South China Sea

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pages: 399 words: 120,226

Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas by John S. Burnett

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British Empire, cable laying ship, Dava Sobel, defense in depth, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, Malacca Straits, North Sea oil, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

I throw my gear into my seabag and take a launch across the harbor to the sister ship of the Petro Ranger—the Petro Concord. The passage ahead will take me from Singapore across the South China Sea to Ho Chi Minh City, the same route of the Petro Ranger, and past the spot where she was hijacked. 17 Into the Dead Zone Petro Concord, South China Sea If a voyage down the Malacca Straits on the Montrose was an exercise in caution and awareness, then a passage across the murderous waters of the South China Sea on a smaller tanker is a passage in abject fear. Ships out here are far more alone, more vulnerable, than in the congested and tightly regulated channels. Located just on the other side of the Straits, the South China Sea is a violent, unregulated no-man’s-land, the private game reserve of organized crime; it is in these international waters that the hulking beasts of the sea like the Petro Ranger are hunted down.

Some investigating officials are convinced that money from these activities has funneled down to various militant organizations in the region, including the Abu Sayaf in the Philippines, and to GAM, the fundamentalist separatist movement on Sumatra, and to the Jamaah Islamiah in Malaysia.42 Four loosely connected multinational crime organizations control four areas: The Singapore syndicate controls the southern part of the South China Sea and Malacca Straits; Bangkok controls the Andaman Sea, bordered by Thailand, Burma, and Malaysia; triads in Hong Kong control the northern part of the South China Sea; Jakarta controls the Java Sea and parts of the South China Sea to Borneo. There are syndicate branches in Vietnam, Malaysia, Sumatra, Cambodia, the Philippines, Burma, and mainland China. Targeted cargo vessels steaming from one turf to another provide the syndicates with a movable feast and often the spoils are divided. Eric Ellen, a lawyer by education and a cop by temperament, had been asked to form the IMB because of his expertise in terrorism and maritime crime.

This passage crossed the South China Sea, a lawless, disputed no-man’s-land where ships are frequently hijacked by pirates in the employ of organized crime syndicates for the precious cargoes they carry. It was on this route that the Petro Concord’s sister ship had been hijacked. We, too, were a perfect soft target, and the voyage turned out to be a hair-raising experience. To get an industry perspective I attended the darkly named Fourth International Meeting of Piracy and Phantom Ships. There were few expectations that this conference would have much effect on the alarming number of attacks. However, to the surprise of the delegates, the meeting concluded with a dramatic real-time high-seas chase after pirates and the rescue of a tanker hijacked in the South China Sea. I have woven throughout this personal investigation some chilling events that cannot help but touch all of us.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Now, keeping the sea lanes into Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and other Chinese ports open and free from piracy or terrorism is something of critical importance to China and its trading partners. All of this makes the South China Sea one of the most strategically important stretches of water in the world, particularly when it comes to the oil tankers and specialised bulk carriers that bring energy resources and other raw materials to China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. As much as a third of the world’s traded crude oil passes through these waters. China says it wants peaceful, cooperative, and mutually beneficial relations with its neighbours in the South China Sea, but rich fishery stocks and potential energy reserves make this area a place of ongoing tension. China is involved in a number of disputed sites, most notably the Spratlys (Nansha) and Paracels (Xisha), with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei.

Further to the north, in the East China Sea, China is in dispute with Japan over the Senkaku Islands (known by China as the Diaoyutai). A sample of the rhetoric that prevails comes from this editorial commentary in China’s state-controlled Global Times newspaper on 21 June 2011: Vietnam has been taking risky actions in the South China Sea for some time. It has occupied 29 Chinese islands. It has been gaining the most benefits from undersea natural gas and oil exploitation. It is also the most aggressive in dealing with China . . . China has to send a clear message that it will take whatever measures necessary to protect its interests in the South China Sea. If Vietnam continues to provoke China in this region, China will first deal with it with maritime police forces, and if necessary, strike back with naval forces.8 Vietnam controls the largest number of islands in the Spratlys group, which is situated between Vietnam and the western coasts of the Philippines, Brunei, and Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo.

A short time later, two of the PRC vessels stopped directly ahead of USNS Impeccable, forcing Impeccable to conduct an emergency “all stop” in order to avoid collision. They dropped pieces of wood in the water directly in front of Impeccable’s path. The incident took place in international waters in the South China Sea, about 75 miles south of Hainan Island. It was preceded by days of increasingly aggressive conduct by Chinese vessels.10 Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu (10 March 2009): China has lodged a solemn representation to the United States as the USNS Impeccable conducted activities in China’s special economic zone in the South China Sea without China’s permission. We demand that the United States put an immediate stop to related activities and take effective measures to prevent similar acts from happening. The U.S. claims are gravely in contravention of the facts and confuse black and white and they are totally unacceptable to China.11 The United States and China each continues to maintain it was in the right in the USNS Impeccable incident.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World by Tim Marshall

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9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

The Americans know this, and know the Chinese are working toward a land-based antiship missile system to double the reasons why the US Navy, or any of its allies, might one day want to think hard about sailing through the South China Sea. Or indeed, any other “China sea.” And all the while, the developing Chinese space project will be watching every move the Americans make, and those of its allies. So, having gone clockwise around the land borders, we now look east, south, and southwest toward the sea. Under the water China is playing catch-up in submarine warfare. It may be able to surface a sub next to a US carrier group, but its underwater fleet is too noisy to hunt enemy submarines. While it works on this problem it is deploying anti-submarine ships and is busy installing a network of underwater sensors in the East and South China Seas. Between China and the Pacific is the archipelago that Beijing calls the “first island chain.”

This dispute over ownership of more than two hundred tiny islands and reefs is poisoning China’s relations with its neighbors. National pride means China wants to control the passageways through the chain; geopolitics dictates it has to. It provides access to the world’s most important shipping lanes in the South China Sea. In peacetime the route is open in various places, but in wartime it could very easily be blocked, thus blockading China. All great nations spend peacetime preparing for the day war breaks out. The South China Sea is a hotly contested area between China and its neighbors that leads to disputes over ownership of islands, natural resources, and control of the seas and shipping lanes. Free access to the Pacific is first hindered by Japan. Chinese vessels emerging from the Yellow Sea and rounding the Korean Peninsula would have to go through the Sea of Japan and up through La Perouse Strait above Hokkaido and into the Pacific.

It has always been a choke point—and the Chinese remain vulnerable to being choked. All of the states along the strait, and near its approaches, are anxious about Chinese dominance and most have territorial disputes with Beijing. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, and the energy supplies believed to be beneath it, as its own. However, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei also have territorial claims against China and one another. For example, the Philippines and China argue bitterly over the Mischief Islands, a large reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which one day could live up to their name. Every one of the hundreds of disputed atolls, and sometimes just rocks poking out of the water, could be turned into a diplomatic crisis, as surrounding each rock is a potential dispute about fishing zones, exploration rights, and sovereignty.


pages: 217 words: 61,407

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short by David Archibald

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Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Added into that mix are the nuclear weapons of Pakistan (a future failed state) and the ones that Iran is intent on making. China is a more formidable threat. A recent Pentagon report described China’s claim to the South China Sea as “enigmatic.” It is nothing of the sort. The claim is China’s way of grabbing its neighbors’ traditional fishing grounds and asserting hegemony in the region. China has become nasty and aggressive. It is the schoolyard bully who wants to pick a fight in order to get respect. Now the Chinese, having warned that they will seize any ships that cross the South China Sea without prior permission, can’t back down without losing face. Blood will be shed before the situation is resolved. The world’s problems will only be exacerbated by the dwindling supply of fossil fuels. Oil was in inherent oversupply from the discovery of the giant East Texas Oilfield in 1930 until 2004.

They also prefer that other nations be deferential to them in a hierarchical arrangement with China at the top. Their view of the world was confirmed by the global financial crisis of 2008, during which the Europeans begged to be bailed out of their predicament with Chinese money. That sealed the deal in terms of their contempt for foreign cultures that are far more self-indulgent than China’s. In fact, China’s harsher tone toward the West dates from 2008. THE SOUTH CHINA SEA China has attempted to seize the South China Sea as far south as the Natuna Islands, part of Indonesia. The Chinese claim bumps up against the coast of Borneo. The area has been almost completely uninhabited because there was nothing worth staying for. No fishing settlements were there, so the fishing cannot be that attractive. There may be some oil and gas potential out from the coast of Vietnam on the continental shelf.

The rest of the area is deep water with coral reefs and carbonate platforms in the same style as the Bahamas Platform east of Florida. In short, there are no natural resources worth losing blood over. The claim is purely political. China plans to enforce its claim by building a large fleet of naval vessels badged as coast guard vessels. The United States does not recognize the Chinese claim and has stated that it will send naval ships through the South China Sea as usual. The practical effect for the nations of the South China Sea littoral—Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines—apart from loss of traditional fishing grounds, is a great inconvenience for shipping. A vessel sailing from Hanoi to Japan would have to travel a further 3,000 kilometers to avoid being seized in the Chinese claim area. There are three prominent Chinese bases in the Spratly Islands west of the Philippines on Mischief Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, and Subi Reef.


pages: 282 words: 92,998

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard A. Clarke, Robert Knake

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barriers to entry, complexity theory, data acquisition, Just-in-time delivery, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, trade route, Y2K, zero day

The lesson the Pentagon official takes away is that China can take economic lumps and may well do so if the gains from warfare are perceived as high enough. What might such gains be? The trite answer one often hears is that China may find itself forced to stop Taiwan from implementing a declaration of independence. When serious analysts weigh the prospects of open conflict with China, however, they see it playing out over the open waters of the South China Sea. The Spratly Islands are not exactly a tourist destination. They are not exactly islands. If all were piled up together, the reefs, sandbars, and rocks in the South China Sea would amount to less than two square miles of land. That two square miles of land is spread out over more than 150,000 square miles of ocean. It’s not the islands that China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei are feuding over, but what is under them and around them. The reefs have some of the largest remaining stocks of fish in the world, a resource not to be discounted among the growing and hungry nations that lay claim to the waters.

The not-so-subtle message is that the pride of China’s navy, its one carrier, could easily be sunk by the 7th Fleet, causing great loss of face to the Chinese military; maybe it’s better not to get into what could prove to be such an embarrassing fight. U.S. intelligence then learns that the Chinese are loading up their South Sea Fleet for an amphibious landing on disputed islands in the South China Sea. Cyber Command is asked by the Pentagon to buy some time, to slow down the Chinese landings by disrupting the troops and supplies getting ready to load up on the ships still in port. The Chinese South Sea Fleet is headquartered in Zhanjiang, on the Leizhou Peninsula, and its air force supporting operations in the South China Sea is on Hainan, in the Tonkin Gulf. The Fleet Headquarters and the Naval Air Base do not have their own electric grid; they are connected to the public power system. They do not have their own large generators, just smaller emergency backup units.

The fact that you have done that damage to them may cause the opponent to feel compelled to respond in kind. Or, if you have a highly rational actor on the other side, they’ll understand that the stakes are getting too high and they stand to suffer even more serious losses if things continue. In Exercise South China Sea, the PLA decided to engage in escalation dominance. In response to a cyber attack on the power grid in southeastern China, they not only hit the West Coast power grid, they disrupted the global Defense Department intranet, damaged the databases of U.S. financial clearinghouses, and sent additional kinetic warfare units into the crisis zone in the South China Sea. As the game continued, the U.S. leadership had to decide quickly whether it stood to lose more than China in the next round of cyber war escalation. America would have been at a disadvantage, because it stood to lose more in an ongoing, escalating cyber war.


pages: 251 words: 63,630

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein

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business climate, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, high net worth, illegal immigration, income per capita, indoor plumbing, job-hopping, Maui Hawaii, price stability, quantitative easing, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional

More urgently, factions with chips on their shoulders within China don’t want to be pushed around by America anymore. They are demanding a more muscular Chinese military presence that is willing to flex its muscles to demonstrate to its neighbors and the rest of the world there is an end to American hegemony and a new world order. In 2011 China launched stealth airplanes and an aircraft carrier, and took a more aggressive and nationalistic stance in disputes with Japan and in the South China Sea with the Philippines and Vietnam. Although China historically does not have a history of straying far beyond its borders in military exercises, preferring to stay closer to its orbit, a meek, inwardly focused China is not a foregone conclusion as threats to its stability from internal issues diminish while threats from the outside rise. It does not matter if you are a businessman, politician, teacher, student, or just someone curious about China and changes in the world today: It is important to understand, by using objective data points rather than red herrings and phantom facts, how the End of Cheap China will impact all our lives.

As a result, they often overestimate China’s military capabilities. One retired senior politician from America told me, “If China is increasing its trade volumes around the world, shouldn’t it be securing its own shipping lanes?” He was irritated because he felt China was freeloading on the U.S. Navy’s protection of maritime trade routes, but was taking an increasingly muscular stand in the South China Sea, causing anger in Vietnam and the Philippines. AMERICA On a trip to the United States in early 2011 to give a speech at the Wharton School of Business, I took my three-year-old son, Tom, to New York to see Times Square. I had heard about a major advertising campaign the Chinese government had launched on electronic billboards there to improve its image with the millions of tourists who pass through each year.

As China evolves, it will offer clues that companies and countries can use to adapt to the new role it plays in world affairs. These clues fall into three key areas: 1. China as a new hegemonic power: One key element in the rise of any superpower is how it will enforce and display its newly acquired power. Will China try to force its ideology on the rest of the world, as most great powers, like the United States, try to do? Does its recent aggressive posturing with its neighbors, like the Philippines in the South China Sea and Japan, foreshadow a return to war, or are China’s words and military maneuvers simply a jockeying for power in a new world system, much as kids duke it out on the playground at the start of a school year? 2. Economic growth hitting a wall: Will China’s soaring economy ever stall? More and more analysts, even relatively bullish ones, wonder whether its economy can sustain its 10 percent annual growth.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Within two decades of the Dutch scholar Hugo Grotius advocating freedom of the seas (Mare liberum), the English jurist John Selden formulated a response aimed at affirming control over offshore waters: mare clausum (closed sea). Today many coastal nations claim exclusive economic zones stretching two hundred nautical miles from their shores, with dozens of overlapping claims causing legal friction and naval skirmishes. In navigating global waters for commercial gain, China is a reminder of Grotius and the Dutch. But when it comes to the South China Sea, China uses an audacious term even Selden would have blushed at: “blue soil.” While China has come late to the South China Sea waters in search of energy resources, it has been clever to focus its attention on areas already identified—and auctioned—by PetroVietnam to Exxon as well as Indian, Russian, and other companies that have long been operating under Vietnamese licenses. It has also deployed new technologies such as the HYSY 981 mobile deepwater drilling rig that allow for the kind of kinetic maneuvering previously possible only on land.

Back in Paris, we might have opted for an overnight sleeper to Moscow, from which we could catch the fabled Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok—and carry on to Pyongyang and Seoul—or branch off a bit earlier toward Beijing, via either Manchuria or Mongolia. Either way, if we opt for the tropical route, we’ll speed southward along the world’s most extensive high-speed rail network into mountainous Yunnan and its capital, Kunming. From there, we can cross directly into Laos and take in Vientiane before crossing into Thailand toward Bangkok, or take a coastal route along the South China Sea via Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and through Phnom Penh in Cambodia to Bangkok. Now the options narrow with the geography: we speed on down the Malay Peninsula to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the southernmost point on mainland Asia. But water hasn’t stopped us so far, so let’s continue by train through a tunnel under the strategic Strait of Malacca onto Indonesia’s largest island of Sumatra, then over the Sunda Strait bridge to reach the capital, Jakarta, on Java, the world’s most populous island with more than 150 million people.

China’s now infamous “9-dash line” map—most recently issued with ten dashed lines—depicts sovereign claims hanging downward like a tongue along the Vietnamese coast, along Borneo island, and past the Philippines to Taiwan. It would be like America claiming the entire Caribbean to Venezuela’s coast as its own—which was indeed the gist of the early twentieth-century Roosevelt corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. But China’s aggressive maps and aerial defense identification zones are meant not to deny others’ usage of the South China Sea but rather to position itself to better harvest as much as possible of the estimated thirty trillion cubic meters of natural gas and ten billion barrels of oil deposited under disputed waters. China’s “use it or lose it” approach also involves installing brick-and-mortar airstrips, lighthouses, garrisons, signals stations, and administrative centers on neglected or abandoned islands in the Spratly and Paracel chains.*3 Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands has become the epicenter of what some call an “island factory” where large-scale sand dredging and land reclamation are used to build up and connect separate shoals into larger islands.


pages: 859 words: 204,092

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of the Middle Kingdom by Martin Jacques

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, credit crunch, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income per capita, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

Chinese legal scholars argue that: ‘a judicial fact must be appreciated in the light of the laws contemporary with it, rather than the laws in force at the time when a dispute arises.’92 This gives force and legitimacy to history rather than the present, to the laws that prevailed during the era of the tributary system rather than the present international legal system. Map 11. Chinese Claims in the South China Sea In 1984 Deng Xiaoping suggested ‘the possibility of resolving certain territorial disputes by having the countries concerned jointly develop the disputed areas before discussing the question of sovereignty’.93 In other words, the question of sovereignty should not necessarily delay moving forward on other issues. Deng’s remark has frequently been cited by Chinese sources in the context of the islands in the South China Sea, where his approach has in practice been followed, and in relation to the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands in the East China Sea that are disputed with Japan; it has also been suggested in connection with Taiwan.94 While insisting on their ultimate sovereignty over the latter, the Chinese have offered to shelve the matter more or less indefinitely, providing Taiwan does not seek to declare independence, illustrating the flexibility with which the Chinese are prepared to approach the issue.

Far from China’s expansion to its present borders being a harmonious and natural process, the realization of a nation always waiting to be born, it was in fact, as one would expect, a complicated process of war, rivalry, ethnic conflict, hegemony, assimilation, conquest and settlement.20 The embryo of contemporary China was born out of the military victory of the Qin kingdom (221- 206 BC), following the Warring State period during which over 100 states fought for supremacy in north and central China. The Qin dynasty - which, prior to its triumph, roughly coincided with the present north-west province of Shaanxi - eventually emerged victorious over six other kingdoms and succeeded in expanding its territory sixfold.21 During the 2,000 years that followed the Qin victory, China expanded southwards to the South China Sea, northwards to incorporate much of the steppe lands, and westwards into Central Asia. Far from this enormous geographical expansion being characterized by a natural process of fusion, peace and harmony, it predictably entailed much conflict and many wars.22 The growth of China is the story of the outward expansion of the northern Chinese. The best-known area of conflict concerns the region to the north of Beijing, bordering on what we now know roughly as Mongolia and Manchuria.

., China) - China proposed the creation of a China-ASEAN free trade area to be established by 2010 (initial discussions had begun in 1999).25 The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, or ACFTA as it became known, was an extraordinarily bold proposal to create a market of almost 2 billion people, thereby making it by far the largest free trade area in the world.26 The ASEAN countries had become increasingly nervous about the effect China’s growing economic power might have on their own exports and also their inward foreign investment: its proposal for a free trade area helped reassure them that China would not pursue economic growth regardless of the consequences for others. At the ASEAN-China summit in 2003, China formally acceded to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation - which committed China to the core elements of ASEAN’s 1967 Charter - the first non-ASEAN country to do so (India has since followed). In 2002 it also signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which rejected the use of force in resolving the disputes over the Spratly and Paracel islands.27 These had been a serious and continuing source of tension between China on the one hand and Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei on the other, culminating in military conflict with Vietnam28 and the Philippines.29 The agreements between ASEAN and China were to have a major impact on the political dynamics of East Asia.

Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomksy

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British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

Laray Polk Dallas, Texas September 2012 Footnotes: 1 “To the world’s military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts.” Eric Talmadge, “As Ice Cap Melts, Militaries Vie for Arctic Edge,” Associated Press, April 16, 2012. Areas of future hostilities over oil include the Strait of Hormuz, South China Sea, and Caspian Sea basin. Michael T. Klare, “Danger Waters: The Three Top Hot Spots of Potential Conflict in the Geo-Energy Era,” TomDispatch.com, January 10, 2012. On drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, see note 3, chap. 1. 2 In 2005, while deep-water drilling in Angola, an Exxon spokesperson said, “All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found. Now comes the harder work in finding and producing oil from more challenging environments and work areas.”

And if anybody doesn’t follow orders, they’re aggressive. In fact, that’s going on with China right now. It’s been a kind of a hassle, also hasn’t been discussed much in the United States—but is discussed quite a lot in China, about control of the seas in China’s vicinity. Their navy is expanding, and that’s discussed here and described as a major threat. What they’re trying to do is to be able to control the waters nearby China—the South China Sea, Yellow Sea, and so on—and that’s described here as aggressive intent. The Pentagon just released a report on the dangers of China. Their military budget is increasing; it’s now one-fifth what the US spends in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is of course a fraction of the military budget. Not long ago, the US was conducting naval exercises in the waters off China. China was protesting particularly over the plans to send an advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, into those waters, which, according to China, has the capacity to hit Beijing with nuclear weapons—and they didn’t like it.

The US is strongly supporting India and Israel, and the reason is they’ve now turned India into a close strategic ally—Israel always was. India, on the other hand, is playing it pretty cool. They’re also improving their relations with China. President Obama recently secured military basing rights in Australia and formed a new free-trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excludes China. Is this move related to the South China Sea? Yes, in particular that, but it’s more general. It has to do with the “classic security dilemma” that I mentioned before, referring to the strategic analysis literature. China’s efforts to gain some measure of control over nearby seas and its major trade routes are inconsistent with what the US calls “freedom of the seas”—a term that doesn’t extend to Chinese military maneuvers in the Caribbean or even most of the world’s oceans, but does include the US right to carry out military maneuvers and establish naval bases everywhere.


pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks

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affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, éminence grise

During this period, China offered multi-billion-dollar trade and investment deals, largely focused on infrastructural development, and pushed for “joint-development” schemes in the South China Sea’s disputed geographical features, culminating in the tripartite Joint Maritime Seismic Undertaking agreement between the Philippines, China, and Vietnam. In a cable entitled “Joint Seismic Survey in South China Sea Makes Progress,” the American Embassy in Manila cautiously welcomed the agreement as a timely confidence-building measure on the part of disputing parties: The first phase of a joint seismic survey for hydrocarbon deposits undertaken by the national oil companies of the Philippines, China, and Vietnam in an 143,000 square kilometer zone of the South China Sea is near completion. After its partners conducted a “reconnaissance” survey of the entire zone, the Philippine National Oil Corporation is now interpreting the initial survey data, which it expects to finish by the end of the year.

Eager to enhance strategic ties with Indonesia, Washington supported Jakarta’s integration into the G-20, arguably the world’s leading decision-making forum, and lavishly praised the Southeast Asian state’s status as a booming emerging market and vibrant Muslim democracy.32 In light of growing territorial tensions between Beijing and its Southeast Asian neighbors, the Obama administration found an opportunity to enhance its regional influence among countries that had been rattled by China’s rising territorial assertiveness. Washington formally supported a “regional” solution to the South China Sea disputes, and, crucially, announced that the “freedom of navigation” in international waters constituted an American national interest—signaling Washington’s indispensable role in and commitment to ensuring regional stability. To demonstrate its solidarity with ASEAN, Washington encouraged the establishment of a binding code of conduct in the disputed areas, in accordance with the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the relevant provisions of international law, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Although not a direct party to the UNCLOS, the US nevertheless maintains that in practice it observes it and encourages signatories, particularly China, to behave within the boundaries of international law and related treaty obligations.

Singapore also played a crucial role in facilitating China’s efforts to improve relations with ASEAN countries, with Singaporean leaders repeatedly emphasizing the benign aspects of China’s rise and downplaying concerns with its opaque political system and rapid military modernization program.36 In a diplomatic cable titled “Singapore Takes Notice as China Becomes More Assertive,” the American embassy in Singapore, after extensive discussions with leading local academics and journalists, aptly reflects the shifting regional attitude toward China in recent years: Singapore hopes the United States will not back down in the face of Chinese pressure because that would encourage China to become increasingly assertive in its dealings with other countries on issues such as its claims in the South China Sea. However, Singapore also fears a continued escalation of tensions between the United States and China, which Singapore believes would only be bad for the region … Singapore is concerned that if China’s new assertiveness causes the United States to back down, China might take a harder edge in its dealings with individual ASEAN countries, especially in its effort to press its claims in the South China Sea. [10SINGAPORE166] Over the succeeding years, as the Obama administration’s policy of pivoting toward Asia gained pace, other Southeast Asian states such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and even Thailand, expressed their growing concerns—both in confidence and publicly—with China’s territorial assertiveness and diplomatic inflexibility, despite Beijing’s continued economic engagement with the region.37 CONCERTED COORDINATION ON “ROGUE STATES” In addition to China, the cables also reveal constant US efforts to coax and cajole its Southeast Asian allies and strategic partners into pressuring “rogue states” such as North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, and Iran.

The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future by Michael Levi

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American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Kenneth Rogoff, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea

Even the mere perception of reduced risk among decision makers would also increase U.S. freedom to act around the 132 • THE POWER SURGE world. The national security benefits of greater flexibility would be real and potentially large. But many worry there will also be big national security costs stemming from a transition away from oil. O n September 7, 2010, in the choppy waters off a string of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea, a Chinese fishing boat found itself in trouble.75 If you ask the Japanese, the islands are the Senkaku, under Tokyo’s control since 1972.76 According to Beijing, they are the Diaoyu, a Chinese possession for many centuries before.77 The dispute meant both countries plied the waters, and on that Tuesday the Chinese boat struck two Japanese coast guard ships. The captain was hauled ashore on Ishigaki Island and arrested.

