South China Sea

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The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

.: Jamestown Foundation: 2009), p. 11 (“Dangerous Ground”); David Hancox and Victor Prescott, A Geographical Description of the Spratly Islands and an Account of Hydrographic Surveys Amongst Those Islands, International Boundaries Research Unit, Maritime Briefing, vol. 1, no. 6 (1995), p. 38 (“mariner’s . . . guarantee”); Stein Tonnesson, “The South China Sea in the Age of European Decline,” Modern Asian Studies 40 (2006), pp. 1–57, 3 (“Europe-dominated waters”). 3. Centre des Archives Diplomatiques du Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires Étrangères, 32 CPCOM/79, ASIE 1930–1940, CHINE, E 513-0 sd/e 749. 4. “How Much Trade Transits the South China Sea?,” China Power, Project CSIS, October 10, 2019 (world trade); Schofield and Storey, South China Sea Dispute, p. 9 (tuna); Alan Dupont, “Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea: ASEAN’s Dilemma,” Perspectives on the South China Sea, ed. Murray Hiebert, Phuong Nguyen, and Gregory Poling (Washington, D.C.: CSIS, 2014), p. 46 (“strategic commodity”); Ian Storey, “Disputes in the South China Sea: Southeast Asia’s Troubled Waters,” Politique Étrangère 79, no. 3 (2014), p. 11 (“entire world”). 5.

That, in turn, could permit it at some point to implement an air defensive identification zone over the region—which would inevitably be challenged.3 The second question is whether the South China Sea itself—that is, the water—constitutes international waters, high seas, or is part of the national territory of China. That is a matter of concern to the countries in the region, those nations whose trade passes through those waters, and the commercial shipping companies and navies of the world. Does the 9-Dash Map assert that 90 percent of the entire South China Sea itself is territorial waters of China? The original 1947–48 map describes itself as “The Map of the Chinese Islands in the South China Sea.” More recently, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared, “China enjoys indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea” as well as the islands, and Chinese legal specialists claim that it has “authority over the South China Sea.” Many nations make their marine claims on the basis of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which had involved negotiations with more than 150 countries over fourteen years.

,” p. 72 (Rudd); interview with Peter Ho (“distracted”); Council on Foreign Relations, “Conflict in the South China Sea: Contingency Planning Memorandum Update”; Interview (hostage). 12. Defusing the South China Sea Disputes: A Regional Blueprint (Washington, D.C.: CSIS, 2018); Raine and Le Mière, Regional Disorder, pp. 179–214; Bonnie Glaser, “A Step Forward in U.S.-China Military Ties: Two CBM Agreements,” Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, November 11, 2014. 13. Interview with Yoriko Kawaguchi; Yoji Koda, “Japan’s Perspectives on U.S. Policy Toward the South China Sea,” in Perspectives on the South China Sea, ed. Murray Hiebert, Phuong Nguyen, and Gregory Poling (Washington, D.C.: CSIS, 2014), pp. 85–87; Ian Storey and Lin Cheng-yi, The South China Sea Dispute: Navigating Diplomatic and Strategic Tensions (Singapore: ISEAS, 2016), p. 5 (Abe). 14.


pages: 518 words: 128,324

Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides's Trap by Graham Allison

9 dash line, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, game design, George Santayana, Haber-Bosch Process, industrial robot, Internet of things, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, long peace, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, one-China policy, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, UNCLOS, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

[back] 62. Mira Rapp-Hooper, “Before and After: The South China Sea Transformed,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, February 18, 2015, https://amti.csis.org/before-and-after-the-south-china-sea-transformed/. [back] 63. Bill Hayton, The South China Sea (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014), 71. [back] 64. Toshi Yoshihara, “The 1974 Paracels Sea Battle: A Campaign Appraisal,” Naval War College Review 69, no. 2 (Spring 2016), 41. [back] 65. US Department of Defense, “Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy” (August 2015), 16, http://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/NDAA%20A-P_Maritime_SecuritY_Strategy-08142015-1300-FINALFORMAT.PDF. [back] 66. Derek Watkins, “What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea,” New York Times, February 29, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/30/world/asia/what-china-has-been-building-in-the-south-china-sea-2016.html.

Notable cases include China’s abrupt cessation of all exports of rare metals to Japan in 2010 (to persuade Japan to return several Chinese fishermen it had detained); its zeroing out of salmon purchases from what had been Norway’s number-one market in 2011 (to punish Norway for the Nobel Peace Prize committee’s selection of a noted Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo); and its prolonged inspection of bananas from the Philippines until they had rotted on the docks in 2012 (to change the Filipino government’s calculations about a dispute over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea). China enjoys such superiority in its balance of economic power that many other states have no realistic option but to comply with its wishes, even when the international system is on their side. In 2016, for instance, China flatly rejected an unfavorable ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration over a dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea, setting the table for another contest of wills. In this standoff and others involving the South China Sea, China has demonstrated an ability to combine charm, largesse, bribes, and blackmail to find “compromises” that give it most of what it wants. Better than bilateral bargaining, of course, are international institutions that give the designer the advantage.

For example, the United States could agree to moderate its criticism of China’s human rights violations by ending publication of the State Department’s annual human rights report on China and high-level meetings with the Dalai Lama in exchange for constraints on China’s practice of espionage for economic gain. If Beijing were prepared to remove antiship and anti-air missiles from its islands in the South China Sea, Washington could limit surveillance operations along China’s borders, especially near China’s military installations on Hainan Island, as the country’s leaders have long demanded. China could agree to end regular patrols near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in return for the US stopping provocative freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea. The US could propose that China freeze island building in the South China Sea, accept limits on the modernization of its submarine fleet and antisatellite weapons, and reduce its amphibious warfare capabilities in exchange for the US slowing or even stopping development of a Conventional Prompt Global Strike capability, delaying deployment or removing advanced missile defense systems in South Korea and Japan, and recognizing Chinese sovereignty over the Paracel Islands.


pages: 399 words: 120,226

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

British Empire, cable laying ship, Dava Sobel, defense in depth, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, low earth orbit, 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.


Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration by Kent E. Calder

3D printing, air freight, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, energy transition, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interest rate swap, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of movable type, inventory management, John Markoff, liberal world order, Malacca Straits, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, supply-chain management, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, trade route, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Washington Consensus, working-age population, zero-sum game

Southeast Asian nations began asserting these views with particular intensity following Hillary Clinton’s remarks at the 2010 ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi. 20. “The South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China),” Permanent Court of Arbitration, https://​pca​-cpa​.org/​en/​cases/​7/. 21. Katie Hunt, “Showdown in the South China Sea: How Did We Get Here?” CNN, August 2, 2016, http://​www​.cnn​.com/​2015/​10/​28/​asia/​china​-south​-china​-sea​-disputes​ -explainer/. 22. Jane Perlez, “Tribunal Rejects Beijing’s Claims in South China Sea,” New York Times, July 12, 2016, https://​www​.nytimes​.com/​2016/​07/​13/​world/​asia/​south​-china​-sea​ -hague​-ruling​-philippines​.html. 23. Andreo Calonzo and Cecilia Yap, “China Visit Helps Duterte Reap Funding Deals Worth $24 Billion,” Bloomberg, October 21, 2016, https://​www​.bloomberg​.com/​news/​ articles/​2016​-10​-21/​china​-visit​-helps​-duterte​-reap​-funding​-deals​-worth​-24​-billion. 24.

Author’s calculation based on American Enterprise Institute/Heritage Foundation, China Global Investment Tracker, updated January 2018. 16. Robert D. Kaplan, Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific (New York: Random House, 2014), 41. 17. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that there are some 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas proved and probable reserves in the South China Sea. China’s CNOOC estimated in late 2012 that the area holds some 125 billion barrels of oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in undiscovered Notes to Chapter 6 279 reserves. See Energy Information Administration (EIA), “South China Sea,” U.S. Department of Energy, February 7, 2013, https://​www​.eia​.gov/​beta/​international/​regions​-topics​ .cfm​?RegionTopicID​=​SCS. 18. On the South China Sea as “China’s Caribbean,” see Kaplan, Asia’s Cauldron, 32 –50. 19.

Christopher Harress, “Russia and China Begin Mediterranean Military Exercises with Black Sea Port Visit,” IB Times, May 5, 2015, http://​www​.ibtimes​.com/​russia​-china​ -begin​-mediterranean​-military​-exercises​-black​-sea​-port​-visit​-1916868. 288 Notes to Chapters 7 and 8 85. Russia and China began their exercises in the South China Sea on September 12, 2016. These exercises focused on “island seizing,” a particularly controversial topic at the time, since they followed the ruling at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, declaring China’s South China Sea claims null and void. See Sam LaGrone, “China, ­Russia Kick Off Joint South China Sea Naval Exercise: Includes ‘Island Seizing’ Drill,” USNI News, September 12, 2016, https://​news​.usni​.org/​2016/​09/​12/​china​-russia​-start​-joint​ -south​-china​-sea​-naval​-exercise​-includes​-island​-seizing​-drill. 86. See Dmitry Gorenburg, “5 Things to Know about Russia’s Vostok-2018 Military Exercises,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://​www​.washingtonpost​ .com/​news/​monkey​-cage/​wp/​2018/​09/​13/​5​-things​-to​-know​-about​-russias​-vostok​-2018​ -military​-exercises/​?


pages: 281 words: 69,107

Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order by Bruno Maçães

active measures, Admiral Zheng, autonomous vehicles, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, cloud computing, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global supply chain, global value chain, industrial cluster, industrial robot, Internet of things, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, liberal world order, Malacca Straits, one-China policy, Pearl River Delta, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, trade liberalization, trade route, zero-sum game

The East Route would start from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific. The West Route would pass through the South China Sea and terminate in Africa and Europe. This scheme was slightly modified in a 2017 document entitled Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, where three separate routes are envisioned. First, the China-Indian Ocean-Africa-Mediterranean Sea Blue Economic Passage linking the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, running westward from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, and connecting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC). Second, the “blue economic passage” of China-Oceania-South Pacific, traveling southward from the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean. Another passage is also envisioned leading up to Europe via the Arctic Ocean.

Countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam continue to hesitate between adopting one of the two interpretations of the initiative. In the past China has used economic aid as a powerful tool in advancing its interests in the South China Sea. When President Hu Jintao visited Phnom Penh in 2012 he promised his Cambodian counterpart economic assistance of 450 million yuan. A few months later Cambodia opposed including a mention of the South China Sea dispute in a joint statement tabled by Vietnam and the Philippines. Around the same time, Chinese quarantine authorities reportedly blocked hundreds of container lorries of Philippine bananas from entering Chinese ports. China accounted for more than 30 per cent of Philippine banana exports. The Maritime Silk Road will advance Chinese interests in the South China Sea in different ways. First, it can further develop points of pressure and reward similar to those used with Cambodia and the Philippines in 2012.

Remarkably, having survived for almost 150 years through a number of radical transformations—in 1951 the Central Government reorganized the Shanghai Head Office of China Merchants into the People’s Navigation Company and merged it with the General Navigation Office under the Ministry of Communications—China Merchants has emerged as a core company of the Belt and Road, whose main presuppositions are those held by Li Hongzhang in the nineteenth century: the global economy embodies deep structures of power and if China wants to occupy the center of the system and infuse it with its own ideas, it needs to think and act globally and compete with foreigners on the same scale. Even the initial success of the company seemed to anticipate the Chinese economic model of our time, being the result of the combination of the government’s financial support and the merchant managers’ autonomy.21 * * * Maps of the Maritime Silk Road released by the Chinese media have shown the route running through disputed areas in the South China Sea, another hot spot for geopolitical rivalry. The contradiction is that the South China Sea is the geographic area where China has been developing a new, more assertive and confrontational foreign policy, and it lies at the very center of those free and safe shipping lanes evoked by every official document on the Belt and Road. There are two main ways to think about this contradiction. One could argue that the Road is meant to bring about new forms of cooperation and that these can in time replace the logic of competition now ruling disputes in the area.


pages: 352 words: 80,030

The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan

active measures, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, cashless society, clean water, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Nelson Mandela, purchasing power parity, ransomware, Rubik’s Cube, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

, Eurasia Daily Monitor 15(20), 8 February 2018. 75Farhan Bokhari, Kiran Stacey and Emily Feng, ‘China courted Afghan Taliban in secret meetings’, Financial Times, 8 August 2018. 76Reuters, ‘Pakistan scrambles to protect China’s “Silk Road” pioneers’, 11 June 2017. 77Permanent Court of Arbitration, ‘The South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China)’, 12 July 2016 at https://www.pcacases.com/web/view/7 78Richard A. Bitzinger, ‘China’s Plan to Conquer the South China Sea Is Now Clear’, The National Interest, 10 May 2018. 79Vu Huang, ‘Vietnam asks China to end bombers drills in Paracels’, VnExpress, 31 May 2018. 80Manuel Mogato, ‘Philippines takes “appropriate action” over Chinese bomber in disputed South China Sea’, Reuters, 21 May 2018. 81US Department of Defense, ‘Remarks by Secretary Hagel at plenary session at International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue’, 31 May 2014. 82Ankit Panda, ‘How Much Trade Transits the South China Sea? Not $5.3 Trillion a Year’, The Diplomat, 7 August 2017. 83China Power, ‘How much trade transits the South China Sea?’

