The Geopolitics of China + Mandela’s South Africa

It’s a strange weekend here in the southern United States. Whereas the sun should be shining, the flowers blooming and the temperatures going from moderate to hot,  it feels instead like winter does not want to shake loose.  The high temperature today is a mere 50 degrees (F) and there’s a cool, constant rain that is falling.  This is May in the South??!

What it is, is a perfect day for curling under the comforter for a nice afternoon nap.

But I’d be breaking my own rules if I  get there without finishing this post. 

The other rule is that I can’t write some drivel just so I can hit the sheets. So here goes what I hope is a more discriminating effort. Even if it is writing about what someone else has written…

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I picked up on these two articles from one of my favorite publications about the world, Foreign Policy which bills itself as the global magazine of economics, politics and ideas. Nice. And yes, it is.

The first is a fine editorial on the state of things in China, and the status of China as a world power. It will be especially good reading for the Americanophile in you. And yes for the Indophile too. I confess to being both (or either, whenever the urge sneaks up on me to get selective; it’s good to keep people guessing).

Included are a couple of excerpts that are interesting in their conclusions.  Fodder to make you click on the link to read more.  

Go ahead, brush up on the current geopolitical shenanigans, why don’t you?

China’s Glass Ceiling

Sure, the Middle Kingdom is becoming a superpower, but it’s always going to be No. 2.

A US and a Chinese flag wave outside a c

The article starts this way –

“It’s over for America,” a Chinese academic told me in late 2008, two days after Goldman Sachs turned itself into a commercial bank in order to fend off possible collapse. “From here on, it’s all downhill.” Sitting in Beijing as American capitalism seemed to be hanging by a thread, it was easy to believe that one era was ending and another beginning.

And ends thus –

But it’s the United States, and not China, that has the capacity to shape the future of Asia and the world for decades to come.

Surely, surely, surely you want to read everything in between? Of course, you do! Simply click here.

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The wonder of the world wide web is that you can click on one link, and that leads you to some place interesting but it also  inevitably leads you to other quite different places, that are just as, or even more interesting.

That’s what happened to me when I finished with the feature on China.

Mandela is one of the most revered figures of our lifetime, and deservedly so.  Therefore, it was curious to me to read these headlines, just a simple click away. Of course, I took more than a peek. You should too.

After Mandela

There will never be another Nelson Mandela, but maybe that’s just what South Africa needs to save itself from ruin.

After Mandela

The reverence accorded to this great man from all around the world is massive. Yet, his name, reputation and credibility have also been exploited too many times and in all the wrong ways. His vision for South Africa has been corrupted by those in power, eager to make themselves wealthy.

Too bad and too sad, when common human weaknesses and corruption overtake and eclipse the greatness of one man and his vision for his country, a phenomenon that more countries than South Africa have witnessed in their history. (Gandhi and India, anyone?)

This is a great feature that explores the underbelly of South Africa in the shadows of this great man.  Here is the article’s concluding paragraph –

Perhaps Mandela’s death will occasion a compassionate assessment of where South Africa is as a country right now, where it should be, and how to get there. The hope in a post-Mandela South Africa is that younger leaders can find their voice anew, liberate the political parties from the sins of self-enrichment that have robbed this country of moral authority, fight once more for the rights of the poor majority, and deliver to South Africa a vigorous democracy once again. It’s sad that it might take the passing of Madiba for that to be possible.

You can read the entire article here.

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Now, for that weekend nap, capitalizing on the unusually cool and damp weather (who said you can’t?) with a couple of hours of guilt free, blissful dreaming. Here I come…

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Posted on May 5, 2013, in india and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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