See automobiles Carter, Jimmy, 11–12, 51 Chavez, Hugo, 78 Chesapeake Energy, 2–3, 47 China climate change and, 105–106 coal and, 96 economic development in, 17, 96, 130, 187–188 energy consumption by, 68, 75, 105–106, 130, 184 globalization and, 187–188 natural gas and, 32–33, 204 nuclear energy and, 173 oil production in, 69 rare-earth metals and, 132–134 solar energy and, 149–150, 157, 166–167 South China Sea confl ict and, 132–134 U.S. relations with, 78, 183–186, 201 Chrysler, 109, 116 Clayton, Blake, 78 clean energy. See renewable energy; solar energy; wind energy Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) summit, 148 climate change Arctic ice and, 84, 86, 91 biofuels and, 111, 138–139 cap-and-trade and, 97, 101, 155, 171, 206 carbon dioxide emissions and, 85, 87, 89–100, 102–103, 136, 139 carbon tax and, 101, 155, 202 clean energy standard (CES) and, 101, 155, 202 coal and, 97–101, 170, 182, 194 Copenhagen climate summit and, 104–106 deforestation and, 85, 91, 105, 140 geoengineering and, 193–194 globalization and, 188 international treaties and, 104–107, 204 introduction to the science of, 84–88 methane and, 102 mountain pine beetles and, 83–84, 87–88 natural gas and, 97–103, 107, 155, 177, 200, 204, 208 nuclear energy and, 97–99, 101, 173, 175 oil and, 80, 83, 85–86, 88–90, 93–97, 101, 107–108, 110, 136–137, 182, 194, 196, 200 renewable energy and, 170, 178, 194, 196–197 social cost of carbon, 89–90 Clinton (Pennsylvania), 161–162 Clinton, Bill, 15, 116 coal carbon capture and sequestration and, 100, 158, 172 China and, 96 climate change and, 97–101, 170, 182, 194 land use and, 22, 175–176 power plants and, 3, 17, 88, 98–100, 103, 107, 141, 153, 158, 160–161, 168, 170, 196 Coal Question, The (Jevons), 137 cobalt, 133 Colbert, Stephen, 48 Cold War, 10, 16, 64, 169, 185 Colorado climate change in, 83–85, 87–88 mountain pine beetles in, 83–84, 87–88 252 • INDEX Colorado (Cont.) natural gas production in, 102–104 tight oil in, 51, 56, 61, 80, 93–94 Columbus (Ohio), antifracking protest in, 3–4, 22, 92 compressed natural gas (CNG), 37–39 Congo, 133 Copenhagen climate summit, 104–106 Dawe, Justin, 170–172 Day, Roger, 62 Dearing, Becky, 26 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 52, 56–58 defense spending, innovation and, 169, 201 deglobalization, 189–190, 194 Delaware, 56 Department of Defense, 169, 200–201 Department of Energy, 15, 115, 146 Detroit automakers, 5, 18, 109–110, 113–116, 118–119, 122–123, 129–130, 136 Deutch, John, 24 Diaoyu Islands, 132 Dix, Bill, 20–22, 25, 46, 48 Dukakis, Michael, 14 E.ON, 32 Eagle Ford shale (Texas), 55 Earth Summit (1993), 15 earthquakes, natural gas production and, 44–45, 47 economic development natural gas and, 27–29, 47, 49, 192 oil and, 74–75, 127, 192 renewable energy and, 147, 162–163, 166, 191–192 Economides, Michael, 41 Edelstein, Paul, 129–130 EGL Oil Shale company, 51, 62 el-Badri, Abdallah Salem, 69 electric cars, 5, 114, 116, 118–119, 132, 135, 141–142, 200 electricity.

See under automobiles fuel taxes, 123, 202 Fukushima (Japan) earthquake and tsunami, 172–173 Gaines, Linda, 134–135 gas-to-liquids (GTL), 40–41, 129 Gasland (Fox), 4, 174 Gazprom, 32 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), 186 General Electric, 206 General Motors bankruptcy of, 109 Chevrolet Cobalt model, 129 Chevy Impala model and, 119 Hummer and, 97, 109 Lordstown Assembly Complex, 129 research and development at, 116 geoengineering, 193–194 geopolitics. See also energy security; national security Arab-Israeli War (1973), 7, 76 Cold War, 10, 16, 64, 169, 185 globalization and, 35, 186–190, 194, 204–205 Gulf War (1991), 13–14, 76, 112 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), 7, 13, 66–69, 90, 95–96 sea lanes and, 78, 183–184, 205 South China Sea confl ict, 132–134 Germany, 156, 173, 183 global warming. See climate change globalization Asian tiger economies and, 187 China and, 187–188 climate change regulation and, 188 254 • INDEX globalization (Cont.) deglobalization, 189–190, 194 energy trade and, 35, 188–190, 204–205 Great Depression and, 187 multinational corporations and, 187–188 trade agreements and, 186–187 United States and, 186 Gore, Al, 96–97, 146 Grant County (Kansas), 24 Grape, Steven, 54 Great Depression, 187, 190 Great Illusion, The (Angell), 183 Great Recession climate change initiatives and, 206 Congressional Budget Office projections and, 190–191 natural gas production and, 23, 25–26, 28 oil consumption and, 110 oil prices and, 16 renewable energy and, 145–146, 191 unemployment and, 190–191 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 52, 56–58 oil production in, 3, 56–57, 180 Gulf War (1991), 13–14, 76, 112 Halliburton, 4, 24 Hamilton, Jim, 70 Hammond, Allen, 9 Hanergy, 167 Hansen, James, 82, 92 Hart, Gary, 10 Herrington, John S., 14 Honda GX, 38 Horizon Wind, 170 horizontal drilling, 23–24, 47, 52, 54 Hot, Flat, and Crowded (Friedman), 163 House, Kurt Zenz, 170–172 Howarth, Robert, 101–104 Hubbert, M.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

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Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, knowledge economy, land reform, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Pax Mongolica, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

Its diminished credibility has reduced it from its status as the ultimate guarantor of Asian stability to a more minor role as Japan and Taiwan’s protector and troubleshooter of crises from Malaysian-Indonesian naval skirmishes to the North Korean nuclear standoff.11 By 2001, China stopped referring to the United States as a “hegemon” in East Asia not out of politeness, but simply because America had ceased to be able to function as one. Not only is China encroaching on Mackinder’s heartland, but its vast Pacific coastline makes it the largest nation on Spykman’s Rimland as well. Just as the Silk Road is the land route from China to the West, the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca are the region’s sea lines of communication (known as SLOC), the maritime passageway to the energy resources and markets of the Persian Gulf and Europe. The East Asian strategic picture is thus evolving on the sea, with China working tirelessly to co-opt Southeast Asia’s littoral states through trade pacts and naval cooperation. Where diplomatic pendulums once swung between the United States and China, many countries are preparing for the latter to eclipse the former.

An inside-out Asian strategic culture has emerged, governed by a consultative diplomacy (known as musyawarah) that identifies common interests likely to yield face-saving decisions while marginalizing controversial or outside (read: U.S.-imposed) topics.12 “What we have now is a Chinese ‘Monroe Doctrine,’” the Malaysian analyst declared. “We should get it over with and accept this Chinese order. That way we can peacefully resolve the problems of Taiwan, North Korea, and the South China Sea.” Could a benign Chinese hierarchy prevent rivalries from escalating beyond the psychological and economic level? Even though serious disputes remain over land and sea boundaries, as Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani points out, “guns have fallen silent” in the region due to a “tidal wave of common sense” by which Asians are rejecting the Western historical pattern of militarism in favor of shared prosperity.

American military contractors are selling the country hardware and satellites, while Intel’s microchip plant has graduated Vietnam from shoe manufacturing to the high-tech arena. While the waxy, embalmed body of triumphant “Uncle Ho” Chi Minh still inspires awe in his grand Hanoi mausoleum, Uncle Sam has been invited back by both the economic and defense establishments. Though it is much harder to draw lines in water than in sand, the South China Sea is a tripwire for exposing any Chinese transgressions toward its maritime neighbors—but also the best venue to witness China’s maritime “smile diplomacy” at work. The potentially oil-rich Spratly and Paracel island clusters are claimed in whole or part by Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The last three decades of the twentieth century witnessed many militarized reconnaissance incidents, naval skirmishes, oil rig installations, and flag plantings, all meant to assert Chinese sovereignty over the appropriately named Mischief Reef, after which China realized it would benefit more from calming the waters than making waves.15 “China knows it can’t seize the islands outright,” the political analyst explained.


pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer

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airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

China will continue to expand its international presence to develop new commercial ties that can help Beijing accomplish all these goals, but this is not a government with an appetite for heavier global burdens. True, China’s military has become more assertive, even aggressive, in East Asia in recent years. In 2011, the Vietnamese and Philippine governments accused Chinese patrol boats of firing warning shots and even threatening to ram energy exploration vessels operating in or around disputed territory in the South China Sea. No one seems to know for certain who within the Chinese leadership authorized these actions, but it’s evident that the country’s armed forces want to expand their (already considerable) influence within the governing bureaucracy and to test their regional room for maneuver. And China is working to build a blue-water navy capable of operating far from its shores. To support this project, the country launched its first aircraft carrier in August 2011.

Protectors—firms involved in defense against conventional military strikes, cyberattacks, terrorism, or commercial piracy—will prosper in a G-Zero world, particularly if they’re able to align themselves with deep-pocketed governments. The G-Zero is a period of great transition, and significant changes in the international balance of power stoke both competition among would-be regional powers and anxiety among those who fear they aren’t yet ready to compete. Whether the competition involves the kind of posturing we’ve seen in the South China Sea—as China, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, the Philippines, and others stake claims to disputed territory—or the risk of cyberattack from states looking to frustrate potential rivals at minimum cost, companies that offer governments new offensive and defensive capabilities will find lots of new opportunities. In addition, as some traditional U.S. allies begin to question Washington’s long-term commitment to guarantee their security, both local and foreign defense contractors (and the companies with whom they partner) will win new business.

., 121 NGOs, 135 Nigeria, 48, 72, 177, 182 Nile, 106 Nixon, Richard, 44, 49–50 Noda, Yoshihiko, 20 North Africa, 18, 48, 136, 139, 175, 187 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 17, 19, 30, 117, 133–34, 192 North Korea, 70, 91, 123, 125, 152, 154, 165, 208n nuclear program of, 15, 57, 58–59, 124, 158, 161 Norway, in Arctic Council, 96–97 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 57–59 Obama, Barack, 8–9, 11, 64, 65, 100, 113, 190, 202n oil, 3, 22, 23, 30–31, 37, 47–49, 58, 61, 114, 116, 117, 120, 125–26, 127, 141–42, 147, 160, 181–82 in Arctic, 97 OPEC’s embargos of, 48–49, 50 as priced in dollars, 81–82 oilseeds, 100 Oman, 71 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), 48–49, 50, 100 Paine, Thomas, 185 Pakistan, 14, 57, 70, 115, 161, 182, 183 food riots in, 98 India’s conflict with, 25, 70, 152, 158, 165–66 U.S. drone attacks in, 111 Palestinians, 17, 25, 136, 158 Pan Am Flight 103, 139 Panetta, Leon, 73 PayPal, 75 Peace Corps, 90–91 Pearl Harbor, 187 People’s Action Party, Singapore, 121 People’s Liberation Army, 146 Peru, 177 Petrobras, 125–26 Pew Research Center, 13 Philippines, 23, 51, 70, 114, 129, 194 pivot states, 115–20, 136, 140–41, 155, 165, 177, 178–79 Poland, 55 pollution, 104–5 population growth, 104 Portugal, 17 power grids, 169, 171 protectionism, 77–79 protectors, 128–30 Prussia, 167 Putin, Vladimir, 24, 54, 82, 137, 141, 182 Qatar, 48, 71 Rapaport, 132 Raytheon, 129 Reagan, Ronald, 65 “Red Dragon Rising: The Coming War with China” (board game), 170–71 referees, 133–35 regional development banks, 38 Research in Motion (RIM), 33 Resolution 1973, 192 Roach, Stephen, 12 rogue states, 123–25, 138–39 Roosevelt, Franklin, 42–43 Rosneft, 127 Royal Dutch Shell, 97 Rudd, Kevin, 203n Russia, 24, 28, 30, 54, 55, 69, 73, 77, 84, 102, 121, 122, 125, 141, 168, 169, 170, 177, 183, 203n in Arctic Council, 96, 97 climate change and, 94 default on debt in, 37 energy exported by, 30 Georgia’s war with, 32, 141 grain exports banned by, 102 Internet in, 88, 89, 91, 92 nuclear program of, 59 oil prices and, 141 Peace Corps unwelcome in, 90–91 state capitalism in, 78 suspicions of U.S. in, 91 Ukraine’s ties with, 54, 137–38, 141 water security in, 105 Russian Empire, 167, 182 Rwanda, 32, 106 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 9, 38 Sata, Michael, 119 Saudi Arabia, 26, 30, 33, 48, 67, 69, 71, 114, 128, 155, 182 foreign land purchased by, 102 grain production in, 104 Internet in, 92 local hegemony of, 175–76 oil of, 114 state capitalism in, 78 Schäuble, Wolfgang, 18 Schengen Agreement, 18, 176 Schularick, Moritz, 158 Scowcroft, Brent, 163 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks of, 13, 32, 64, 188 Serageldin, Ismail, 104 shadow states, 136–38 Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 122 Shaw, George Bernard, 37 Shi Lang, 23 Siemens, 127 Sierra Leone, 130 Singapore, 51, 71, 120, 121–22, 194 Singh, Manmohan, 26 smart grids, 72, 73 Social Security, 12, 189 Somalia, 14, 183 Sony, 75 Soreq Nuclear Research Center, 207n South Africa, 10, 26, 28, 72, 131, 177 biofuel production in, 100 South Asia, water scarcity in, 104 South China Sea, 23, 129 Southeast Asia, 59, 102 urbanization in, 99 Southern African Development Community, 120 South Korea, 15, 51, 55, 70, 71, 114, 129, 165, 173, 208n foreign land purchased by, 102 U.S. beef banned by, 103 sovereign wealth funds, 125 Soviet Union, 39, 44, 45, 47, 52, 53, 54, 72–73, 138, 168, 173, 186 coup attempt in, 92 efforts at reform in, 179–80 nuclear program of, 57 post–World War II reconstruction needed in, 39–40 shifting borders of, 182 Spain, 17, 169 separatist movements in, 181 Spiegel, Der, 8 Spielberg, Steven, 119 Splinternet, 90 Standard Chartered Bank, 3 State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC), 129, 140 state-owned companies, 78–79, 119, 125, 139–40, 160 in China, 59, 61, 86, 144, 148 Stoltenberg, Jens, 9 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (2010), 59 Strategy & Tactics, 170–71 Strauss-Kahn, Dominique, 27 Stuxnet, 56, 72–73 Sudan, 32, 106, 119 Sweden, in Arctic Council, 96–97 Syria, 48, 69, 112, 117, 123, 175, 183 Taiwan, 51, 114, 129, 172–73 as exposed state, 136 Tanzania, 106 tariffs, 79 Tata Group, 128 TD-SCDMA, 86 tech bubble, 64 telecommunications standards, 33, 83–94 terrorism, 3, 70, 93, 116, 128, 170, 183 Texas, 47, 48 Thailand, 51, 71, 114, 124, 168–69, 194 collapse of currency in, 37 multinationals in, 80 water security in, 105 3G mobile phone standard, 86 Three Gorges Dam, 105 Tiananmen Square, 53, 59, 148, 163 Time, 75 trade, global, 68, 70–71, 76–80, 178, 193–95 protectionist trend in, 77–79 trade balances, 32 trade routes, 15, 24, 59 Trans-Pacific Partnership, 71 Treasury Department, U.S., 38 Tunisia, 19, 69, 112, 175 Turkey, 3, 25, 26, 55, 69, 76, 141, 148, 155, 161, 166, 179, 187 as pivot state, 117 Turkmenistan, 54 Twitter, 91 Uganda, 72, 106 Ukraine, 54, 141, 177 as shadow state, 137–38 United Arab Emirates, 26, 48, 71 United Nations, 44, 89, 97, 104, 131 Food and Agriculture Organization, 100, 103 General Assembly of, 21, 44 Security Council of, 3, 25, 44, 57, 192 World Food Program of, 103 United States, 16, 21, 25, 30, 39, 44, 47, 50, 122, 148–49, 170, 182 in Arctic Council, 96–97 as Asian power, 70–71 beef production in, 103, 105 biofuels produced in, 100 United States (cont.)


pages: 650 words: 203,191

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 by John Darwin

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agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, deindustrialization, European colonialism, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade

Notions of universal empire, a new ‘culture of travel’, and millenarian rumours and fantasies circulated around the huge land mass between Spain and the Bay of Bengal.11 Geographical location in Asia or Europe begins to look much less important for social and cultural change than a position astride Eurasia’s trunk lines of trade, or in the arid belt where long-distance travellers did not have to toil through forest, jungle or marsh.12 A similar change of emphasis can be seen among historians writing the new ‘global history of material progress’. As van Leur had suggested, the facile conclusion that Europeans had galvanized a somnolent Asia after Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India in 1498 was a travesty of the facts. A dense mercantile network already linked ports and producers between the coast of East Africa and the South China Sea. Asian merchants were not passive victims of a European takeover. Whatever their shortcomings, Asian governments were more than the predatory despots of European mythology who crushed trade and agriculture by penal taxation and arbitrary seizure. In different parts of Asia, there were market economies where the division of labour, specialized trades and urban development (the hallmarks of growth as Adam Smith had described it) looked very similar to those found in Europe.

Secondly, it was brutally clear that without the union of north and south the pattern of regional exchange that drove the commercial economy would function poorly at best. That meant exerting effective control over a much larger land area than any other state in Eurasia was able to rule continuously. Thirdly, it was North China’s acquisition of the vast, rich hinterland stretching away to the South China Sea that allowed it to meet its main geopolitical challenge – although not all the time. The Chinese Empire, with its highly evolved agrarian culture, confronted the nomad empires that erupted volcanically in the Inner Asian steppe. Indeed much of North China was dangerously close to the epicentres of nomadic energy – which usually formed where the steppe and the ‘sown’ came closest together. The primary role of a Chinese emperor was to safeguard the frontier against the nomadic irruptions that threatened to wreck (physically and politically) his complex agrarian world.

Perhaps none, except Malacca, regarded oceanic trade as important enough to build a great warfleet. The major states of South Asia mostly looked inland. Maritime trade was left to coastal merchant communities that lacked social prestige and political influence.8 So the Portuguese were able to enforce their naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean with comparative ease. East of the Malayan peninsula it was a different story. In the South China Sea or near Japan, the Portuguese were much more cautious. Here they found a niche as long-distance traders, convenient middlemen for a Ming Empire that disliked overseas activity by its own subjects and refused direct commercial relations with Japan. As a result, the Estado modulated gradually from a crusader-predator into a loose-knit network of Portuguese communities, largely made up of casados, or settlers, and the local peoples with whom they intermarried.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Chicken coops, gardens, and Webs—it’s either some combination of those or: Would the last one out please turn off the lights … Deter and Degrade Though the Cold War has long since ended, deterrence remains a crucial tool in a world in which superpower rivalry has not gone away. Russia still really would like to break up the NATO alliance—just as NATO still really does see the most important part of its mission today as containing any possible Russian aggression. China really would like to see the United States retreat from the South China Sea and shrink its power profile in Asia generally; the United States really does believe that its role in maintaining the openness of global sea lanes requires making certain that China doesn’t alone write the rules of the road for the South China Sea, let alone the Pacific. And both Russia and China still have nuclear weapons targeting America—and the rogue state of North Korea clearly aspires to have the same. The power of all of them has to be balanced by a strong American nuclear deterrent. Without that, every country on the border of Russia and China would seek nuclear weapons to protect itself.

It is a world characterized by some very old and some very new forms of geopolitical competition all swirling together at the same time. That is, the traditional great-power competition, primarily among the United States, Russia, and China, is back again (if it ever really went away) as strong as ever, with the three major powers again jockeying over spheres of influence, along golden-oldie fault lines such as the NATO–Russia frontier or the South China Sea. This competition is propelled by history, geography, and the traditional imperatives of great-power geopolitics, and is reinforced today by the rise of nationalism in Russia and China. Its contours will be determined by the balance of power between these three big nation-states. This story has been well documented, and is not my main focus. What I am most interested in is what is new in this post–post–Cold War world: how the simultaneous accelerations of the Market, Mother Nature, and Moore’s law are reshaping international relations and forcing America in particular and the world generally to reimagine how we stabilize geopolitics.

If China, for its part, were to collapse into disorder, it would negatively impact everything from the cost of the shoes on your feet and the shirt on your back to the mortgage on your house to the value of the currency in your wallet. China may be America’s rival, but, in today’s interdependent world, its collapse would be far more threatening to America than its rise. Probably the worst thing a rising China might do is bully all its neighbors into toeing its line, take over more islands in the South China Sea, or demand more economic concessions from foreign investors. But a falling China could melt down the U.S. stock market and trigger a global recession, if not worse. While this high degree of interdependence poses one set of new challenges, the rising risk of state failure in a number of countries poses another. These risks can be seen around the world. Julian Lindley-French, vice president of the Atlantic Treaty Association and a visiting research fellow at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., warns of what he calls “weakism” or “disintegrationism”—which is disintegration down to the level of gangs and tribes and the emergence of groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram that fill power vacuums.


pages: 582 words: 136,780

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester

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Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, cable laying ship, global village, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route

Coen immediately spotted their usefulness. He insisted they A milliner weaves topis and bonnets from alang-alang grass, the better to keep off the sun and the flies. stay and become part of his new community – offering them (unlike his fellow Dutchmen) the right to trade privately, and to take pepper and birds' nests and sea-cucumbers, all of which were readily available in Java, back to their homes across the South China Sea without interference from the monopoly of the Company. ‘They are an uncommonly clever, courteous, industrious and obliging people,’ wrote one of Coen's colleagues. ‘There is nothing you can imagine that they do not undertake and practise… Many keep eating-houses or tea-houses… or earn money fishing or carrying or conveying people.’ It has been 400 years since this was written. So far as the impression offered by the diaspora of overseas Chinese is concerned, very little seems to have changed.

His inn possessed a large wooden veranda overlooking the sea, and he and his guests would come of an evening to sit in lounge chairs there. A remarkably lovely spectacle was spread out before them: the island-filled, mountain-ringed, sunset-spectacular Sunda Strait, with the seemingly endless passage of ships sailing (or steaming: this was 1883, after all) along it, on their various ways between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. This last was what convinced the Lloyd's Committee that Schuit was the ideal man for them in the town where they particularly needed to employ one of the best. He was fascinated by the passing trade, and so were his guests. He bought and mounted a large brass telescope under his porch, so that he could identify the more distant vessels. With this he could see well enough to read the signal flags (there would be no marine radios for almost another thirty years) and could pass on messages to owners and agents as asked.