Admiral Davidson gave a series of written responses to the Senate Armed Services Committee that described the difficulties of adapting to a changing world – which included candid views of how things stand not in the future but in the present. Admiral Davidson gave a frank assessment of China’s capabilities, and the limitations of the options available to the US Navy. China was in the process of constructing a series of military bases in the South China Sea and beyond, he noted. ‘Once occupied, China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania.’ Its forces, furthermore, would ‘easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea claimants’. His conclusion was as stark as it was clear: ‘In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.’ Even in that event, he added, ‘there is no guarantee that the US would win a future conflict with China’.198 This is despite major investment in naval technology that includes the construction of vessels like the USS Zumwalt, so sophisticated that one of the US Navy’s most senior officers, Admiral Harry B.

Landing drills by Chinese bombers have led to the formal demand that ‘China put an end to these activities immediately, stop militarisation and seriously respect Vietnam’s sovereignty’ over the islands.79 This was echoed in Manila, where the government of President Duterte took ‘appropriate diplomatic action’ about the presence of the bombers – but resisted calls of senior politicians to take more direct steps ‘to inflict, at the very least, a bloody nose on any attacker who is out to harm us’.80 Seen from the perspective of Beijing, the fortification of the islands is part of a defensive network that is essential to protect rather than enhance China’s position. The South China Sea is so important that in 2014 Chuck Hagel, then US secretary of defence, declared that it was nothing less than ‘the beating heart of Asia–Pacific and a crossroads of the global economy’.81 That is an understatement. While the assertion by many commentators that half of the world’s merchant fleet (by tonnage) passes through the South China Sea each year may be hyperbolic, the volume is nevertheless immense.82 As well as almost 40 per cent of all China’s trade, the waterway carries nearly a third of India’s trade goods by value, almost a quarter of that of Brazil as well as around 10 per cent that of the UK, Italy and Germany.83 This is not ‘a’ crossroads of the global economy.


pages: 535 words: 151,217

Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester

9 dash line, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Frank Gehry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land tenure, Loma Prieta earthquake, Maui Hawaii, Monroe Doctrine, oil shock, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, uranium enrichment

Boats laden with hungry, sick, frightened people, fleeing from a variety of conflicts and inhospitable situations in a variety of Asian nations, have been arriving in Australian waters since the mid-1970s, when the Communist takeover at the end of the Vietnam War first caused flotillas of crowded, unseaworthy, near-sinking vessels to set sail into the relative freedom of the South China Sea. For five subsequent years, the exodus of such Vietnamese went on. Most sought asylum in Hong Kong, nearby, or slightly farther away, in the Philippines. But the braver souls, or those in better-equipped boats, managed to navigate their way through the mess of Indonesian islands to the northern coast of Australia. The Canberra government of the day—Malcolm Fraser’s post-Dismissal government, as it happens—took a kindly view: more than fifty thousand were admitted. Then the situation in Vietnam eased, and the country’s frontiers were more keenly guarded. The boats stopped leaving. The South China Sea stilled. The Hong Kong camps were emptied. The coastal waters off Darwin and Cairns and Broome quieted.

Just for now, rhetoric was the only weapon China was using in the region, with hostile declarations made at conferences, fierce rhapsodies published in the government press, claims to historical rights, and predictions of a glorious and laowei-free—a foreigner-free—future offered in schools to Chinese children. Yet in the South China Sea (one and a half million square miles of shipping lanes and oil and gas fields and untold seafloor mining possibilities), more than mere rhetoric is being employed, and a flash point is being born, a danger to all. For at the heart of the new South China Sea problem is another demarcation zone made up of scores of tiny islands that constitute what since 1947 has been known to the Chinese as, somewhat bizarrely, the Nine-Dash Line. The outside world each year sends thousands of its cargo vessels and oil tankers through the crowded shipping lanes here.

Yet another piece of Chinese sovereign territory is being manufactured in full public view, and one day, in all likelihood, it will be defended at all costs, by all and any means.7 It was once assumed that China’s steady encroachments were predicated on the oil and gas reserves that lie beneath the South China Sea. Such is no longer the principal reason. Nowadays it is much simpler: the Chinese want all the green waters, all of what they call “the near sea” within the First Island Chain, to be free of interlopers. They know also that “might is right,” and with stealth and determination, they can keep away those who are not welcome, and thus protect themselves, creating, as Shakespeare remarked of Richard II’s England, a “fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war.” The Americans dislike the way the South China Sea is currently being carved up, with so much to China’s unilateral benefit. They dispute the argument that the Chinese are doing no more in the western Pacific today than America, armed with the Monroe Doctrine of the 1820s, spent the last century doing in the rest of the world.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, 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, WikiLeaks, 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: 330 words: 83,319

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate

active measures, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, hive mind, index fund, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero day, zero-sum game

He gets everyone safely to the ground but doesn’t stick around to rebuild the plane, like we tried to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. He goes off and saves other crashing planes.” “I second that,” says the air force pilot with a smirk. “So how does that apply to the South China Sea?” I ask. “There’s only so much the US can and should do,” the SEAL says. Some students nod while others shake their heads. “China is a rising superpower and we’re the reigning one. War is inevitable.” “No, it’s not.” This debate continues for a while, until it fizzles. Where else can it go? The conversion turns back to the South China Sea, and everyone looks at the floor, stumped. “The problem is that victory in the South China Sea is like finding a needle in a haystack when every problem looks like hay.” “The Chinese seem to be doing fine in the haystack,” says the navy officer. “The real problem is the US is playing chess while China is playing go,” says the diplomat, referring to the ancient Chinese game.

But go is more complex and requires greater patience, giving new meaning to the phrase “playing the long game.” “I agree,” says the army colonel, fist-bumping the diplomat. Versions of this conversation have echoed across Washington for over a decade. Not much has changed, other than more Chinese islands in the South China Sea. Whatever the United States is doing, it’s not working. China is fighting in the twenty-first century, whereas America is stuck in the twentieth. The Three Warfares strategy conquers with a creeping expansionism designed to remain below the United States’ threshold of “war,” knowing that America will remain inert if at “peace.” By viewing the South China Sea as a traditional military battlefront, the United States falls into China’s strategic trap. Nonwar war is paradoxical to conventional war thinkers, and seeing them contemplate it is like watching a dog trying to pick up a basketball.

(Green Berets), 40, 41, 96, 132 Artificial intelligence (AI), 15, 50–51 Art of War, The (Sun Tzu), 204–5, 253 Assassins (Islamic Hashishin), 87 “Astroturfing,” 291n Augustus, 157 Autocracies, 81, 111–12, 212–18 Babylon Brigade, 145 Bagehot, Walter, 163–64 Bannon, Steve, 159 Battle of Cascina, 123–24 Battle of Debaltseve, 196–97 Battle of Gettysburg, 235, 294n Battle of Midway, 19, 46 Battle of Mogadishu, 34–35 Battle of the Bulge, 28 Battle of the Somme, 250 Battle of Verdun, 238 Bay of Pigs, 211 Bedford, USS, 62 Begin, Menachem, 184 Bernays, Edward, 209 Bifurcated victory, myth of, 232–33, 235 “Big Lie,” 68 “Big mouth” strategy, 111–12 “Big War,” 28, 35, 69 Bin Laden, Osama, 40, 74, 110, 113 Blackmail, 190, 192 Blackout scenario, 15–16 Blackwater, 121–22, 129, 131, 133, 138, 139, 146 Blitzkrieg, 21 Bloch, Marc, 5 Boko Haram, 135, 150, 154 Booth, John Wilkes, 159 Bots, 111, 201, 214 Breedlove, Philip, 105–6 Brexit, 105, 200, 202 Bribery, 174–75, 190, 192, 216 British East India Company, 154–55, 177 Bryan, William Jennings, 165 Bureaucracy vs. strategy, 76–77 Burundi, 116–20, 150, 181–82 Bush, George W., 22, 130, 167, 222–23 Butler, Smedley, 208–9, 211 Byzantine Empire, 126–27 Callwell, C. E., 95 CARITAS, 136 “Cartel,” 177 Carter, Jimmy, 212 Cassandra’s Curse, 20 Cathar Crusade, 127 Cesena massacre, 27 Chamber of Commerce, U.S., 66–67 Chechens (Chechnya), 8, 96–97, 207 China legal warfare (“lawfare”), 68–69 media warfare, 67–68 Opium Wars, 180 South China Sea, 37, 56, 63, 65, 71–73, 245 South China Sea incident of 2017, 59–63 “Three Warfares” strategy, 64–70, 73, 203 Tibet annexation, 97 China Central Television network (CCTV), 67–68 China National Petroleum Corporation, 136 Christian militia, 144–45 Churchill, Winston, 240 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) Guatemalan coup d’état, 208–11 Liberian Civil War, 116–17 shadowy manipulations, 211–12 “Title 50” programs, 110 war futurists and, 13–14 Citizenship, 98–100 Citizens United v.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Politics of Place) by Tim Marshall

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

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: 247 words: 78,961

The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century by Robert D. Kaplan

Admiral Zheng, always be closing, California gold rush, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Haight Ashbury, kremlinology, load shedding, mass immigration, megacity, one-China policy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, Westphalian system, Yom Kippur War

Given their decaying authoritarian systems and the buildup both of ethnic tensions and economic problems inside Russia and China, the alternative danger is that rather than another strong ruler or a move toward stable democracy, we will see a partial breakdown of order itself in Moscow and perhaps even in Beijing, upon which, as I have written, the very coherence of Eurasia hinges. Remember the overarching theme of this essay: the tightly wound interconnectedness of weakening states and faded empires across Eurasia. The world of the digital age is like a taut web. Tweak one string and the whole network vibrates. This means a flareup in the Baltic or South China Sea is not only about the Baltic or South China Sea. Nothing is local anymore. Connectivity itself magnifies the effect of military miscalculation. The Peloponnesian War that engulfed all of Greece had its origins in relatively minor conflicts involving Corcyra and Potidaea, which helped drive tensions between Athens and Sparta to the breaking point. Because of the way technology has collapsed distance, Eurasia is now no less a coherent conflict system than were the city-states of ancient Greece.

And this same pattern will be encouraged by both the profusion and hardening of roads, railways, pipelines, and fiber-optic cables. Obviously, transportation infrastructure will not defeat geography. Indeed, the very expense of building such infrastructure in many places demonstrates the undeniable fact of geography. Anyone in the energy exploration business, or who has participated in a war game involving the Baltic states or the South China Sea, knows just how much old-fashioned geography still matters. At the same time, critical transportation infrastructure constitutes yet another factor making geography—and, by inference, geopolitics in our era—more oppressive and claustrophobic. To be sure, connectivity, rather than simply leading to more peace, prosperity, and cultural uniformity as techno-optimists like to claim, will have a much more ambiguous legacy.

From Cambulac he would make forays across the whole of China and into Vietnam and Myanmar. His return route to Venice would take him across the Indian Ocean: through the Strait of Malacca to Sri Lanka, up India’s western coast to Gujarat, and on side trips to Oman, Yemen, and East Africa. If the early-twenty-first-century world has a geopolitical focus, this would be it: the Greater Indian Ocean from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, and including the Middle East, Central Asia, and China. The current Chinese regime’s proposed land-and-maritime Silk Road duplicates exactly the one Marco Polo traveled. This is no coincidence. The Mongols, whose Yuan Dynasty ruled China in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, were, in fact, “early practitioners of globalization,” seeking to connect the whole of habitable Eurasia in a truly multicultural empire.


The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina

9 dash line, Airbnb, British Empire, clean water, Costa Concordia, crowdsourcing, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, forensic accounting, global value chain, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Markoff, Jones Act, Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Maui Hawaii, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, standardized shipping container, statistical arbitrage, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

But that rarely happens at sea, where indentured servitude remains a standard business practice. * * * · · · “I wish I had never seen it,” said the security guard Som Nang, describing what he had witnessed hundreds of miles from shore. In late 2013, Som Nang embarked on his maiden voyage on a boat that resupplied fishing vessels in the South China Sea. After four days on the water, Som Nang’s ship pulled up alongside a dilapidated Thai-flagged trawler. A Thai fishing ship in the South China Sea At the front of the trawler, a shirtless, emaciated man huddled with a rusty metal shackle around his bruised neck and a three-foot chain anchoring the collar to a post on the deck. The man had tried to escape the boat, the captain of the fishing vessel later explained, so he locked the metal collar on the man and chained him up every time another ship drew near.

In the comic book, Pudjiastuti wore a beret and sunglasses while she commanded men to blow up a fleet of fishing boats. Pudjiastuti’s assault on illegal fishing did not please everyone, least of all China. A major investor in Indonesia, China had become an increasingly aggressive maritime player—not only globally, but especially in the South China Sea, where overfishing had exhausted catches close to shore. Economic growth in China pushed it to look to the sea for new oil and gas reserves. Both of these pressures had led China to claim sovereignty over rocks, shoals, and reefs throughout the South China Sea. Generally, China had tried to avoid armed clashes, relying instead on its civilian maritime force—in other words, its million-boat fishing fleet—to establish its foothold in the region. One Asian scholar explained it this way: China is “putting both hands behind its back and using its big belly to push you out, to dare you to hit first.”

