WHY WE FIGHT: Chinese Democracy


[Photo via DAILY MAIL]

REUTERS: Construction over the next two decades will be unprecedented as the number of city dwellers rises by over 350 million — more than the U.S. population — to 926 million in 2025 from 572 million in 2005. By 2025, China will have 221 cities with more than 1 million people, compared with 35 in Europe today. China will need to build between 20,000 and 50,000 new skyscrapers — the equivalent of up to 10 New York Cities.

chinagas_1.jpgTED KOPPEL: China’s streets have gone from being jammed with bicycles to being jammed with cars. The nation is adding 25,000 new vehicles to its roads every day — that’s more than 9 million a year — and the government is building tens of thousands of miles of new highways. As millions of new drivers hit the road, this newfound freedom is bringing more accidents, more traffic and more pollution. China will soon become the world’s largest producer of cars as well as the biggest market for new cars. Foreign automakers like GM and Ford are already enjoying huge success in China — today, more Buicks are sold in China than in the U.S. Meanwhile, Chinese automakers are planning an assault on the U.S. market with low-cost cars and they hope to be in American showrooms as early as next year. MORE

CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON GLOBALIZATION: In recent months, Beijing has embarked on a series ofdarfurmapcropped_1.jpg initiatives designed to secure long-term raw materials sources from one of the planet’s most endowed regions—the African subcontinent. No raw material has higher priority in Beijing at present than the securing of long term oil sources. Today China draws an estimated 30% of its crude oil from Africa. That explains an extraordinary series of diplomatic initiatives which have left Washington furious. China is using no-strings-attached dollar credits to gain access to Africa’s vast raw material wealth, leaving Washington’s typical control game via the World Bank and IMF out in the cold. Who needs the painful medicine of the IMF when China gives easy terms and builds roads and schools to boot? In November last year Beijing hosted an extraordinary summit of 40 African heads of state. They literally rolled out the red carpet for the heads of among others Algeria, Nigeria, Mali, Angola, Central African Republic, Zambia, South Africa. MORE

BBC: On Monday, the BBC’s Panorama programme revealed evidence that China had sent military trucks to Sudan, which were used in attacks on civilians in Darfur. It also said China was training fighter pilots who fly darfur_120904b_1.jpgChinese A5 jets there. But China’s special envoy for Darfur, Liu Guijin, says his country has never violated a UN ban on arms to Darfur. The UN embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, in which the UN estimates about 300,000 people have died. More than two million people are also believed to have fled their villages in Darfur, destroyed by pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: China expressed “grave concern” over the decision by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to charge President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan with genocide in the Darfur region. China is a major investor in Sudan’s oil industry and the country’s biggest supplier of arms. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Liu Jianchao, said the prosecution would make it more difficult to bring peace and stability to Darfur. MORE

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