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Sean in Ottawa -- Good point in your second paragraph, but we have to question Beijing's sincerity at political reform. In the 1980s, Beijing transferred some responsibilities to the provinces, but it hasn't been enough. The consequences of Beijing's insistance on unitary governance of such a large population spread out over such a large territory -- corruption at every level of government and the disregard of national laws -- aren't being resolved despite two decades of harsh punishment, including executions, directed at corrupt officials. Underlying this is Beijing's fear of its own citizens and the citizens' mistrust of government officials and their lack of confidence in Beijing's competence in problem-solving. Beijing has also been slow moving towards some form of democracy. Actually, it hasn't moved at all since 1990 when Beijing approved village-level elections in a few provinces. It was announced as an experiement and it's still considered as such 20 years later.
Paragraph four is a slippery slope. I accept that different regions of the world face different challenges and so have different priorities, but the logic of paragraph four is often used by Chinese officials to stifle real human rights in China.
Ryan1812 -- What do you mean when you say that Canada is moving inward? It's odd that you refer to sovereignty as a 19th century (or earlier) phenomenon since much of the world at that time was under imperial rule. It seems that as those empires fell and their peoples increased interaction with others while establishing their nation-states, their desire to protect their cultural, economic, and territorial interests only increased. I refer to the failure of the Leage of Nations, the Security Council, the Balkans in the 1990s, former Soviet states in eastern Europe and Central Asia, China as an emerging communist state and then as developing modern state.
Momentum Builds Behind Chinese Workers Protests
"Karl Marx was right. We should struggle like he said in 19th century Europe. Chinese factories now are just like factories in 19th century Europe. And just like Karl Marx said, only through struggle with the capitalists can we gain our rights,' Leu says. As a result, workers are extolling a communist struggle to a Communist Party government that has ditched its allegiance to the workers and joined forces with capitalists..."
I also think this business of demanding that Beijing stop manipulating Chinese currency is a hollow one. First of all, it's partly why labour costs are so low in China and enticing foreign corporations to do business in China. Remember, what's good for corporate America is good for all Americans at the same time, or at least this is the American capitalist mantra as shared by European and other globalizing capitalists.
The other thing is that the Chinese are observing how the US has manipulated its own currency for a long time with the plunge protection team's extremely visible hand interventionist policies with buying stocks and bonds to prop-up Ponzi capitalism on Wall Street, national socialism for Wall Street bankers, GM etc. The Chinese must be laughing their heads off whenever the west reminds them to please commit economic suicide as they did with Japan and the Plaza Accord by the latter half of the 1980s.
The third thing about it is that the US has stymied China from buying into key sectors of the US economy and stating the reasons for this US protectionism to be issues of "national security." They've effectively done the same thing with Canada. What's ours is theirs and what's theirs belongs to corporate America. So this whole British-American free trade theory is baloney, and the CPC in Beijing probably won't be committing economic suicide the same as Japan offered to do by 1985 or 87 or whatever in order to bail out the stagnant American economy. Neoliberal ideology was showing signs of trouble then in the Reagan era long before coming to a head by 2008.
The fourth thing is that China and the rest of the BRIC countries now see the US and Britain as criminal regimes with a likely false flag op on 9/11 ultimately and intimately tied to to fascist attacks on Yugoslavia by 1999, and fascist military attacks and military occupations Afghanistan and Iraq and marauding over the borders into other countries. China and other countries are realizing that they have been financing US military buildups all around their countries. They see the west as lawless and corrupt and are now re-thinking the central plan in general.
Closing for length.