.: Krakatau 1883: The Volcanic Eruption and Its Effects 396–7 Simla, India 144 Singapore 157, 158, 168, 187, 189, 190, 191, 200, 231, 233, 264n, 265, 278 Singapore Cricket Club 153 Sinkara Lake 126 Sir Robert Sale (British vessel) 230 Skerl (translator) 75 Skopje 378 slavery in Batavia 42, 44–5, 46 on Rodriguez 261 Smith, William 69 Smithsonian Institution, Washington 287n, 312 Snider-Pellarini, Antonio 72n Socoa, near Birritz 280, 281 sodium 304 Soenda Straits xv solfataras 303, 326 Solferino, battle of 195 Solo, Java 2, 124, 127, 133, 153 Solo, sultan of 124 Solomon Islands 384n Solor fort 29 South Africa 281, 287, 289 South America 67, 71, 72, 74, 308 South American Plate 308 South Atlantic 111 South China Sea 43, 161n, 182 South Georgia 274, 281 South Pole 74, 76, 84, 85, 281 Southampton 172n South-East Asia 52, 224n maps xiii, xiv Southern Africa 197 Spaan, Mr van 211n Spain, Spanish 13n, 14, 22, 29n Spanish Netherlands 29n Speenhof, Mr 46 Spice Islands, Islanders 33, 60, 297n Spice Route 11, 13n spiders, ballooning 356–9, 357, 361–2 Spitsbergen 87 Sri Lanka see Ceylon stabilists 107–8 Steers Island 314, 347n Sterling, Edward 194n Stockholm 80 Stokes, Sir George 273n Stonyhurst College 288 Stonyhurst weather observatory 270 Strachey, General Richard 271, 273n stratosphere 285, 286, 313 stratospheric ash, cloud of 289–91 Sturdy, E.W. 220n subduction 111, 112, 113, 154, 318, 319,388 subduction factories 307, 308–9, 320 subduction zones 110, 111, 114, 115, 116, 171, 308, 309, 312, 317, 319,388 Sudan 335n Suez 191 Suez Canal 143, 183 Sufi movement 334, 337 Sukarno, General 145–6, 380 Sukarnoputri, Megawati 376 Sukhumi 190 Sulawesi 24, 55, 64, 66, 137 sulphur 302 sulphur dioxide gas 243, 388, 389 Suma Pars. 27 Sumatra 1, 6, 20, 26, 31, 48, 49, 55, 61, 78, 126, 169, 309, 374 Islamicized 17, 40 mapping 22, 24, 171 van Linschoten on 25 British colonial intentions 34 volcanically unstable 114–15 splits from Java 126, 155 and P'u-tei 132 earthquakes 154 and gutta-percha 188 warnings of forthcoming eruption (1883) 207 sky completely darkened (August 1883) 234 deaths from tephra 242–3, 245 plate tectonics 317 Islam in 342 rain forest 355 Sumbawa Island 294 sun blue 287, 289 colorations 288 white corona 288 sun-compass 86 sun-gauges 267 Sunda country 125, 126 Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta 136–7, 147 Sunda (steam ferry-boat) 157, 168 Sunda Strait 3, 6, 22–3, 25–7, 45, 50, 111, 115, 119, 127, 148, 149, 155–8, 161n, 164–7, 170, 173, 175, 182, 183, 200, 204, 207, 210, 213, 219–21, 223, 226, 231, 233, 237–9, 241, 245, 249, 253, 258, 260, 272, 275, 278, 282, 298, 319, 338, 342, 345, 354, 355, 367n, 372, 376, 378–81 Sundanese 332, 333, 335 sunsets 287–93 supercontinents 73, 74, 88 Surabaya, Java 17, 153, 168, 172n, 278 Surapati 45 Surtsey Island, off Iceland 384n, 385 survival of the fittest 61–2 S.W.


pages: 278 words: 88,711

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century by George Friedman

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banking crisis, British Empire, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, megastructure, Monroe Doctrine, pink-collar, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, working poor

The United States waged war, but America itself never experienced it. Military power and geographical reality created an economic reality. Other countries have lost time recovering from wars. The United States has not. It has actually grown because of them. Consider this simple fact that I'll be returning to many times. The United States Navy controls all of the oceans of the world. Whether it's a junk in the South China Sea, a dhow off the African coast, a tanker in the Persian Gulf, or a cabin cruiser in the Caribbean, every ship in the world moves under the eyes of American satellites in space and its movement is guaranteed—or denied—at will by the U.S. Navy. The combined naval force of the rest of the world doesn't come close to equaling that of the U.S. Navy. This has never happened before in human history, even with Britain.

South America: Impassable Terrain 4: COMPLETE DOMINATION OF THE WORLD'S OCEANS TO FURTHER SECURE U.S. PHYSICAL SAFETY AND GUARANTEE CONTROL OVER THE INTERNATIONAL TRADING SYSTEM The fact that the United States emerged from World War II not only with the world's largest navy but also with naval bases scattered around the world changed the way the world worked. As I mentioned previously, any seagoing vessel—commercial or military, from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea to the Caribbean—could be monitored by the United States Navy, who could choose to watch it, stop it, or sink it. From the end of World War II onward, the combined weight of all of the world's existing fleets was insignificant compared to American naval power. This highlights the single most important geopolitical fact in the world: the United States controls all of the oceans. No other power in history has been able to do this.

The surface issue will be Japan's increasingly aggressive role on the mainland of Asia as it pursues its own economic interests and interferes with other powers, including the United States. Additionally, there will be the question of Japanese respect for Chinese sovereignty and the question of self-determination for maritime Russia. On a deeper level, the United States will be alarmed by Japan's rapidly growing maritime power, including sea-based and space-based military systems. Japan, still importing oil from the Persian Gulf, will be increasing its power in the South China Sea and in the Strait of Malacca. In the early 2040s, the Japanese will be concerned with the stability of the Gulf and will begin to probe and patrol in the Indian Ocean in order to protect their interests. Japan will have well-established, close economic ties with many of the island chains of the Pacific, and will begin to enter into agreements with them for satellite tracking and control stations.

Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

THE CHALLENGES TODAY: EAST ASIA Beginning with the “American lake,” some eyebrows might be raised over the report in mid-December 2015 that “an American B-52 bomber on a routine mission over the South China Sea unintentionally flew within two nautical miles of an artificial island built by China, senior defense officials said, exacerbating a hotly divisive issue for Washington and Beijing.”9 Those familiar with the grim record of the seventy years of the nuclear weapons era will be all too aware that this is the kind of incident that has often come perilously close to igniting terminal nuclear war. One need not be a supporter of China’s provocative and aggressive actions in the South China Sea to notice that the incident did not involve a Chinese nuclear-capable bomber in the Caribbean, or off the coast of California, where China has no pretensions of establishing a “Chinese lake.”

Schlosser, Eric School of the Americas Schoultz, Lars Science secrecy Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) separation of church and state Serbia settler-colonial societies Shalit, Gilad Shamir, Yitzhak Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Sharon, Ariel Shenon, Philip Shiites Shin Bet Shoigu, Sergei Shultz, George Sinai Peninsula Sisi, Abdul Fattah al- slavery Smith, Adam Smith, Lamar Snowden, Edward Solow, Robert Somalia Sourani, Raji South Africa South America South China Sea Southeast Asia South Korea South Vietnam Soviet Union collapse of Cuba and Israel and nuclear weapons and Spanish-American War Stalin, Joseph Stalingrad, Battle of Stark, USS, attack State Department Policy Planning Staff terrorist list Stearns, Monteagle Stern, Sheldon Stiglitz, Joseph Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Story, Joseph Strategic Air Command (SAC) Strategic Command (STRATCOM) Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”) strategic primacy Sudan Suharto Summers, Lawrence SWAPO Sykes-Picot agreement Syria Tacitus Taliban tariffs taxation Taylor, William teachers Temple, Henry John (Lord Palmerston) terra nullius terrorism.


pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, interest rate derivative, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

When asked in polls in 2007 whom they trusted to wield global power, respondents in countries like Thailand and Indonesia, traditional U.S. allies, chose China over the United States. Even in Australia, favorable attitudes toward China and the United States are evenly balanced. Until recently, memories of China’s revolutionary foreign policy—which in practice meant using the Chinese diaspora to foment trouble—lingered. Beijing’s invasion of Vietnam, its claims in the South China Sea, and its border disputes with Russia and India had given China the image of a prickly and troublesome neighbor. By the late 1990s, however, China had adopted a very different regional policy, which became especially clear from its constructive role in the region after the East Asian crisis of 1997. Since then, Beijing has become remarkably adept at using its political and economic muscle in a patient, low-key, and highly effective manner.

Although both made many mistakes, the stability of the system and the success of the world economy and the open societies it created are an extraordinary legacy of Anglo-American hegemony. What if that hegemony is waning? America no longer has the only large market in the world. The dollar is unlikely to retain its totemic position forever as the reserve currency, yielding to a basket that is largely composed of euros and dollars but includes other currencies too. In certain areas—the South China Sea, for example—U.S. military force is likely to be less relevant than that of China. In international negotiations, America will have to bargain and compromise with others. Does all this add up to instability and disorder? Not necessarily. Two hundred years of Anglo-American hegemony has in fact created a system that is not as fragile as it might have been in the 1920s and 1930s. (When British power waned, America was unwilling to step in, and Europe fell through the cracks.)

Petersburg, 83 Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), 13 salwar kurta, 88 samba, 95 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002), 221 saris, 88 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 252–53 Saudi Arabia, 8, 11, 13–14, 32, 38, 55, 125, 168, 232–33, 248n, 264, 278 savings rate, 25, 50, 104, 137–39, 151–52, 216–19, 233, 283 Schumer, Chuck, 220–21 Schwab, Klaus, 147 Schwarz, Benjamin, 37 scientific research, 68–70, 98, 123, 192, 198, 199, 200–202, 208–12, 218–19 Securities and Exchange Commission, 48 Security Council, UN, 40, 101, 118, 131, 165n, 254, 272 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, xi, 6, 10–11, 14, 16, 17, 246, 247, 265, 271, 272, 277, 278 service sector, 43, 148, 151, 230–31 Setser, Brad, 48, 55 Shah Jahan, 70 Shakespeare Wallah, 94 Shanghai, 34, 102–3, 109, 118, 150, 185, 211 Shanghai Stock Exchange, 109–10, 118 Shanmugaratnam, Tharman, 210–11 sharia, 16 Sharma, Ruchir, 179 Sherif, Abdul-Aziz el-, 15 Shia Muslims, 11–12, 263 shopping malls, 3 Shultz, George, 265 Sicily, 37 Sikhs, 180 Silicon Valley, 48, 215 Singapore, 3, 26, 32, 115–16, 132, 153, 185, 195–96, 200, 209, 210–12 Singh, Manmohan, 159, 160, 162, 169 Sino-African summit (2006), 130 Sky News, 96 Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 268 slavery, 79 Slovakia, 223 “smiley curve,” 203 socialism, 23, 24, 120, 144, 157, 161, 173, 178, 197 Social Security, 235 Socrates, 123 “soft power,” 121, 186, 259 Somalia, 185, 223 South Africa, 3, 4, 53, 98, 132, 188–90, 257, 258 South America, 78–79 South Asia, 21n, 52, 60 South China Sea, 133, 267 South Korea, 2, 20, 26, 40–41, 55, 84, 93, 95, 98, 104, 112, 115, 116, 132, 157, 171, 214 Soviet Union: Afghanistan invaded by, 13, 101, 284 Chinese relations of, 133, 137, 142 collapse of, 9, 23–24, 53, 243, 244–45, 284 Communist regime of, 23–24, 120 Czechoslovakia invaded by (1968), 252 expansionism of, 10, 173, 256, 284 space program of, 71, 232 as superpower, 10, 101, 120, 173, 256, 266, 284 technology sector of, 71 U.S. relations with, 4, 8–9, 20, 38, 141, 143, 144, 163–66, 196, 199, 244–45, 247, 252, 254, 255–56, 274, 275, 277, 284 in World War II, 37 see also Russia space program, 71, 232 Spain, 17, 116, 187, 239–41, 278, 280 Spanish language, 96 special interests, 234, 236 Speer, Albert, 103 Speer, Albert, Jr., 103 Spence, Jonathan, 124 Spiegel, 251 Spielberg, Steven, 105 Sputnik launching (1957), 232 Sri Lanka, 157, 165 Stalin, Joseph, 37, 196, 254, 275, 277 Starbucks, 105 state-directed capitalism, 32 state socialism, 144 “stealth reforms,” 160 steel, 103–4 Steingart, Gabor, 50 Stiglitz, Joseph, 139–40 stocks, 43, 109–10, 222 sub-Saharan Africa, 80 Sudan, 31, 38, 41, 131, 188, 273 Suez Canal, 20, 168, 186, 195 Suez Canal crisis (1956), 20, 168 suicide bombings, 14–15 Summers, Lawrence, 246 Sunni Muslims, 11–12, 263 Sun Yat-sen, 84, 86 Sun Zi, 143 Sweden, 24, 116, 200 Switzerland, 200 Syria, 6, 8, 157 Taiwan, 2, 20, 26, 35, 112, 116, 118, 119, 132, 135–36, 137, 141, 142, 165n, 214, 263, 264 Taiwan Strait, 20 Taj Mahal, 70–71 Talbot, Strobe, 107 Taliban, 13, 172, 241 Tamil Nadu, 180 tariffs, 40, 197 Tata Group, 148–49, 153 Tata Motors, 230 Nano of, 229–30 taxation, 40, 64, 72, 75, 83–84, 107–8, 223, 235, 236, 262 Tay, Simon, 259 technology, xiii, 9, 36, 43, 58, 60–61, 87, 92–93, 113, 135, 142, 148–49, 161, 198, 199, 200–212, 215, 217, 224–26, 228–32, 233 Tehran Conference (1943), 254 telecommunications industry, 161 television, 95, 96 tennis, 219–20 terrorism, 5, 6, 9, 10–19, 29, 34, 59, 241, 246, 247, 264, 269–70, 271, 272, 276–80 textile industry, 28 Thailand, 28, 132 Tharoor, Shashi, 165n Thatcher, Margaret, 24, 197, 225, 244, 245 Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party (1978), 101–2 Third World, 10, 39, 102, 161, 177, 229, 232 Thirty Years’ War, 123 Thornton, John, 114 Tiananmen Square massacre (1989), 27, 137, 274–75 Tibet, 165 Time, 96 Times (London), 96 Times Higher Educational Supplement, 207 Tojo Hideki, 37 Tokyo, 91–92 totalitarianism, 112–17, 274 Toynbee, Arnold, 185, 197 Toyota, 225–26 trade balance, 21, 36, 57–58, 104–5, 216 traditional culture, 90–99 “treasure ships,” 62–63 treasury bills, U.S., 138 Treasury Department, U.S., 11 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), 208–9 Truman, Harry S., 253, 255–56 Tsongas, Paul, 245 tsunami disaster (2005), 155 Tunisia, 209 Turkey, 4, 8, 17, 28–29, 84, 115, 273–74, 278 Turkey bombings (2003), 17 Twain, Mark, 271 Ukraine, 3, 260 unemployment, xi, xiii, 2, 227 unemployment rate, 212, 217, 226, 284 unilateralism, 59, 246–55, 264, 267–69 “uni-multipolarity,” 53 unipolar order, 1–5, 39, 52, 233, 240–42, 243–50, 266–67, 274–75 United Arab Emirates, 3 United Nations, 40, 41, 101, 118, 131, 157, 165n, 213, 240, 244, 250, 253, 254, 264, 268, 272 United Nations Human Development Index, 157 United Nations Population Division, 213 United States, 239–85 African policy of, 270–71, 273 alliances of, 243–50, 270–75 Asian policies of, 90, 241–42, 245, 259–60, 266, 267, 273–74, 280–81 automobile industry of, 192, 225, 230, 244 British Empire compared with, 185–86, 189–90, 197–99, 237, 261–63, 266, 268 British relations of, 168, 189, 194–97, 241, 254, 261, 274 budget deficits of, 139, 219, 241–42, 244 capitalism in, xi, 23, 28, 47, 60, 120, 200–202, 223–24 China compared with, 100, 103, 108, 193, 200, 242, 263 Chinese relations of, 100, 104, 105–6, 108, 118, 136–44, 176–77, 190, 236, 254, 260–61, 263, 264, 266, 269, 280–82 colonial period of, 65, 194 culture of, xi, 1–5, 36, 90–91, 93, 94, 204, 212–16, 223–26, 271–72, 275–85 democratic ideals of, 141, 167, 232–38, 264, 274–75 demographics of, 212–16 diversity of, 212–16, 278, 283–84 domestic market of, 224, 241, 267, 283 economy of, xi–xiii, 18, 20, 22, 25–26, 29, 43–49, 50, 56–57, 86–87, 118–19, 120, 140, 152, 182, 186, 191, 192, 197–99, 212–19, 233–34, 237–38, 241, 244, 245, 255, 275, 282–83 education in, 48, 58, 200, 204–12, 215, 218–19, 225, 233 elections in, 245, 251, 276, 278–79 energy needs of, 38, 232–33 engineers trained in, 204–8 European relations of, 244–45, 251–55, 273–74 family values in, 93 film industry of, 90, 94 financial markets of, 217, 219–22 foreign investment in, 219 foreign policy of, 8, 42, 52, 59, 125, 130, 131, 132, 140, 142–44, 167–68, 189–90, 223, 235–85 foreign trade of, 20–21, 36, 57–58, 104, 200, 216, 217, 280–83 French relations of, 251, 252–53 future development of, 1–5, 94–99, 199–203, 204, 239–85 German relations of, 244, 245, 251 global influence of, see post-American world gross domestic product (GDP) of, 18, 104, 118–19, 191, 196, 198–99, 200, 207–8, 215, 217, 218, 219n, 255 growth rate for, 212–16, 233–34, 243 health care in, 225–26, 233n, 283 immigration to, 61, 87, 167, 212–16, 233, 272, 277, 278, 280, 282 income levels of, 212, 216, 217–18, 219 India compared with, 155–56, 200, 226–27 Indian relations of, 54–55, 144, 160, 166–68, 173, 174–78, 182, 249–50, 263, 264, 266, 269, 271, 274, 283 industrialization of, 2, 20, 65, 193, 200, 204, 217, 218 infrastructure of, 152 insularity of, 223–26, 275–85 Japanese relations of, 245, 266 labor force of, 225–26 legal system of, 225 manufacturing sector of, 202–3 middle class in, 226–32 Middle East policies of, 8, 31, 52, 274 military forces of, xi, 48, 54, 140, 142–43, 174–78, 182, 185, 198–99, 241, 254, 259–63, 265, 267, 269–71 military spending of, 18, 105n, 142, 198–99, 241, 262 Muslim population of, 272, 276, 278 national debt of, 138, 140, 217–19, 241–42 nationalism in, 36–39 nuclear weapons of, 140, 142, 174–78, 265 oil needs of, 38 political system of, 186, 216, 232–38, 275–85 population of, 22, 50–51, 100, 200, 212–16 productivity of, 200, 281, 282, 283 United States (continued) religious attitudes in, 122 rhetoric of fear in, 275–85 Russian relations of, 54, 190, 241, 247, 260, 266, 269 savings rate of, 216–19, 233, 241, 283 scientific research in, 198, 199, 200, 218–19 Soviet relations of, 4, 8–9, 20, 38, 141, 143, 144, 163–66, 196, 199, 244–45, 247, 252, 254, 255–56, 274, 275, 277, 284 special interests in, 234, 236 as superpower, 4, 49–61, 117, 120, 142–44, 182, 223–85 taxation in, 108, 223, 235, 236, 262 technology sector of, xiii, 58, 61, 198, 199, 200–212, 215, 217, 224–25, 228, 233 terrorist attacks against, 6, 10–11, 13, 16, 17, 29, 59, 241, 246, 247, 265, 270, 271, 272, 276, 277–80 unemployment in, xi, 227 unemployment rate in, 217, 226, 284 unilateralism of, 59, 246–55, 264–65, 267–69 as UN member, 118, 254, 264, 272 wage levels in, 229 in World War II, 36–37 urbanization, 102–3, 106, 110, 150, 153–55, 160, 167 U.S.


pages: 160 words: 46,449

The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, full employment, labour market flexibility, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck

There is no wind of change that threatens the existing social order. Even in parts of South America, where the Bolivarian assault on global capitalism and its priorities has been the strongest, no systemic break has occurred. There is no major capitalist or hybrid state that even wishes to challenge US global power: China, Russia, leave alone the servile European Union, may have their quibbles, but even serious disputes (Ukraine, South China Sea) within the capitalist family of nation states seem far from developing into any frontal political challenge, or military confrontation, with Washington.3 This being the case, is there a convincing alternative explanation of the global struggle being waged by the United States today, other than to maintain mastery of the world? How else to explain the fact that, absent any rival imperialist contender, defence spending from 2006–2011 accounted for $2.75 trillion, and we are informed that the next five-year war plan (2013–2017) will require at least $2.7 trillion to fulfil?

Chinese military doctrine, according to Martin Jacques, is rooted in Sun Zi’s writings: it sets much greater store on seeking to weaken and isolate the enemy than on actually fighting him. Thus China relies exclusively on trade to expand its influence. Despite its vast economic investments, it has yet to acquire a single foreign base (although it is investing in maritime facilities in Pakistan and Myanmar, in case trade routes in the South China Sea become blocked). Many have argued that the US went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq to seize the region’s energy resources, or to secure pipelines. However, the real beneficiary of both wars has been China. It has not only obtained some of the biggest contracts in Iraq, it recently also won a $3.4bn contract – the largest in Afghan history – to mine copper in Logar province. (Adding insult to injury, Chinese investments in Afghanistan are now protected by American armed forces.)

Global Financial Crisis by Noah Berlatsky

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, market bubble, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, working poor

“China consistently plays well under its weight,” said Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. Michael Lelyveld, “China’s G-20 Role Debated,” Radio Free Asia Online, April 13, 2009, www.rfa.org Since early 2009, there have been several reports that Chinese vessels have harassed alleged American spying ships in the South China Sea. In June, a Chinese submarine accidentally collided with an underwater sonar array towed by an American destroyer which was in the South China Sea to participate in a joint military exercise with ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] members. Crisis Could Be an Opportunity Most recently, the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries held their first summit meeting. Seeing the international crisis as an opportunity for the international economic and political order to be readjusted, the four countries expressed their ambition and willingness to participate more actively in international affairs.


pages: 419 words: 124,522

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, invention of gunpowder, invention of the telescope, Lao Tzu, Pax Mongolica, South China Sea, trade route

For three centuries after AD 618, under the royal name Changan, ‘Eternal Peace’, it incarnated the zenith and decline of the peerless Tang dynasty. For twenty-two miles its ramparts enclosed nearly two million inhabitants, and immured them again in a nest of inner walls and gates, as ward after ward piled up around a vast chessboard of avenues. The nine-mile walls of today’s Xian trace merely those of Changan’s inner city. On one side it sucked in tribute by canals stretching to the South China Sea; on the other it stood as a lodestar at the eastern end of the Silk Road, where the Tang empire stretched to the Pamirs. Its aristocracy survive in the damp murals of their tombs pockmarking the Wei valley. Along the underground walls their women walk in décolleté bodices and silk gowns, chatting together or playing with pet cicadas. Fabulous birds flutter for a moment out of the plaster. Beneath their chignons, piled up like crowns and cats’ ears, the faces are dimpled by tiny mouths and lizards’ eyes.

His Arab ancestors had come along the Silk Road seven hundred years ago, he said, and one of his forebears had been general to the first Ming emperor. Arab and Persian blood made his Hui people more handsome than the Chinese, he laughed. But his teeth were blackened pillars on shrunken gums, and he was running to fat. As early as the seventh century these traders had arrived along the Silk Road while their Islam was young, or filtered in through the ports of the South China Sea. But through intermarriage, whatever the man said, they had mostly become indistinguishable from those around them. Perhaps only a cyclical history of revolt and suppression, and the Chinese label ‘Hui’, had persuaded them that they were a nation. Sixty thousand strong in Xian now, they remained avid traders, and Arabic words still littered their talk. You roam the streets of their quarter at dusk, sensing new activity.

