We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blood on the tracks of the New Silk Roads

Click here to access article by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times.

This devoted China booster writes that the Chinese Communist Party is distressed by the current conflict pitting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain against Qatar and Turkey. The former faction is opposed to the latter's increasingly warming relations with Iran and Russia. And, Trump in his profound ignorance probably ignited this fire.
China’s cardinal foreign policy imperative is to refrain from interfering abroad while advancing the proverbial good relations with key political actors – even when they may be at each other’s throats.

Still, it’s nothing but gut-wrenching for Beijing to watch the current, unpredictable, Saudi-Qatari standoff. There’s no endgame in sight, as plausible scenarios include even regime change and a seismic geopolitical shift in Southwest Asia – what a Western-centric view calls the Middle East.
Since the late 1970s under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese Communist Party launched what they regard as a "win-win" strategy using economic development to solve conflicts both within China and abroad. (See my commentary here starting with "For background material on contemporary China ...".)

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