we will never put into practice a multi-party… » read more

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Even as Western economists disagree as to the depth and duration of the current economic crisis, one thing is certain : it fosters closer economic cooperation between China and its Asian neighbours. The crisis might also generate unexpected peace dividends for the region. Speaking before the National People’s Congress yesterday, the Chinese premier claimed his… » read more

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The ASEAN countries’ annual summit meeting starts today in Thailand amid calls for more economic integration between its members. Its main objective is the creation of a common market in the region by 2015. The urgency of finalising agreements leading to the creation of a common market in Southeast Asia is understandable. The economic crisis… » read more

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No later than last week, the Hungarian and Romanian prime ministers have both asked the EU officials to speed up their respective countries’ accession to the eurozone. After years of neglecting structural reforms in favour of stimulating domestic consumption, these countries, Poland and the Czech Republic are particularly hard hit in the current crisis. Their… » read more

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