Lhasa Li Bai Li Peng Lijian Linxia Living Buddha of Labrang Living Buddha of Tianshui Lop desert Lou Guan Tai Louis, St, King of France Lucan Macartney, George Magi Mahdi see Twelfth Imam/the Mahdi Mahmoud (builder) Mahmoud of Gazni, sultan Mahmud Kashgari, tomb of Mahmuda (Uzbek woman) Maitreya (Buddha of the Future) Maimana Maimundiz Malekshah, sultan Mamelukes Manas (Kyrgyz national hero) Manas air base Manchus Mangnai Manicheism Mansur (student) Mao Zedong Maracanda Maragheh Mardin Margilan Masihi, Artur (church caretaker) Massoud, Ahmed Shah Matisi temples Matthew, St Mazar-e-Sharif Mazinan Mecca Médecins Sans Frontières Medina Mediterranean Merv Meshed Mesopotamia Mevlevi sect Mexme, St Miandasht Mianeh Ming dynasty Mingzhao (daughter of Hu Ji) Mir-i-Arab, Bukhara Mir Sayyid Ali miscegenation Mobin (driver) Moguls Mohammad Jahi Mombasa Mongolia Inner Mongols Moscow Mouli (teacher) Mount Demavend Mount Qiao Mount Sipylus Muhammad, Prophet Mujahidin-e Khalq murals, Chinese Buddhist Sogdian Muslims see Islam/Muslims Namangan Namangani (guerrilla chief) Naqshbandi sect Naryn Naryn river Nasir ad-din Tusi National Minority People’s University (Lanzhou) nationalism and identity NATO assistance force Navoi Navoi, Alisher Nazira (caretaker) Nepal Nestorians Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople Nishapur Niya Nizam al-Mulk Northern Alliance Nurana (Kyrgyz girl) Nuwa (goddess) Oljeitu, sultan mausoleum of Omar, caliph Omar, Mullah Omar Khayyám Rubáiyát grave of One Child policy Orontes river Orumiyeh (town) Orumiyeh lake Osh Osman (taxi-driver) Ostrovsky, Nikolai Oxus river see Amu Darya/Oxus river Pahlavi shahs Pakistan Pakistanis Palestine Palmyra Pamir mountains Panchen Lama paper Paris Paropamisus mountains Parthia Parthians Pasargadae Pashtuns Pass to the West Paul, St Pax Mongolica Persia Persian Gulf Persians Peter (Sinologist’s agent) Peter, St Petrovsky, Nikolai Philip of Montfort Philippe le Bel pilgrimage Piyada, Hajji Place of Drumbeats Pliny Polo, Marco Polo brothers Pompey Portuguese, the Prester John printing Production and Construction Corps, Xinjiang Pure Land of the Amithaba Qadamgah al Qaeda Qajar Qala-i-Jangi Qazvin Qezelabad Qianlong, emperor Qiao, Mount Qilian mountains Qin dynasty Qin Shi Huangdi, emperor terracotta army tomb Qing dynasty Qinghai Qinling mountains Qizil Uzun, gorge of Queen Mother of the West Qum Qumrabat Padshahim Qusam ibn Abbas Rabia Balkh Rawak Raymond of Tripoli Red Guards Revolutionary Guard Rey Richthofen, Friedrich von Romans Rome Roxana (wife of Alexander the Great) Rukn-ad-din Rushdie, Salman Ruslan (Kyrgyz) Russia Russian Orthodox Church Samarkand Russians Rustam (hero) Safavid, dynasty Saladin, sultan Samarkand Sanjar, sultan Sanliurfa Sarnath SARS Sassanian dynasty Saudi Arabia Seleucia Pierea Seleucus I Seljuks Seneca Seres Serica Shaanxi museum Shaanxi province Shah Rud valley Shah Rukh Shah-i-zinda (grave of Qusam ibn Abbas), Samarkand Shahi Shahnama Shalamov, Varlam Shams Kilaya Shandong Shaybanid dynasty Shebergan Shen Congwen Shirin river Shutur Khan Siberia Sichuan silk in Buddhism discovery dissemination in Islam among the Mongols manufacture in Persia qualities Roman view of origins secret betrayal subverting Roman economy superfine uses Silk House constellation Silk Road Antioch at western end of Changan at eastern end of decline of humbler traffic interconnectedness letters travelling along lingua franca of spread of inventions along spread of musical instruments along trade along Sipylus, Mount Sirnak Sogdians Song-kul lake South China Sea Soviet Union/USSR Spain Sri Lanka Stalin, Joseph Stark, Freya Stein, Aurel stirrups Sufis see also Mevlevi, Naqshbandi Sui dynasty Sultaniya Sun Yatsen Sung dynasty Sunni Sussmayr massif Suzhou Syr Darya (ancient Jaxartes) river Syria Syrians Tabriz Tahir (BBC worker) Taizong, emperor Tajikistan Tajiks Takht-i-Pul Taklamakan desert Talas battle of (AD 751) Talas river Talas valley Taliban Tamerlane the Great tomb Tang dynasty and Changan Tangshan Tanintanin mountains Tao Te Ching Taoism Tarim basin Tartars Tash Rabat Tashkent Taurus mountains Tazhong Tehran Termez terracotta army Tethys Sea Tian Shan mountains Tiananmen Square, Beijing massacre Tianshui Living Buddha of Tibet Tigris river Timurids Titus, emperor Tocharians Tochtor (Kyrgyz) Toktogul lake reservoir Torugart pass Turcomans Turkestan Turkey journey in Turkic peoples ‘Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan’ Turkmen desert Turkmenistan Turks Tus Tusi, Nasir ad-din Twelfth Imam/the Mahdi Uighurs Ukrainians Ulug Beg, prince Unai Enye (goddess) United Nations (UN) Assistance Mission, Mazar-e- Sharif United States of America Urumqi University Ushmurvan river Ustkurgan Uzbekistan journey in Uzbeks Vahid (Iranian emigrant) Vakhuman, king of Samarkand Vatican ‘Vegetable Lamb’ Vespasian, emperor Virgin Mary Visigoths Wahabis/Wahabism Wang, Abbot Wang Zhonghu Warner, Langdon Wei valley Wei river West, the time line Western Market, Changan Western music White Jade river, Khotan World Trade Center Wudi, emperor Xian Xinjiang Xuanzang, monk Xuanzong, emperor Yacub Beg Yalda Yangtze river Yarkand Yellow Emperor grave-mound of Yellow Hat sect Yellow River Yenisei river Ying (Luo Ying) Yongchang Youshashan Yu (professor) Yuan dynasty Zahir Shah, king Zanjan Zelim (Zelim Khan) (artist) Zerafshan river Zhangye Zhelaizhai Zhukov, Marshal Zoroaster Zoroastrianism About the Author COLIN THUBRON is an acknowledged master of travel writing.


pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

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agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

We have already taken note of Taiwan, northeast India, and other actual and latent claims; there is also the question of Mongolia, a part of China during Qing times and now experiencing a strong resurgence of Chinese influence, hitherto in the economic arena but potentially in additional contexts as well. In offshore waters, China is contesting with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia the ownership of islands whose acquisition would extend Chinese jurisdiction over vast expanses of the South China Sea. In short, China's territorial drive is far from over. While many countries have territorial issues with neighbors, these tend to take on greater significance when the claimant is already a giant. More to the point is China's role in competition with the United States for influence and power in the western Pacific from Japan to Australia and from the Philippines to Myanmar. The United States has been the long-term stabilizing force, its postwar relationship with Japan fostering democracy there and creating the setting for one of the twentieth century's great economic successes, its military presence in South Korea protecting one of the Pacific Rim's early economic "tigers" while it prospered and advanced toward democratic governance, and its special relationship with Taiwan precluding a Tibet-like rean-nexation by Beijing (and nurturing still another economic tiger).

The United States has been the long-term stabilizing force, its postwar relationship with Japan fostering democracy there and creating the setting for one of the twentieth century's great economic successes, its military presence in South Korea protecting one of the Pacific Rim's early economic "tigers" while it prospered and advanced toward democratic governance, and its special relationship with Taiwan precluding a Tibet-like rean-nexation by Beijing (and nurturing still another economic tiger). America's military presence in the Philippines until 1991, abandoned when Mount Pi-natobo's giant eruption destroyed its air and sea bases on Luzon Island even 146 WHY GEOGRAPHY MATTERS as the Philippine Senate was weighing continuation of the United States presence, dissuaded China from a greater aggressiveness in its now-renounced claims to all of the South China Sea. And Washington's close relationship with Singapore has been another part of this geopolitical framework. In this new century, however, the picture is changing. Late in 2004, President G. W. Bush announced plans to withdraw United States military forces from overseas bases including those in Japan. The Japanese, meanwhile, were bolstering their antimissile capacity in the face of North Korea's nuclear program and rocket tests.

Nothing that increases this risk should be tolerated, and Washington must convince Beijing that this must be a joint objective. Over the longer term, China's economic and geopolitical challenge will be more difficult to accommodate, and the American role in East Asia will undoubtedly have to change. China has unresolved issues with Japan ranging from Japan's failure to acknowledge the atrocities it committed in China during its wartime occupation to disputes over islands and waters in the South China Sea. These issues have remained relatively subdued because of the constitutional restrictions placed on Japan's military and because the United States has kept armed forces based in Japan. But there are signs that Japan will loosen the constraints on its military power, largely because of security concerns arising from North Korea's nuclear ambitions and maritime incursions, and the American government is contemplating a reduction if not elimination of its military presence in Japan.


pages: 498 words: 153,927

The River at the Centre of the World by Simon Winchester

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British Empire, Deng Xiaoping, Khartoum Gordon, offshore financial centre, out of africa, placebo effect, South China Sea, trade route

In the case of the Spratly Islands, the tiny state of Brunei – hardly the world's most imperially minded state, even though its ruler was said to be the planet's richest man – had advanced a claim as well. But Beijing had airily ignored them all. Successive governments had stated flatly that the islands were historically and by geographical logic Chinese, and any official maps you buy of China inside China show a curved dotted line extending from Shanghai south and returning north to a point near Hainan, and encompassing every atoll and reef and skerry in the South China Sea. All, says China, are Chinese. In recent years Beijing has stated these claims rather more robustly, and shortly before my arrival at Woosung the Chinese Navy had installed a detachment of the Chinese Army, who would build a small base on one of the rocks. Now, as I arrived in Shanghai, the Chinese government was publicly defying anyone to try to move it. This had led neighbour nations to complain about Chinese ‘hegemony’ – a popular word in the East, and hitherto much used by countries like Nepal and Sikkim in connection with India.

Compounding the strangeness of the topography, they were also very, very close – making this one of the best-drained parts of the world, with rivers shearing away like railway lines from a city terminus. First there was the Yangtze, heading south to Shigu and – but for the intervention of Cloud Mountain – the Gulf of Tonkin; then, a mere fifty miles to the west, was the upper part of the Mekong, which drained through Laos and Cambodia before entering the South China Sea near Saigon; and thirty miles farther west was the Salween, a lesser-known river that watered the Shan States of upper Burma, and flowed into the Andaman Sea by the town of Moulmein, a place made famous only in a poem by Kipling, the one about the Burma girl a-settin' by the old Moulmein pagoda. We had our first spot of bother with the Chinese police when we arrived at Qamdo, a large town on the upper Mekong.

., 177 Rustomjee, Heerjeebhoy, 177 Sailing Through China (Theroux), 408 Salween River, 364, 373, 393 Sampans (small boats), 47, 300, 306 Sand Pebbles, The (McKenna), 286, 410 Sandouping, 229, 231, 232–3, 245 Sanxia, 169 Satellite communications, 309–10 Savage, John L, 227, 229 Schistosomes, 195 Science and Civilisation in China (Needham), 410 Second Opium War, 204 Seeds of Change (Hobhouse), 412 Sexual morals, 145–6, 320, 332, 334–5, 378 Sexually transmitted diseases, 334–5 Shadwell, Charles, 50 Shamanism, 329, 367, 406 Shanghai Club, 36, 75, 84 Shanghai Down Express, 12 Shashi, 244 Shen-nung, Emperor, 363 Shennong Stream, 289, 290, 291 Shenyang, 216 Shigatse, 401 Shigu, 3–4, 20, 359, 362, 365, 373 Shimantan Dam, 240 Ship locks, 255–6 Shipai, 232 Shippee, David, 354, 358 Shippee, Margit, 355 Shipwrecks, 44–5 Shun, Emperor, 363 Shutung (ship), 269 Sichuan Basin, 225, 237, 375 Sichuan Corporation for International Cultural Development, 371 Sichuan province, 213, 226, 295, 297, 313, 314, 371, 377 Signal stations, 272–3,299–300 Sikhs, 72, 76 Sikkim 383 Silk industry, 123, 283 Silk Road, 313 Single Pebble, A (Hersey), 230, 254, 408 Singsong girls, 139–40 Sixteen Points for the Cultural Revolution, 201 Smedley, Agnes, 215 Snowmelts, 151, 153, 158 Soochow Creek, 72 Sourcewaters, 349–53, 404–6 South China Sea, 54 South Manchurian Railway, 129 Space programme, 309–10 Sperling, E., 134 Spratly Islands, 53 Standard Guide Book to Shanghai, 412 Star TV, 309 Steepness, 344, 349 Stilwell, ‘Vinegar Joe’, 287 Su, Mr, 67–9 Subways, 81 Suez Canal, 179 Sui dynasty, 100 Suicides, 319–20, 332 Suifu, 295 Sun Yat-sen, 51, 125, 211, 215, 225, 228 Sun Ziming, 330 Sung dynasty, 100 Swimmers, 194–203 ‘Swimming' (poem), 218, 231 Szechuan province, 284 Taco Bell, 213 Tactical Pilot Charts (TPCs), 30–31, 409 Taipan (company chief), 63, 65, 75, 86, 89 Taiping Rebellion, 121n, 134n, 142 Taipings, 121 Taipingxi, 232 Tang dynasty, 100, 114, 254, 330 Tang, Mr, 370–71, 374, 396, 397, 400 Tanggula Range, 398, 399, 405 Tanggula township, 402–3 Tannu-Tuva, 381 Taoists, 224, 330, 338–9, 341 Taotai (city official) 597183 TCBY store, 212–13 Tea clippers, 175, 205 Tea industry, 166–7, 170, 173–86, 380–81 Tea-making process, 181–2 Tectonics, 367 Telegraph cable, 58n Television, 309 Tempe, Arizona, 116 Ten thousand li Yangtze (painting), 10, 14–23 Tennyson, Alfred Lord, 48 Theacea plants, 174 Theroux, Paul, 408 Thistle and the Jade, The (Keswick), 412 Three Gorges, 25, 26, 29, 97, 225, 226n, 228, 235, 243–4, 266, 287–9, 345, 366 Three Gorges Dam, 19, 164, 169, 219, 223, 225, 226–46, 249–53, 255, 257–62, 276–7, 371 Three Gorges Hotel, 247–8 Three Gorges Project Corporation, 249, 259 Through the Yangtze Gorges or, Trade and Travel in Western China (Little), 411 Tiananmen Square, 235, 239, 379 Tianjin, 131 Tibet, 322, 356, 369–70, 373–6, 379–407 Tibetan foothills, 303 Tibetan people, 278–9, 322–3, 325, 383–91 Tibetan Plateau, 150, 225, 295, 345, 351, 382, 396, 406 Tides, 124–5, 160 Tientsin, 95 Tiger Leaping Gorge, 327, 330, 346–9, 356, 366 Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, 132, 134 Tolley, Admiral Kemp, 410–11 Tongtian He, 345, 350–52, 354 Topographical maps, 30–31 Trackers, 267, 268, 277, 279, 289–90 Travel Survival Guide to China, 409 Treaty of Nanking, 142–5, 270 Trobriand Islanders, 334 Tsampa (Tibetan food), 380, 396 Tsingtao beer, 220, 311 Tuotuo stream, 322, 340–41, 374 Tuotuoheyan, 403, 405 Tuotuoheyan bridge, 404, 406–7 U.S.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, means of production, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks

In a final important example of the politics of dredging material up from the seabed to make land, China’s terraforming of a string of ‘fake’ islands in the Spratly Archipelago in the South China Sea since December 2013 demonstrates that ‘reclaiming’ land through dredging can also work to bolster major national geopolitical claims to subsea resources and maritime and air space in contested zones. By July 2015, 810 hectares (2,000 acres) of land had been created through China’s terraforming programme in a remote but strategically vital area fully 500 miles from mainland China.48 Crucially, by being ‘habitable’ to humans – unlike the atolls and reefs at their root – these new islands can be the formal basis for China’s sovereignty claims at the UN in the hotly contested South China Sea. Moreover, in a strategy similar to that which allowed the US military to ‘island hop’ across the Pacific in World War II, these islands are now being surmounted by three brand-new military-length runways as a means to allow China to project its military power both vertically and horizontally.

., 106–7 Singapore, 144–6, 189–90, 201, 242–3, 257–8, 260, 296–8, 297, 380 Singer, Marc, 352, 364 Sitrin, Marina, 22 Situationist International, 360 Situationists, 319 Ski-Dubai, 266 Sky Train, 230–1 Slavick, Elin O’Hara, 62–3 Sloterdijk, Peter, 3n4, 7–8, 29, 247, 254, 261–2, 269, 273 Smith, Christopher, 333 Smith, Harold, 346 Smith, Mark, 344 Smith, T. Dan, 224, 225n16 Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, 60–1 Smithsonian Institution, 59–60 Smudge Studio, 286–7 Solis, Julia, 364 Solman, Dario, 25 Somalia, 73 South Africa, 382, 384–6 South Bank, 203 South China Sea, 304 South Dakota, 344 Southwark, 203 Space Needle, 138 ‘Spaceship Earth’ (Fuller), 24 Spain, 140, 316 Spectacle Island, 288 Spoor, Richard, 386 Spratly Archipelago, 304 Squibb Building, 155 Sri Lanka, 46 Stahl, Roger, 47 Stallybrass, Peter, 325 ‘Star Wars’ Strategic Defense Initiative, 41 Staten Island, 310, 311 Steadman, Ian, 204 Stern, Robert, 196 Steyerl, Hito, 2n2, 10–2 St Louis, Missouri, 185 Strategic Data Services group, 355 Stroli, Dani, 87 Sudjic, Deyan, 160–1 Sugarloaf Mountain, 126 Sullivan, Louis, 154 Sunni, 46–7 Sweden, 287–8 Switzerland, 355, 358n56 Sydney, Australia, 177, 218 Syria, xiv, 46, 169 Taipei Financial Center, 141 Taiwan, 141 Taliban, 111, 172, 351 Tampines, 298 Tarhunah, 346 Tatton-Brown, William and Aileen, 222–4 ‘Taurus’, 36 TauTona, 382, 385 Taylor-Foster, James, 160 Techwood project, 185 Teich, Andy, 110 Tel Rumeida, 295–6 Tenochtitlan, 285 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, xiv Terranova, Charissa, 227 Teufelsberg, 281, 282, 283, 288 Thailand, 231, 257–8, 301 Thames, River, 97, 167, 288 Things to Come (film), 138 13th Arrondissement, 159–60 ThyssenKrupp AG, 131 Tijuana, 349 Titan II Missile, 358 Tokyo, 59, 94, 130, 140, 192, 221, 296–7 Tora Bora, 342 Toronto, Canada, 146, 175, 177–8, 191n39, 194n48, 318, 378–9 Torre David, 120–2, 127 Toshiba, 141 Toth, Jennifer, 352–3 Tower Hamlets, 212 Tower of Babel, 174–5 Transparent Earth, 344 Treichler, Michael, 21 Trellick Tower, 205 Trenchard, Hugh, 66, 66n40 Tripoli, 61 Turkey, 276, 316 Twin Towers, 310, 311 UE movement, 362n65 Uganda, 378 UK, 57, 225, 259, 272, 288, 314. see also specific locations Ulan Bator, 334 Um Lugar ao Sol (‘A Place in the Sun’) (documentary), 214 Underneath New York (Granick), 278 Under the Dome (film), 255 Underworld (DeLilllo), 356 UN Human Rights Council, 75n27 UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), 41 Union Carbide, 257 United Arab Emirates (UAE), xiii, 160, 164, 270–2, 374, 377, 380n43 United Nations, 346 United States, 34, 57, 66n40, 83, 143, 229–30, 258–9, 262–3, 274, 290. see also specific locations United States Space Command, 39 United Way, 146 ‘Universal Corrective Map of the World’ (McArthur), 20–1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Shadow UAV), 69 Up on the Roof (MacLean), 215 Urals, 343 Urban Theory Lab (Harvard University), 8 US Air Force, 56, 62–3, 69, 71, 341–2 US–Canada border, 349, 351 US Congress, 351 US Department of Defense, 342 US Department of Homeland Security, 84, 85, 87, 89, 363 US Department of Justice, 87, 90 US GeoEye-1, 31 US Geological Survey, 379 US–Mexico border, 84, 85, 351, 363 US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), 33 US National Security Agency, 281–2 US Navy, 343 US RAND, 31 Utopia in Trial (Coleman), 184 Vaal Reefs Mine, 384 Vale, 375 Valjean, Jean, 327–8 Van Alen, William, 155 Vancouver, 175, 177, 192–5, 201, 243, 318, 380 Vanity Fair, 177 van Vuuren, Detlef, 262 Varnelis, Kazys, 158 Veltmeyer, Henry, 367 Vendrame, Giuditta, 257, 269 Venezuela, 119–22 Venice, 370 Viet Cong, 274, 351 Vietnam, 61, 274, 298 Vietnam War, 114 Ville Contemporaine, 181 Ville Radieuse (‘Radiant City’), 64 Virgil, 19 Virgin Galactic, 218 Virginia, 289 Virilio, Paul, 3n4, 30–1, 156, 341 Volic, Ademir, 314 Wahabist ideology, 172 Waldorf Astoria, 143, 155 Walker, A.


pages: 548 words: 147,919

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks

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airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Mark Zuckerberg, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Turing test, unemployed young men, Wall-E, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks

Gawalt, “America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe,” Library of Congress: American Memory, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/jefferson_papers/mtjprece.html. 17. Elizabeth Huff; rev. by Priscilla and Richard Roberts, “The First Barbary War,” Monticello, 2011, www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/first-barbary-war#footnote10_trdpc84. 18. Sarah Schoenberger, “Piracy in the South China Sea: Petty Theft in Indonesia, Kidnapped Ships in Malaysia,” Asia-Pacific, Global Analysis, Center for International Maritime Security, September 6, 2014, http://cimsec.org/piracy-south-china-sea-petty-theft-indonesia-kidnapped-ships-malaysia/12899. Chapter 2: Wanna Go to Gitmo? 1. Agreement Between the United States and Cuba for the Lease of Lands for Coaling and Naval Stations, February 23, 1903, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/dip_cuba002.asp. 2. Agreement Between United States and Cuba, Article 3.

This didn’t entirely end the era of the Barbary pirates, who resumed their attacks on U.S. shipping during the War of 1812 while the Navy was once more engaged in fighting the British. In 1815, however, the United States launched another successful offensive against the Barbary States. This time, the pirates were vanquished—until piracy off the coast of Africa accelerated again in the twenty-first century. Piracy had never fully disappeared from the world’s shipping channels, of course, and the Navy has fought pirates from the Caribbean to the South China Sea over the last two centuries. The nature of piracy has changed significantly since America’s first foreign military adventure, however. Fearsome as the Barbary pirates were, they operated largely under the control of the Barbary States, making diplomacy a viable adjunct or alternative to war. State-sponsored piracy was common until the mid-nineteenth century, and the major European powers all made extensive use of privateers.


pages: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, deglobalization, energy security, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, flex fuel, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Hans Island, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income per capita, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, McMansion, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, Yom Kippur War

” America’s role as global superpower rests on the back of its aircraft carriers, the most powerful military assets in the world. China has now joined the club, a development that has the full attention of its neighbors. The Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are all running into problems with China and its territorial claims to most of the oil- and gas-rich South China Sea. China’s years of practicing a good-neighbor policy appear to be coming to an end. It’s getting more aggressive in pressing its rights, recently sending an unmanned submarine to plant a flag on the ocean floor of the South China Sea to act as a symbol of its military capability and regional dominance. China reportedly planned to call the Varyag the Shi Lang, after a 17th-century admiral who conquered Taiwan—a not so subtle nod to its plans for the craft. Ultimately, though, the carrier was renamed the Liaoning, after the northeast province where it was refitted.


pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

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airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

FLAG FACTS The FLAG system, that mother of all wires, starts at Porthcurno, England, and proceeds to Estepona, Spain; through the Strait of Gibraltar to Palermo, Sicily; across the Mediterranean to Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt; overland from those two cities to Suez, Egypt; down the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea, with a potential branching unit to Jedda, Saudia Arabia; around the Arabian Peninsula to Dubai, site of the FLAG Network Operations Center; across the Indian Ocean to Bombay; around the tip of India and across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to Ban Pak Bara, Thailand, with a branch down to Penang, Malaysia; overland across Thailand to Songkhla; up through the South China Sea to Lan Tao Island in Hong Kong; up the coast of China to a branch in the East China Sea where one fork goes to Shanghai and the other to Koje-do Island in Korea, and finally to two separate landings in Japan—Ninomiya and Miura, which are owned by rival carriers. Phone company people tend to think (and do business) in terms of circuits. Hacker tourists, by contrast, tend to think in terms of bits per second.

Alan “the ferang” Wall lives in Ban Hat Yai, the center of the FLAG operation in Thailand, cruising the cable routes a couple of times a week, materializing unpredictably in the heart of the tropical jungle in a perfectly tailored dark suit to inspect, among other things, FLAG’s chain of manhole-making villages. There were seven of these in existence during the summer of 1996, all lying along one of the two highways that run across the isthmus between the Andaman and the South China Seas. These highways, incidentally, are lined with utility poles carrying both power and communications wires. The tops of the poles are guarded by conical baskets about halfway up. The baskets prevent rats from scampering up the poles to chew away the tasty insulation on the wires and poisonous snakes from slithering up to sun themselves on the crossbars, a practice that has been known to cause morale problems among line workers.


pages: 366 words: 100,602

Sextant: A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who ... by David Barrie

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centre right, colonial exploitation, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, Maui Hawaii, Nicholas Carr, polynesian navigation, South China Sea, trade route

Unlike the light from a star, however, these signals are also stamped with the exact time of their transmission. While the celestial navigator deploys almanac and sight-reduction tables to define and then solve the trigonometric problems arising from a sextant “sight,” the GPS user relies on computer algorithms in the receiver to perform analogous calculations—instantly, effortlessly, and automatically. I first encountered satellite navigation when I was sailing across the South China Sea from Hong Kong to Manila in April 1984. I was navigating with the sextant I had used going to and from the Azores three years earlier, though the experience of working out sights under a tropical sun that passed almost vertically overhead at noon was very different. Beyond the strong winds of the northeast monsoon we were becalmed off the coast of Luzon. I have never been so hot. Shoals of flying fish burst from the sea, sometimes crash-landing on our deck.

Navy, 282 use of term, 299n8 and Vancouver’s explorations, 146 and voyage of the Beagle, 198, 208–9 and zenith distance, 19 Shackleton, Ernest crossing of South Georgia Island, 259–60 escape from pack ice, 247–50 James Caird journey, 251–59 and loss of Endurance, 244–47 organization of expedition, 241–42 and rescue of expedition members, 260–61 stranded in pack ice, 241–44 use of celestial navigation, xviii Shakespeare, William, 26, 26n sharks, 47 Shipping Forecast (BBC Radio), 217 ship’s logs, 48, 48n shoals, 4–5 Shovell, Cloudesley, 50, 62, 268 sight-reduction tables, 223–24, 272 single-handed sailing, 313n22. See also Slocum, Joshua Skyring, William, 201 Skyring Water, 202 “skyspaces,” 283–84 Slocum, Joshua, xviii, xix, 22, 57, 207, 227–38 small-boat voyages, xx Smalls Lighthouse, 219–20, 219n Solander, Daniel, 89 solar declination, 28, 58, 237 solar flares, 282–83 Solomon Islands, xvi–xvii, 121, 125, 133–34, 196–97n soundings, 4–5, 267 South America Pilot, 231 South Atlantic, 92 South China Sea, 280 South Georgia Island, 92, 242, 251, 255–59, 262 South Pacific, 90, 105 South Sandwich Islands, 92 South Seas, 87 southern continent debate, 87, 93 Southern Cross, 253 Southern Hemisphere, 168 Southern Ocean, 92–93, 240, 255 Spain, 85, 138–39, 147, 149–53 Spanish Armament, 138–39 “Spanish Ladies” (song), 33n spherical geometry, 69 Spice Islands, 194 spiritual significance of celestial navigation, 286–87 Spray, xviii, 207, 227–38 St.


pages: 445 words: 105,255

Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization by K. Eric Drexler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Bill Joy: nanobots, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, double helix, failed state, global supply chain, industrial robot, iterative process, Mars Rover, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, performance metric, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas Malthus, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush

This isn’t the future most people expect. Over recent decades the world has been sliding toward a seemingly inevitable collision between economic development and global limits. As nations expand industrial capacity, carbon emissions rise. Expectations of resource scarcity drive wars and preparations for war as tensions grow over water from rivers, metals from Africa, oil from the Middle East, and fresh oil fields beneath the South China Sea. Everywhere progress and growth are beginning to resemble zero-sum games. The familiar, expected future of scarcity and conflict looks bleak. These familiar expectations assume that the technology we use to produce things will remain little changed. But what if industrial production as we know it can be changed beyond recognition or replaced outright? The consequences would change almost everything else, and this new industrial revolution is visible on the horizon.

