Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Too Quiet on the Eastern Front

The current upheaval in Burma might seem to have little or nothing to do with France, but the Burmese dictatorship is sustained by its dealings with China, as is the Cambodian dictatorship. If I may be permitted a bit of self-advertisement, the current New York Review of Books contains an article (not free, unfortunately: see NYROB, 54, 15, Oct. 11, p. 3) by Figaro journalist François Hauter, which I translated, entitled "Chinese Shadows." In it, Hauter reveals how the transformation of Cambodia into a source of raw materials fueling the Chinese growth machine has led to corruption and oppression on a colossal scale. The story in Burma is similar, as this article by Joshua Kurlantzick argues.

French finance minister Christine Lagarde has not been reticent when it comes to pressing the Chinese to allow their currency to appreciate. A little pressure from the French government regarding Chinese support for Asian tyrannies might also be in order. But the French are perhaps too intent on selling nuclear reactors to China to want to upset the applecart by raising unpleasant issues. The Germans, who have been lavishing attention on the Dalai Lama in recent days, seem less reluctant to goad the Chinese on human rights.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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