This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- China extends its 'Lebensraum' policy to its passports
- Text of Constitutional Declaration by Egypt's President Morsi
- Violent protests return across Egypt after Morsi's power grab
- European Union budget summit collapses in disagreement
China extends its 'Lebensraum' policy to its passports
In a move that's infuriating almost all of China's neighbors, China is
issuing a new passport containing printed maps that claim numerous
disputed territories, many of which have historically belonged to
The map claims as sovereign territory vast regions of the South China
Sea, including areas that have historically belonged to Taiwan,
Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. Vietnam and
Philippines have issued formal complaints against the map, pointing
out that it was only recently at the ASEAN meeting that China asked
everyone to avoid doing everything provocative. China has already
stationed military garrisons in the Paracel islands, and the Chinese
have repeatedly indicated that they will use their vast military power
to crush anyone who contests their claims. China frequently says that
they want to live "in harmony" with their neighbors, but what they
mean by that is "Do exactly as we say, and we'll live in harmony;
otherwise, we'll kill you."
Taiwan has protested to China because the passport map depicts China's
sovereignty over two Taiwanese islands that are famous tourist
attractions. Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou urged China not to
"unilaterally damage the status quo of the hard-fought stability
across the Taiwan Strait." Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, the
island’s top China policy-making body, stressed that Taiwan "is an
independent sovereign country."
The map depicts several regions within India as having Chinese
sovereignty. India's government has decided not to protest, and
they're refusing to comment. Instead, they're taking action: Anyone
bringing a Chinese passport to the Indian embassy in Beijing will have
his passport stamp with a "corrected" map that shows the regions as
being part of India.
China is becoming increasingly belligerent in its "Lebensraum" policy
because of two major factors.
The first is that the Chinese people are seething with nationalism,
xenophobia, and a thirst for revenge for wrongs they suffered prior to
and during World War II. This thirst will not be quenched by anything
short of a major war, and everyone knows it.
The second factor is that China's national policy toward land is
nothing short of psychopathic. Several years ago I quoted the Chinese
ambassador to the U.N. as saying, "It's not a matter of how big Taiwan
is, but for China, one INCH of the territory is more valuable than the
LIVES of our people." I've quoted other Chinese officials and seen
numerous stories as well that point to the following conclusion: With
a population of 1.5 billion people, it's part of the Chinese DNA that
the Chinese people are worth no more than interchangeable cogs in a
wheel, and China would willingly sacrifice million or even tens of
millions of people for even a small piece of territory. There's
little doubt in my mind that China is making military plans to occupy
Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and even North America in their quest
In the current situation, the passport maps are a fait
accompli. The Chinese government will never back down and remove
the maps, and they'll provide a constant source of irritation that
will continue to infuriate all of China's neighbors. This is not the
last we've heard of this issue.
A web site reader has suggested that there is a better historical
analogy to China's actions today than Hitler's Lebensraum policy: The
"Chambers of Reunion" policy of France's King Louis XIV in the 1680s.
Louis wanted France to "reunite" with foreign territories, based on
old claims that were no longer valid:
There is a very clear political lesson about the
Chambers of Reunion that would be relevant if the Chinese keep
pushing the way they are. Indeed one could even say that lesson is
already showing signs of being repeated.
Louis XIV managed to claim a few dozen cities and related lands.
In the process, he alienated pretty much all of his neighbors to
the point that they united against him. Between the wars with
them and the civil unrest in France from trying to pay for the
wars, he wound up bankrupting France and losing everything he had
gained in order to make the claims in the first place.
China has been overreaching, and now the ASEAN nations have
started the process of uniting. They may not like each other all
that much, but none of them are interested in having China annex
everything not nailed down, along with a bunch of what is nailed
down in the process.
As the French like to say, Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme
chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Business Insider and The Hindu and Gulf Times
Text of Constitutional Declaration by Egypt's President Morsi
As we reported yesterday (see "23-Nov-12 World View -- Mohamed Morsi appoints himself 'Pharaoh' of Egypt"), Egyptians were shocked on
Thursday by the announcement of a decree by Egypt's president
Mohamed Morsi making himself a virtual dictator. Here's
the text of the Constitutional Declaration:
We have decided the following:
Reopen the investigations and prosecutions in the cases of the
murder, the attempted murder and the wounding of protesters as
well as the crimes of terror committed against the revolutionaries
by anyone who held a political or executive position under the
former regime, according to the Law of the Protection of the
Revolution and other laws.
Previous constitutional declarations, laws, and decrees made by
the president since he took office on 30 June 2012, until the
constitution is approved and a new People’s Assembly [lower house
of parliament] is elected, are final and binding and cannot be
appealed by any way or to any entity. Nor shall they be suspended
or canceled and all lawsuits related to them and brought before
any judicial body against these decisions are annulled.
The prosecutor-general is to be appointed from among the members
of the judiciary by the President of the Republic for a period of
four years commencing from the date of office and is subject to
the general conditions of being appointed as a judge and should
not be under the age of 40. This provision applies to the one
currently holding the position with immediate effect.
The text of the article on the formation of the Constituent
Assembly in the 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration that
reads, "it shall prepare a draft of a new constitution in a period
of six months from the date it was formed” is to be amended to "it
shall prepare the draft of a new constitution for the country no
later than eight months from the date of its formation."
No judicial body can dissolve the Shura Council [upper house of
parliament] or the Constituent Assembly.
The President may take the necessary actions and measures to
protect the country and the goals of the revolution.
This Constitutional Declaration is valid from the date of its
publication in the official gazette.
When you realize what it says, it's actually pretty chilling.
Violent protests return across Egypt after Morsi's power grab
Thursday's stunning power grab by Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi,
making himself a dictator who cannot be challenged in any way, has
triggered a return to massive and violent anti-government protests
typical of those directed against former president Hosni Mubarak and
the army junta last year. Police fired tear gas at thousands of
rock-throwing protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, chanting demands
that Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, resign.
In Alexandria, protesters stormed two of the Brotherhood's
Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) offices, ransacking them
and burning the contents. However, there were also pro-Morsi
demonstrators in both Cairo and Alexandria, claiming that
Morsi's presidency should be honored, since he was "democratically
Morsi's unexpected move has further polarized Egypt, and it may be
that Morsi has overplayed his hand. His decree has managed to reunite
the opposition, and they will vigorously challenge the decree on an
ongoing basis. Reuters and Al-Ahram (Cairo)
European Union budget summit collapses in disagreement
The pattern for European financial negotiations is that there's bitter
fighting and no agreement until the very last moment, and they there's
a compromise that kicks the can down the road and makes things worse.
It had been hoped that the 27 European Union nations, whose leaders
are meeting in Brussels, could agree on a new 7-year budget plan on
Friday. But it's way too early to force a last-minute solution, so
the negotiations collapsed in failure, with a new meeting scheduled
for early next year. In fact, they don't have to reach agreement at
all, which will cause the old budget simply to be rolled over. Some
of the major issues are:
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- Net contributor countries (countries that pay more in taxes
than they receive in benefits), led by Britain, want to sharply cut
spending, to match austerity policies of most countries. These include
Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Britain's prime
minister David Cameron said: "More than 200 Brussels staff earn more than I do.
Brussels continues to exist as if it’s in a parallel
universe." But net beneficiary countries, led by Poland, want the EU to spend
more money than it does now.
- France and Poland want no reduction in the money they
receive from EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP or
PAC), which provides agricultural subsidies to member states.
- Britain wants no reduction in the "rebate," money that's paid to
the U.K. in lieu of an agricultural subsidy. The rebate was
negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.