Throughout historical times (and before), competition for natural resources has shaped societies, forcing confrontations with rivals and fostering a propensity for war. From hunting grounds to oilfields, control of territories and access to scarce resources have been critical to strength and survival. Today, however, we face the prospect of an era in which resource competition becomes comparatively unimportant. Today, resource competition continues to be a leading cause of international tension; conflict over control of the East and South China Seas, for example, is premised on the assumption that mid-twenty-first-century nations will still have an interest in undersea oilfields. Because the emergence of APM-level technologies will make most resource-centered concerns obsolete, plans for an unconventional future cannot count access to natural resources as vital or even substantial national interests. To expect both APM-level technologies and a continuing struggle for resources would be incoherent, fostering needlessly risky plans for an illusory future.


pages: 302 words: 92,507

Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places by Bill Streever

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Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Exxon Valdez, Mason jar, refrigerator car, South China Sea, the scientific method, University of East Anglia

It would need more food; it would need more insulation; it would need adaptive behaviors and down jackets and baseboard heat and maybe an electric blanket. But it could live almost anywhere, while these damselfish are condemned to the tropics. When I tire of listening to grunting damselfish, I stand in the water. Facing shore, I look at coconut palms growing just beyond white sand. Farther back, in the hills behind the beach, macaques play in jungle branches. I turn to watch the swells coming in from the South China Sea. They break on the reef face. A surge of water, the remains of a broken wave, advances across the shallows, then retreats, leaving white foam behind to slip slowly back. The sun hangs low on the horizon. At this latitude, sunset comes quickly. I can almost see the sun move as it sinks into the sea. This is the same sun that will rise in just a few hours over my home in Alaska, but there it will rise slowly, seeming to skim along the horizon, reluctant to show itself to snow-covered black spruce and frozen tundra.

The fishermen named the annual event El Niño, “the Little One,” in honor of the birth of Christ. Globally, El Niño has come to refer to those years when the Christmas currents are unusually strong. The currents strengthen when trade winds blowing to the west weaken and unusual volumes of warm water reach Peru and Ecuador. Global weather patterns respond. It rains in California. Australia dries out, and bush fires burn out of control. Gulf of Mexico hurricanes become less prevalent. South China Sea typhoons become more prevalent. Corals die in the Pacific Ocean. People catch marlin off the coast of Washington State. With El Niño, cold, clear high-pressure air stalls between Alaska and Seattle. The pressure ridge forces warm winds forming along the Aleutian Islands to swing north, toward Anchorage. The city will have rain within days. This is no chinook wind, but our snow will be eaten all the same.

Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

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active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, colonial rule, Google Earth, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, large denomination, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Month by Month Itineraries Big Adventures, Small Budget Responsible Travel Countries at a Glance Top of section welcome to Southeast Asia Exotic and tropical, friendly and hospitable, historic and devout, Southeast Asia offers a warm embrace, from its sun-kissed beaches and steamy jungles to its bustling modern cities and sleepy villages. Buddhist monks travelling by motorcycle taxi, Siem Reap BERNARD NAPTHINE/LONELY PLANET IMAGES © Elemental Forces The life-giving force of water has sculpted many Southeast Asian landscapes. The jungle-topped islands of the Malay peninsula are cradled by coral reefs that tame the ocean into azure pools. The languorous Vietnamese coastline greets the South China Sea from tip to tail, while inland there are karst mountains – evidence of long-vanished oceans. And the muddy Mekong River lopes through tightly knit mountains to flat rice baskets. The traditional ‘highways’ of Borneo are tannin-stained rivers that slice through the wilderness. And the volcanoes of Indonesia and the Philippines provide a glimpse into the earth’s blacksmithing core. Spiritual Spaces Southeast Asia bathes in spirituality.

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang JOHN BANAGAN / LONELY PLANET IMAGES © Kuching (Malaysia) 11 Borneo’s most sophisticated and stylish city (Click here) brings together an atmospheric old town, a romantic waterfront, fine cuisine for all budgets and chic nightspots that would be right at home in London. But the city’s biggest draw is what’s nearby: some of Sarawak’s finest natural sights that are easy to visit on day trips. You can spot orang-utans or search out a giant Rafflesia flower in the morning, or look for proboscis monkeys and wild crocs on a sundown cruise in the South China Sea. Finish off the evening by dining on fresh seafood or crunchy midin (jungle fern tips). PETER PTSCHELINZEW / LONELY PLANET IMAGES © Bagan (Myanmar) 12 More than 4000 Buddhist temples are scattered across the plains of Bagan (Click here), the site of the first Burmese kingdom and an architectural complement to the temples of Angkor. Dating to between the 11th and 13th centuries, the vast majority have been renovated, as Bagan remains an active religious site and place of pilgrimage.

It’s never entirely safe and not recommended, especially for women, as the act of standing beside a road and waving at cars might be misinterpreted. Top of section Malaysia Includes » Kuala Lumpur Melaka Cameron Highlands Penang Pulau Langkawi Pulau Tioman Kuala Terengganu Pulau Perhentian Kota Bharu Taman Negara Malaysian Borneo Understand Malaysia Survival Guide Why Go? Malaysia is like two countries in one, cleaved in half by the South China Sea. The multicultural peninsula flaunts Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, while Borneo hosts a wild jungle of orang-utans, granite peaks and remote tribes. Throughout these two regions is an impressive variety of microcosms ranging from the space-age high-rises of Kuala Lumpur to the smiling longhouse villages of Sarawak. And then there’s the food. Malaysia (particularly along the peninsular west coast) has one of the best assortments of cuisines in the world.


pages: 615 words: 175,905

Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam by H. R. McMaster

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, South China Sea

The initial strike occurred on August 4, the president got his congressional resolution on August 10, and on August 5 Secretary McNamara announced that the following military deployments were under way: transfer of an attack carrier group from the Pacific coast to the Western Pacific; movement of interceptor and fighter-bomber aircraft into South Vietnam [36 B-57’s and 12 F-102’s]; movement of fighter-bomber aircraft into Thailand; transfer of interceptor and fighter-bomber squadrons from the United States to advance bases in the Pacific; movement of an antisubmarine force into the South China Sea; the alerting and readying for movement of selected Army and Marine forces.4 It was unclear when Johnson would approve additional actions in support of the central recommendation of the May memorandum: the gradual application of additional military pressures on North Vietnam. Deliberations about Vietnam, conducted in the middle of a presidential campaign, solidified two critical assumptions: first, that the principal difficulty in South Vietnam stemmed from North Vietnam’s support for the Viet Cong; and second, that the gradual application of military and diplomatic pressures on the Hanoi government would persuade North Vietnam’s leaders to terminate that support.

While South Vietnamese generals occupied themselves principally with political intrigue, the Viet Cong were growing stronger, to a point where they controlled half of the countryside and one-quarter of the rural population. They had infiltrated the once-safe major cities and seemed poised to cut off the northern portion of South Vietnam by driving from their highland bases to the coastal provinces on the South China Sea. The pacification program that Westmoreland had hoped would secure the area around Saigon and serve as a model for the entire country had come to a standstill. The South Vietnamese armed forces were exclusively on the defensive and had suffered major defeats in spite of their superiority in numbers and equipment. Morale was sagging. In January alone more than seven thousand South Vietnamese deserted from the ranks.22 Taylor, however, never considered reexamining the U.S. commitment to South Vietnam.

Arthur Collins, recalled that “all the services were anxious to get their foot in the door, and it reminded me of the story of not letting the camel get its nose in the tent.”* It was apparent to Collins that “the US would get far more committed than it intended, and it was obvious from the civilian influence on the tactics and strategy that we were just going to nibble away at this Vietnamese problem.”2 On February 7, 1965, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers Ranger, Coral Sea, and Hancock were afloat in the South China Sea, waiting for orders to bomb North Vietnam. The Viet Cong attack on Pleiku provided the occasion to launch Flaming Dart I, the name for the reprisal strikes against military barracks in the southern portion of North Vietnam. Ranger would strike military barracks at Vit Thu Lu, while Coral Sea and Hancock would target a barracks facility at Dong Hoi. The South Vietnamese Air Force would bomb a third facility.


pages: 651 words: 135,818

China into Africa: trade, aid, and influence by Robert I. Rotberg

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barriers to entry, BRICs, colonial rule, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global supply chain, global value chain, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, labour market flexibility, land reform, megacity, microcredit, offshore financial centre, out of africa, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, Washington Consensus

In 2005, on the 600th anniversary of Zheng’s voyages, Chinese Vice Premier Huang Ju called on the Chinese people to carry forward Zheng’s spirit of scientific exploration and the expansion of friendly cooperation with peoples of other countries.102 Two experts on Chinese naval strategy argued that China’s “Zheng He diplomacy” was no longer willing to entrust its maritime interests to the U.S. Navy: China would deploy naval forces to defend its interests. It would focus its attention not just on the Pacific, but southward, along the sea lanes that convey vital commodities to China.103 The modern Chinese navy sent its first-ever naval fleet formation to Africa in 2000, with port calls in Tanzania and South Africa. Rear Admiral Huang Jiang, chief of the general staff of the South China Sea Fleet, joined the Shenzhen 167 guided missile destroyer, the Nancang 953 supply ship, and 480 officers and sailors during stops at Dar es Salaam and the Simonstown naval dock near Cape Town.104 The commander of the North China Sea Fleet, Ding Yiping, accompanied a guided missile destroyer, a supply ship, and 500 crew members on China’s first world cruise in 2002. After passing through the Suez Canal, the ships called at Alexandria, Egypt.105 While intended primarily to improve political and military relations with the host nations, those ship visits suggest that China may be serious about eventually extending its naval reach into the waters off Africa.

See Zimbabwe Shaba emergency (1977), 159 Richards Bay, South Africa, 150 Shalmon, Dan, 5 Rio Tinto (mining company), 151 Shanghai, China, 152 Roads, 255, 257, 264; FDI and, 104; in Shantou, China, 138–40 Zimbabwe, 261 Shanxi Province, China, 145 Rogue states, 113 Shanxi Tianli Enterprises Group, 145 Romeo-class submarines, 159 Shell Petroleum Development Corpora- Rumsfeld, Donald, 181 tion, 120, 278 Rupp, Stephanie, 16 Shen Dingli, 111 16-7561-4 index.qxd 9/16/08 4:25 PM Page 335 Index 335 Shengli, China, 110 100–01; military assistance and, 157, Shenzhen, China, 138–40 161, 165–66, 169–70; national secu- Shinn, David, 9–10 rity and, 155; naval strategy and, 180; Sichuan Telecommunications Company, opposition group outreach in, 239; 178 SEZs and, 147, 152; Standard Bank Sierra Leone, 27, 158, 161; peacekeeping of, 148; trade with, 51, 277–78; in, 177–78 weapons production and, 171; Silk Road, 116 Zimbabwe and, 174 Silkworm antiship missile, 159 South China Sea Fleet, 180 Simonstown, South Africa, 180 South Commission, 146 Singapore, 252 Southern African Development Com- Sino-Nigeria Business and Investment munity, 18, 144 Forum, 148 South Fujian Triangle Delta, 138 Sinopec-Sonangol International (SSI), South Korea, 95 120, 122; government management Sovereignty, 112, 217, 297, 307; human and, 114; rebel attacks against, 179; rights and, 253, 264; South Africa Unipec and, 121 and, 301; Sudan and, 305 Sino-South African Binational Com- Special Economic Zones (SEZs), 1, 6–7, mission, 169 52, 137–41, 151–53, 234; Benguela Sino-South African Defense Commit- railway and, 150–51; development tee, 169–70 and, 142–46; Egypt and, 149–50; Small arms and light weapons (SALW), Nigeria and, 147–48; Tanzam Rail- 175–76 way and, 146–47; Zambia and, 57 Small Arms Survey, 163 Special Preferential Tariff Treatment Socialism, 198, 202, 241, 287 program, 142 Somalia, 28, 298, 308; attacks against Spielberg, Steven, 12–13 Chinese in, 178; military assistance Sriram, Chandra Lekha, 14–15 and, 158–59, 183; stability-building Standard and Poor’s, 198 efforts in, 17; tripartite cooperation Standard Bank, 148 and, 205; U.S. military in, 303–04 State Department (U.S.), 307 Sonangal (Angolan national oil com- State-owned companies, 111–12, 114, pany), 119–20.


pages: 523 words: 144,971

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

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air freight, oil rush, South China Sea

Maybe even threaten my methane deals." Hock Seng nods. "Only you had enough influence to risk it." "And what do you want for this wondrous bit of technology?" Hock Seng readies himself. "A ship." The Dung Lord looks up, surprised. "Not money? Not jade? Not opium?" Hock Seng shakes his head. "A ship. A fast clipper. Mishimoto-designed. Registered and approved to transport cargo to the Kingdom and throughout the South China Sea. Under the protection of her Majesty the Queen. . ." He waits a beat. "And your patronage." "Ah. Clever yellow card." The Dung Lord smiles. "And I thought you were truly grateful." Hock Seng shrugs. "You are the only person who has the influence to provide such permits and guarantees." "The only one who can make a yellow card truly legitimate, you mean. The only one who could convince white shirts to allow a yellow card shipping king to develop."

Someone should have done it already, and yet still this one flares, bright and green, reflecting on Mai's face. She is pretty, he realizes. Slight and beautiful. An innocent trapped amongst warring animals. He turns from the window and goes to squat before the safe. Studies its dials and heavy locks, its combinations and levers. Expensive to manufacture something with so much steel. When he had his own company, when the Tri-Clipper ruled the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, he had one like it in his offices, an heirloom, salvaged from an old bank when it lost liquidity, straight from the vault and carried into Three Prosperities Trading Company with the help of two megodonts. This one sits before him, taunting him. He must destroy it at its joints. It will take time. "Come with me," he says. He leads her back down to the factory floor. Mai hangs back when he wants to go into the fining rooms.


pages: 419 words: 119,368

Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

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cuban missile crisis, language of flowers, Malacca Straits, sensible shoes, South China Sea, upwardly mobile

Those people became very used to having an anthropologist about the place. Some of them became quite dependent on their anthropologists – rather like some people become rather dependent on their social workers.” “But of course it’s a bit late now, don’t you think?” said Dilly. “Today’s pirates must be rather elusive.” “There are more than you imagine,” said Domenica. “I gather that the South China Seas are riddled with them. And they’re becoming bolder and bolder. They even try to board tankers and ships like that. They’re very piratical.” The two friends were silent for a moment. There was a certain incongruity in discussing pirates in George Street. But Domenica had a further thought. “Do you know that pirates used to be quite active, even in British waters? They used to plague the south coast of England, coming ashore and carrying off the local women into captivity.

New Guinea was stale these days, and the headhunters were more concerned with human rights than they used to be … Besides, it was politically incorrect even to use the term headhunter. They were … what were they? Head re-locators? Or, by some lovely inversion, personnel recruiters? “I have an idea for you,” said Dilly. “What about pirates? What about a pioneering anthropological study of the life and customs of modern pirates in the South China Seas? You could live with them in their mangrove swamps and then sit in the back of their boats as they dash out to commit acts of piracy. Of course, you’d have to be completely detached. You could hardly join in. But you anthropologists know all about detachment and disinterested observation.” Domenica, who had been cradling her coffee cup in her hands as Dilly talked, now put it down on the table with a thud.


pages: 477 words: 135,607

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson

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air freight, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, global supply chain, intermodal, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, oil shock, Panamax, Port of Oakland, post-Panamax, Productivity paradox, refrigerator car, South China Sea, trade route, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

At Da Nang, oceangoing ships had to drop their cargo into lighters four miles out at sea. Coastal ships with less than a five-meter draft could reach the dock, but the port was repeatedly thrown into chaos when they arrived without advance notice. Storms, common during the summer monsoon, could bring the intricate unloading process to a halt.3 The situation in Saigon was even worse. Vietnam’s only deepwater port, located on the Saigon River forty-five miles from the South China Sea, was a major bottleneck. Tonnage rose by half during 1965, and the port was simply overwhelmed. There were no cranes and few forklifts, leaving almost everything to be handled by muscle power. Ships carrying military cargoes, commercial cargoes, U.S. foreign aid, and food relief shipments competed for one of only ten berths. Once a vessel unloaded, its cargo often sat for days on the dock. Military recipients often did not know that they had freight coming.

One of the DeLong piers was redesigned to support massive container cranes, and South Korean welders worked in intense heat inside the pier to reinforce the wooden deck. Crane rails were installed on the deck, while Sea-Land assembled two cranes in the Philippines from a patchwork of parts. In June, two barges, loaded with the partially built cranes, trucks to haul containers, campers for workers to live in, and even a sewage disposal plant, were floated across the South China Sea from the Philippines to Cam Ranh Bay. Then the realities of construction in the middle of a war zone intervened. The Da Nang operation got under way on August 1, a few weeks late, as the first containership to serve Vietnam, the Bienville, arrived from Oakland and unloaded its 226 containers in fifteen hours. The containerport at Cam Ranh Bay, though, did not see its first ship until November 1967, three months behind schedule.


pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

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Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, University of East Anglia, urban planning

We flashed across an expanse of flat, swampy land bisected by narrow canals, and seven minutes later we were at the airport. I wobbled off the train, still feeling the rush of traveling 269 miles an hour. I took an escalator upstairs and found myself facing a gigantic wall of glass that stretched the length of the terminal. The view beyond was of the airport runways and, just beyond them, the South China Sea, where a cargo ship steamed slowly past. My jaw dropped: the runways were at essentially the same elevation as the sea. It reminded me of the airports back in San Francisco and Oakland, only worse. It was bad enough that Shanghai's airport occupies low-lying ground that is as flat as a pool table (which made sense: Shanghai sits in the floodplain of one of the world's four mightiest rivers, the Yangtze).

To protect the city, an extensive system of levees had been built, some dating back to ancient days but most constructed after the Communists came to power in China in 1949. "Since Liberation the government has given great importance to flood control," said Mao, whose eminence was underscored by the fact that the five other experts attending our interview said hardly a word the entire two hours. "The government built five hundred kilometers of dikes along the Yangtze and Huangpu rivers and the shore of the South China Sea." Mao said that the suburban areas of Shanghai, where the airport is located, had been given 1-in-100-years protection against floods. Most urban areas were given 1-in-200-years. But the urban area along the Huangpu River, the heart of Shanghai, boasted 1-in-1,000-years protection, according to Mao. All this seemed plausible enough until I went to see the dikes for myself. Before leaving for China, I had read a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that ranked Shanghai's flood defenses among the best in the world—comparable, the OECD said, to London's.


pages: 413 words: 119,379

The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers, and the Theft of Africa's Wealth by Tom Burgis

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Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, British Empire, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Gini coefficient, Livingstone, I presume, McMansion, megacity, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transfer pricing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

When the Chinese caravan embarked for Africa, one ambitious but obscure man in his mid-forties had amassed enough guanxi to hitch a ride. Sam Pa has many names and many pasts. According to the US Treasury, which would put seven of his names on a sanctions list fifty-six years later, he was born on 28 February 1958.2 There is no authoritative version of Pa’s life, only fragments, some of them conflicting, many unverified. Some accounts place his birth in Guangdong, the Chinese province that abuts the South China Sea, possibly in the port city of Shantou. When he was still young his family relocated to Hong Kong, a short move but one that crossed the frontier between Mao Zedong’s People’s Republic of China and one of the last outposts of the British empire. From his start in Hong Kong, Pa travelled far and wide. Today he holds dual, possibly triple citizenship: Chinese and Angolan, as well as, according to the US Treasury, and perhaps on account of his roots in Hong Kong, British.3 He speaks English and, one of his business associates told me, Russian.

According to Queensway Group lawyers, by 2012 Sino Zim had given up its concession without exporting ‘a single carat’.42 But Sino Zim appears to have served another purpose: it formalized the Queensway Group’s business connection to the CIO. By 2009 the Queensway Group was increasingly using Singapore as a base for its worldwide operations. The companies at the apex of its corporate structure remained registered in Hong Kong, but the city-state across the South China Sea offered many of the same opportunities for corporate secrecy while also allowing the Queensway Group to advance its transition to a fully fledged multinational not tethered to its Chinese and African roots. On 12 June 2009, a few months after Operation No Return had torn through Marange, Sino Zim Development Pte, Ltd. was registered in Singapore. Its sister company, also called Sino Zim Development but registered in Zimbabwe, received a diamond concession in the Marange fields, and the Singaporean company shifted $50 million into the country on behalf of the Zimbabwean company.43 Both companies were tied to the Queensway Group’s leading figures.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

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additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Kibera, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

It is famous for its silk embroidery, but is rapidly becoming a building site. And judging by the maps drawn up by the municipal authorities, it too is scheduled for elimination. 16 Zhangjiagang: The World Capital of Rainforest Destruction ZHANGJIAGANG IS NOT far from Suzhou. It is a major port on the River Yangtze, and imports more tropical hardwood timber than any other port in the world. Day and night, the ships cross the South China Sea and come up the foggy channel of the Yangtze, past the mega-city of Shanghai and wharfs where Europe’s waste paper is imported, before unloading their cargoes of okoume from West Africa, or meranti from Borneo, or teak from Burma, or merbau from Indonesian Papua, or greenheart from Guyana, or bintangor from Papua New Guinea. Two million cubic metres of tropical timber are unloaded here annually.

A company prospectus that I found on the Internet says: ‘Our group’s vessels are mainly engaged in the transportation of logs from the Solomon Islands, West Africa, Papua New Guinea and Southeast Asia to PRC [People’s Republic of China] and India.’ It said the company shipped $19 million worth of logs in 2005. It is not illegal to do this. Knowledge of illegal logging may be widespread, but guilt is hard to pin down. The paths taken by tropical timber, even in a simple journey across the South China Sea, can involve many layers of agents and a great deal of paperwork. But Poynton says he has special mistrust of the middlemen of Singapore and other ports along the route from the forests to China. There is, he says, a small island off the coast of the Malaysian Borneo province of Sabah where the local Chinese Chamber of Commerce is ‘notorious in the trade for issuing phoney certificates of origin for millions of cubic metres of stolen Indonesian wood, and possibly also from Papua New Guinea.


pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, Maui Hawaii, new economy, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, zero day

Dhahran made people stop caring so much about groundwater seepage.” A new map of global energy reserves appeared on the screen. Simmons stepped closer to the crew and continued. “The captain hit the key change to focus on. The scramble for new energy resources, heightening regional tensions here, here, and here, are sparking a series of border clashes around the world. The fact that the South China Sea oil fields were disappointments put new pressure on the Directorate. The hunt goes on,” said Jamie. “The oilers are the Directorate’s way of showing that their interest in this is now global.” A screen shot of a smoking mine in South Africa replaced the map. “That’s the Spiker mine, near South Africa’s border with Mozambique. Remember that? These trends all connect. Even the renewed push toward alternative energy sources has caused more conflict than cooperation.

Even though they no longer need the foreign energy resources they once reached out and grasped, we must still endure their interference in our interests in Transjordan, Venezuela, Sudan, the Emirates, and the former Indonesia. “We most recently experienced this in our waters to the east, where they interfered in matters that are far from them, but close to us.” The map zoomed down to the South China Sea, and an image appeared of a U.S. Navy LCS warship escorting a Philippine coast guard vessel that had been damaged in the Red Line skirmishes right after the Dhahran bombing. “As you will recall, we debated then how to respond to their navy interposing itself into a regional matter, daring us to act. But for all our arguments, it was a situation of ‘no way out,’ as Master Sun said in his text.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Governments facing pressures from citizens unhappy with higher prices and reduced consumption cut back on investment, including on research into new technologies that might help solve some of the problems. Resources are plundered rather than managed properly. Tensions build and conflicts arise both within countries and across borders over competition for energy, food, and water supplies. Confrontations between China and neighboring countries over disputed areas of the South China Sea explode into military conflict, bringing the United States and Japan into the fray. Terrorism spreads and escalates into more sophisticated weapons targeting vulnerable populations in developing countries. Global economic growth slows dramatically, and income growth in developing countries comes to a halt and begins to decline in more countries than not. Global poverty rises, and the changing climate leads to growing health threats and new pandemics.

