(Google considers withdrawing from China) Facebook, Google, etc, bastions of the fundamental human right to free speech are being systematically driven out of China by a totalitarian regime focused on ensuring the masses never question its legitimacy and very survival. To suggest that Google is departing from China because it has lost out in a highly competitive business environment portrays The Economist as towing the official Beijing line.
That Google and others are having second thoughts about their China presence clearly demonstrates the failure of dealing with China on the basis of humouring it: acceding to its sensitivities, allowing it to reword whatever language it is negotiating in, and bending over backward not to provoke or annoy China. All that such approaches have succeeded in doing is to encourage China and its people to think that it can become part of the modern world purely on its own terms, which will only make the world a more dangerous place.
(Ireland rejects the Lisbon Treaty first time around) If any other EU member’s electorate had had a chance to read and try to understand the document they too would have rejected it. As such, given the circumstances, the obvious course to take was if you don’t know, vote ‘No’.
Voters in France and the Netherlands had already voted against earlier versions of the Lisbon Treaty. And if they’d had a chance to vote again?
Ireland‘s ‘no’ vote demonstrated the power of real people. We’re all tired of the establishment telling us what is good for us without even consulting us. What’s the rush?
In North Korea, Myanmar (Burma), Zimbabwe, and Sudan’s Dafur we have four calamitous states of affairs where no amount of goodwill from the West appears to be improving the lot of the browbeaten and impoverished millions fated to live in these countries. However, one country has the power to wield considerable influence over the despotic dictators who run these countries: The People’s Republic of China. If the Beijing Olympics “One World, One Dream” Motto is to speak louder than mere words the Government of China, as a responsible member of the international community, should step up to the plate and practise what it preaches, otherwise its credibility will be forever tarnished.