|China Myths Debunked|
|WE all know the facts: In
1949 when the Communist
Party took over, China had
been mired in civil wars
and dismembered by foreign
aggressions; its people had suffered
widespread famine; average lifeexpectancy
was a mere 41 years.
Today, it is the second largest economy
in the world, a great power with global
influence, and its people live in
increasing prosperity; average life
expectancy has reached 74 years.
But the assessment has to go deeper
than that, for reasons none other than
the apparent discomfort, if not outright
disapproval, Western political
and intellectual elites feel toward the
Communist Party´s leadership. Five
|PETER Oborne, writing in
the conservative Daily
Telegraph, recently suggested
Conservative British Prime
Minister, David Cameron, was not
merely in a mess, he "is in a sewer."
That seems about right. Cameron
lost it over Rupert Murdoch. He
showed staggering lack of judgment
in hiring Andy Coulson, the former
News of the World editor, as his first
director of communications at
Downing Street, a hubristic decision
made against the best advice and
apparently with a dual aim: to show
he was not an old Etonian "toff" and
to get favourable treatment from the
37 percent of the British print media
owned by Murdoch.
He then spent a fair chunk of time
during his first year in office in 26
meetings with various News Corp
honchos, including Rebekah
Brooks, who was...
Merkel, Sarkozy confident of reaching common ground
BERLIN GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are confident they can agree in talks a common position for the eurozone summit on Thursday, her spokesman said.
“Germany and France ... must agree.
If this does not happen then we can’t make progress in Europe.
There is confidence on both sides that such a common line can be worked out this evening (on Wednesday),” Steffen Seibert said.
“The chancellor will go to Brussels tomorrow (Thursday).
We are very confident that we can reach a solution that is good and takes us further,” he told a regular briefing ahead of Merkel and Sarkozy’s talks from 1530 GMT.
“This is uncharted territory for all those involved.
But this is a challenge that we must all overcome,” Seibert said, saying the eurozone was facing its “biggest-ever test.” He added that although France and Germany were the two biggest economies in the 17-nation eurozone, Merkel and Sarkozy were also in close contact with other leaders as well as with EU President Herman Van Rompuy.
Finance ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus told the same briefing that he still expected the new bailout to include private sector involvement, without saying what form this would take.
“We will of course reach a solution that we, and hopefully you too, will be happy with,” Kotthaus said.
Merkel, wary of unhappy voters and a watchful constitutional court and parliament, has pressed for private investors, not just taxpayers, to pay for some of what will be the eurozone’s fourth rescue package.
But Germany, the eurozone’s paymaster, backed by Finland and the Netherlands, have been at odds with the European Central Bank and other eurozone governments over how this would work.
Credit rating agencies have warned that any changing to the terms and conditions of outstanding Greek sovereign debt would lead them to classify Athens as being in default, something which could have dramatic results.