Vietnamese workers erupted into anti-Chinese protests, hunted down Chinese workers, and set fifteen foreign-owned factories ablaze. At least twenty-one people were killed.14 Scores of Vietnamese ships squared off around the rig. China countered that the ships were interfering with its operations. Tensions remain extremely high. Further to the southwest, China and five other countries continue to clash over sovereignty of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea; China, Indonesia, and Taiwan battle over a boundary near the Natuna Islands; China has several ongoing arguments with the Philippines about boundary waters; and its decades-old border dispute with India (which led to war in 1962) remains unsettled. For thirty years, Beijing followed Deng Xiaoping’s strategy of concentrating on building the economy, lying low on foreign policy, and staying out of the affairs of other countries.


pages: 516 words: 159,734

War Without Mercy: PACIFIC WAR by John Dower

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anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, ghettoisation, labour mobility, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Scientific racism, South China Sea, Torches of Freedom, transcontinental railway

In Burma, the British took the Japanese threat so lightly that when the war broke out their troops had virtually no training in jungle tactics and included only one individual capable of handling the Japanese language.10 The extent to which racist anti-Japanese myths overrode rational intelligence gathering prior to the fall of Singapore was epitomized in the swift, terrible fate of the Repulse and the Prince of Wales. These two British warships were dispatched to Singapore in the fall of 1941 upon Churchill’s insistence that this meager show of sea power, combined with the U.S. military presence in the Philippines, would deter Japan from advancing to the south. Two days after the Japanese called this feeble bluff by attacking Pearl Harbor and the Philippines, they sank the two great vessels in the South China Sea with astonishing ease, losing only three planes in the process. Coupled with the destruction of the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, this cleared the Pacific of the last force of capital ships that might have interfered with Japan’s naval operations. In his memoirs, Churchill described this as his greatest shock of the war, and the remarkable notebook of Cecil Brown–who had been invited to sail aboard the doomed Repulse—pointedly captured the last moments of British wishful thinking concerning Japanese incompetence.

By then, a new creature roamed the fertile fields of the Anglo-American imagination: the Japanese superman. The superman came from land, sea, and air, as well as from the nightmares of the Westerners. He also came from lay pulpits in Washington and London, where public figures sought to cover their blunders and gird their people for a long struggle. Pearl Harbor, Manila, the British battleships at the bottom of the South China Sea–all attested to the exceptional competence of the Japanese Navy and its air arm. Singapore, Bataan, and Japan’s knifelike thrust into Burma revealed an extraordinarily potent Imperial Army. The catastrophe of the two warships alone, on the second day of the war, the British history of these events records, “led to a belief in the invincibility of Japanese air power, a belief which was given strength by the ease with which the enemy outmatched the obsolescent Allied aircraft.


pages: 108 words: 63,808

The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks

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Brownian motion, mutually assured destruction, South China Sea

Li walked purposefully to the head of the middle table, tramped on an empty seat at its head and strode onto the table top, clumping down the brightly polished surface between the glittering place settings (the cutlery had been borrowed from a locked and forgotten storeroom in a palace on a lake in India; it hadn't been used for fifty years, and would be returned, cleaned, the next day ... as would the dinner service itself, borrowed for the night from the Sultan of Brunei - without his permission), past the starched white napkins (from the Titanic; they'd be cleaned too and put back on the floor of the Atlantic), in the midst of the glittering glassware (Edinburgh Crystal, removed for a few hours from packing cases stowed deep in Page 87 the hold of a freighter in the South China Sea, bound for Yokohama) and the candelabra (from a cache of loot lying under a lake near Kiev, sunk there by retreating Nazis judging from the sacks; also due to be replaced after their bizarre orbital excursion) until he stood in the centre of the middle table, maybe two metres from where I, Roghres and Ghemada sat. 'Ladies and gentlemen!' Li shouted, arms outstretched, helmet in one hand, sword humming brightly in the other.


pages: 73 words: 55,789

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas: a savage journey to the heart of the American dream by Hunter S. Thompson

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South China Sea

Paranoid dementia? – What is it? My Argentine luggage? This crippled, walk that once made me a reject from the Naval ROTC?” Indeed. This man will never be able to walk straight, Captain! Because one leg is longer than the other… Not much. Three eighths of an inch or so, which counted out to about two eights more than the Captain could tolerate. So we parted company. He accepted a command in the South China Sea, and I became a Doctor of Gonzo Journalism… and many years later, killing time in the Las Vegas airport this terrible morning, I picked up a newspaper and saw where the Captain had fucked up very badly: Ship Commander Butchered by Natives After “Accidental” Assault on Guam. (AOP) – Aboard the USS. Crazy Horse: Somewhere in the Pactfic (Sept. 25) – The entire 3485-man crew of this newest American aircraft carrier is in violent mourning today, after five crewmen including the Captain were diced up like pineapple meat in a brawl with the Heroin Police at the neutral port of Hong See.


pages: 189 words: 52,741

Lifestyle Entrepreneur: Live Your Dreams, Ignite Your Passions and Run Your Business From Anywhere in the World by Jesse Krieger

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Airbnb, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, follow your passion, income inequality, iterative process, Ralph Waldo Emerson, search engine result page, Skype, software as a service, South China Sea, Steve Jobs

All work and no play makes for a boring life! Being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur is the solution to keep things interesting and fun. CASE STUDY: TAIWAN Business Chinese at National Taiwan University Street Cycling & Business Networking in Asia The late summer sun illuminated Guanyin Mountain on the horizon and glowed upon each ripple in the river, which snaked along the outskirts of Taipei all the way to the mouth of the South China Sea. A tropical storm blew through yesterday afternoon leaving behind clear skies and a light mist lingering on the mangroves and foliage lining the Danshui river. After six weeks in a Business Chinese program at National Taiwan University and nearly 1,000 kilometers of cycling in and around Taipei, this was my final ride before returning home the next day. And so far the weather couldn’t be better.


pages: 230 words: 72,642

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, Mark Carwardine

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David Attenborough, Isaac Newton, out of africa, South China Sea

“Right,” said Mark, when the three of us found some dinner that night in a tourist restaurant with plastic flowers and Muzak and paper umbrellas in the drinks, “here’s the picture. We have to get a goat.” “Here?” asked Gaynor. “No. In Labuan Bajo. Labuan Bajo is on the island of Flores and is the nearest port to Komodo. It’s a crossing of about twenty-two miles across some of the most treacherous seas in the East. This is where the South China Sea meets the Indian Ocean, and it’s riddled with crosscurrents, riptides, and whirlpools. It’s very dangerous and could take anything up to twenty hours.” “With a goat?” I asked. “A dead goat.” I toyed with my food. “It’s best,” continued Mark, “if the goat has been dead for about three days, so it’s got a good smell going. That’s more likely to attract the dragons.” “You’re proposing twenty hours on a boat—” “A small boat,” added Mark.


pages: 217 words: 73,289

Tails I Lose: The Compulsive Gambler Who Lost His Shirt for Good by Justyn Rees

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call centre, payday loans, South China Sea

There was little we could do to show them we were not intimidated, as the ancient Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship (a sister ship to the Sir Galahad that was famously sunk during the Falklands War) only had a tiny space on which a helicopter could just land and where the men took their daily exercise. However, we improvised and showed the Chinese how battle-ready we were by conducting an unarmed combat demonstration and abseiling out of a helicopter. Then, just as we were about to take up our station just out of sight of the land, the worst happened. Our engines suffered complete mechanical failure, leaving us bobbing up and down on the South China Sea. Had we been needed, we would have been completely unable to respond. We had an immediate meeting on the officers’ deck and decided not to tell the men. There might have been a mutiny! Our engagement must have been quite hard on poor Emma. Having returned from Hong Kong, I spent the next six months back at Sandhurst attending the Junior Division of Staff College. The exams at the end of the course are quite tough and have a huge bearing on future promotion.


pages: 249 words: 79,740

The Next Decade: Where We've Been . . . And Where We're Going by George Friedman

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airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

Venezuelan oil, for instance, cannot be easily shipped to Brazil because of the terrain, and Brazil has ample supplies of its own anyway. Brazil’s Trade Relations The only challenge that Brazil could pose to the United States would be if its economic expansion continued enough for it to develop sufficient air and naval power to dominate the Atlantic between its coast and West Africa, a region not heavily patrolled by the United States, unlike the Indian Ocean or South China Sea. This would not happen in the next decade, but as Brazilian wage rates rise, the geographical factors are such that Brazilian investments in Africa might carry lower transportation costs than investments in other parts of Latin America. Thus there would be advantages for Brazil in developing relations with sub-Saharan countries, particularly Angola, which, like Brazil, is Portuguese-speaking.

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

But the side to human behavior that economists choose to study is embodied in the species Homo economicus, or Economic man—a rational, self-serving being whose actions and choices are based on logical decisions, not rash impulses. If the criminal mind, like Capone’s, really is very close to the self-serving ideal in our models, then economic analysis can be a useful tool in figuring out how to combat corruption and other forms of lawbreaking. There’s good reason to believe that the characters that populate this book—from the despotic warlords of subSaharan Africa to the smugglers of the South China Sea— do indeed obey the logical laws of economics. To understand why, it’s useful to think about what keeps you from cheating a little on your taxes, or slipping out of a restaurant without paying the bill. It’s in part a fear of the legal consequences if you get caught. But the punishment of tax cheats is rare and usually light, and you could stiff a waiter his tip without risking any legal penalties (although you may not be welcome back at that particular restaurant).


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

With the rise of Asian economies, most of the world’s container and tanker traffic crisscrosses the Indian Ocean from the Mideast to the Pacific Rim, passing through the narrow choke points of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, the Strait of Hormuz connecting the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman, or the Strait of Malacca, which connects the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea. Land and sea are not unconnected spaces—they give way to and shape each other. From Somalia to Aceh in Indonesia, whenever instability has risen on land, so, too, has piracy at sea. Most of the world is covered by oceans that are mostly controlled by no one. The eighteenth century was not only a pivotal period of global capitalist expansion and colonialism, but also an age of piracy from the English Channel to the Straits of Malacca.


pages: 1,318 words: 403,894

Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson

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air freight, airport security, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, industrial robot, informal economy, large denomination, megacity, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, ransomware, side project, Skype, slashdot, South China Sea, the built environment, the scientific method, young professional

Above it rose a dune held together by some low green vegetation sparkling with yellow flowers and studded with random pieces of garbage that had apparently been hurled off the edge of the bluff above. For backing up against the top of the slope was a jumbled skyline of low houses that, as they now realized, was simply the other side of the island’s one and only town. They had gone halfway around the island and were now looking at the town’s back, huddling against the incoming weather from the South China Sea. They pulled the boat up onto the beach, which was littered with garbage of a more seaborne nature, and left it among some half-dissolved boulders where it might be slightly less conspicuous. Csongor sat down nearby in the shade of a rock, shading himself under the parasol, and waited, hoping that Marlon would get back soon and that no one would come to ask him what business he had here. Marlon hiked up into the town, carrying a small amount of cash from Ivanov’s man-purse, and returned half an hour later with two shrink-wrapped bricks of water bottles and some noodles in Styrofoam bowls, already lukewarm but exquisitely satisfying to Csongor.

As best he could make out from the charts and the GPS, they would reach the island group at something like four o’clock this afternoon. Assuming, that is, that they did not run out of fuel along the way. THE JET CONTINUED to follow what seemed to Zula like an unremarkable flight plan: slowly gaining altitude, following a straight course that took it away from the Chinese mainland and southward over the South China Sea. Some mountains poked their heads over the eastern horizon, and she guessed that these must be on Taiwan; but they rapidly fell away aft. She could not make up her mind whether to open the door or remain cloistered back here. A strong instinct told her simply to hole up in the dark and private cocoon of Ivanov’s cabin. But sooner or later she’d have to pee, and the jet only had one lavatory, which was forward.

The plane now banked and executed a course change: a long sweeping leftward turn. There was a flat-screen TV mounted to the bulkhead above the foot of the bed. Zula had not tried turning it on yet, because she didn’t like TV, but now it occurred to her that she was being foolish. So she turned it on and was presented with a menu of offerings including an onboard DVD player, a selection of video games, and “MAP.” She chose the latter and was presented with a map of the South China Sea, apparently generated by exactly the same software that was used aboard commercial airliners, since the typefaces and the style of the presentation were familiar to anyone who had ever taken a long-haul airline flight. The place of origin had been programmed in as Xiamen, and the destination was Sanya Phoenix International Airport, which was at the southern tip of a huge elliptical island, comparable in size to Taiwan, that lay off China’s southern coast.


pages: 611 words: 186,716

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

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British Empire, clean water, dark matter, defense in depth, edge city, Just-in-time delivery, Mason jar, pattern recognition, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, the scientific method, Turing machine, wage slave

And get me some fucking aspirin." Chapter 2 Source Victoria; description of its environs. Source Victoria's air intakes erupted from the summit of the Royal Ecological Conservatory like a spray of hundred-meter-long calla lilies. Below, the analogy was perfected by an inverted tree of rootlike plumbing that spread fractally through the diamondoid bedrock of New Chusan, terminating in the warm water of the South China Sea as numberless capillaries arranged in a belt around the smartcoral reef, several dozen nieters beneath the surface. One big huge pipe gulping up seawater would have done roughly the same thing, just as the lilies could have been replaced by one howling maw, birds and litter whacking into a bloody grid somewhere before they could gum up the works. But it wouldn't have been ecological. The geotects of Imperial Tectonics would not have known an ecosystem if they'd been living in the middle of one.

At nine o'clock they stepped into the passageway, locked the door, and followed the sound of the big band to Æther's grand ballroom, where the dancing was just getting underway. The floor of the ballroom was a slab of transpicuous diamond. The lights were low. They seemed to float above the glittering moonlit surface of the Pacific as they did the waltz, minuet, Lindy, and electric slide into the night. Sunrise found the three airships hovering over the South China Sea, no land visible. The ocean was relatively shallow here, but only Hackworth and a few other engineers knew that. The Hackworths had a passable view from their stateroom window, but John woke up early and staked out a place on the diamond floor of the ballroom, ordered an espresso and a Times from a waiter, and passed the time pleasantly while Gwen and Fiona got themselves ready for the day.


pages: 564 words: 178,408

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson

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Alistair Cooke, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, indoor plumbing, South China Sea, V2 rocket

Vanquished earlier by the Germans in France, Greece, and Crete, they now lost their empire in the Far East and the Pacific to the Japanese, suffering, as they did so, some of their most humiliating military defeats in history. On December 9, two of Britain’s biggest and best fighting ships—the battleship Prince of Wales, on which Churchill had traveled to his Placentia Bay meeting with Roosevelt, and the battle cruiser Repulse—were sunk by Japanese warplanes in the South China Sea, off the coast of Malaya. More than 650 men lost their lives. “In my whole experience,” Churchill said, “I do not remember any naval blow so heavy or so painful.” On Christmas Day, Hong Kong fell, followed by Singapore, Burma, and Malaya. “We seem to lose a new bit of the Empire almost every day,” Brooke wrote glumly to a friend, “and are faced with one nightmare situation after another.” The surrender of Singapore, previously regarded as an invincible British bulwark in the Far East, was a particular shock to the country, which couldn’t understand how Singapore’s 85,000-man garrison could give up so readily.

He also had been chosen to broadcast Eisenhower’s proclamation to Allied troops on D-Day. All these duties were a signal honor for the CBS broadcaster, but he was happy with none of them. The assignment he coveted was to cover the invasion. For the last four years, he had done little actual war reporting, staying behind in the backwater of London and envying his correspondents who were on the front lines, from Tunisia to the South China Sea. For a man who hated sitting behind a desk, such inaction was torture. The night before Charles Collingwood left for North Africa in 1942, he and Murrow went out drinking. As they stumbled back to Murrow’s apartment in the blackout, both more than a little drunk, Murrow kicked over a garbage can and shouted, “By God, I envy you for going off! I wish I could go along with you!” A few months later, he did spend a few weeks at the front in Tunisia, but his CBS superiors made clear to him that he was too valuable to the network to risk his life like that on a regular basis.

Without Remorse by Tom Clancy

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defense in depth, South China Sea

If you want an explanation, it's probably that Robertson was a new kid, and he was nervous - second combat mission - and probably he thought he saw something, and probably he jinked too hard, but they were the trail element and nobody saw it. Hell, Dutch, we saw that sort of thing happen, too.' Maxwell nodded. 'What else?' 'An A-6 got shredded north of Haiphong - SAM - but they got it back to the boat all right. Pilot and B/N both get DFCs for that,' Podulski reported. 'Otherwise a quiet day in the South China Sea. Nothing much in the Atlantic. Eastern Med, picking up some signs the Syrians are getting frisky with their new MiGs, but that's not our problem yet. We have that meeting with Grumman tomorrow, and then it's off to The Hill to talk with our worthy public servants about the F-14 program.' 'How do you like the numbers on the new fighter?' 'Part of me wishes we were young enough to qualify, Dutch.'

'Six hours, more until we scope things out for you. Coffee? Food?' 'How about a bed, sir?' 'Spare bunk in the XO's cabin. We'll see you're not disturbed.' Which was a better deal than that accorded the technicians aboard from the National Security Agency. Kelly headed forward to the last real rest he'd have for the next three days - if things went according to plan. He was asleep before the submarine dived back under the waters of the South China Sea. 'This is interesting,' the Major said. He dropped the translation on the desk of his immediate superior, another major, but this one was on the Lieutenant Colonel's list. 'I've heard about this place. GRU is running the operation - trying to, I mean. Our fraternal socialist allies are not cooperating very well. So the Americans know about it at last, eh?' 'Keep reading, Yuriy Petrovich,' the junior man suggested.


pages: 305 words: 79,356

Drowning in Oil: BP & the Reckless Pursuit of Profit by Loren C. Steffy

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Berlin Wall, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shock, peak oil, Piper Alpha, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund

R Dudley had a receding line of straight blond hair, blue eyes, and a tall, lanky appearance. He looked more comfortable in opencollared shirts than in suits, which seemed to hang off him as if they were a little too big. He had joined Amoco in 1979 and moved to BP after it acquired Amoco in 1998. Like Hayward and Browne before him, Dudley had been shuffled around the world by BP, with postings in the United States, Great Britain, the South China Sea, and Moscow. He became one of Browne’s trusted inner circle, a turtle. After two years in Russia, Dudley technically left BP to become chief executive of TNK-BP, a joint venture between the company and a Russian concern controlled by a group of wealthy oligarchs. John Browne had been angling for a way to push BP into Russia since soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse 229 2 30 D R O W N I N G I N O I L of the Soviet Union created an opportunity for foreign oil companies, which saw a chance to tap Russia’s huge and underdeveloped oil reserves.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

In 1996, when the Chinese tried to influence a Taiwanese election with threatening ballistic missile exercises, President Clinton sent two aircraft carriers to Taiwan, and the Chinese were silenced. After that experience, the Chinese government committed itself to the buildup of a world-class navy, adding new surface warships, nuclear launch submarines, and long-range coastal ballistic missile installations to cover the South China Sea. With no aircraft carriers the Chinese began reconditioning one that they bought from the Russians and started to build one of their own from scratch. In 2011, China launched its eighth navigation satellite and was planning twenty more. The Chinese military budget is still a small fraction of U.S. military spending. China cannot seriously threaten the United States as a global military superpower in the foreseeable future.


pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

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Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize

According to Mallaby, Lübeck represented ‘a formula for creating order out of chaos and prosperity amid backwardness’ in the Middle Ages. It is just such a formula that Paul Romer is now promoting. There is plenty of evidence that charter cities could work in today’s world. There’s Singapore, long a successful independent city state off the coast of Malaysia; Hong Kong, for many years a British enclave on the South China Sea; more recently, Shenzhen, thirty years ago a fishing village not far from Hong Kong, now a city to rival Hong Kong itself after being designated China’s first ‘special economic zone’. Beyond South-East Asia, Dubai has proved – property bubble notwithstanding – that one can build a successful city anywhere. What all four cities have in common with Lübeck, along with their coastal settings, is that they have been governed by different rules from surrounding areas.


pages: 364 words: 101,193

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Climatic Research Unit, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, ice-free Arctic, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, South China Sea, supervolcano

., 2005: A slippery slope: How much global warming constitutes “dangerous anthropogenic interference”?', Climatic Change, 68,269-79 p. 66 tropical coral reefs: Webster, J., et al., 2004: ‘Drowning of the-150 m reef off Hawaii: A casualty of global meltwate pulse 1A?’, Geology, 32, 3, 249-52 p. 66 submerging: Kienast, M., et al., 2003: ‘Synchroneity of meltwater pulse 1A and the Bolling warming: New evidence from the South China Sea’, Geology, 31,1, 67-70 p. 66 ‘explosively rapid’: Hansen, J., 2005: A slippery slope: H( much global warming constitutes “dangerous anthropogei interference”?', Climatic Change, 68,269-79 p. 66 2.7°C: Gregory, J., Huybrechts, P., and Raper, S., 2004: ‘Threatened loss of the Greenland ice sheet’, Nature, 428, 616 p. 66 2.2 times: Chylek, P., and Lohmann, U., 2005: ‘Ratio of the Greenland to global temperature change: Comparison to observations and climate modelling results’, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L14705 p. 67 6 cm a year: Johannessen, O., et al., 2005: ‘Recent ice-shet growth in the interior of Greenland’, Science, 310, 1013-1 p. 67 offset rising sea levels: Bugnion, V., and Stone, P., 2002: ‘Snowpack model estimates of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet and its changes over the twenty-first century’, Climate Dynamics, 20, 87-106 p. 67 ‘thinning like mad’: Schiermeier, Q., 2004: A rising tide', Nature, 428, 114-15 p. 68 thinner ice cap: Parizek, B., and Alley, R., 2004: ‘Implications of increased Greenland surface melt under global-warming scenarios: ice-sheet simulations’, Quaternary Science Reviews, 23,1013-27 p. 68 Jakobshavn Isbrae: Joughin, I., et al., 2004: ‘Large fluctuations in speed on Greenland's Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier’, Nature, 432, 608-10 p. 68 ice flow speeded up: Howat, I., et al., 2005: ‘Rapid retreat and acceleration of Helheim Glacier, east Greenland’, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L22502 p. 69 Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier: Luckman, A., et al., 2006: ‘Rapid and synchronous ice-dynamic changes in East Greenland’, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L03503 p. 69 doubled the rate: Ibid.


pages: 389 words: 108,344

Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins by Andrew Cockburn

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airport security, anti-communist, Edward Snowden, friendly fire, Google Earth, license plate recognition, RAND corporation, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, too big to fail

Thus while Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany hosted “EUR-1,” relaying communications and video feeds between the United States and its drones operating in the Middle East and Central Asia, the Pentagon was spending millions of dollars constructing a new site, EUR-2, in Italy to handle expanding drone operations in Africa. PAC-1 at Kadena Air Force Base in Japan dealt with the drones flying over east Asia, while yet another new site, PAC-2, was planned for somewhere in the Pacific to focus on drone flights over the South China Sea. As General Votel liked to emphasize, the threat could be “anywhere on the planet.” Most of the drones linked to this system would be General Atomics Reapers. As of 2014 the air force planned to have 346 of these in service by 2021, of which more than 80 would likely be under CIA control. As the proliferating bases across Africa made clear, Reapers targeting lightly armed tribesmen and insurgents still had a promising future.


pages: 294 words: 85,811

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, double helix, employer provided health coverage, fudge factor, medical malpractice, profit maximization, profit motive, single-payer health, South China Sea, the payments system

That’s why seriously rich people all over the world tend to board their private jets and race to some famous American clinic when they face a medical emergency. That’s why, when I visited a sparkling new state-of-the-art hospital in Singapore, the sign outside said the facility was run by Duke University Medical School. The government of Singapore—an island nation floating off the Malay Peninsula in the South China Sea, about as far from North Carolina as you can get—decided that the best possible place to find medical expertise was in Durham, North Carolina, USA. But the sad fact is, we’ve squandered this treasure. We’ve wasted our shining medical assets because of a health care payment system—or, more precisely, a crazy quilt of several overlapping and often conflicting systems—that prevents millions from receiving the treatment they need and that undermines the quality of care for millions more.


pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler

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Andy Kessler, Apple II, bioinformatics, British Empire, business intelligence, buy low sell high, call centre, Corn Laws, family office, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, interest rate swap, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pets.com, railway mania, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Toyota Production System

If GM made the exact same laptops, they would cost $10,000 a pop, weigh 40 pounds and need a battery change every 3,000 miles. If Sony wants to sell you a big honker, 60-inch diagonal comb filter DLP or LCOS cable-ready TV for practically no profit, should we stop them? We should instead encourage them. They go to the dark edges of western China, seeking out cheap labor to grow the tubes or assemble the flat panels and then move them to assembly plants all around the South China Sea. Why? Because it keeps Sony employees fully employed. Now you know why they bought a studio in Hollywood: anything to add value. But if you and me buying that Sony or Sharp TV means Japanese children can buy Kentucky Fried Chicken and go to Jim Carrey’s next movie, and upgrade Windows 98 to Windows ME to Windows XP, so be it. Jerry Lewis will tell you—do it for the children. But never underestimate the ability of policy makers to stick with oxymoronic conventional wisdom.


pages: 356 words: 105,533

Dark Pools: The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market by Scott Patterson

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algorithmic trading, automated trading system, banking crisis, bash_history, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Donald Trump, Flash crash, Francisco Pizarro, Gordon Gekko, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, High speed trading, Joseph Schumpeter, latency arbitrage, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, market microstructure, pattern recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, popular electronics, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Sergey Aleynikov, Small Order Execution System, South China Sea, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stochastic process, transaction costs, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

It was a race that went all the way back to Dave Cummings’s insistence that Tradebot’s computers be colocated with Island’s at 50 Broad. Wissner-Gross and Freer provided a map dotted with optimal hubs all along the earth’s surface. Many of the hubs lay in the oceans, leading to the fanciful notion that particularly ambitious high-frequency trading outfits would plant themselves in the middle of the Atlantic or the Mediterranean or the South China Sea and get the jump on competitors using floating micro-islands populated by small communities of elite pattern-recognition programmers overseeing the hyperfast flow of data through their superservers. Better yet: unmanned pods of densely packed microprocessors overseen by next-generation AI Bots processing billions of orders streaming out of other unmanned AI pods positioned optimally around the world, the silent beams of high-frequency orders shifting trillions across the earth’s oceans at light speeds, all automated, beyond the scope of humans to remotely grasp the nature of the transactions.