I asked Slamet about Mas Gun, and he declined to discuss the topic. “That is a diplomatic negotiation now,” he said curtly. In the days after the confrontation, I emailed James Kraska, an international law professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island and an expert on the South China Sea. I sent him the coordinates of where the clash occurred and asked him whose waters those were. “Impossible to say,” he replied. Countries have to agree on where to draw these lines, he said. In the South China Sea, Indonesia and Vietnam have never come to such an agreement, he explained. That the borders were such a gray area was a surprise. During the confrontation, Samson had been so confident about the Macan’s location. By the same token, the guards at the Pontianak detention center had been so dismissive of their detainees’ claims that they thought they were fishing in their own waters.


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

barriers to entry, complexity theory, data acquisition, Just-in-time delivery, MITM: man-in-the-middle, nuclear winter, packet switching, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, trade route, undersea cable, 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: 286 words: 82,970

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass

access to a mobile phone, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, central bank independence, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, global pandemic, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, immigration reform, invisible hand, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, open economy, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special drawing rights, Steven Pinker, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

Patrick, “Everyone Agrees: Ratify the Law of the Sea,” The Internationalist (blog), CFR.org, June 8, 2012, http://blogs.cfr.org/patrick/2012/06/08/everyone-agrees-ratify-the-law-of-the-sea/; and Thomas Wright, “Outlaw of the Sea: The Senate Republicans’ UNCLOS Blunder,” ForeignAffairs.com, August 7, 2012, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/oceans/2012-08-07/outlaw-sea. 12. It is for this reason that China’s rejection of the ruling administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea in July 2016 was to be expected. See “Press Release: The South China Sea Arbitration,” The Hague, July 12, 2016, Permanent Court of Arbitration, https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2990864/Press-Release-on-South-China-Sea-Decision.pdf; and “Full Text of Statement of China’s Foreign Ministry on Award of South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by Philippines,” Xinhua, July 12, 2016, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-07/12/c_135507744.htm. 11. REGIONAL RESPONSES 1. Alyssa Ayers et al., Working with a Rising India: A Joint Venture for the New Century, Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force Report No. 73 (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2015). 2.

Taiwan Relations Act, Public Law 96-8, April 10, 1979, www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-93/pdf/STATUTE-93-Pg14.pdf. 7. See, for example, Robert D. Blackwill and Kurt M. Campbell, Xi Jinping on the Global Stage: Chinese Foreign Policy Under a Powerful but Exposed Leader, Council on Foreign Relations Special Report No. 74 (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2016). 8. Fu Ying and Wu Shicun, “South China Sea: How We Got to This Stage,” National Interest, May 9, 2016, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/south-china-sea-how-we-got-stage-16118. 9. Basic information about the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank can be found at its Web site, www.aiib.org. 10. See Xi Jinping, The Governance of China (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2014), 306–8; and Fu Ying, “The US World Order Is a Suit That No Longer Fits,” Financial Times, January 6, 2016, www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c09cbcb6-b3cb-11e5-b147-e5e5bba42e51.html. 11.

Greece and its various creditors were having difficulty arriving at a formula by which new loans could be extended; the risk was a crisis that would begin but not necessarily be contained within Greece and the Eurozone. The prospect of Brexit raised existential questions for the future of both the United Kingdom and Europe. Seventy years after the end of the war in the Pacific, China was expanding its claims in the South China Sea amid growing nationalism and tensions in a region characterized by numerous territorial disputes and much historical bitterness. Internally, Chinese authorities, fearing the political fallout of a slowing economy, were cracking down politically and intervening in currency and stock markets alike. Slower economic growth was by no means limited to China; to the contrary, it had become a worldwide reality, both a cause and a result of lower energy and commodity prices.


pages: 217 words: 61,407

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

Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, sceptred isle, 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: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

John Hurley, Scott Morris and Gailyn Portelance, ‘Examining the Debt Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative from a Policy Perspective’, Center for Global Development, Policy Paper 121, March 2018, <https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/examining-debt-implications-belt-and-road-initiative-policy-perspective.pdf>. 17. ‘5 Things About Fishing in the South China Sea’, Wall Street Journal, 19 July 2016, https://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2016/07/19/5-things-about-fishing-in-the-south-china-sea/ 18. ‘How China Rules the Waves’, Financial Times, 12 January 2017, <https://ig.ft.com/sites/china-ports/>. 19. ‘Beijing Rejects Tribunal’s Ruling in South China Sea Case’, Guardian, 12 July 2016, <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/12/philippines-wins-south-china-sea-case-against-china>. 20. ‘Priority Policy for Development Cooperation FY2017’, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, April 2017, <http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000259285.pdf>. 21. ‘China–Pakistan Economic Corridor Unacceptable to India: Shivshankar Menon’, Indian Express, 22 April 2017, <http://indianexpress.com/article/india/china-pakistan-economic-corridor-unacceptable-to-india-shivshankar-menon-4623185/>. 22.

China’s military might and naval build-up, along with the militarisation of reefs and atolls in the South China Sea, are not hidden, and nothing would please China more than to drive the US Seventh Fleet away from the island chains off China’s coast and back across the Pacific. When Xi Jinping insisted on China’s refusal to countenance ‘separatism’ at the National People’s Congress in 2018, he was referring to Xinjiang and Tibet provinces, as well as to Hong Kong, and there was little question that this was also aimed at Taiwan. He has pledged to return Taiwan to the Motherland during his rule, and we are left to wonder how China might contrive to make this occur, under what circumstances, and what the implications might be for China and the US and others in the South China Sea. Nor has China been shy about extolling its own economic success and economic strategies as examples for the rest of the world to follow.

Trump’s gift to China In 1944, as the tide in the Pacific War turned in favour of the United States, Nicholas John Spykman’s book The Geography of Peace was published posthumously. In the book, he emphasised the strategic and maritime significance to the US of what he called the ‘rimland’, or the countries and islands on the rim of the continental powers of the US, Europe and what was then the USSR. The geography of the rim ran from southern Europe and the Maghreb, east through the Persian Gulf, into the Indian Ocean, across to the South China Sea and up to Japan and the north west of China. Drawing attention to the population residing in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, along with its resources and industrial development potential, Spykman argued that whoever controlled this rimland would rule Eurasia, and the destiny of the world. This judgement, underlying the US commitment to defeat Japan in the Second World War, remained firmly embedded in US military, foreign and international economic policies, especially as China emerged from backwardness to become a regional power and global force.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Vietnam has also leased Japanese warships, purchased advanced Japanese radar systems, and opened its strategic port in Cam Ranh Bay to foreign vessels. China’s fortification of islands in the South China Sea is intended to intimidate its peninsular and littoral neighbors, who all depend on the Strait of Malacca for trade in energy and goods—but Vietnam never backs down from a fight. Yet Vietnam also wants a modus vivendi with China and has agreed to suspend some of its own gas exploration projects in disputed waters. A grand bargain with Vietnam could be the strongest move China might make to weaken the United States’ relevance in Southeast Asia, rendering moot the freedom of navigation operations the United States, France, and Great Britain have undertaken in the South China Sea waters. If the two agree to joint energy exploration and regulated fishing in the Paracels island cluster area, the likelihood of an uncontrolled escalation would be reduced.

The full picture is this: China has only one-third of Asia’s population, less than half of Asia’s GDP, about half of its outward investment, and less than half of its inbound investment. Asia is therefore much more than just “China plus.” Asia’s future is thus much more than whatever China wants. China is historically not a colonial power. Unlike the United States, it is deeply cautious about foreign entanglements. China wants foreign resources and markets, not foreign colonies. Its military forays from the South China Sea to Afghanistan to East Africa are premised on protecting its sprawling global supply lines—but its grand strategy of building global infrastructure is aimed at reducing its dependence on any one foreign supplier (as are its robust alternative energy investments). China’s launching the Belt and Road Initiative doesn’t prove that it will rule Asia, but it does remind us that China’s future, much like its past, is deeply embedded in Asia.

In 1995, fearing Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui’s independence aspirations, China mobilized forces in Fujian province and conducted missile tests and amphibious exercises in the Taiwan Strait, with the United States responding by sending two aircraft carrier battle groups to compel it to back down. China did, however, regain sovereignty over Hong Kong from Great Britain in 1997 and Macao from Portugal in 1999, marking the formal disappearance of colonialism in Asia. During the mid-1990s, China also became more assertive in the South China Sea, prompting ASEAN to establish the ASEAN Regional Forum to bring China, the United States, Russia, Australia, and other powers under one diplomatic umbrella. ASEAN also expanded to include Vietnam in 1995 and Laos and Myanmar in 1997. Despite the tense regional atmosphere, China and South Korea began a dialogue with isolated North Korea, which had lost its Soviet patron. However, despite pledges to maintain nuclear-free status on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).


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

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, zero-sum game

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

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 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, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, 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, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, 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 cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, 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, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, 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: 850 words: 224,533

The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World by Oona A. Hathaway, Scott J. Shapiro

9 dash line, Albert Einstein, anti-globalists, bank run, Bartolomé de las Casas, battle of ideas, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, failed state, humanitarian revolution, index card, long peace, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, spice trade, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, uranium enrichment, zero-sum game

ISLANDS OF UNCERTAINTY Blurry lines and botched handoffs can lead to long-term conflict when they affect places people deeply care about. A very different route to territorial conflict occurs when land people did not care about—land that nobody bothered to lay firm claim to—suddenly becomes valuable. And nowhere has this been more true than in the archipelago of the South China Sea. Chances are good that if you look up from this book and gaze around, you will see several items that, in whole or in part, have passed through the South China Sea. Half of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage and a third of its crude oil passes through this waterway. That’s more than $5 trillion in shipborne trade per year. As goods make their way through the sea, they pass the coasts of Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, the same waterway traversed by the Santa Catarina when it was captured by Jacob van Heemskerck in 1603.11 The hundreds of tiny islands your goods passed were once close to worthless, rocky shoals that offered refuge to little more than resting wildlife and the occasional exhausted fisherman.

THE COW’S TONGUE LINE In May 2015, a game of chicken unfolded in the skies over Fiery Cross Reef in the middle of the South China Sea. The United States sent a surveillance aircraft over the reef, where China was dredging sand to create a foundation on which it could build a planned airstrip and seaport. The American pilots ignored repeated demands by Chinese forces that the aircraft leave the area. China’s Foreign Ministry later called the confrontation “irresponsible and dangerous.” Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter replied, “There should be no mistake about this: The United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.”12 The Fiery Cross Reef is just one of a vast number of rocks, atolls, and islands in the South China Sea to which the coastal states in the region have made overlapping claims.

Even taken together, however, these losses were small: Italy’s noncolonial losses totaled just over 7,000 square kilometers—a small sliver of what was forfeited by those vanquished in the First World War. Japan, meanwhile, lost its colony of Korea, which it had held since 1910 and which became an independent state under joint U.S. and Soviet administration. Japan also withdrew its claims to a number of islands in the South China Sea (claims that had long been contested by its neighbors). Japan and Italy were far from alone in losing their colonial holdings, of course. Shortly after the war, France relinquished its claims to Syria. As the mandate that had been granted to the United Kingdom expired, Israel declared its independence—the first of what would soon become a tidal wave of such declarations by former colonies.


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The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, telepresence, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

But it is fair to say Trump’s administration was clear about its stance from the outset. The first big hint of an impending Sino-American showdown came at Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearings for Secretary of State in January 2017. He broke with long-standing policy on the contested South China Sea by saying the US would deny China access to the disputed islands it claims – and on many of which it has built formidable military installations. This was a big rupture in America’s position, which had maintained formal neutrality in the South China Sea disputes but kept up freedom of navigation patrols through the sea’s international waters. Tillerson ripped all that up. China’s ‘access to those islands is not going to be allowed’, he told senators. If necessary, the US Navy would interpose itself between China and the islands.

Little did we notice that 51 per cent of Americans thought Trump’s speech was ‘optimistic’, and 49 per cent who saw it rated it as ‘good’, or ‘excellent’.1 Who was cherry-picking the news? Was it Trump? Or us? Looking back on it, of course, the war now seems to have been inevitable. Though Trump reluctantly endorsed a ‘One China’ stance a few weeks after taking office, and welcomed Xi Jinping to his ‘Winter White House’ at Mar-a-Lago two months after that, the genie was already out of the bottle. Indeed, with a US destroyer at the bottom of the South China Sea and large-scale US strikes on China’s naval bases, we can feel lucky it did not turn into a global conflagration. We have Vladimir Putin to thank for that. Who else had the credibility in both Beijing and Washington to broker a cessation of hostilities? Regardless of what we think of Putin’s ways, no one would begrudge Russia’s president the Nobel Peace Prize. But for Putin, we might now be picking through the smouldering ruins of World War Three.

The Asia pivot arose from the pessimistic view that China was showing no signs of democratising. From now on, the Pentagon would split its assets equally between the Atlantic region and the Asia Pacific region. America’s global deployments had previously been distributed 60:40 in the Atlantic’s favour. The US would open new bases in Darwin, Australia, and the Philippines. Washington would also take a more robust stand on the disputed islands in the South China Sea – what Beijing calls the first island chain. Obama adopted a zero-sum position that set the US and China on a collision course. America would be committed to resolving the sovereignty dispute through international law. China would be just as committed to enforcing its unilateral claims to the islands. Each position has only hardened. Neither can back down without tremendous loss of face. If the US accepted Beijing’s claims it would essentially be conceding regional primacy to China.


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

Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, 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, lateral thinking, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, one-China policy, open economy, Pearl River Delta, 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, Westphalian system, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

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.


