Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Global power: The dangers of a rising China | The Economist

This is a superb article from The Economist from the December 2nd 2010 edition which I felt like sharing - Global power: The dangers of a rising China The Economist. I hope you enjoy it.

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Global power: The dangers of a rising China | The Economist

China and America are bound to be rivals, but they do not have to be antagonists

TOWARDS the end of 2003 and early in 2004 China's most senior leaders put aside the routine of governing 1.3 billion people to spend a couple of afternoons studying the rise of great powers. You can imagine history's grim inventory of war and destruction being laid out before them as they examined how, from the 15th century, empires and upstarts had often fought for supremacy. And you can imagine them moving on to the real subject of their inquiry: whether China will be able to take its place at the top without anyone resorting to arms.

In many ways China has made efforts to try to reassure an anxious world. It has repeatedly promised that it means only peace. It has spent freely on aid and investment, settled border disputes with its neighbours and rolled up its sleeves in UN peacekeeping forces and international organisations. When North Korea shelled a South Korean island last month China did at least try to create a framework to rein in its neighbour.

But reasonable China sometimes gives way to aggressive China. In March, when the North sank a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors, China failed to issue any condemnation. A few months later it fell out with Japan over some Chinese fishermen, arrested for ramming Japanese coastguard vessels around some disputed islands—and then it locked up some Japanese businessmen and withheld exports of rare earths vital for Japanese industry. And it has forcefully reasserted its claim to the Spratly and Paracel Islands and to sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea.

As the Chinese leaders' history lesson will have told them, the relationship that determines whether the world is at peace or at war is that between pairs of great powers. Sometimes, as with Britain and America, it goes well. Sometimes, as between Britain and Germany, it does not.

So far, things have gone remarkably well between America and China. While China has devoted itself to economic growth, American security has focused on Islamic terrorism and war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the two mistrust each other. China sees America as a waning power that will eventually seek to block its own rise. And America worries about how Chinese nationalism, fuelled by rediscovered economic and military might, will express itself.

The Peloponnesian pessimists

Pessimists believe China and America are condemned to be rivals. The countries' visions of the good society are very different. And, as China's power grows, so will its determination to get its way and to do things in the world. America, by contrast, will inevitably balk at surrendering its pre-eminence.

They are probably right about Chinese ambitions. Yet China need not be an enemy. Unlike the Soviet Union, it is no longer in the business of exporting its ideology. Unlike the 19th-century European powers, it is not looking to amass new colonies. And China and America have a lot in common. Both benefit from globalisation and from open markets where they buy raw materials and sell their exports. Both want a broadly stable world in which nuclear weapons do not spread and rogue states, like Iran and North Korea, have little scope to cause mayhem. Both would lose incalculably from war.

The best way to turn China into an opponent is to treat it as one. The danger is that spats and rows will sour relations between China and America, just as the friendship between Germany and Britain crumbled in the decades before the first world war. It is already happening in defence. Feeling threatened by American naval power, China has been modernising its missiles, submarines, radar, cyber-warfare and anti-satellite weapons. Now America feels on its mettle. Recent Pentagon assessments of China's military strength warn of the threat to Taiwan and American bases and to aircraft-carriers near the Chinese coast. The US Navy has begun to deploy more forces in the Pacific. Feeling threatened anew, China may respond. Even if neither America nor China intended harm—if they wanted only to ensure their own security—each could nevertheless see the other as a growing threat.

Some would say the solution is for America to turn its back on military rivalry. But a weaker America would lead to chronic insecurity in East Asia and thus threaten the peaceful conduct of trade and commerce on which America's prosperity depends. America therefore needs to be strong enough to guarantee the seas and protect Taiwan from Chinese attack.

How to take down the Great Wall

History shows that superpowers can coexist peacefully when the rising power believes it can rise unhindered and the incumbent power believes that the way it runs the world is not fundamentally threatened. So a military build-up needs to be accompanied by a build-up of trust.

There are lots of ways to build trust in Asia. One would be to help ensure that disputes and misunderstandings do not get out of hand. China should thus be more open about its military doctrine—about its nuclear posture, its aircraft-carriers and missile programme. Likewise, America and China need rules for disputes including North Korea, Taiwan, space and cyber-warfare. And Asia as a whole needs agreements to help prevent every collision at sea from becoming a trial of strength.

America and China should try to work multilaterally. Instead of today's confusion of competing venues, Asia needs a single regional security forum, such as the East Asia Summit, where it can do business. Asian countries could also collaborate more in confidence-boosting non-traditional security, such as health, environmental protection, anti-piracy and counter-terrorism, where threats by their nature cross borders.
If America wants to bind China into the rules-based liberal order it promotes, it needs to stick to the rules itself. Every time America breaks them—by, for instance, protectionism—it feeds China's suspicions and undermines the very order it seeks.

