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Links 1 through 10 of 275 by Keith Porter tagged us

In the past two weeks, Chinese leaders have tangled with the United States over the following issues: Iran sanctions, climate change, arms sales to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama, cyberattacks, military modernization and exchange rates.

A single sentence in the Pentagon's 105-page Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) this week even elicited a Chinese reaction. The QDR report said China's military development raises "legitimate questions" about its future conduct and intentions. Pentagon planners have regularly made that point in the past, but Beijing immediately announced its "dissatisfaction" with the comment.

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However, Turkey’s policies in its surrounding regions ought to be seen in the context of the country’s overall interests and understood in terms of its goals. A close look at these goals shows that they are complementary, if not identical, with those of Turkey’s allies, particularly the United States. Turkey seeks to be surrounded by regions that are stable. Beyond the obvious reason of not wanting to face violent conflicts on its borders, this desire for stability reflects the primacy of economic interests in the making of Turkish foreign policy.

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Among conservatives in the United States, globalism generally does not have an especially good name. To them, and to many Americans of all political persuasions, it is viewed as an inherently anti-American concept. Yet, as the Richter Scale explains, nothing could be further from the truth.Mention the word “global,” and a surprising number of Americans immediately become apprehensive. There is a litany of reasons why it makes folks uncomfortable. In part, it is a reflection of what, at least between the two coasts, is still a remarkably insular nation where only 22% of people have passports. Distance, money and nervousness — stemming from a lack of familiarity with the outside world — likely explain why many Americans have not traveled abroad. Others consider globalism as a form of liberal elitism or, worse, as a leftist attempt to circumvent traditional American values (whatever they may be) or to undermine the United States (via the United Nations, black helicopters, immigrants...

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China is currently pursuing oil resources in unstable countries without regard for the political risk entailed. While that might play well in the short- to medium-term, it could cost China dearly down the line, argue Matthew Hulbert of CSS ETH in Zurich and Dr. Christian Brütsch of the University of Zurich.

eightened levels of risk in politically unstable oil-producing countries allow relatively easy access for major Chinese oil companies in markets that would otherwise be tougher nuts to crack. What better way to get your foot in the doors of oil producers than in the absence of Western counterparts?

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Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- collectively known as the BRIC countries -- are already playing far more assertive roles in global economic affairs, as the report predicted would happen in perhaps a decade or so. At the same time, the dominant global role once monopolized by the United States with a helping hand from the major Western industrial powers -- collectively known as the Group of 7 (G-7) -- has already faded away at a remarkable pace. Countries that once looked to the United States for guidance on major international issues are ignoring Washington's counsel and instead creating their own autonomous policy networks. The United States is becoming less inclined to deploy its military forces abroad... No one seems to be saying this out loud -- yet -- but let's put it bluntly: less than a year into the 15-year span of Global Trends 2025, the days of America's unquestioned global dominance have come to an end.

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Japan’s new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, has forcefully come out against the idea of globalism — despite the fact that his country has clearly benefited from international economic integration. The Richter Scale examines why the leader of the world’s third-largest economy has spoken out in favor of nationalism. In some critical ways, Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s new prime minister, is a remarkably confused man. In an outspoken manifesto published just prior to the recent elections, he opined that “globalism has progressed without any regard for non-economic values.”

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Brazil and France have signed a major arms pact worth billions of dollars that includes transfer of key military technologies, building of submarines and purchase of helicopters. The agreement was sealed after a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva here Monday. The pact will allow the two countries to share key military technologies, including building of five submarines, one of which is nuclear-powered, in the country, as well as the purchase of 50 EC-725 helicopters by Brazil.

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With few exceptions, Beijing rarely says much of substance about its ongoing military build-up or its strategic thinking. But the overriding message from the recent Moscow Airshow and other airshows, plus occasional interviews with Chinese and Russian engineers, is that Beijing is not conceding next-generation air superiority to anyone, least of all the United States.

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The L’Aquila Statement on Non-Proliferation, released at the end of the G-8 Summit in Italy, received little notice -- except in India. Some in New Delhi took exception to one paragraph of the communiqué that called on the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to make further progress “on mechanisms to strengthen controls on transfers” of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies.

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When Japan goes to the polls on August 30, the Democratic Party of Japan is likely to oust the Liberal Democratic Party that has governed the country almost uninterrupted for more than half a century. How will this sea change in Japan's politics alter the country's foreign and defense policies? And how will it affect United States-Japan relations, ties that U.S. administrations have long described as the cornerstone of Asian-Pacific security? The brief answer is that nobody knows for sure.

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