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

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, drone strike, 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, Kickstarter, liberal world order, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, Northern Rock, Philip Mirowski, 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, zero-sum game, 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 Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World―and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, British Empire, financial innovation, Google Earth, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, polynesian navigation, seigniorage, South China Sea, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

The nine most costly were ivory, rhinoceros horn, crane crests, pearls, coral, a greenish mineral (perhaps a type of jade), kingfisher feathers, and turtle and tortoise shells. The depth and range of the list makes perfect sense for the most heavily frequented sea route in use before the arrival of the Europeans in the 1500s. As information about foreign countries traveled alongside goods, the Chinese learned more about Southeast Asian geography. The Guangzhou gazetteer’s author divided the waters of the South China Sea into the Small Western Ocean (the section of the South China Sea near the Malay Peninsula), the Small Eastern Ocean (the Sea of Sulu east of Borneo), and the Large Eastern Ocean (the Java Sea), and explained which countries were located near each body of water. As knowledgeable as Chinese mariners were about the geography of Southeast Asia, India, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa, they didn’t venture east of the Philippines into the Pacific because they believed that the world ended there.

But when he died in 1405 while trying to invade China, the ideal of a land-based empire created by steppe warriors died with him. Other contemporary rulers also hoped to build large empires, but they focused on the sea, not land, and used ships rather than horsemen, as we’ll see in the next chapter. CHAPTER SEVEN Surprising Journeys Mapmakers divide the waters between Africa and Japan into different seas—the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean—but in actuality these formed one continuous waterway, which mariners traveled along by hugging the coastline. Their early voyages took advantage of the monsoon winds to explore and to transport goods from the Arabian Peninsula to India and later to China. The winds determine the best times to travel in the Indian Ocean. In winter, the Eurasian landmass cools down, sending dry air over the oceans, and in summer, when Eurasia heats up, it creates a vacuum that sucks in water-laden air from over the oceans, causing the heavy rains so essential to agriculture.

There, boatbuilders hewed planks from trees, carved knobs on the interior of the planks, drilled holes into the knobs, and tied the planks together with cord. This is called the lashed-lug technique. Manguin reasons that the sailors going from the Malay Peninsula to Madagascar used vessels whose wooden planks were joined together in this way. With multiple masts and sails, these vessels have been archeologically recovered in the South China Sea and Southeast Asian waters. The Phanom Surin shipwreck, the largest boat of this type found so far, measured some 115 feet (35 m) long. At present we have no way of knowing whether these early sailors used double canoes or larger boats with multiple sails. We are certain that Polynesian navigators ventured east into the Pacific at the same time as the Malay voyages to Madagascar. Starting from Micronesia, the Polynesians gradually fanned out, reaching Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), and New Zealand, the last place on earth to be occupied by humans, in around AD 1300.


Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomsky, Laray Polk

American Legislative Exchange Council, 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: 261 words: 57,595

China's Future by David Shambaugh

Berlin Wall, capital controls, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, high net worth, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, market bubble, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent-seeking, secular stagnation, short selling, South China Sea, special drawing rights, too big to fail, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

The growth of ties has meant substantially increased economic dependence of the island on the mainland, something many Taiwanese are not comfortable with. Taiwan also lives daily under a huge military threat from the mainland, including over 1,200 short-range ballistic missiles aimed at the island twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.3 In Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei are all embroiled in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. This multilateral dispute has strained Beijing’s bilateral relations with each country, as well as collectively with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Cambodia is as close to being a client state of Beijing’s as exists in Asia, but even there the country is beginning to show signs of choking under Beijing’s smothering economic embrace and diplomatic pressure.4 Myanmar experienced the same suffocation until it drew back from Beijing’s grasp in 2011; since then a variety of bilateral frictions have continued to fray relations.

The Chinese distinguish between “near seas” () and “far seas” (), the former being contiguous to China’s coastline and the latter being open-ocean “blue water” operations. The White Paper indicated that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) “will gradually shift its focus” from the former to the latter.10 As the White Paper starkly said, “The traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned.” China’s island-building in the South China Sea has also caused further wariness among China’s southern neighbors, as its East China Sea claims have done in Japan. Beijing’s unilateralism and dismissiveness of these concerns is further fueling regional anxieties. Polls of Asian nations conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project in 2014 and 2015 revealed widespread concerns across the region that China’s territorial disputes could trigger conflict (Figure 5.2).

Finally, China’s sustained decades-long military modernization program, which has been fueled by 12 percent average annual budget increases,24 is altering the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region where the United States has enjoyed unrivaled preeminence since 1945. China also regularly rhetorically denounces the U.S. alliance system in the region, and its assertive moves to enforce its disputed maritime claims are changing “facts on the ground” (indeed, they are literally creating ground from submerged atolls it controls in the South China Sea) and directly challenging key American allies. Hence, all three of the core premises that have undergirded more than four decades of American China policy are unraveling and coming under increasing criticism in Washington. In Beijing too, the United States is explicitly viewed as a subversive threat to Communist Party rule and an existential threat to China’s security. China’s “hawks” are even more vituperative than America’s.25 In such an environment, in which perceptions are mirror-imaged and actions are seen to be challenging the other’s core national interests, it should be no surprise that Sino-American relations have deteriorated to a serious degree.


pages: 453 words: 114,250

The Great Firewall of China by James Griffiths;

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, gig economy, jimmy wales, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mobile money, Occupy movement, pets.com, profit motive, QR code, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, undersea cable, WikiLeaks, zero day

After China lost a landmark international court ruling in July 2016 over its sprawling territorial claims in the South China Sea, spontaneous protests broke out targeting the Philippines – the other party in the case – with calls for boycotts of Filipino products and of KFC, which served as an easy representative for the US, Manila’s main ally.21 As the protests threatened to get out of control, however, with some calling on the government to take military action to enforce its claims, a leaked censorship order told website owners “for the near future, do not hype or spread information related to illegal rallies and demonstrations. Pay close attention and delete inflammatory information.”22 In the wake of this order, according to Weiboscope, a monitoring service at the University of Hong Kong, the phrases ‘KFC’ and ‘South China Sea’ were heavily censored on social media.

Leavenworth, ‘Website chronicles China’s massive effort to control internet content’, McClatchy, 9 April 2015, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article24782851.html 19‘Xiao Qiang’, MacArthur Fellows Program, 2001, https://www.macfound.org/fellows/671/ 20S. Wade, ‘Minitrue: delete reports on call to ease internet control’, China Digital Times, 7 March 2017, https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2017/03/minitrue-delete-reports-call-limit-internet-censorship/ 21A. Ramzy, ‘KFC targeted in protests over South China Sea’, The New York Times, 19 July 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/world/asia/south-china-sea-protests-kfc.html 22S. Wade, ‘Minitrue: do not hype illegal demonstrations’, China Digital Times, 19 July 2016, https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2016/07/minitrue-not-hype-illegal-demonstrations/ 23‘’, Xinhua, 19 July 2016, http://military.china.com/important/11132797/20160719/23092151_all.html 24Q. He, The Fog of Censorship: media control in China, New York NY: Human Rights in China, 2008, pp. 71–2. 25J.

Law enforcement officials said the purpose may have been to build up a giant database of federal employees who could be targeted at a later time for blackmail or identity theft, potentially compromising dozens of government agencies.16 China, just like in previous cases, strenuously denied the allegations, but in mid-2017 the FBI arrested a Chinese national in connection with the case as he entered the US for a security conference.17 In the wake of the Unit 61398 indictments and the OPM hack, President Barack Obama hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the White House, where the two men signed a major bilateral agreement promising “that neither country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential information”.18 The deal was a big diplomatic win for Obama as he neared the end of his second term, one of the few concessions he scored from an increasingly assertive China despite his much vaunted ‘pivot to Asia’ and attempts to contain Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea. The Rand Corporation, a US think tank closely linked to the government and defence industry, described the agreement as a “good first step”, but many were sceptical about how closely China would stick to the letter of the deal.19 Initial signs were good. Security agency FireEye said in a 2016 report that there had been a “notable decline” in the number of Chinese intrusions against companies in the US and twenty-five other countries.


pages: 287 words: 95,152

The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order by Bruno Macaes

active measures, Berlin Wall, British Empire, computer vision, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, digital map, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global value chain, illegal immigration, intermodal, iterative process, land reform, liberal world order, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, open borders, Parag Khanna, savings glut, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, speech recognition, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, young professional, zero-sum game, éminence grise

The Silk Road Economic Belt focuses on bringing together China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe across the Eurasian landmass. It is no coincidence that the land component is called an economic belt: a road is just a transport link between two points, a belt is a densely occupied economic corridor for trade, industry and people. The Maritime Silk Road is designed to go from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other. At sea, the initiative will focus on building smooth, secure and efficient transport routes connecting major sea ports. Together, the land and sea components will strive to connect about sixty-five countries. The preferred abbreviation in China for the combined project is – unsurprisingly – the Belt and Road, 带一路.

From the perspective of Chinese Go, it looks like the kind of strategy one might adopt of going after an opponent’s more exposed and isolated pieces before turning to its stronghold.8 If this can be achieved without giving rise to a more powerful Russia or Europe, then China will, ipso facto, emerge as America’s equal. Every instance of American retrenchment moves China closer to this goal. It does not really matter if it happens in the Middle East, in the South China Sea or in Ukraine. In this connection, it is worth noting that the countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council now export three and a half times as much to the Japanese, Korean, Indian and Chinese markets as to the European Union and the United States combined. Indian and Chinese conglomerates are also involved in major infrastructure projects, such as the high speed train link connecting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia and the construction of two of the Riyadh Metro lines.

One Chinese analyst describes the 244 islands that constitute the Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos as a ‘metal chain’ (铁链) that could lock the western exit of the Malacca Strait. More generally, Chinese observers foresee the emergence of a powerful rival aiming to control the Indian Ocean, the mirror image of the Eurasian landmass to the north. For them, India is developing its overall capacity to ‘enter east’ (东进) into the South China Sea and the Pacific, ‘exit west’ (西出) through the Red Sea and Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, and ‘go south’ (南下) toward the Cape of Good Hope and the Atlantic.10 In 2016 news emerged that India and Japan were secretly planning to install a sea wall of hydrophones between Indira Point in the Nicobar Islands and Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra in Indonesia, aimed at tracking undersea movement and effectively plugging the entry to the Indian Ocean for Chinese submarines.


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

addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fixed income, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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: 1,433 words: 315,911

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns

anti-communist, bank run, Berlin Wall, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, European colonialism, friendly fire, Haight Ashbury, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, War on Poverty

Under the slogan “Denunciation of the Communists,” Diem set out to destroy the Viet Minh wherever its cadre and their sympathizers could be found. Tens of thousands of citizens were eventually imprisoned. Most were dedicated communists, but included among them were many people whose only crime had been having criticized Diem’s regime. Hundreds were sent to Con Son Island, a former French prison two hundred miles offshore in the South China Sea. Shackled prisoners were taken there by boat. Two paths led from the landing to the prison. One was named Ngo Dinh Diem Road, the other Ho Chi Minh Road. Those who chose the Ho Chi Minh Road were poorly fed, beaten, tortured, and chained inside so-called tiger cages. More than twenty thousand are believed to have died there between 1954 and 1970. Survivors called it “the revolutionary university.”

The clandestine communist radio promised that U.S. servicemen would soon have to “pay more blood debts,” and on February 10 the Viet Cong blew up a hotel in Qui Nhon, killing twenty-one Americans and pinning twenty-three more beneath the rubble. The president called for the evacuation of more than eighteen hundred American dependents and ordered a second airstrike. This time, one hundred U.S. Navy fighter bombers, based on carriers in the South China Sea, as well as Air Force planes based in Thailand and South Vietnam, hit more North Vietnamese military targets—ammunition depots, supply depots, and assembly areas. Anxiety about what seemed to be happening spread around the world. France, which had spent nearly a century in Vietnam, called for an end to all foreign involvement there. The British prime minister urged restraint. Many leaders of the president’s own party agreed, though not yet in public.

South Vietnamese Skyraiders were sent in to sink the ship. One hundred tons of Chinese and Soviet arms were found freshly unloaded on the beach—rifles, grenades, explosives, mortar rounds, and a million rounds of small-arms ammunition. Still more supplies were quietly being smuggled into the Mekong Delta—among them the weapons that had helped make the communist victory at Ap Bac possible. To deny the North Vietnamese further access to the South China Sea coast, the U.S. Seventh Fleet launched a massive naval patrolling campaign called Operation Market Time, while a second naval operation, Game Warden, employed patrol boats to close off the Saigon River and the multiple river mouths of the Mekong Delta. Hanoi was forced to alter its plans for resupply. It developed a new seaport, safe from both American and South Vietnamese attack, at Sihanoukville, on the coast of Cambodia.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, UNCLOS, working poor

With America’s retreat from global leadership and Merkel distracted by political difficulties at home, Macron by default became Europe’s most prominent leader. He has appealed for China’s cooperation and welcomed Beijing’s support for the Paris climate change accord as well as its continued backing of the Iran nuclear deal after Trump pulled out. At the same time, he recognizes that China poses a serious challenge to the international order, and not just on trade and investment issues. China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea and its threats to freedom of navigation have prompted Macron to expand France’s naval presence in the Indo-Pacific region and upgrade its defense relationships with Australia, India, and Japan. Macron is acutely aware that France needs to be joined by the rest of Europe in concerted efforts to acquire sufficient leverage to deal effectively with the China challenge. After years of complacency, Europe is slowly awakening to the risks of China’s aggressive pursuit of its advanced technologies and key infrastructure assets.

