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We open this edition of the Journal with an article about a new initiative which is in the planning on the part of certain southern European Union (EU) members to support private sector small business in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia with financial support. Given the current financial instability of some existing EU members one might wonder if devoting resources from countries within the EU to countries outside the EU is the wisest course of action but anything that could possibly slow the flow of terrorists and immigration to Europe from North Africa is probably worth a try as being in everybody’s interest. It also demonstrates a continued belief that the foreign aid concept of the richest countries in the world providing financial support to less developed countries with few or no strings attached will foster economic growth. When such help was government to government much of the money usually found its way into the pockets of speculators and government executives and their cronies; This new approach directly to small businesses which attempts to avoid government middle men may be a more fruitful way to go about things, Time will tell but thus far we are a long way from executing this program.
The next paper examines labor force participations by gender in Eastern and Western Europe. European countries are each about the size of Chinese provinces except for Russia. The author applies a statistical analysis to reach her conclusions which are especially interesting since most of Eastern Europe has emerged from Communism a couple of decades ago. There is also some applicability to China in her finding but the article primarily addresses what is being done in Europe - East and West.
The next piece looks at issues of global ethics and corruption focusing on two Latin American countries, Colombia and Honduras. The author is one of the leading scholars in America studying and measuring corruption in the world political systems. Given the interest in China of corruption examining other countries, even though small provides some insights into the issue of corruption and how to measures it from national level to local levels.
We then examine the world issue of China and its role as an emerging World leader. Since it emerged from the isolation of the Maoist era roughly 30years ago, China is on the verge of becoming the second biggest economic power in the world. Will its economic power lead China to play a commensurate role as a world power. China’s rulers cling to the idea that China is only an emerging power and thus not a major player in world economic affairs. In reality China is the 700 pound gorilla that has entered the world economy. Anyone who ignores this player does so at their own risk. China is now too big to ignore; the question remains how will China use its economic power? Does economic power translate into world political power? To What end?
We then depart from our usual type of article to provide some advice to our readers about the unpleasant feature of kidnapping and crisis management. We all travel and should be aware of the dangers that exist. The author advocates awareness of this threat and some preparation to avoid being kidnapped and what to do should it occur. While this article is derived from a speech delivered to a women’s group it is applicable to any world traveler.
We conclude with another Chapter from The Historical Status of China’s Tibet which is the Chinese view of this situation. We have now reached the Founding of the PRC and the “peaceful liberation of Tibet” which brings us to the present era.
As we conclude our fourth year of publication we hope we have done something to increase the understanding between the US and PRC with each other. We repeat again that such understanding between the worlds two greatest powers is necessary for a variety of reasons.
Bernard T. Pitsvada, Editor
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(c) Washington Institute of China Studies
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