The Soviet Union dissolution was the greatest geopolitical disaster of the twentieth century. This dramatic statement was attributed to Vladimir Putin, the current Russian president and former officer of the KGB (Committee for State Security), the old Soviet Secret Service. It is not an accident that he has been working aggressively to recover influence, prestige and power of Russia. For those who always used to be in power and in control, it must not have been easy to watch so close the Soviet Union fragmentation. His vigorous actions in the international political arena, ruling with the “iron hand”, especially in regions that were portion of the former Soviet state, repressing separatist movements in the Caucasus region mainly in Chechnya, as well as providing military support for Russian separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine, clearly reveals his determination to rescue for the country at least part of the former influence and power that held Russia during Soviet era. His actions can also be seen as a reaction against the risk of political, cultural, economic and military western siege, which has been expressed by the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) advance to the East, to the extent that absorbs in its organization all the former communist states which were members of Warsaw Pact, the former military organization headed by the previous Soviet Union. Continue reading
The Brazil’s GDP (gross domestic product) was just 0.9% in 2012. This poor result has rekindled the debate about the Brazilian government ability to ensure the economic development. After a considerable period of growth in the last decade with 3.6% average annual rate, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geographic and Statistic), Brazil has been experiencing difficulties in maintaining this level which is well below of the main BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) that grew at annual average rates, in the last decade, at levels much better than Brazil: China 10.3% – India 7.1% – Russia 5.3%. Only South Africa had a similar Brazilian average growth of only 3.6%. In order to boost its economy in the past decade, Brazil Continue reading
On September 2012, it was possible to watch several demonstrations of nationalist behavior in China and Taiwan to protest against Japanese control over a small and remote group of islands in the East China Sea. This archipelago is comprised by eight islands, very small and with about 7 square kilometers. They are called by the Japanese as Senkaku Islands and by the Chinese as Diaoyu Islands. The archipelago is claimed by China and Taiwan based on Ming Dynasty’s historical documents from 1556.
The recent history of Asia presents two crucial events which were observed immediately after World War II. One of them is the People’s Republic of China foundation on October 1949, as a result of a terrible civil war, in which the Chinese Communists defeated the Kuomintang forces, forcing the retreat of the Chinese Nationalist army to the Taiwan Island. The other event, no less important, happened two years earlier, on August 1947, when the British Empire, weakened by the Second World War, agrees to grant independence to its largest colony, India. Then two countries were set forth, Pakistan and India, the first one designed to meet the Muslim community demands, and thus separated the two main religious communities which had a long history of disputes and serious difficulties of coexistence. Despite the huge human cost to make this Continue reading
Recently, during China’s 18th Party Congress, Chinese government defined the leadership of the Communist Party that will govern the country for the next 10 years. There was nothing new in the choice of Xi Jinping to succeed Hu Jintao in the president position. In fact political analysts had foreseen who would be the next president. The delegates from different regions of China, all of them from the Communist Party, just met to ratify the leadership decision. The Chinese political system does not use the popular vote. Its entire leadership is indicated by leaders who are wielding power. The Chinese government does not intend to make any kind of political change to enable popular participation. They do not even want to consider it. This Continue reading
On October 7, 2001 U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban government and to destroy Al Qaeda. It was the beginning of the war on terrorism launched by George W. Bush in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York that killed around 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. After more than ten years of war, Al Qaeda and the Taliban were not completely destroyed, and despite of the intense pursuit, of having suffered heavy material and human losses, especially in their leadership, these organizations are still operating cautiously and continuously from their secret hiding bases in Pakistan. The Pakistan government has never striven to eliminate their strongholds and impose its authority on the country’s border, despite the $20 billion U.S. support in civilian and military assistance between 2002 and 2011 according to the report from Congressional Research Service on October 2012. Continue reading
In a paradisiacal region full of small islands warmed by hot weather for the most part of the year, but also subject to typhoons and powerful tropical storms, another type of thunderstorm is coming. It is a territorial dispute among several nations of the region that has not been addressed enough by the Western media. This issue is related to territorial disputes in the South China Sea (SCS), a region rich in natural resources and with a heavy ship traffic providing the East and Southeast Asia regions with supplies from different parts of the world. One of the most important suppliers are the Middle East countries, that dispatch oil and gas through this region to sustain dependent economies, thirsty and eager for these raw materials, such as the Chinese, Japanese and Korean economies, which depend on external sources of supplies to continue working without any interruption. But what has been the subject of dispute? Basically three things: The territorial possession of the Scarborough Shoal, Paracel and Spratly Islands, called respectively Huangyan, Xisha, and Nansha Islands by the Chinese; the 200 nautical miles Economic Exploitation Zone (EEZ), and the Continental Shelf from the coastal states baselines. The majority of these small islands are composed of coral reefs, shoals and atolls. The territories are disputed partially or in total by China, Vietnam, The Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia. There is a claim from Indonesia and Brunei about the economic exploration of the 200 miles sea, without islands control interest.