The strategy paper noted that China had impeded Europe’s fight against climate change as a major exporter of coal-fired power plants. It also criticized China’s human rights policies, which had taken a dramatic turn for the worse under Xi’s presidency, for instance, in its treatment of Chinese lawyers and journalists. The paper cited China’s “large military maneuvers” as a new source of anxiety for Europe, not just in the South China Sea but also in Europe’s own neighborhood, including the Arctic region. China had conducted joint military exercises with Russia in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Baltic Sea, including missile tests off the coast of Kaliningrad, to the consternation of Poland and three Baltic states that are EU and NATO members. In addition, several European think tanks reported that China was engaged in hacking and other cyber-activities to influence politics in Europe.

There can be no doubt that Beijing’s growing economic clout is deepening East–West divisions within Europe and exerting political influence over governments that have gladly welcomed Chinese investments. In 2018, Greece blocked an EU statement in the United Nations criticizing China’s human rights record, and Hungary rejected an EU letter denouncing the torture of detained lawyers in China. Hungary, Greece, Croatia, and Slovenia—all beneficiaries of China’s investments—also softened an EU statement condemning China’s actions and legal claims in the South China Sea. In contrast to the criticism he often hears from his EU partners, Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is clearly pleased that he does not receive any lectures from China about his illiberal policies that threaten democratic values. Nor does Orbán feel that he needs to apologize to Macron or anybody else for his country’s “Eastward Opening” toward China. “We see the world economy’s center of gravity shifting from west to east, from the Atlantic to the Pacific region,” he explained.


pages: 249 words: 87,445

Dispatches by Michael Herr

air freight, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

That was really crazy; anything less was almost standard, as standard as the vague prolonged stares and involuntary smiles, common as ponchos or 16’s or any other piece of war issue. If you wanted someone to know you’d gone insane you really had to sound off like you had a pair, “Scream a lot, and all the time.” Some people just wanted to blow it all to hell, animal vegetable and mineral. They wanted a Vietnam they could fit into their car ashtrays; the joke went, “What you do is, you load all the Friendlies onto ships and take them out to the South China Sea. Then you bomb the country flat. Then you sink the ships.” A lot of people knew that the country could never be won, only destroyed, and they locked into that with breathtaking concentration, no quarter, laying down the seeds of the disease, roundeye fever, until it reached plague proportions, taking one from every family, a family from every hamlet, a hamlet from every province, until a million had died from it and millions more were left uncentered and lost in their flight from it.

In fact, my concerns were so rarefied that I had to ask other correspondents what they ever found to ask Westmoreland, Bunker, Komer and Zorthian. (Barry Zorthian was the head of JUSPAO; for more than five years he was Information.) What did anybody ever expect those people to say? No matter how highly placed they were, they were still officials, their views were well established and well known, famous. It could have rained frogs over Tan Son Nhut and they wouldn’t have been upset; Cam Ranh Bay could have dropped into the South China Sea and they would have found some way to make it sound good for you; the Bo Doi Division (Ho’s Own) could have marched by the American embassy and they would have characterized it as “desperate”—what did even the reporters closest to the Mission Council ever find to write about when they’d finished their interviews? (My own interview with General Westmoreland had been hopelessly awkward. He’d noticed that I was accredited to Esquire and asked me if I planned to be doing “humoristical” pieces.

The next time was during the Buddhist riots of the 1966 Struggle Movement in Danang: head, back, arms, more shrapnel. (A Paris-Match photograph showed Flynn and a French photographer carrying him on a door, his face half covered by bandages, “Tim Page, blessé à la tête.”) His friends began trying to talk him into leaving Vietnam, saying, “Hey, Page, there’s an airstrike looking for you.” And there was; it caught him drifting around off course in a Swift boat in the South China Sea, blowing it out of the water under the mistaken impression that it was a Viet Cong vessel. All but three of the crew were killed, Page took over 200 individual wounds, and he floated in the water for hours before he was finally rescued. They were getting worse each time, and Page gave in to it. He left Vietnam, allegedly for good, and joined Flynn in Paris for a while. He went to the States from there, took some pictures for Time-Life, got busted with the Doors in New Haven, traveled across the country on his own (he still had some money left), doing a picture story which he planned to call “Winter in America.”


pages: 537 words: 158,544

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

"Robert Solow", 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, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, 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, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, 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: 292 words: 92,588

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Airbnb, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, desegregation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, fixed income, Frank Gehry, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Accessed March 7, 2017. http://www.opec.org/opec_web/static_files_project/media/downloads/publications/ASB2016.pdf 6. Flash flooding: “Nigeria Floods Kill 363 People, Displace 2.1 Million.” Reuters, November 5, 2012. 7. Eko Atlantic: The development has a glitzy website, which includes a virtual tour of the site: http://www.ekoatlantic.com/ 8. South China Sea: Gordon Lubold. “Pentagon Says China Has Stepped Up Land Reclamation in South China Sea.” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2015. 9. Singapore: “Such Quantities of Sand.” The Economist, February 26, 2015. 10. Tokyo Bay: Ibid. 11. satellite data: Alister Doyle. “Coastal Land Expands as Construction Outpaces Sea-Level Rise.” Reuters, August 25, 2016. 12. Frontline: Robin Urevich. “Chasing the Ghosts of a Corrupt Regime: Gilbert Chagoury, Clinton Donor and Diplomat with a Checkered Past.”

In 2016, the Maldives parliament passed a constitutional amendment that for the first time allowed foreign ownership of Maldives territory. Specifically, the amendment allows foreigners who invest over $1 billion to own land, provided that at least 70 percent of the land is reclaimed from the sea. Indian officials are concerned that this is an invitation to the Chinese, who have already launched a massive land reclamation project in the South China Sea. Unnamed Indian officials said they are “concerned” that China now plans to do the same in some of the Maldives’ 1,200 islands, which are located strategically in the Indian Ocean. Eva Abdulla, one of just fourteen parliamentarians in the Maldives who voted against the amendment, said, “This will make the country a Chinese colony.” During the Paris climate talks, one member of the US negotiating team told me, the Chinese were “very closely attuned” to the issues facing the small island states.

It’s a shiny new appendage to a megacity slum, one that sells itself as a new vision of Lagos—the Dubai of Africa. What’s happening in Lagos is part of a larger trend of combating sea-level rise with old-fashioned engineering muscle. On coasts and in shallow bays around the world, enormous dredging machines are pumping sand and gravel out of the bottom of the sea and creating new land. You can see it in the South China Sea, where China is rapidly turning coral reefs into islands to support military bases, airstrips, and port facilities. Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has expanded its size by almost a quarter, from 244 square miles to 277 square miles. Japan has reclaimed more than 100 square miles of land in Tokyo Bay alone. This is not a new idea, of course. It is essentially how Carl Fisher built Miami Beach, how Lower Manhattan expanded out into its rivers, and how the coastal tribes like the Calusa built shell middens a thousand years ago.


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

PIVOTING TO THE HOTSPOTS The battle for influence in the Pacific is not really about economics at all: it is instead about power in what is still, potentially, a very unstable region. From a domestic US or European perspective, it is all too easy to believe that the world’s territorial disputes are over. Yet for many other parts of the world, that simply isn’t true. In East Asia there is no shortage of hotspots. In the South China Sea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei all make territorial claims over the Spratly Islands, which offer plenty of fish and potentially bountiful supplies of oil and gas. China has been in the process of establishing ‘facts on the ground’ – or, more accurately, ‘facts on reclaimed reefs’ – through the construction of airstrips, the provision of a mobile phone network and even the erection of a lighthouse.

Plummer, The Economic Effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership: New estimates, Peterson Institute for International Economics Working Paper 16-2, Washington, DC, January 2016. 12.The US offers Trade Adjustment Assistance, but the jury is out regarding its effectiveness. 13.The nine-dash line was originally an eleven-dash line that first appeared on Taiwanese maps in 1947. The People’s Republic of China thereafter adopted a similar approach: both cases in effect make territorial claims on disputed parts of the South China Sea. 14.The press release accompanying the ruling can be found at https://pca-cpa.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/175/2016/07/PH-CN-20160712-Press-Release-No-11-English.pdf 15.Tibetans might well disagree, but while the Tibetan landmass is huge, it is sparsely populated: at the last count, there were around 3.2 million inhabitants, of whom 90 per cent were ethnically Tibetan. That compares with a Chinese population well in excess of a billion. 16.At the end of 2014, Japan was the Asian Development Bank’s largest shareholder.

(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Byzantium (i) Cabinet (UK) (i) California (i), (ii) caliphates (i), (ii), (iii) Callaghan, Jim (i), (ii) Cameron, David (i) Canada a reputable country (i) Asian Development Bank and (i) closes gap on US (i) Irish emigrate to (i), (ii) North America Free Trade Agreement (i), (ii) TPP (i) Cape of Good Hope (i) capital, mobility of (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) see also cross-border capital flow Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Thomas Piketty) (i) capitalism communism and (i) free-market capitalism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Fukuyama’s disciples on (i) Steffens and Shaw on (i) US economic model and (i) Caribbean (i) Carter, Jimmy (i) Castillon, Battle of (i) Castro, Fidel (i) Catherine of Aragon (i) Catherine the Great (i) Catholics (i), (ii), (iii) Caucasus (i), (ii) Central African Republic (i), (ii) Central America (i) Central Asia (i), (ii), (iii) see also Asia central banks (i), (ii) see also bankers inflation targets (i) Kosmos (i) price distortion (i) printing money (i), (ii) quantitative easing (i), (ii), (iii) zero interest rates and (i) Chad (i) Chechens (i) checks and balances (i), (ii) Chile (i) China (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) 1980 emergence (i) ageing population (i) attracting Western investment (i) balance of payments surplus (i) boom to slowdown (i) Brazil and (i) British in (i) Coca-Cola and (i) demand for German goods (i) Deng Xiaoping (i) Disney and (i) economic resurgence (i), (ii) excess capital in US (i) foreign capital for (i) iPhones (i) Japan and (i) living standards (i) military spending (i) OECD and (i) per capita incomes (i), (ii) ratifies Paris climate deal (i) rise of renminbi (i), (ii) Russia threatens (i) South China Sea and neighbour disputes (i) TPP and (i) treaty ports (i) Trump’s protectionism and (i) US tries to contain (i), (ii), (iii) Chongqing (i), (ii) Christianity (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Churchill, Winston (i), (ii), (iii), (iv)n1 CIA (i) Ciudadanos (i) Cleveland, Grover (i) climate change (i), (ii) Clinton, Hillary 2016 campaign (i) Bernie Sanders opposes (i) concerns of supporters (i) rejects TPP (i), (ii) Syria (i) wins Democrat nomination (i) clubs (i), (ii) Cobden, Richard (i), (ii), (iii) Coca-Cola (i) ‘coffin ships’ (i) Cold War binary rivalry, a (i) economic differences (i) end of (i), (ii) globalization and (i) NATO and (i) Soviet living standards (i) collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) (i) Collins, Philip (i) Columbus, Christopher (i), (ii), (iii) commodity markets (i), (ii), (iii) common sense (i) Commonwealth (i) communism Berlin Wall and (i) capitalism and (i) Cuba (i) Marx’s stages (i) Shaw extols (i) Soviet Union collapse and (i), (ii) Como, Lake (i) Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (i) Concert of Europe (i) Congo (i) Congress (US) 1933 banking crisis (i) American public’s confidence in (i) Bush Jnr on terrorism (i) Immigration Act 1917 (i) Japanese sanctions (i), (ii) Smoot–Hawley tariff (i) Congress of Vienna (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Connally, John (i) Conolly, Arthur (i) Conservative Party (i), (ii) Constantinople (i), (ii) Constitutional Tribunal (Poland) (i) ‘Convention of Peking’ (i) Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (i) Corbyn, Jeremy (i), (ii) Córdoba (i), (ii) corporate scandals (i) Corroyer, Edouard (i) Court of Cassation (Egypt) (i) Crécy, Battle of (i) Creole languages (i) Crimea (i), (ii) Crimean War (19th century) (i) crop yields (i) cross-border capital flow allocation of resources and (i) emerging markets and (i), (ii) extraordinary growth of (i), (ii), (iii) globalization dominated by (i) inequality and (i) Varoufakis tries to limit (i) Cuba (i) Czech Republic (i) Czechoslovakia (i) Darius the Great (i) Darwin, Charles (i) Davos (i), (ii) de Gaulle, Charles (i), (ii) debt (i) Africa (i) China (i) debt to income ratios (i) government debt (i) Latin America (i) low inflation and (i) deflation (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Delhi (i) demand management (i), (ii) Democratic Party (US) (i), (ii) Democratic Republic of the Congo (i) Denfert-Rochereau, Eugène (i) Deng Xiaoping (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Denmark (i), (ii) Department of Housing and Urban Development (US) (i) deposit insurance (i) devaluation 1930s (i), (ii), (iii) dollars, gold and (i) Eisenhower and Britain (i) franc (i) right conditions for (i) Diaoyu (i) Disney (i), (ii) Doha Round (i) dollar (US) see American dollar Dow Jones Industrial Average (i) Draghi, Mario (i) Duisburg (i) Duterte, Rodrigo (i), (ii) DVDs (i) East Africa (i) see also Africa Eastern Europe EU and its effects (i) importing democracy (i) joining the EU (i), (ii) Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (i) New World emigration (i) Ottoman Empire and (i) Soviet communism and (i), (ii), (iii) ‘Economic Theory of Clubs’ (James Buchanan) (i) Ecuador (i) Eden, Anthony (i), (ii) Edison, Thomas (i) Edison Electric (i) educational attainment (i) Edward VI, King (i) Egypt (i), (ii), (iii) Einstein, Albert (i) Eisenhower, Dwight D.


pages: 234 words: 63,149

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

airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, Parag Khanna, 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: 354 words: 110,570

Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Tom Wright, Bradley Hope

Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, failed state, family office, forensic accounting, Frank Gehry, high net worth, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund

Chapter 38 Losing Control Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 2014 The 1MDB board of directors started their afternoon meeting with a recitation of the first seven verses from the Qur’an, known as the Al-Fatiha, for the crew and passengers of MH370, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 jet that had gone missing in early March over the South China Sea. The plane, with 239 crew and passengers on board, was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, but just an hour after takeoff the pilot stopped making contact with air traffic control and, moments later, the plane disappeared from civil aviation radar screens. In the weeks since, Beijing’s official media had slammed Malaysia for leading a chaotic search effort, first focusing efforts on the South China Sea, north of Malaysia, before military radar showed the aircraft had gone missing over the Andaman Sea, to the west of the country. Failure to locate the plane debris, added to chaotic daily briefings, spotlighted the incompetence of Malaysia’s government and was an embarrassment for Najib.

