World View: Full Text of Morsi's Constitutional Declaration

This morning's key headlines from

  • 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 other countries. 

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 for Lebensraum.

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:

Article I

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.

Article II:

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.

Article III:

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.

Article IV:

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."

Article V:

No judicial body can dissolve the Shura Council [upper house of parliament] or the Constituent Assembly.

Article VI:

The President may take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution.

Article VII:

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. Al-Ahram (Cairo)

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 elected."

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: 

  • 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.

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