Powers and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, colonial rule, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Jacques de Vaucanson, John von Neumann, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, theory of mind, Tobin tax, Turing test

There is no need to go into the casuistry that accompanies the solemn affirmation of this right in principle while Indonesia’s right to abrogate it is endorsed in practice. In his treatise on Australian Foreign Policy, Foreign Minister Evans offers the Timor Gap Treaty as ‘an example of a non-military solution to a problem that historically has often led to conflict’, a model for the world to follow. Pretty impressive. More recently, he has suggested it ‘as a model to resolve a dispute in the South China Sea over the Spratly Islands’. This pursuit of non-violence perhaps falls under what Evans calls ‘good international citizenship’, which ‘demands no less than acting to help secure universal adherence to universal rights’ and pursuit of ‘purposes beyond ourselves’. Pragmatic guidelines do not suffice.40 It should be noted that neither legal nor moral considerations are affected by the 1995 decision of the World Court not to consider the merits of the issue on the procedural grounds that Indonesia rejects its jurisdiction, while reaffirming that ‘the territory of East Timor remains a non-self-governing territory and its people has the right to self-determination for these reasons’.


pages: 332 words: 101,772

Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life on Drugs by Marc Lewis Phd

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dark matter, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Golden Gate Park, impulse control, Malacca Straits, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

I knew I should be intrigued, but I was bored and restless. They seemed to relish us, to draw something special from our novelty. I never knew quite what. The following day was our last. We were finally approaching the backbone of the Malay Peninsula, a ridge that ran continuously from the top to the bottom of the country, with smaller ridges radiating out on both sides, tumbling down toward the Malacca Strait in the west and the South China Sea in the east. Here at the summit were the Cameron Highlands, a paradise of cool breezes blowing across hilltops at least a thousand metres above sea level. The hills were covered with tea—miles and miles of minty green shrubs—interspersed by occasional clusters of giant trees, each with its retinue of primary growth. And plantations. Big houses. Running water. Good food . . . Just before reaching the Highlands, almost desperate now for a shower and a normal meal, I met a pair of Orang Asli who looked like they’d just stepped out of a time machine.


pages: 316 words: 103,743

The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China by David Eimer

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back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, car-free, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, megacity, offshore financial centre, open borders, South China Sea

Rather than roads or railways, the Mekong remains South-east Asia’s main transport artery for now. Rising in Tibet, the Mekong runs south for 4,300 kilometres, first through Yunnan and then acting as the border between Myanmar’s Shan State and Laos, before it arrives at a junction where the frontiers of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. From there, it changes course, veering east and then south again to flow through Laos and into Cambodia and Vietnam, where it empties into the South China Sea. Long before there were roads in Banna, the Mekong was the means by which its peoples moved around; travelling by water was easier than hacking your way through the jungle. The Mekong was the lifeblood for the minorities. It was both a source of food and the means by which they traded with the rest of South-east Asia, exchanging cotton, tea, salt and opium for betel nut, silver and pepper.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional

The process is low-impact, non-polluting, and slow: a molecule of warm surface water would take about three hours to be flushed out the bottom of the plastic cylinder. Now imagine deploying these floats en masse in the patches of ocean where hurricanes grow. Nathan envisions “a picket fence” of them between Cuba and the Yucatán and another skein off the southeastern seaboard of the United States. They’d also be valuable in the South China Sea and in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia. How many would be needed? Depending on their size, a few thousand floats might be able to stop hurricanes in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. A simple throwaway version of this contraption could be built for roughly $100 apiece, although the larger costs would come in towing and anchoring the floats. There’s also the possibility of more durable and sophisticated versions, remote-controlled units that could be relocated to where they are most needed.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

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3D printing, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

They had no idea that they would change the way we live and also drive up the demand for germanium more than twentyfold in less than a decade.29 Although the U.S. military is reducing its use of germanium in thermal imaging equipment as its wars end, a potential conflict is spurring new demand. Rising tensions between China and its neighbors, most notably Japan, over territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, are currently leading the demand for germanium. In early 2014, a Chinese-based infrared supplier commented that infrared orders from the national defense sector had increased markedly over the year. Military budgets in the region have in some cases doubled or nearly tripled over the past ten years, and in 2014 China increased spending by another 12.2 percent. Rising tensions and budgets mean good business for metal traders like Boyle.


pages: 1,088 words: 297,362

The London Compendium by Ed Glinert

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1960s counterculture, anti-communist, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Corn Laws, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, hiring and firing, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, Nick Leeson, price stability, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, V2 rocket

One of a number of substantial interwar office blocks on and around the Strand, it was built as the headquarters of the Cable & Wireless Company and was home to a secret Foreign Office department, CS, involved in planning propaganda, during the Second World War. Beneath the building, the authorities laid a number of telephone lines linked to the Central Telegraph Exchange at Moorgate which monitored calls made to and from every foreign embassy in London. HQS Wellington The Honourable Company of Master Mariners’ floating livery hall was built at Devonport in 1934 and used in the South China Sea during the Second World War. CITY OF LONDON, EC4, EC3 Two griffins saved in 1963 from the demolished Coal Exchange on Lower Thames Street mark the western riverside boundary of the City of London, the ancient heart of London. Middle Temple Garden The gardens of the Middle Temple Inn of Court. Middle Temple Lane The dividing line between the Middle Temple and Inner Temple, which originally ran down to the water’s edge.

It was the only street in the miles of East London that I traversed day and night that inspired me with any real fear – East of Aldgate, Horace Thorogood (1935) Until the mid twentieth century Penny-fields was the centre of London’s Chinatown for those from Shanghai and Ningpo, its menacing atmosphere and record of violence giving rise to the legend that any white girl naïve enough to visit the area alone would be grabbed by a sinister Oriental, injected with an opiate, and taken to a boat on the Thames bound for the South China Seas and the white slave trade. The street was lined with cafés and gambling dens, regularly raided by police, where Chinese men played Fan Tan, a game in which a cup of haricot beans is covered and bets are placed on how many beans will remain after the contents have been divided into four, and Puk-a-Pu, or Plucking Pigeons, a game played on a sheet marked with Chinese characters. In the 1930s many buildings were demolished as part of the council’s slum-clearance project and further devastation followed in the Second World War.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

The linguistic evidence is just as controversial as in Europe, and as yet there are not enough genetic data to settle anything. All we can say with confidence is that Manchurian foragers were living in large villages and growing millet by at least 5000 BCE. Rice was being cultivated far up the Yangzi Valley by 4000, on Taiwan and around Hong Kong by 3000, and in Thailand and Vietnam by 2000. By then it was also spreading down the Malay Peninsula and across the South China Sea to the Philippines and Borneo (Figure 2.8). Just like the Western agricultural expansion, the Eastern version also hit some bumps. Phytoliths show that rice was known in Korea by 4400 BCE and millet by 3600, the latter reaching Japan by 2600, but prehistoric Koreans and Japanese largely ignored these novelties for the next two thousand years. Like northern Europe, coastal Korea and Japan had rich marine resources that supported large, permanent villages ringed by huge mounds of discarded seashells.

Either Columbus would have found another backer or we would simply remember a different mariner—Caboto, perhaps, or the Portuguese Pedro Alvares Cabral, who found Brazil blocking his way to India in 1500—as the great discoverer. Maps made it as inevitable as things get—as inevitable, say, as when farmers replaced hunter-gatherers or states replaced villages—that the daredevil sailors of the Atlantic fringe would find the Americas sooner rather than later, and certainly sooner than the equally daredevil sailors of the South China Sea. And once that happened, the consequences were largely predetermined too. European germs, weapons, and institutions were so much more powerful than Native American ones that indigenous populations and states simply collapsed. Had Montezuma or Cortés made other choices, the first conquistadors might well have died on the blood-soaked altars of Tenochtitlán, their hearts hacked from their screaming bodies and offered to the gods, but there would have been more conquistadors right behind them, bringing more smallpox, cannons, and plantations.


pages: 487 words: 132,252

The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography by Stephen Fry

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Alistair Cooke, back-to-the-land, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Isaac Newton, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Winter of Discontent

‘Chou Lai’s?’ he asked. Everyone on board nodded. After half an hour’s chugging through choppy waters he was dropped off on an island. Nothing. He thought he had been (almost literally) shanghaied. After what seemed an eternity another junk phutted its way to the jetty. ‘Chou Lai?’ called the skipper, and once more my friend hopped aboard. An hour followed in which he ploughed deeper through the South China Sea, beginning to fear for his life. At last he was deposited on yet another island, but this time there was at least a restaurant, strung with lights and vibrating with music. Chou Lai himself came forward, a bonhomous fellow with an eyepatch that completed the superbly Condradian feel of my friend’s adventure. ‘Hello, very welcome. Tell me, you American?’ ‘No, I’m English as a matter of fact.’


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

It also allows China to increase its financial power, not least through its vast and influential sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation, which has around $200 billion of assets. And investment abroad justifies China’s ambitious plans for naval expansion. In the words of Rear Admiral Zhang Huachen, Deputy Commander of the East Sea Fleet: ‘With the expansion of the country’s economic interests, the navy wants to better protect the country’s transportation routes and the safety of our major sea-lanes.’52 The South China Sea is increasingly regarded as a ‘core national interest’ and deep-water ports are projected in Pakistan – in the former Omani enclave of Gwadar – as well as in Burma and Sri Lanka. This is a very different maritime model from Admiral Zheng He’s (see Chapter 1). It comes straight from the playbook of the Victorian Royal Navy. Finally, and contrary to the view that China is condemned to remain an assembly line for products ‘designed in California’, China is innovating more, aiming to become (for example) the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels.


pages: 424 words: 140,262

Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World by Christian Wolmar

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banking crisis, Beeching cuts, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, railway mania, refrigerator car, side project, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, urban sprawl

The death rate was particularly high in the final three months as the Japanese were desperate to complete the work and the starving men were forced to do hard manual labour around the clock with reports of some being forced to work for sixty-two out of seventy-two hours. When opened, the line immediately formed a vital part of the Japanese war effort as the Burma front became a critical supply line when they lost control of the South China Sea. After the war, the Burma railway soon fell into disuse and was abandoned, with a small section being reopened in 1957 by the Thai government. In more modern conflicts, the railways no longer have much of a role since other forms of transport have taken over. After the Second World War, however, there was one last theatre, the Korean War, in which the railways played a vital part. In August 1951, the Americans launched ‘Operation Strangle’ against the North Korean railways hoping to oblige them to use motor transport rather than trains to carry their supplies.


pages: 410 words: 122,537

Engines of War: How Wars Were Won & Lost on the Railways by Christian Wolmar

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anti-communist, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Khartoum Gordon, railway mania, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, V2 rocket

Robert Hardie, a doctor who was captured at Singapore and wrote a book about his time as a prisoner, described how even sick men were made to work extremely long hours: ‘They are being worked very hard and very savagely [on the railway] – from 7.30 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. every day. Unfit men just collapse if they are sent up.’26 All that on just seven ounces of rice per day, often with no vegetables, let alone meat. When the line opened in October 1943, it was a vital part of the Japanese line of communication because the Burma front had become a key supply route when the Japanese lost control of the South China Sea. It would not be until the following year that the Allies re-established a foothold in Burma and the capture of the Myitkynia station allowed them to use the railway to advance towards the Japanese. According to Ernest Carter, the lack of roads meant that many cars and lorries were adapted for railway use: ‘As soon as they came on the line, American engineers fitted flanged wheels to a couple of army jeeps and put them at each end of half a dozen wagons to form a push-pull train.’27 He even reports that one of the commanders of the British forces, General Francis Festing, was seen to be driving his own jeep along the track ahead of his men.


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

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Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

Morris rolled back the yellow covers on the classified maps and launched into a discussion of security in his district. He pointed to the map to show Thompson the progress of the South Vietnamese government’s accelerated pacification campaign, how much territory the government controlled, and how much was in the hands of the Communists. The government controlled pretty much everything between the north–south highway and the South China Sea; to the west of the highway, things were also reasonably secure; a bit further inland, security was a bit more tenuous. Out toward the mountains was pretty much Indian country. Thompson stopped Morris for a moment. “What time of day are you talking about?” he asked. “During the day,” Morris replied. “Well,” said Thompson, “What if I asked you, how much of that map you control after two A.M?”


pages: 499 words: 152,156

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

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conceptual framework, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Gini coefficient, income inequality, indoor plumbing, land reform, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mohammed Bouazizi, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rolodex, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

The race to catch up affected each person in a different way. A fifty-year-old former barber named Siu Yun Ping found that it stirred his appetite for risk. In the summer of 2007 he began making regular visits from his village in Hong Kong to the city of Macau, the only Chinese territory where it is legal to gamble in a casino. Macau sits on a horn of rocky coastline where the Pearl River washes into the South China Sea. It’s about a third the size of Manhattan, covering a tropical peninsula and a pair of islands that look, on a map, like crumbs flaking off the mainland. Chairman Mao banned gambling in China long ago, but it endures in Macau because of a historical wrinkle: for nearly five hundred years, the city was a Portuguese colony, and when it returned to Chinese control, in 1999, it was entitled to retain some of the flamboyantly libertine traditions that led W.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

More importantly, we need to support legitimate surveillance, and work on ways for these groups to do what they need to do without violating privacy, subverting security, and infringing upon citizens’ right to be free of unreasonable suspicion and observation. If we can provide law enforcement people with new ways to investigate crime, they’ll stop demanding that security be subverted for their benefit. Geopolitical conflicts aren’t going away, and foreign intelligence is a singular tool to navigate these incidents. As I write this in the late summer of 2014, Russia is amassing forces against Ukraine, China is bullying Japan and Korea in the South China Sea, Uighur terrorists are killing Han Chinese, Israel is attacking Gaza, Qatar and Turkey are helping Gaza defend itself, Afghanistan is a chaotic mess, Libya is in decline, Egypt is back to a dictatorship, Iran’s nuclear program might be resuming, Ebola is sweeping West Africa, North Korea is testing new missiles, Syria is killing its own people, and much of Iraq is controlled by a nominally Islamic extremist organization known as ISIS.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

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call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

There are no airliners roaring in and out of Kai Tak anymore, no burnished aluminum storm clouds to rain round-eyed passengers on the shopping malls and fish markets of Kowloon and the New Territories. In these tense later days of the War Against Unreason, impossible new shapes move in the sky; Amber gapes upward as a Shenyang F-30 climbs at a near-vertical angle, a mess of incomprehensibly curved flight surfaces vanishing to a perspective point that defies radar as well as eyeballs. The Chinese – fighter? missile platform? supercomputer? – is heading out over the South China Sea to join the endless patrol that reassures the capitalist world that it is being guarded from the Hosts of Denial, the Trouble out of Wa'hab. For the moment, she's merely a precocious human child. Amber's subconscious is off-lined by the presence of forceful infowar daemons, the Chinese government censorbots suppressing her cognition of their deadliest weapons. And in the seconds while her mind is as empty as a sucked egg, a thin-faced man with blue hair shoves her in the small of her back and snatches at her shoulder bag.


pages: 386 words: 122,595

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, open economy, presumed consent, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra, young professional

You are not worried about average outcomes; you are worried about the worst things that could possibly happen to you. A bad draw—the tree that falls in an electrical storm and crushes your home—could be devastating. Thus, most of us are willing to pay a predictable amount—even one that is more than we expect to get back—in order to protect ourselves against the unpredictable. Almost anything can be insured. Are you worried about pirates? You should be, if you ship goods through the South China Sea or the Malacca Strait. As The Economist explains, “Pirates still prey on ships and sailors. And far from being jolly sorts with wooden legs and eye patches, today’s pirates are nasty fellows with rocket-propelled grenades and speedboats.” There were 266 acts of piracy (or attempts) reported to the International Maritime Organization in 2005. This is why firms sending cargo through dangerous areas buy marine insurance (which also protects against other risks at sea).


pages: 492 words: 153,565

Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Brian Krebs, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Earth, information retrieval, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

The attackers got in through two unprotected servers and remained undetected for two weeks until workers noticed problems with their machines.23 Cal-ISO officials insisted the breach posed no threat to the grid, but unnamed sources told the Los Angeles Times that the hackers were caught just as they were trying to access “key parts of the system” that would have allowed them to cause serious disruptions in electrical service. One person called it a near “catastrophic breach.” The attack appeared to originate from China, and came in the midst of a tense political standoff between China and the United States after a US spy plane collided in midair with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea. In response to growing concerns about critical infrastructure, and in particular the security of the nation’s power grids, the Department of Energy launched a National SCADA Test Bed program in 2003 at the Idaho National Lab (INL). The goal was to work with the makers of control systems to evaluate their equipment for security vulnerabilities, and was an initiative that ultimately led to the 2007 Aurora Generator Test.24 There are 2,800 power plants in the United States and 300,000 sites producing oil and natural gas.25 Another 170,000 facilities form the public water system in the United States, which includes reservoirs, dams, wells, treatment facilities, pumping stations, and pipelines.26 But 85 percent of these and other critical infrastructure facilities are in the hands of the private sector, which means that aside from a few government-regulated industries—such as the nuclear power industry—the government can do little to force companies to secure their systems.


pages: 565 words: 164,405

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

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Admiral Zheng, asset allocation, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, call centre, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, domestication of the camel, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, ice-free Arctic, imperial preference, income inequality, intermodal, James Hargreaves, John Harrison: Longitude, Khyber Pass, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, placebo effect, Port of Oakland, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, working poor

How and why did this occur, and what does it tell us about the nature of trade? During the seven centuries between the death of the Prophet Muhammad and the Renaissance, the Muslim states of Europe, Asia, and Africa outshone and towered over western Christendom. Muhammad's followers dominated the great conduit of long-range world commerce, the Indian Ocean, and in the process spread his powerful message from west Africa to the South China Sea. Then, with breathtaking speed, a newly resurgent West took control of global trade routes in the decades following the first roundings of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Diaz and Vasco da Gama. Can we understand these events under the larger banner of the history of trade? The great national trading organizations, particularly the English and Dutch East India companies, spearheaded Europe's commercial dominance and made world trade the nearly exclusive province of large corporate entities and, in the twentieth century, of the multinational corporation.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

With its small South Asian neighbors picking up momentum, the entire region is demonstrating relatively strong growth, and doing it all without attracting much attention as a group. It is another big plus that the major media are not talking up the “South Asian Tigers.” At least not yet. Southeast Asia Outside of the Indian subcontinent, there is no region in the world where every country is enjoying reasonably high growth with stable inflation. Next door in Southeast Asia, the picture for the nations clustered around the South China Sea is the usual mix of good, average, and ugly. The region is home to one of the most widely overlooked success stories in the world, the Philippines, which is five years into a run of strong growth, yet shows none of the signs of excess—whether in credit, or investment, or inflation, or current account deficits—that normally signal the end. Though global investors have been pouring money into Philippine stocks and bonds, the international media have largely ignored this bright spot in the doldrums of the AC era.


pages: 868 words: 147,152

How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, financial deregulation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, large denomination, market fragmentation, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, purchasing power parity, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, working-age population

Back on the Karak expressway, the miles of large-scale oil palm plantations – which replace the jungle after Bentong and continue to the east coast – is the real story of Malaysian agriculture: in essence, the opposite of the commercially integrated household farming of north-east Asia and China. This is the flimsy foundation on which Mahathir built his industrial policy. It takes three to four hours to traverse the middle of Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur to the shore of the South China Sea. Then, turning north, the Waja crosses the state border into Trengganu. Along the sleepy white sand beaches sit under-utilised, low-rise hotels; inland are yet more oil palm plantations. It is here on the coast, outside the small town of Kemaman, that Mahathir decided to build Malaysia’s biggest steel plant, Perwaja. What you notice first about the factory is that, unlike the original POSCO plant at Pohang, Korea, it does not have an immediate visual logic.182 Pohang forms a horseshoe shape on a bay where the raw materials that arrive at one end have become ship-loaded steel exports by the time they have reached the other end.

Killing Hope: Us Military and Cia Interventions Since World War 2 by William Blum

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, trickle-down economics, union organizing

Nevertheless, a plane carrying eight members of the Chinese delegation, a Vietnamese, and two European journalists to the Bandung Conference crashed under mysterious circumstances. The Chinese government claimed that it was an act of sabotage carried out by the US and Taiwan, a misfired effort to murder Chou En-lai. The chartered Air India plane had taken off from Hong Kong on 11 April 1955 and crashed in the South China Sea. Chou En-lai was scheduled to be on another chartered Air India flight a day or two later. The Chinese government, citing what it said were press reports from the Times of India, stated that the crash was caused by two time bombs apparently placed aboard the plane in Hong Kong. A clockwork mechanism was later recovered from the wrecked airliner and the Hong Kong police called it a case of "carefully planned mass murder".

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Late night comedians joked about the standard $600 return, but for most Americans the check was a welcome addition 9/11 213 to the family budget, and tangible proof that things were different in Washington. For a change, the immediate foreign policy challenge was not in the Middle East, but with China. Three months after taking office, Bush announced plans to sell eight diesel-powered submarines to Taiwan. The move infuriated Beijing. So, relations were at a low in April when a Navy surveillance plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea.29 The plane had to make an emergency landing, and its twenty-four crew members were detained. The crisis challenged the long-standing good relations the Bush family had with leaders of the country, and for a time it appeared that negotiations were at an impasse. Finally, quiet diplomacy won out, and a major crisis was avoided. In the negotiations, Bush took the opportunity to press the Chinese leaders for more religious freedom for their citizens.


pages: 382 words: 127,510

Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire by Simon Winchester

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borderless world, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, Edmond Halley, European colonialism, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, laissez-faire capitalism, offshore financial centre, sensible shoes, South China Sea, special economic zone, the market place

The approach to Kai Tak airfield is unforgettable—though not at first: the plane usually contrives to come in from the western side of the colony, and the last few miles of the journey are over the brown and undistinguished hills of Kwangtung province of Southern China, and the muddy estuary of the Pearl River. (The British have been this way, evidently: even the airline maps show the southernmost point of China, just off to the starboard side, was once called Cape Bastion, and there is a Macclesfield Bank and a Money Island out in the South China Sea, barely visible from five miles up.) But then the sea begins to swarm with shipping. Big freighters can be seen lumbering northwards, contained in channels between a clutch of tiny, tree-covered islets. Red and white hydrofoils scurry to and fro leaving trails of white foam, and stately ferry boats plough across the straits. As the plane gets lower still we can see the country boats—skiffs and punts and a few elegant sailing junks, each a superb piece of Eastern imagery with its three lugsails stiffened with long battens, and a lone crewman fishing from the stern.


pages: 509 words: 137,315

Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling

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back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, industrial robot, Malacca Straits, offshore financial centre, South China Sea, wage slave

No one led them, but they moved in unison. They had barricaded the streets, their bamboo rickshaws laden with stolen sacks of cement and rubber and coffee beans. They were defying the curfew, the government’s sudden and draconic declaration of martial law, which lay over Singapore like a blanket of lead. The streets were the army’s now. And the skies, too.… Tall monsoon clouds over the morning South China Sea, a glamorous tropic gleam like puffed gray silk. Against the clouds, the dragonfly cutouts of police helicopters. At first, the Anti-Labourites had claimed, as before, that they were “observing for civil rights.” But as more and more of them had gathered during the night of the fourteenth, the pretense had faded. They had broken into warehouses and offices, smashing windows, barricading doors.


pages: 3,292 words: 537,795

Lonely Planet China (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Shawn Low

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bike sharing scheme, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, indoor plumbing, land reform, place-making, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

Otherwise, to visit the fishing port, catch a bus 79km from Sanya to Lingshui (¥20, 1½ hours, hourly). In Lingshui, after leaving the station’s main exit, cross the road and head right. Walk a few blocks and catch a minibus in front of the Bank of China to Xincun (¥3, 40 minutes). In Xincun, catch a motorcycle taxi or walk the 1km to the harbour. Sanya %0898 / Pop 685,400 China’s premier beach community claims to be the ‘Hawaii of China,’ but ‘Moscow on the South China Sea’ is more like it. The modern, hyper-developed resort city has such a steady influx of Russian vacationers these days that almost all signs are in Cyrillic as well as Chinese. Middle-class Chinese families are increasingly drawn to Sanya’s golden shores as well, which means the beaches are just as full at night as they are during the day (due to the Chinese aversion to sunburn). While the full 40km or so of coastline dedicated to tourism is usually referred to as Sanya, the region is actually made up of three distinct zones.