Now, Obama was finally in Malaysia as part of a tour that also included close allies like Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. His deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, who was also on the trip, called Malaysia a “pivotal state” in the region—a code for a bulwark against China. In recent months, Beijing had been taking a militarist approach toward enforcing its territorial claims to the entire South China Sea. President Obama, keen to balance this aggression, promised in a joint statement with Najib to help train and equip Malaysia’s navy. The statement also stressed the two leaders’ support for a vibrant civil society. For some State Department officials who had counseled against the visit—given Najib’s government was busy locking up opposition politicians—this last pledge was derisory. As Obama toured Malaysia, Low bragged to contacts that he had played a role in the rapprochement with the United States.

The troubles at 1MDB offered a perfect opportunity for China to supplant the United States in Malaysia—just the latest sign of America’s declining power in the region. It was no surprise then that Najib turned away from President Obama, who had lost faith in Malaysia as a model Islamic democracy, and looked instead to China’s authoritarian rulers. Under President Xi Jinping, Beijing was extending its influence outside of its borders, whether through more aggressive territorial claims to islands in the South China Sea, or via a softer diplomatic approach, offering to build infrastructure like highways and ports in neighboring countries. Najib was quick to claim victory, saying the deals, and the end to Malaysian investigations, put the fund’s problems behind the country. The National Audit Department had finished its probe into 1MDB, but the government classified it under the Official Secrets Act, attempting to bury its contents.


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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, 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, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

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: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

Not surprisingly, the ASEAN countries, as well as the United States, have rejected China’s claims. Still, to underline those claims, a Chinese submarine went down to the deepest part of the sea, where its crew planted a Chinese flag.5 Energy resources are an increasingly important part of the argument. Substantial oil and gas resources are produced around the South China Sea, notably in Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia. Estimates of the undiscovered oil in the South China Sea range between 150 billion and 200 billion barrels, which is more than enough to stir competition, although far from proven. Although China and Vietnam have worked out some joint-production agreements, they are at odds over ownership of other exploration areas. Particularly contentious are the Spratly Islands, whose waters are thought to be rich in resources and are claimed in whole or in part by several countries.

And if the United States was worried enough about oil to launch a full-scale invasion, then, in the view of many Chinese, energy security was clearly much more important—and urgent.1 Part of the new insecurity arose from apprehension about the sea-lanes, the economic highways for the world commerce that were increasingly important as the lifelines for Chinese oil imports—and indeed for Chinese trade in general. Half of the country’s GDP depends on sea-lanes. In November 2003, seven months after the invasion of Iraq, President Hu Jintao reportedly told a Communist Party conference that the country had to solve what became known as the Malacca Dilemma. This referred to China’s reliance on the Malacca Strait, the narrow waterway connecting the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and through which passes more than 75 percent of China’s oil imports. “Certain powers have all along encroached on and tried to control navigation through the strait,” Hu is said to have declared. “Certain powers” was an obvious euphemism for the United States.2 The growing attention to risk was reinforced by what happened in 2004: the unanticipated jump in both Chinese and global demand for oil and the consequent rapidly rising prices.

Despite an extensive and growing economic relationship in the years that led up to August 1914, Britain and Germany were driven apart by rivalry and the suspicions aroused by their naval race, by anxiety over control of sea-lanes and access to resources, by competition over who would have what place in the sun—and by growing nationalistic fer vor. Echoes of the Anglo-German naval race can be heard in today’s arguments. Controversy over the South China Sea has already created some tension between the United States and China. That sea’s 1.3 million square miles are bounded on the west by China, Vietnam (which calls the region the East Sea), and Malaysia, down to Singapore and the Strait of Malacca; and then, coming up on the east, by Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, and at the top, by Taiwan. Through its waters pass most of the trade between East Asia and the Middle East, Africa, and Europe—including most of the energy resources shipped to China, Japan, and South Korea.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

If not, Chile will be one of the few developing countries to choose to protect its natural environment over short-term financial gain. It’s hard to imagine such a thing happening in poorer, one-party Laos. In the steamy hills of South East Asia’s Golden Triangle, on the Thai–Burmese border, I take a slow boat into tropical Laos, beginning a journey along the Mekong River that will end 2,600 kilometres downstream in the South China Sea. The Mekong is the planet’s twelfth longest river and one of its richest biodiversity sites, supporting over 1,300 varieties of fish and the world’s biggest inland fishing industry. The river basin is home to some 60 million people in six nations, who depend on it for food, water and transport. It couldn’t be more different to Patagonia’s Baker River, yet, here too are highly contentious plans to dam the river for hydropower.

I ask one of them what he thinks of the government’s plan to allow a Malaysian power company to build a dam spitting distance from our boat at Don Sahong, across the Hou Sahong channel, which is the most important fish-migration route in the region because it is the only one open throughout the dry season. ‘But we eat fish, not electricity,’ he smiles. But you would be compensated, I say. ‘The problem is, we need fish to eat, not money,’ he repeats. The Mekong is second only to the Amazon in terms of fish diversity. And uniquely, more than 70% of its fish are migratory – some species migrating annually from the South China Sea in Vietnam as far as Tibet.7 These include the world’s largest freshwater fish, the incredible Mekong giant catfish, measuring more than three metres long and weighing as much as 300 kg – whose numbers have already declined by an estimated 90% in the last twenty years through overfishing. If the Don Sahong hydrodam gets built it will mean certain loss of a number of commercially important fish, but perhaps more importantly, it will risk the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people who depend on the fisheries for their daily food, such as the sardine-sized carp, known as the trey riel.

The upstream dams would halve this annual pulse (perhaps spelling the end of the famous reversal), and dramatically impact the ecosystems it supports.9 Around half of the river’s water would be held in storage over the border in Laos, and instead of an annual flood, the waters would be released at the whim of dam managers, who can override the natural cycle at the push of a button. In the early morning, I slip down a rain-slicked muddy bank of the Mekong to board a rusty ferry downriver to Vietnam. There are few other passengers – most people are using the new highway. How different the river is now from the liquid crease folded into the mountains of northern Thailand. Here, the Mekong is fat and deep and hurtles along to the South China Sea like a migrating fish on its urgent journey south. At the border the river splits into islands and channels – the Vietnamese call the Mekong the dragon with nine tails. People here live closer than ever to the Mekong, in stilted houses that reach the bank via wobbly boards tied together with ropes. Next to the floating café where I slurp my noodles is one such house, with a young family that is bathing in the river: mother, father and then two toddlers.


pages: 650 words: 203,191

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

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: 278 words: 88,711

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

American ideology, banking crisis, British Empire, business cycle, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, low earth orbit, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 160 words: 46,449

The Extreme Centre: A Warning by Tariq Ali

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, light touch regulation, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, obamacare, offshore financial centre, popular capitalism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, 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.)


pages: 582 words: 136,780

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, cable laying ship, global village, God and Mammon, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, lateral thinking, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route, undersea cable

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: 469 words: 142,230

The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World by Oliver Morton

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Elon Musk, energy transition, Ernest Rutherford, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, late capitalism, Louis Pasteur, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, renewable energy transition, Scramble for Africa, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus

If it were to prove possible to use Latham-like techniques to make clouds from scratch under some circumstances, as Daniel Rosenfeld, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who specialises in aerosols and clouds, has suggested it might, such targeted interventions could be all the easier, and thus more attractive. If those in power in Beijing, to take an example not at all at random, were to perceive some national benefit in deploying cloud-brightening technology in the South China Sea, why would they not act on that perception, given that China already seeds clouds from Xinjiang to Guangdong? The fact that others dispute China’s dominion over that sea might simply add to the appeal; how better to express your dominion than to commandeer the sky? And further justification could be found, as we have seen, in the fact that China is already cooling the South China Sea, along with much else, by means of the power-station aerosols that drift east from the mainland. It would be Crutzen’s stratosphere–troposphere trade-off achieved by other means: the unintentional effects of pollution replaced by intentional engineering that preserves perceived benefits while causing less harm.

That will surely increase the chance that, as inadvertent modifications are reduced, countries will look at ways in which seeding and brightening clouds might possibly iron out any unwelcome side effects from that reduction, not on a global basis, but regionally or locally. The chance may remain small; the ability of policy makers not to think about such things even when researchers are aware of them is, as the IMO has demonstrated, quite well developed. And that could be a good thing. Such ironing-out obviously offers the possibility of conflict (especially when it comes to the South China Sea, where more or less everything offers the possibility of conflict). As with global approaches, changes that are to one country’s advantage might be to another’s detriment. At the same time – indeed, as a direct result of those risks of conflict – there is a possibility that national desires to make intentional regional changes might bring about serious strategic discussions about what could be acceptable.

., 100 sky: brightness, 97; colour, 39, 62–3; veilmaking’s effect on appearance, 111 Slingo, Tony, 273 smallpox, 227 Smil, Vaclav, 195, 212 smoke, 306–7, 319, 323 Smuts, Jan, 77 snowmaking, 270–1 sociology, 129 Socolow, Robert, 1, 28, 249 Soddy, Frederick, 209–11, 212–13, 214–15, 230, 313–14, 318 soil erosion and conservation, 185–6, 264; see also fertilizers, synthetic solar power: development of industry, 11–12; and direct-air capture, 28; inadequacy as replacement for fossil fuels, 9; as percentage of world’s energy used, 3; pros and cons, 17–18; and veilmaking and volcanic eruptions, 98, 111; see also renewable energy solar-radiation management see clouds: brightening; veilmaking soot: and climate, 297; and clouds, 279; emissions at sea, 282; and nuclear war, 307, 320; production, 274–5; self-lofting, 320, 342; warming effects, 73, 146, 279, 307 Soufrière Hills, 100, 108 South Africa, 16, 271 South America, 230, 252, 254 South China Sea, 296, 297 Southern Ocean, 252–3, 255, 257 Soviet Union see USSR space colonies, 339 space missions, 57, 60, 62, 77, 212–13, 353; interstellar, 139, 150 Spaceship Earth concept, 75–8 SpaceX, 353 Spain, 180 Spufford, Francis, 344 Stakman, E. C., 191 Stanford University, 236, 237 Star Wars programme, 156, 334 stars, twinkling effect, 39 steam power, 236 steam turbine technology, 212 Steel, Duncan, 332 strategic missile defence see Star Wars programme stratosphere: and nuclear fallout, 43–7; overview, 35–56; and volcanic eruptions, 84–6, 89–99; see also ozone layer; veilmaking Strauss, Lewis, 316 the sublime, 41, 101, 123, 300, 337–8, 345 Suess, Eduard, 44 Suess, Hans, 44 sulphur and sulphates: cooling effects, 84–5, 89–99, 107, 275–80; cutting emissions, 282–3; and global warming, 279–80; sulphur cycle, 274–5; and veilmaking, 107–12, 280–1 the sun, 97, 216 sunlight: and climate change, 65; effects, 62–5; historical changes in pattern, 222–3; and plant growth, 97; reflectivity by clouds, 273–4, 283–8, 292; reflectivity by Earth’s surface, 71–2, 289–93; regional methods of reflecting, 289–93; and sunsets, 268; see also clouds: brightening; scattering; veilmaking sunsets, 86, 268 sunshine geoengineering see clouds: brightening; veilmaking supernovae, 316–17, 321–2 Sutton, Mark, 207–8 Tambora, Mount, 86, 93, 108, 122, 127–8 Tansley, Arthur, 74, 76–7, 81 Taubo, 93 Teller, Edward: and asteroid impact avoidance, 331, 334–5; background, 136, 148; and environmental warfare, 136, 340; and GCMs, 317; life at Livermore, 148–9, 317; and nuclear explosives, 319–20; and nuclear weapons, 136, 148, 312; and veilmaking, 149, 151, 154 Texas, 248 Thailand, 271 thallium, 178 thermodynamics, 65–6, 74–5, 80, 245–6; second law, 214, 215 thermosphere, 41 thermostats, 129, 151, 164 Thomas, Jim, 369 Thompson, George, 134 Thoreau, Henry David, 134, 268 Three Mile Island accident (1979), 15 Titan (moon), 37 Titley, David, 116 Toba, 93–4 Toon, Brian, 89–90, 307–8, 323 trees: and carbon dioxide, 224–5, 233, 234, 236, 259–61; and Earth’s reflectivity of sunlight, 72, 130, 260 Trenberth, Kevin, 66, 96, 283 Trenberth diagram, 66–8, 73–4, 79 tropopause, 46, 111 troposphere, 46, 85, 199–200 tsunamis, 340 TTAPS, 307–8, 323–7 Turco, Richard, 307–8, 323, 326 Turner, Frederick, 177–8 Turner, J.


pages: 317 words: 98,745

Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

He came and went quickly, but stayed just long enough for us to see that he was connecting from a digital subscriber line (DSL) through an IP address on Hainan Island, the same location as one of the command servers, which happened to be a government of Hainan computer. Hainan Island is home to the Lingshui signals intelligence facility and the Third Technical Department of the Government of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Established in the 1960s, and upgraded substantially in the 1990s, the signals intelligence facility is staffed by thousands of analysts, and its primary mission is to monitor U.S. naval activity in the South China Sea. (It’s a big island, to be sure, but that a signals intelligence facility of some renown happens to be located there is intriguing.) The tool used to hack into government agencies, media outlets, and others, was a trojan called Ghost RAT that gave the attackers the ability to remove any file from the computers under their control. (RAT stands for “remote access trojan.”) We had seen this through Greg Walton’s monitoring of the network traffic of Tibetan organizations – connections were then made to China-based IP addresses, hidden from view, and sensitive documents were plucked right out from under the noses of unwitting computer users.

