Floods continue to ravage Southern China, I see the latest body count is up to 79 (Friday morning).
The international press is heralding China’s role in disarming North Korea’s nuclear weapons, while at the same time condemning the rapid growth of its own military and more recent clampdowns on civil liberties and the arrest of more journalists.
Every day I look at my Google News Alert for China and experience a shock of panic, until I realize that it’s just another catchy article title about the Asian Cup that is so much on the mind of every football fan. “China Can’t Keep up with Peers,” “Uzbekistan Crush China,” “Up Against Iran, Again,” “The Battle Wages On.”
The Vice President of Indonesia said some very interesting things during a speach recently. He very wisely pointed out the constant tension between democracy and liberty, on the one hand, and a guarentee of stability on the other. Foreign investment plays a large role in Indonesia’s economy, and ensuring a stable environment to maintain the confidence of these investors is seen as a priority for the government. Kalla, the VP, said “he is always thankful to hear compliments about Indonesia’s strides forward in democracy, but not when those giving the compliments hopped on a plane and went to Beijing with their investment dollars.” (ABC News, http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/07/19/1983232.htm?section=justin)