China and America have one advantage over history's great-power pairings: they saw the 20th century go disastrously wrong. It is up to them to ensure that the 21st is different.


Other posts:

Will Smith talks about life and his work ethic
Interesting Economist Article
Professional Development article

Monday, 13 December 2010

Cool Public Speaking Quote

This is one of my favourite quotes from Robert Cavett. I love quotes and I've listed most of my favourites on my website, many of which I obtained from where they sort them all by author and genre - here's a link to my Goodreads Quotes page where I've got many more 'favourited'.

"Any person who cannot speak articulately and express their thoughts is handicapped in accomplishing their life goals. A person who doesn't read is no better off than a person who can't read. People who can't communicate their ideas and knowledge are no better off than those people who do not possess those ideas and that knowledge."

Robert Cavett always had a desire to help other people and to speak. He joined Toastmasters International and won the International Speaking Contest in his second attempt. This launched his speaking career. He was also awarded the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International, and Speaker of the Year by United Airlines and International Speakers Network. For the next 25 years he went around the country speaking. In those days the only "professional" speakers were doctors, lawyers and politicians. In 1966, he got the desire to help other people to become better speakers with the idea that there was always enough room in the profession for more. This would be an uphill battle since only 3% of organizations in that day used outside professional speakers. But Cavett's life motto was: "Don't worry about how we divide up the pie, there is enough for everybody. Let's just build a bigger pie!" Most professions are so filled with competition, that this thinking isn't rewarded, but to the speaking profession, this would ignite an industry boom. An industry where very few of the organizations used professional speakers.

Here is the man himself in action.

Some other famous quotes from Cavett:

"Any man who selects a goal in life which can be fully acheived has already defined his own limitations."

"Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed."

"If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one."

"In a dark time, the eye begins to see."

"When it's foggy in the pulpit it's cloudy in the pew."

Thank you for stopping by my blog; if you'd like to subscribe there are links on the right hand side of the page - and if you liked a post please leave a comment or if you would like to connect on one of the social networking sites you can send me a private message via Facebook as well as Myspace.

All the best,


Other posts related to public speaking:

Article about Motivational Public Speaking
Presentation Skills Training from around the World
My first Toastmasters Public Speaking article

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Video on the Shift from Desktop to the Cloud

This is a great video on the shift from desktop to the Cloud which I liked so much I thought I would post here with its' description.

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network (typically the Internet).

Cloud computing provides computation, software applications, data access, and storage resources without requiring cloud users to know the location and other details of the computing infrastructure.

End users access cloud based applications through a web browser or a light weight desktop or mobile app while the business software and data are stored on servers at a remote location. Cloud application providers strive to give the same or better service and performance as if the software programs were installed locally on end-user computers.

At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of infrastructure convergence (or Converged Infrastructure) and shared services. This type of data centre environment allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with easier manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust IT resources (such as servers, storage, and networking) to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.

Thank you for visiting this blog, if you'd like to subscribe there are links on the right hand side of the page - and if you liked a post please leave a comment! If you would like to connect on one of the social networking sites you can send me a message via Facebook or my Myspace page.

All the best,



Other posts you might like:

Will Smith talks about Life
Economist Article about the internet
No Excuses Ever - Professional Development article

Monday, 6 December 2010

Presentation Skills Training from World Champion of Public Speaking Crai...

This video is from Craig Valentine - I like his idea of making what he calls a 'Foundational Statement' at the beginning of a presentation very much. I recently followed every one of his weekly 52 speaking tips and if you're interested in public speaking too you might want to check them out.

Craig is an award-winning speaker and trainer. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken around the world giving as many as 160 presentations per year. He is the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International, winning out of more than 25,000 contestants in 14 countries.

Thank you for visiting this blog, if you'd like to subscribe there are links on the right hand side of the page - and if you liked a post please leave a comment or if you would like to connect on one of the social networking sites you can send me a message at Facebook or via my Myspace page too.

All the best,


Other posts you might like:
Motivational Public Speaking Article
Interesting Public Speaking Quote
#1 Toastmasters Public Speaking Article
The Shift from Desktop to the Cloud

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Motivational Public Speaking

I visited a site today and watched the linked video, which although is 20 minutes long is one of the finest examples of public speaking I've seen and well worth the time to view in its entirety.

Thank you for visiting this blog, if you'd like to subscribe there are links on the right hand side of the page - and if you liked a post please leave a comment or if you would like to connect on one of the social networking sites you can send me a private message at Facebook or even Myspace. Plus you can send me a message via my website.

All the best,