In 2008, the Citizen Lab discovered that the Chinese version of Skype, TOM-Skype, was coded in such a way that it secretly intercepted private (and encrypted) chats whenever people used any number of banned keywords – Tiananmen and democracy, to name two. Despite the outrage after the release of our report and the condemnation levelled at Skype for colluding with Chinese authorities, four years later the same system is still in place. In fact, it is now more elaborately designed and frequently updated, sometimes on a daily basis in response to current events like the ongoing dispute with Japan over islands in the South China Sea, or the controversy around disgraced Communist Party official Bo Xilai. In fact, all Internet companies operating in China – Baidu, Sina, Tencent QQ, Youku, and others – are required to stop the “spread of harmful information” over their networks. The policing is typically undertaken through filtering and surveillance of the type TOM-Skype engages in, enforcing the use of real names in registration processes (to eliminate anonymous postings), and even direct intervention by paid officials in forums warning users not to engage in unwelcome, perhaps even illegal, discourse.

It’s unlikely that China would see any benefit in an armed conflict with the United States, but Chinese military literature emphasizes its capacity to degrade American satellites, as well as its other surveillance systems, should an armed conflict occur. Like those of many other countries, China’s military planners have fully integrated cyber warfare into their military doctrine and operational plans. Because the U.S. has a military alliance with Taiwan and Japan, in the event of a regional war – say, over Taiwan or the disputed islands of the South China Sea – the People’s Liberation Army would be hard pressed not to deploy its cyber warfare assets to confuse, deter, and even disable American military and civilian assets. As the Stuxnet worm aptly demonstrated in 2010, a menacing virus or trojan horse can be used to sabotage critical infrastructure. Such an attack would invariably provoke a wider response from the U.S., which now defines a cyber attack as an act of war.


pages: 344 words: 93,858

The Post-American World: Release 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, new economy, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, 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, zero-sum game

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: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

In fact, the twenty cities most affected by such sea-level rise are all Asian megalopolises—among them Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Kolkata. Which does cast a climate shroud over the prospect, now so much taken for granted among the Nostradamuses of geopolitics, of an Asian century. Whatever the course of climate change, China will surely continue its ascent, but it will do so while fighting back the ocean, as well—perhaps one reason it is already so focused on establishing control over the South China Sea. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s major cities are on the coast—not to mention its power plants, ports, navy bases, farmlands, fisheries, river deltas, marshlands, and rice paddies—and even those above ten feet will flood much more easily, and much more regularly, if the water gets that high. Already, flooding has quadrupled since 1980, according to the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, and doubled since just 2004.

The drowning of American navy bases by sea-level rise is trouble enough, and the melting of the Arctic promises to open an entirely new theater of conflict, once nearly as foreign-seeming as the space race. (It also positions the country primarily against America’s old rivals the Russians, now revived as adversaries.) Given the right war-gaming cast of mind, it is also possible to see the aggressive Chinese construction activity in the South China Sea, where whole new artificial islands have been erected for military use, as a kind of dry run, so to speak, for life as a superpower in a flooded world. The strategic opportunity is clear, with so many of the existing footholds—like all those low-lying islands the United States once used to stepping-stone its own empire across the Pacific—expected to disappear by the end of the century, if not before.

The Center for Climate and Security, a state-focused think tank, organizes the threats from climate change into six categories: “Catch-22 states,” in which governments have responded to local climate challenges—to agriculture, for example—by turning toward a global marketplace that is now more than ever vulnerable to climate shocks; “brittle states,” stable on the surface—but only by a run of good climate luck; “fragile states,” such as Sudan, Yemen, and Bangladesh, where climate impacts have already eaten into trust in state authority, or worse; “disputed zones among states,” like the South China Sea or Arctic; “disappearing states,” which they mean literally, as in the case of the Maldives; and “non-state actors,” like ISIS, which can seize local resources, such as freshwater, as a way of applying leverage against the nominal state authority or the local population. In each case, climate is not the sole cause but the spark igniting a complex bundle of social kindling. This complexity may also be one reason we cannot see the threat of escalating war very clearly, choosing to regard conflict as something determined primarily by politics and economics when all three are in fact governed, like everything else, by the conditions established by our rapidly changing climate.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, 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: 209 words: 53,236

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

But leadership entails selection, prioritization, and strategic insight. Trying to respond to all the images at once will produce not a coherent or sophisticated policy but a stream of spastic reflexes, as we have seen in the Obama administration. It blandishes the Chinese for silly and insincere commitments to carbon dioxide abatement one day and the next dispatches warships to the Spratly Islands to discourage land reclamation projects on reefs in the South China Sea. Denunciations of the Chinese for trumped-up charges of currency “manipulation” are followed by obsequious entreaties to participate in expanded Pacific trade or climate change treaties. Silly tough-guy postures and blind monotheories can be found on the Right as well. Does the incendiary sage David Stockman, President Reagan’s budget director, really mean it when he describes the country as “the Great China Ponzi” or as “an entire nation of 1.3 billion . . . gone mad building, borrowing, speculating, scheming, cheating, lying and stealing”?

See also stagnation seigniorage, 12, 34, 67, 80 Shanghai, 30, 42–43, 48 Shannon, Claude, 64, 133, 138–40, 143, 168, 173–74 Shell, 158–59 Shelton, Judy, 162–63 Shelton bonds, 163 Silicon Valley, xvii, xxii, 18, 50, 70, 87, 115, 117–20, 122–25, 127–29, 149, 164, 169, 171 Singapore, 106 Skousen, Mark, xv, 32–33 Smith, Adam, xx socialism, socialists, xviii, 5, 20, 25, 31, 150, 152–53 Social Security, 15, 55 Solyndra, 123 Sony, 158 Soros, George, 89, 96–97, 110 South China Sea, 40 Southwest Airlines, 9 Soviet Union, 42, 156. See also Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Spain, 55, 57, 94, 117 Spratly Islands, 40 stagnation, xiii–xv, 31, 84, 87, 91, 96, 117, 129, 134, 149, 152, 162, 164. See also secular stagnation Stiglitz, Joseph, 89 stimulus, xiii, xviii, 14, 150, 171 Stockman, David, 40, 48, 50 Stone Age, 19, 169 Summers, Lawrence “Larry,” 3, 7, 56, 114, 134, 150 Sun Microsystems, 119 Swanson’s Law, 18 Sweden, Swedes, 5, 36 Szabo, Nick, 64, 72–76, 160 T Taiwan, Taiwanese, 30, 46–48, 106 Tamny, John, 11 tax cuts, xiv, 12, 151, 153 Taylor, John, 35 Taylor Rule, 35 technology, xi, xviii–xix, xxi–xxii, 2–3, 5–9, 12–13, 19, 41, 43, 45, 56–58, 63–67, 70, 83, 90, 92, 100, 143, 158, 171 Tel Aviv, 118 Texas, 55, 99 Thailand, 110 Thiel, Peter, xi, 14, 56 third world, the, 6, 118, 152 Tiananmen Square, 29, 43 Troubled Asset Relief Program, 55 Trump, Donald, 40, 113 Turing, Alan, 64, 138, 168, 174 Turing machine, 138 Turner, Adair, 88–96, 110 Turner-Piketty thesis, 93, 96 Tversky, Amos, xx Twilight of Sovereignty (Wriston), 101 U UBS, 127 unemployment rates, xi–xiii, 35, 55, 100, 150, 152 Unenumerated, 73 “unicorns,” 50, 87, 119–23, 171 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), 42.


pages: 618 words: 160,006

Seapower States: Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the Conflict That Made the Modern World by Andrew Lambert

British Empire, different worldview, Donald Trump, joint-stock company, Malacca Straits, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, open economy, rising living standards, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS

John Sell Cotman’s etching of the Column at Yarmouth to the memory of Lord Nelson, 1817. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Maps The World in the Age of Empire The Mediterranean The Siege of Tyre The Athenian Empire Ancient Athens Rome and Carthage during the Second Punic War Venetian Bases and Caravan Routes The Battle of Lepanto The Dutch Empire Rhodes The Portuguese Empire The British Empire The South China Sea ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS As any manuscript heads for publication authors return to the beginning, to reflect on the debt they owe to others, fellow scholars, students, family and friends, delightfully loose categories reflecting the reality that the first and last are often one and the same. Furthermore, as a historian I am acutely conscious of my debt to those who have gone before, a debt we honour by reflecting on works written long go, for very different audiences.

Across time seapower had been the choice of smaller, maritime states that reject this option. Eliminating the ungoverned oceanic space which enabled that choice would pave the way for a global state, leaving seapower identity to tertiary operators, superpower clients. Yet whichever great continental power became the universal monarchy there would soon be maritime barbarians hammering at their sea gates. The South China Sea Chinese and Russian responses to the challenge of seapower culture echo those of older continental hegemons: censorship, command economies, denial strategies and the continentalisation of maritime space with legal restraints, physical barriers, land-based weapons and strategy. While China has found new tools for this mission, notably in the extension of territorial jurisdiction far out to sea, using international legislation to restrict the free use of the sea, it contains powerful echoes of Catherine II’s ‘Armed Neutrality’ of 1780, which her son revived in 1801, and successive Russian attempts to close the Baltic to British warships.

Ng Chin-keong, Boundaries and Beyond: China’s Maritime Southeast in Late Imperial Times, Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2016. 2. A. T. Mahan, The Problem of Asia, Boston: Little, Brown, 1900, p. 38. Corbett concurred in ‘The Capture of Private Property at Sea’, The Nineteenth Century (June 1907), reprinted in A. T. Mahan, ed., Some Neglected Aspects of War, Boston: Little, Brown, 1907. 3. This is also, misleadingly, referred to as the ‘South China Sea’. 4. A. Patalano, ‘Japan as a Maritime Power: Deterrence, Diplomacy and Maritime Security’, in M. M. McCarthy, ed., The Handbook of Japanese Foreign Policy, London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 155–72. I am indebted to Dr Patalano for an advance copy of his important paper. Conclusion 1. The Oxford English Dictionary ignores the issue of identity. It states that Seapower is: 1. ‘A nation or state having international power or influence on sea.’ 2.


pages: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

What has changed in recent years is that a larger share of the money is going towards imports: in contrast with the 2000s, when the West’s armies undertook the bulk of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, many nations sucked into this decade’s disputes lack military muscle and have no domestic industry capable of building it up. With America less eager to be the world’s policeman, they see a greater need for buying their own kit. Vietnam, which borders the South China Sea, imported three times more weaponry in the period from 2012 to the end of 2016 than in the previous five years. Saudi Arabia’s purchases grew by 212% and Qatar’s by 245%. But the trade is also underpinned by a push on the supply side. America, which sells arms to more than 100 countries, dominates the market. As technology improves, it is helping to retool developing nations’ arsenals with modern gadgets, such as GPS guidance and automated systems.

He also hopes to create new markets for Chinese companies, such as high-speed rail firms, and to export some of his country’s vast excess capacity in cement, steel and other metals. By investing in volatile countries in central Asia, he reckons he can create a more stable neighbourhood for China’s own restive western provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet. And by encouraging more Chinese projects around the South China Sea, the initiative could bolster China’s claims in that area (the “road” in “belt and road” refers to sea lanes). Yet some of these ambitions contradict others: is a dodgy project in central Asia a better place to invest than American government securities? And with different motivations go conflicting interests. There is infighting between the most important Chinese institutions involved, including the ministry of commerce, the foreign ministry, the planning commission and China’s provinces.


pages: 972 words: 259,764

The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam by Max Boot

American ideology, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Golden Gate Park, jitney, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Now Lansdale would be charged with accomplishing an act of state creation armed with little more than his wits. After sitting up “practically all night in a last-minute session with the Philippine gang, helping them plan,” Lansdale on May 31, 1954, was winging his way to Saigon in a U.S. Air Force flying boat. The Thirty-First Air Sea Rescue Squadron at Clark Air Base had offered to fly him over, provided he didn’t mind spending a few extra hours en route patrolling the South China Sea. Sitting sleepily in a bucket seat, his “boxes and other baggage piled up around” him, “shaking gently with the aircraft’s vibrations” and “sipping coffee from a paper cup,” Lansdale wondered about what he would encounter once he landed. He knew that “events in Indochina were moving toward a climax and that the U.S. wanted me on the spot for whatever occurred next,” but there was no way to predict what that would be.42 13 “I Am Ngo Dinh Diem” [Diem] was happiest when cloistered with books or papers in his study.