Close to shipping lanes, surrounded by well-stocked fishing grounds and near to the Chunxiao gas field, the islands have aggravated Chinese and Japanese nationalism and overseen a growing mutual antipathy. Occasionally violent anti-Japanese protests in China have been the result. A festering dispute has also seen growing tensions between China and Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations over the control of waters, islands, reefs, atolls and rocky outcrops in the South China Sea. While keeping an eye on maritime issues, at home President Xi Jinping has to deal with growing unrest in Xinjiang province, which has led to terror attacks in both Yunnan and in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing, as well as a spate of brazen bombings and attacks in Xinjiang itself. The increasing Uighur disquiet has prompted an increasingly harsh security clampdown from Beijing, which may threaten to inflame sentiments further.

China’s Landscapes The Land The world’s third-largest country – on a par size-wise with the USA – China swallows up an immense 9.5 million sq km, only surpassed in area by Russia and Canada. Straddling natural environments as diverse as subarctic tundra in the north and tropical rainforests in the south, this massive land embraces the world’s highest mountain range and one of its hottest deserts in the west, to the steamy, typhoon-lashed coastline of the South China Sea. Fragmenting this epic landscape is a colossal web of waterways, including one of the world’s mightiest rivers – the Yangzi (Chang Jiang). Over 1.2 million tons of transparent plastic sheeting is used annually by China's farmers to reduce water loss from evaporation, but much of the plastic is later ploughed into the earth, polluting the soil and decreasing crop yields. Mountains China has a largely mountainous and hilly topography, commencing in precipitous fashion in the vast and sparsely populated Qinghai–Tibetan plateau in the west and levelling out gradually towards the fertile, well-watered, populous and wealthy provinces of eastern China.


pages: 845 words: 197,050

The Gun by C. J. Chivers

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air freight, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, South China Sea, trade route, Transnistria

In front of them was their next destination: the village of Ap Sieu Quan, a narrow cluster of buildings surrounded by paddies and dikes just south of the demilitarized zone in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam. From out in the field, the village looked deserted in the rising late-morning heat. The Marines sensed menace awaiting. At least three North Vietnamese Army battalions had infiltrated the area, an agricultural belt in the coastal lowlands where the jungles and mountains drained into the South China Sea. Many of the NVA units were patrolling. Others were dug in and concealed. Hotel Company’s Second Platoon had been hit by a North Vietnamese unit in Ap Sieu Quan a short while before. Now the company was converging. The Marines were exposed as they moved. They saw the low-slung buildings ahead. The only approach passed over open ground. We’re walking across the savannah, Private First Class Alfred J.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Sixteenth-century pirates took advantage of the new trades to the Orient and New World and adopted the superior designs for boats, but these adventurers would have been recognizable to the Phoenicians who plied the Mediterranean in ancient times. The trade in silks and spices from the East Indies enticed pirates because one such prize would pay the outfitting cost of an entire voyage. Turkish pirates preyed on ships in the Mediterranean, though the pashas of Tripoli later found it more rewarding to exact tribute in formal treaties. Piracy also flourished in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, and the South China Sea, but especially in the Caribbean because of the allure of the gold and silver carried home by the Spanish. Jumping ahead for a minute, we can see that as the volume of legitimate trade increased, the sober, solidly middle-class side of commerce asserted itself. Merchants got tired of losing valuable cargoes to pirates and having to pay high insurance premiums even when they didn’t lose their ships.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

, China’s will be the next to gawk at Times and Trafalgar squares, Notre-Dame and Niagara Falls, taking in the scenery through their cell phones. Wait until a hundred million people are in line ahead of you at Disneyland—you’ll see it’s a small world after all. Millions more may never leave China, and they won’t have to. The government is commissioning pleasure domes as fast as factories. On Hainan Island in the South China Sea—an island the size of Belgium with the climate of Hawaii—the State Council has decreed a “test case” in developing an “internationally competitive tourist destination,” which developers have taken as their cue to build Miami by way of Macau. One is single-handedly building twenty-two golf courses—from links to desert to one modeled on Augusta National—lined with shopping malls and luxury villas.


pages: 826 words: 231,966

GCHQ by Richard Aldrich

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, cuban missile crisis, friendly fire, illegal immigration, index card, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, packet switching, private military company, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

In 1982 the GCHQ station at Little Sai Wan, which had depended on listeners with headphones, had been closed down and replaced by a new operation at Chum Horn Kok, on the south side of the island, which monitored satellite activity.30 This new station was initially given the code name ‘Demos-1’.31 The problem with the location was accommodating the massive dishes – there were eventually five – on what was a narrow shelf of rock overlooking the South China Sea.32 Chinese agents took a close interest in the station, so there were tight procedures whereby a ‘cleared expatriate’ supervised the moving of classified waste to a vast ‘Refudoc’ incinerator in the main building. The burn bags full of top-secret sigint material were huge, standing three feet high and weighing about thirty pounds.33 Despite the problems of its precarious site, Demos-1 had continued to grow during the 1980s.


pages: 546 words: 176,169

The Cold War by Robert Cowley

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, friendly fire, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, transcontinental railway

Hundreds more were tagged by small arms and machine-gun fire on the way in or out. While the marine infantry and artillery struggled against their NVA counterparts, an astonishing array of combat, transport, and intelligence-gathering aircraft crisscrossed the skies over the plateau. Marine and navy A-6 Intruders, A-4 Skyhawks, and air force F-4 Phantoms and F-105s—indeed, planes from all over South Vietnam, Thailand, and even aircraft stationed on carriers in the South China Sea—were ready for action should they be called on by either the Tactical Air Direction Center of the First Marine Air Wing or the 7th Air Forces Airborne Command and Control Center, both of which orchestrated the air war (not without friction) during the siege. And then there were the B-52 bombers. During the course of the battle, these behemoths dropped 60,000 tons of ordnance on NVA positions.


pages: 812 words: 180,057

The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today by Thomas E. Ricks

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affirmative action, airport security, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, hiring and firing, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Yom Kippur War

Radford was for it, and the representatives of the Navy and the Air Force were inclined to go along with him. “My answer is a qualified ‘yes,’” responded Twining, who thought “about three A-bombs” would take care of the Indochina problem. If it came to a vote, it looked as though the Joint Chiefs would favor air strikes. Two American aircraft carriers, the Boxer and the Philippine Sea, steamed in the South China Sea with small nuclear bombs in their weapons lockers. But what Ridgway lacked in votes he made up for in energy. “My answer is an emphatic and immediate ‘NO,’” he wrote in his own memo. “Such use of United States armed forces . . . would constitute a dangerous strategic diversion of limited United States military capabilities, and would commit our armed forces in a non-decisive theatre to the attainment of non-decisive local objectives,” he told his fellow members of the Joint Chiefs on April 6, 1954.


pages: 762 words: 246,045

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

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Admiral Zheng, Khyber Pass, land tenure, Malacca Straits, post scarcity, South China Sea, trade route

Giant seas rocked all the horizons, great dragon tails visibly whipping up the waves, while they sailed serenely over a moving flat calm at their centre. They even sailed through the Malacca Strait without hindrance from Palembanque, or, north of that, from the myriad pirates of Cham, or the Japanese wakou – though, as Kyu pointed out, no pirate in his right mind would chal lenge a fleet so huge and powerful, tooth of the Buddha or no. Then as they sailed into the south China Sea, someone saw the Dalada floating about the ship at night, as if, he said, it were a little candle flame. 'How does he know it wasn't a candle flame?' Kyu asked. But the next morning the sky dawned red. Black clouds rolled over the horizon in a line from the south, in a way that reminded Bold strongly of the storm that had killed Temur. Driving rain struck, then a violent wind that turned the sea white.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

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Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, planetary scale, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl

Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, on the Hong Kong border, grew from zero to 1.5 million inhabitants between 1982 and 1995. Local governments in the whole area, full of cash from overseas Chinese investors, embarked on the construction of major infrastructural projects, the most amazing of which, still in the planning stage at the time of writing, was the decision by Zhuhai’s local government to build a 60 km bridge over the South China Sea to link by road Zhuhai and Hong Kong. The southern China metropolis, still in the making but a sure reality, is a new spatial form. It is not the traditional megalopolis identified by Gottman in the 1960s on the north-eastern seaboard of the United States. Unlike this classical case, the Hong Kong–Guandong metropolitan region is not made up of the physical conurbation of successive urban/suburban units with relative functional autonomy in each one of them.

May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes

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anti-communist, Burning Man, dumpster diving, friendly fire, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea

“I am not so scary. But my father, he doesn’t like mice. A mice scares him very badly. He jumps on his pickle barrel like a little girl. My mother has to chase the mouse like a big cat. Can I ask you a question?” “Of course.” “What do you like so much about China?” “No one has ever asked me that before. This may sound odd, but I like how big it is—China has everything from Mount Everest to the South China Sea, and how many millions of people live there, how industrious they are, the depth of the history, how ancient, beautiful, mysterious, and other it is.” “Have you ever been there?” she asks. “No,” I say. “Have you?” She shakes her head no. “My parents tell me they never want to go back, that what is there is from long ago, and that life is very hard. They are sorry for their relatives who stayed, and they carry the sadness with them, but they like it better here.”


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Throughout the colonial era of globalization, the basic description of a “new” territory over which a state might wish to internalize into its jurisdiction, and over which it contests control, may be legally precedent to whatever private strategies are subsequently put in motion, or they may come later as decorative legitimation of earlier speculative adventures.32 Either way, sovereigns have long claimed and enforced the right to name and objectively represent the territories they govern. Today contested lines on maps still symbolize geopolitical tensions over sovereign influence, as the many intrigues over islands in the South China Sea attest. Consider then the curious episode in 2010 when Google Maps slightly shifted the line marking the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Troops were summoned and war over the ambiguous territory seemed possible. The naming and measuring of the ground over which and into which politics might maneuver was, however unintentionally, remade not by either of these states but by a Californian software company.


pages: 710 words: 164,527

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order by Benn Steil

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, deindustrialization, European colonialism, facts on the ground, fiat currency, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, global reserve currency, imperial preference, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, margin call, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, New Journalism, open economy, Potemkin village, price mechanism, price stability, psychological pricing, reserve currency, road to serfdom, seigniorage, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, the market place, trade liberalization, Works Progress Administration

It is tempting to fall back on eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinking, of Immanuel Kant and David Hume in particular, and to imagine that commercial entanglement gives China and the United States sufficient interest in a stable international order that neither would risk provoking a rupture in order to change fundamentally the balance of geopolitical prerogatives between them. This would include the monetary order, and not just the geopolitics of territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea and control of global strategic resources such as energy. Yet it is perhaps equally plausible that such a rupture is inevitable, in the same way that British Foreign Office official Eyre Crowe argued that it was between Britain and Germany back in 1907. Irrespective of Germany’s intentions, or stated intentions, Crowe argued, Germany had an unmitigated interest in creating “as powerful a navy as she can afford,” and the very existence of such a navy was “incompatible with the existence of the British Empire.”


pages: 1,773 words: 486,685

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

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agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey

Then, just when Coxinga seemed about to accept these terms, the envoys sent by Beijing to handle the final negotiations bluntly stated: ‘If you do not shave your head, then you cannot receive the [emperor's] proclamation. If your head is not shaven, then we need not even meet.‘88 Outraged, Coxinga used his warships – some of them armed with Western-style artillery – to dominate all trade in the South China Sea until by 1659 he had gathered sufficient funds and support to mount a campaign up the Yangzi. Thirty-two counties and seven prefectural capitals declared their allegiance before a Qing counter-attack forced Coxinga first to retreat to the coast and eventually to abandon the Chinese mainland, making the island of Taiwan his new base.89 Lacking a fleet capable of pursuing him there, the Qing now imposed another draconian and deeply unpopular measure on their Chinese subjects: in the hope of starving out Taiwan, they ordered all who lived within 20 miles of the mainland's southeast coast to abandon their homes and move inland.

(i) Smithfield (i) Smolensk (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Smout, Adriaan (i), (ii) n 27 Smyrna, see Izmir Snow, see Little Ice Age Soares, Diogo (i) Sodomy (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) n 20 Sofala (i) Sofia Romanov (i) Soissons, Louis de Bourbon, count of (i) Soldiers (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv), (xxvi), (xxvii), (xxviii), (xxix), (xxx), (xxxi), (xxxii), (xxxiii), (xxxiv), (xxxv), (xxxvi), (xxxvii), (xxxviii), (xxxix), (xl), (xli), (xlii), (xliii), (xliv), (xlv), (xlvi), (xlvii), (xlviii), (xlix), (l), (li), (lii), (liii), (liv), (lv), (lvi), (lvii), (lviii), (lix), (lx), (lxi), (lxii), (lxiii), (lxiv), (lxv), (lxvi), (lxvii), (lxviii), (lxix), (lxx), (lxxi), (lxxii), (lxxiii), (lxxiv), (lxxv), (lxxvi), (lxxvii), (lxxviii), (lxxix), (lxxx), (lxxxi), (lxxxii), (lxxxiii), (lxxxiv), (lxxxv), (lxxxvi), (lxxxvii), (lxxxviii), (lxxxix), (xc), (xci), (xcii), (xciii), (xciv), (xcv), (xcvi), (xcvii), (xcviii), (xcix), (c), (CI), (CII), (CIII), (CIV), (CV), (CVI), (CVII), (CVIII), (CIX) n 77, (CX) n 14, (CXI) n 10, see also Janissaries, Samurai, Wars Soll, Jacob (i) Solothurn (i) Sombaopu (i) Song, Chinese Imperial Dynasty (i), (ii) Songs, see Music Sonora (i) Sorbière, Samuel (i), (ii) Sorokin, Pitirim (i) South China Sea (i) Spain (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv), (xxvi), (xxvii), (xxviii), (xxix), (xxx), (xxxi), (xxxii), (xxxiii), (xxxiv), (xxxv), (xxxvi), (xxxvii), (xxxviii), (xxxix), (xl), (xli), (xlii), (xliii), (xliv), (xlv), (xlvi), (xlvii), (xlviii), (xlix), (l), (li), (lii), (liii), (liv), (lv), (lvi), (lvii), (lviii), (lix), (lx), (lxi), (lxii), (lxiii), (lxiv), (lxv), (lxvi), (lxvii), (lxviii), (lxix), (lxx), (lxxi), (lxxii), (lxxiii), (lxxiv), (lxxv), (lxxvi), (lxxvii), (lxxviii), (lxxix), (lxxx), (lxxxi), (lxxxii), (lxxxiii), (lxxxiv), (lxxxv), (lxxxvi), (lxxxvii), Plates 6, 10, 11, 12, Figs 10, 29 Spices (i), (ii) n 38 Spinoza, Baruch (i), (ii), (iii) Spitsbergen (i), (ii) Sprat, Thomas (i) Sri Lanka (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Stansel, Valentin (i) Star Chamber, Court of (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Starvation, see Famine States-General (Dutch Republic) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) States-General (France) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) States-General (Naples) (i) Steensgaard, Niels (i), (ii) Stephens, Anthony (i) Steuart, Adam (i) Stockholm (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Storer, Arthur (i) Stradivari, Antonio (i), (ii) Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, earl of (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), Plate 15 Stralsund (i), (ii) Stránský, Pavel (i), (ii) Strasbourg (i), (ii) Street lighting (i) Strozzi, Tommaso (i) Struve, Lynn (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Strypa (i) ‘Stunting’, see Height Styria (i), (ii) Suárez, Margarita (i) Subtelny, Orest (i) n 7 Sudan (i), (ii) Sudd (i) Suffolk (i) Sugar (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii) Suicide (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv), (xxvi), (xxvii) nn 5, 6, 8, 16, Plate 5 Sulawesi (i) Sully, Maximilien de Béthune duke of (i), (ii), (iii) n 54 Sumptuary Laws (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), see also Dress Sunspots (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi) nn 36, 38, Plate 1, Fig. 2 Superior, lake (i) Surat (i), (ii) Suzhou (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii) Suzuki Shōsan (i), (ii) Swabia (i) Sweden (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv), (xxvi), (xxvii), (xxviii), (xxix), (xxx), (xxxi), (xxxii), (xxxiii), (xxxiv), (xxxv), (xxxvi), (xxxvii), (xxxviii), (xxxix), (xl), (xli), (xlii), (xliii), (xliv), (xlv), (xlvi), (xlvii), (xlviii), (xlix), (l) n 50, (li) n 14 Swiss Confederation (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi) Syria (i), (ii), (iii), Fig. 21 Sysyn, Frank (i) Tabor, Robert (i) Taille (i), (ii), (iii) Taiwan (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix) Taj Mahal (i), (ii) Talanda (i) Talon, Omer (i) Tamarit, Francesc de (i), (ii) Tamerlane (i) Tang, Chinese imperial dynasty (i) Tang Xianzu (i) Tangier (i) Tanistry (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Tarabotti, Elena Cassandra (i) Tarragona (i), (ii), (iii) Tasmania, (i), (ii) Tawney, Richard (i) Taxation, taxes (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv), (xxvi), (xxvii), (xxviii), (xxix), (xxx), (xxxi), (xxxii), Plates 10, 11, Figs 21, 31 Tea (i), (ii) Tecumseh (i) Tegh Bahadur (i) Teixeira Saldanha, Bento de (i) Teleki, Mihail Tell, William (i), (ii) Temperature (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv) n 14, (xxvi) nn 63, (xxvii), Plate 28, Figs 2, 18, 19, 34, 51 Tenedos (i), (ii) Testament, Old and New, see Bible Testi, Fulvio (i) Thames, river (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii) Thames River Barrier, (i) Theatre (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) n 23, (viii) n 29 Theibault, John (i) Theologians (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii) n 43, (xviii) n 12, (xix) n 76 Thessalonica (i) Thiele, Peter (i), (ii), (iii) Thionville (i) Thirty Years War (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv) n 65, Plates 2, 9, 22, 23 Thomas, Sir Keith (i) Thornton, John (i) ‘Thorough’ (in Ireland) (i) Three Feudatories Revolt (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) Tiacang (i) Tianjin (i) Tianqi, emperor of China (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Tigris, river (i), (ii) Tilly, Johann Tserclaes, count of (i) Timbuktu (i) Tinglin Yao (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) Tipperary (i) Tisza, river (i) Toba, Mount (i) Tobacco (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), Plate 22 Tōhoku (i) Tokugawa Hidetada, shogun (i), (ii), (iii) n 22 Tokugawa Iemitsu, shogun (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix) nn 22, 28, (x) n 31, (xi) nn 45, 49 Tokugawa Ieyasu, shogun (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) n 31, (vi) n 49 Tokyo (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv) n 50, Plates 4, 20 Tomsk (i), (ii) La Torre, count of (i) Tortosa (i), (ii) Totman, Conrad (i), (ii) Toyotomi Hideyoshi (i) Trade (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), Fig. 42 Trakhaniotov, Peter (i), (ii) Transylvania (i), (ii), (iii) Trapani (i) Trevor-Roper, Hugh (i), (ii), (iii) Trier (i) Trivulzio, Teodoro (i) Trosten, Hannes (i) Trotsky, Leon (i) Troyes (i) Tryon, Thomas (i), (ii) Tsaritsyn (i) Tunisia (i) Turenne, vicomté of (i), (ii) n 46 Turfvolster, Alit (i) Turkey (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Turquet de Mayerne, Theodore (i) Tuscaloosa (i) Tuscany, Ferdinand, Grand Duke of (i), (ii), (iii) Tutini, Camillo (i), (ii) n 17 Tweed, river (i), (ii), (iii) Tyler, Wat (i) Tyne, river (i) Tyneside (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Typhoid (i) Tyrone, county (i), (ii) Uceda, Cristóbal Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas duke of, (i) Uganda (i) Ukraine (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xii), (xiii), (xiv), (xv), (xvi), (xvii), (xviii), (xix), (xx), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxv), (xxvi), (xxvii), (xxviii), (xxix), (xxx) n 5, (xxxi) n 73 Ulm (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) Ulozhenie (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) n 40 Ulster (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix), (x), (xi) Unfree Labour, see Serfs, Servants, Slaves Uniate church (i), (ii), (iii) ‘Union of Arms’ (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) United Nations (i) United States of America (i), (ii) Universities (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), Fig. 49 Unteregg (i) Uppsala University (i) Urals (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Utrecht (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) Uzbeks (i), (ii) Valdivia (i) Valence (i) Valencia (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) Valladolid (i) Valtelline (i) Vaquero, José M.


pages: 492 words: 70,082

Immigration worldwide: policies, practices, and trends by Uma Anand Segal, Doreen Elliott, Nazneen S. Mayadas

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, centre right, conceptual framework, credit crunch, demographic transition, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, full employment, global village, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open borders, phenotype, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

Furthermore, the long lasting civil wars in several countries of the Asian subcontinent instigated both legal and illegal immigration of the Overseas Chinese to Mainland China. The territorial conflicts between China and Vietnam beginning in the mid-1970s witnessed another wave of cross-border movement to the Mainland. This peaked in 1978 and 1979, when large outflows of people with Chinese ethnicity, some 160,000 to 250,000, fled Vietnam for southern China (Zhang, 2007). Many of these refugees were reportedly settled in state farms on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Some arrived as ‘‘boat people,’’ following the currents of the big oceans; some were offered asylum in Europe and the United States; some eventually settled in the regions where their boats landed, and some were admitted to China as immigrants. The second source of immigration to Mainland China is from the brotherhood nations of the developing world, or the Third World. After the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung and the Non-Aligned Movement in early 1960, China assumed the role of the most important, or leading, member of the Third World.

Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy

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fear of failure, nuclear winter, South China Sea, trade route

Anyway, the Russians are making noises about giving the Sakhalin Islands back if they play ball--or pounding hell out of them if they don't. Bottom line: Japan is not allowing any bases on its soil to be used for offensive strikes against the Soviet Union. What we have in Korea is needed there. The only carrier group we have in the Western Pacific is centered on Midway. They're well out to sea at present, and they don't have the moxie to go after Kamchatka alone. There's some air activity in the South China Sea west of the Philippines, but nothing major yet. Cam Ranh Bay appears to be empty of Soviet shipping. So the Pacific is quiet, but that won't last long. "In the Indian Ocean, somebody launched a missile attack against Diego Garcia, probably a submarine. Not much damage--just about everything there was sent out to sea five days ago--but it got their attention. At last report, their IO squadron was at fifteen-north, ninety-east, a long way from our guys, and heading south.


pages: 1,056 words: 275,211

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix

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anti-communist, British Empire, colonial rule, defense in depth, European colonialism, land reform, Malacca Straits, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, oil shock, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

Among them are the cult of reverence for the throne and its occupant; Japan’s unilateral takeover of Manchuria which Tokyo justified in the name of “self-defense;” Japanese violations of wartime international law during the Japan-China War; and the still controversial Nanking massacre, concerning which, to this day, no public documentary trace exists of the emperor ever having set an investigation in motion. Part III also addresses the Japanese navy’s policy of advancing toward the south, which, after the imperial navy’s occupation of Hainan island in the South China Sea in early 1939, led directly to Pearl Harbor and the last phase of Japan’s Asia-Pacific War. Taken as a whole, this book challenges readers to confront how wars are justified and how the history of heads of state and their close advisers is falsified. In writing it I sought to encourage more than a reevaluation of Hirohito as a special kind of war leader. I addressed as well the origins of the Asia-Pacific War and the nature of Japanese imperialism, as well as the myths that were constructed by both Japanese and American officials about its termination.


pages: 1,020 words: 339,564

The confusion by Neal Stephenson

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correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, out of africa, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, spice trade, urban planning, web of trust

A gust came across the water, decapitating a thousand whitecaps and flinging their spray sideways through the air; it caught them upside their heads, and in the same instant the sail popped like a musket-shot and the whole structure of the ship heaved and groaned from the impact. A rope burst and began thrashing about on the deck like a living thing as the tension bled out of it and its lays came undone. But then this momentary squall subsided and they found themselves working into a blustery north wind, across the darkling bay. The sun had plunged meteorically into the South China Sea, and its light was now overmatched by the lightning over Manila, which had merged into a continuous blue radiance that a person could almost read by. “One day, long after they’ve given up hope, one of these wretches—one of the few who can still stand—will be up on deck, throwing corpses over the rail, when he’ll see something afloat in the water below: a scrap of seaweed, no bigger than my finger.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Weaponry, in other words, appears to be largely endogenous to the historical dynamics that result in large declines in violence. When people are rapacious or terrified, they develop the weapons they need; when cooler heads prevail, the weapons rust in peace. Resources and Power. When I was a student in the 1970s, I had a professor who shared with anyone who would listen the truth about the Vietnam War: it was really about tungsten. The South China Sea, he discovered, had the world’s largest deposits of the metal used in lightbulb filaments and superhard steel. The debates on communism and nationalism and containment were all a smokescreen for the superpowers’ battle to control the source of this vital resource. The tungsten theory of the Vietnam War is an example of resource determinism, the idea that people inevitably fight over finite resources like land, water, minerals, and strategic terrain.

Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

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Why is that a secret?” It was Plumber again, chasing down his question from the previous day. I'm going to kill Arnie for exposing me this way all the time. “John, the Secretary was engaged in some important consultations. That's all I have to say on the issue.” “He was in the Middle East, wasn't he?” “Next question?” “Sir, the Pentagon has announced that the carrier Eisenhower is moving into the South China Sea. Did you order that?” “Yes, I did. We feel that the situation warrants our close attention. We have vital interests in that region. I point out that we are not taking sides in this dispute, but we are going to look after our own interests.” “Will moving the carrier cool things down or heat them up?” “Obviously, we're not trying to make things worse. We're trying to make them better. It's in the interests of both parties to take a step back and think about what they are doing.