He announced that “an opportunity had come up to take Hinh and his staff officers for a brief visit to the Philippines.”9 Hinh said regretfully that he was too busy to join the trip, notwithstanding his fond memories of the fleshpots of Manila, but he agreed that his key lieutenants—Lieutenant Colonel Tranh Dinh Lan, Captain Pham Xuan Giai, and Lieutenant Nguyen Van Minh—could go. So on the evening of October 25, 1954, Lansdale found himself winging his way over the South China Sea in a C-47 transport aircraft along with the three Vietnamese officers.10 After a few days in Manila, Lansdale returned to Saigon to find that no coup had occurred. At the end of November, General Hinh finally agreed to step down and leave the country. He moved to France, where he eventually rose to become deputy chief of staff of the French air force. In his memoir, Lansdale claimed that Hinh had called off his coup because he “had forgotten that he needed his chief lieutenants for key roles in the coup and couldn’t proceed while they were out of the country with me.”11 That claim has been credulously repeated in most historical accounts, including the Pentagon Papers.12 It seems unlikely, however, that Hinh, who was far from a half-wit, could have “forgotten” something so important.

They thought they had little to learn from the French, who had failed to win their war against the Vietminh. Little did they suspect that they would soon repeat and even exceed most of their forerunners’ mistakes. DESPITE THE mutual distrust among the South Vietnamese, French, and Americans, they were all supposed to work together to pull off the first big test of their nation-building prowess: Operation Liberty to reoccupy the Ca Mau Peninsula, jutting out into the South China Sea at the very tip of South Vietnam. It was due to be evacuated by the Vietminh in February 1955. When a group of French and American officers gathered for a briefing on the Ca Mau plans, the Vietnamese commander of the operation, Lieutenant Colonel Duong Van Duc, gave such an uninspired presentation that Iron Mike O’Daniel started asking some tough questions—until Lansdale pulled him aside and explained that Duc was not briefing the real plan.


Global Financial Crisis by Noah Berlatsky

accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, centre right, circulation of elites, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, 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, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, 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: 579 words: 164,339

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

“You know how people always ask us what difference will it make to our lives if there are no pandas someday? Or no tigers?” Ouyang and Gretchen nod in unison. “I tell them that without pandas, then without tigers, next it will be fish that disappear. Then crops. Then everything. Then people.” On the final day, the scientists take Gretchen to China’s smallest and southernmost province. About the size of Taiwan, Hainan Island sits nineteen miles off the mainland in the South China Sea. As the only part of China that dips into the tropics, over the past two decades Hainan has been discovered by luxury hotel chains and developers, who are converting its southern shore into China’s Oahu, with Manhattan prices. Their destination is the central highlands, where the number of rubber plantations has doubled due to China’s explosive growth of automobile ownership and demand for tires, threatening the rainforests of one of Asia’s biologically richest islands.

Even the tiny leeches they must pick out of each other’s hair can’t diminish the thrill of seeing so much crystalline water and smelling the world as if it were created yesterday. But as they exit the preserve and descend, pristine clarity vanishes. All the rivers are running bloodred with eroded soil. Sheets of mud pouring through the rubber and pepper plantations wash across the highway. When they finally reach the airport on the island’s northern shore, Hainan’s rivers have burst their banks and the South China Sea is filling with red silt. They’re able to fly out, but the following day, a typhoon that has already cost defoliated Vietnam millions of tons of topsoil hits Hainan full force. Before it passes, 135,000 people have to be evacuated. On Hainan Island, or anywhere else, for that matter, the three axes on which the InVest program turns—land and sea use, climate, and demography—may ultimately hinge on the third.

Because flooding now regularly turns streets into canals, Malabon’s nickname is “Venice,” and Roland has grown resigned to wading to work. Rain is increasing, storms are strengthening, and supposedly their sinking town will one day slip beneath Manila Bay, preceded by Manila itself. The Dutch ambassador has already advised the Philippines to dike the bay, the finest harbor in Southeast Asia. But where will money come from for that? The typhoon that drowned China’s Hainan Island has moved east across the South China Sea: weaker but still plenty wet, it’s overhead, soaking Luzon, the Philippines’ biggest island. Beneath Roland’s second-story window, the street is a swirling gray backwater. Beyond it, traffic in this megalopolis of 25.5 million2 flows imperceptibly, like a species of tropical glacier. Occasionally, chunks break free and surge forward, then jam into other chunks and stop in axle-high water. Roland, a slight, reserved man of thirty-nine, doesn’t dwell on the climatic chaos erupting outside, as he is preoccupied with a more immediate question: What is the carrying capacity of a woman?


pages: 419 words: 124,522

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron

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: 756 words: 120,818

The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization by Michael O’sullivan

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, cloud computing, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, global value chain, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, liberal world order, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, private military company, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, supply-chain management, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, tulip mania, Valery Gerasimov, Washington Consensus

One dangerous scenario is that we witness the outright end of globalization in much the same manner as the first period of globalization collapsed in 1913, as I outlined earlier. This scenario is a favorite of commentators because it allows them to write about bloody end-of-the-world calamities. This is, thankfully, a low-probability outcome, and with apologies to the many armchair admirals in the commentariat who, for instance, talk willfully of a conflict in the South China Sea, I suggest that a full-scale sea battle between China and the United States is unlikely. Instead, the evolution of a new world order—a fully multipolar world composed of three (perhaps four, depending on how India develops) large regions that are distinct in the workings of their economies, laws, cultures, and security networks—is manifestly underway. My sense is that until 2018, multipolarity was a more theoretical concept—more something to write about than to witness.4 This is changing quickly: trade tensions, advances in technologies (such as quantum computing), and the regulation of technology are just some of the fissures around which the world is splitting into distinct regions.

In terms of other variables: China’s use of military power is yet untested, its soft power is not well developed, and many non-Chinese see China’s economy-led expansion as a reflection of China’s sense of its own greatness. One area where China does forcefully express its power is in trade relations, where it uses its size and influence in a manifest way on its Asian neighbors (stretching to Australia). The challenge for China is to use soft power to win over neighbors and to stealthily create regional integration so that it oversees the South China Sea while confounding those who believe in what Harvard professor Graham Allison has named the “Thucydides’s Trap.”19 Thucydides was an Athenian general who turned historian after an unsuccessful battle. In his famous History of the Peloponnesian War, he recounts the fifth-century-BC wars between Athens and Sparta. More recently, appreciation of Thucydides has grown following publication of a book by Allison in which he coined the phrase “Thucydides Trap” to refer to the inevitability of a war between an established power (the United States) and a rising one (China).

The One Belt, One Road plan ingeniously extends China’s influence across Asia, through the Middle East, and up through eastern Europe (China has established a trade and investment project, “16 + 1,” with sixteen eastern European states, including the Baltic states, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, and others) without explicitly compromising the sovereignty of the many countries this project will traverse.28 Ducking the Dreadnought Like many large countries before it, China has also shown a tendency to dial pressure up on regional trade partners and then dialing it back down once agreement is in sight. One looming test for China is how it reacts to the hostile treatment of Chinese communities in populous Muslim countries like Indonesia. It is this kind of problem—rather than South China Sea naval battles conjuring up the likes of Dreadnought or USS New Jersey—that will be one of the key tests of Chinese foreign policy. The second part of the Chinese puzzle relates to the inner machinations of the Communist Party. Since Xi Jinping became president of China and general secretary of the Communist Party, party members have been more disciplined with regard to divulging the party’s inner workings and internal intrigues (such as concerning the sudden political demise of Bo Xilai, a charismatic Chinese politician who was considered a strong candidate for the top Politburo Standing Committee until, intriguingly, he and his wife were jailed for the murder of a British businessman).


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

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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, 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: 269 words: 74,955

The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World's Most Mysterious Air Disasters by Christine Negroni

Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, computer age, crew resource management, crowdsourcing, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Richard Feynman, South China Sea, Tenerife airport disaster, Thomas Bayes, US Airways Flight 1549

What was never reported is that this questionable altitude information caused a controversy among those reviewing the tapes, because some civilian radar specialists thought it indicated that the plane had been hit by a missile. This dominated the discussion for several days, with the Malaysian Air Force arguing against the theory. What settled it, according to the participant who told me about it, was the lack of wreckage in the South China Sea. “The search was going on in that area, the last place the airplane was seen, but they weren’t finding anything,” this person said. “If it had been shot down you would have found pieces of stuff, but there was no evidence to back up that theory, so we came to a consensus that’s not what happened.” That consensus got another boost when the engineers from the satellite company Inmarsat showed up in Kuala Lumpur a few days later to share with the team information that the airplane had not come to a sudden end after disappearing from radar, but flew on a lengthier and far more puzzling journey.

The control panel for the flight management system is located between the two pilot seats, above the throttles, where it is easily accessible to whichever pilot is programming it. The FMS has many functions, including allowing the crew to send text messages to the airline’s operations desk. We know no messages were sent. Yet in an emergency, the FMS stores navigational information for the closest airports, so that in seconds the pilots can select a destination and head there. From where the 777 was flying, between the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, if Fariq turned the plane around, the divert airports would include Penang and Langkawi, according to pilots who fly in the region. These choices would have appeared on the screen in a list, waiting for the pilot to select one of them. Who knows how much actual thinking Fariq was able to accomplish, but for some reason he selected Penang, Malaysia’s third-busiest airport, with a ten-thousand-foot runway.


pages: 276 words: 78,061

Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags by Tim Marshall

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, white picket fence

It is visible around the world in far-flung places such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, from which China (and others) extracts precious metals, in Angola, where it built a highway to get the metals to port, and in Gwadar, Pakistan, where a port and highway are being built to ship goods up into China, thus avoiding the narrow and de facto American-controlled Malacca Straits between Malaysia and Indonesia. The symbol of the Middle Kingdom has now been seen in nearly every kingdom, republic and territory in the world, reinforcing its rapid expansion and growing influence over the past half-century. It also flies above the artificial islands China has built in the South China Sea, which Beijing says now constitute sovereign Chinese territory. The neighbours – including Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines – are not convinced. Neither is the US navy, which ensures that the Stars and Stripes is seen fluttering above its warships, which pass close enough to the islands to make the point. Somewhat harder to spot around the world than the Red Flag is the flag of Taiwan, or the Republic of China (ROC), as it also known.

K. 121 Russia 61, 63–65, 69, 82, 87–90, 149, 150, 249 Russo-Japanese War 169 Russo-Turkish war 233 see also Soviet Union; tricolour, Russian Rwanda 187 S Saarland 62 Sabrata 118 Saddam Hussein 115 Sagan, Carl 72 Saladin 114 Saltire (Scottish) 38, 39, 41 Samarkand 100, 150 San Francisco 246 São Paulo 219 Sarajevo 92–93 Saud, Abdul-Aziz bin 102–104 Saudi Arabia 92, 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 126 Savoy 80 House of 77 Scandinavia 78–83 Scotland 37–41, 53–56 Second World War 4, 13, 69, 74, 77, 85, 86, 164, 165, 170, 171, 178, 238, 242, 249 Senegal 183 Senussi dynasty 18 Seoul 168 Serbia 2–4, 90–92 Seychelles 188 shahada 104, 106, 126, 135, 136, 152 Shakespeare, William 33, 37 Shanghai 160, 162 Shepperson, George 181 Shintoism 169 Siberia 64 Sikhism 153, 155 Singapore 170 Sino-Japanese War 169 skull and crossbones 227–230 Slovakia 83, 90 Slovenia 90 Smith, Dr Whitney 208, 258 Solomon, King 113, 177 Somalia 131, 227, 229 Somme, Battle of the 44 South Africa 48, 182, 191–194 South China Sea 163 South Korea 164, 165, 167, 168, 170 Southern Cross see Dixie flag Soviet Union 86, 87, 89, 160, 165, 234 collapse of 148, 150 see also hammer and sickle; Red Flag; Russia Spain 2, 58–59, 78, 85, 202, 203, 207, 209 see also Catalonian independence movement St Petersburg 86 star and crescent 153–154 Stars and Stripes 1–2, 4, 6, 8, 9–32, 47, 154, 163, 172, 186, 212–214, 241, 246 Stockholm 248 Stormont 53 Strasbourg 62 Suárez, Leysi 215 Sudan 44 Sun Tzu 158 swastika classic symbol 72, 74 Nazi 6, 71–74, 170–171 Swaziland 184 Sweden 30, 78, 80–82, 85 Switzerland 80, 83, 224–225, 238 Sykes, Mark 100 Sykes-Picot Agreement 102 Syria 27, 99, 101, 106, 113–115, 120, 130, 132, 133, 152 see also Civil War, Syrian T Taegukgi 164 Taft, President 19 Taiwan 13, 134, 163–164 Tajikistan 105, 148, 151 Taliban 152–153 Tamerlane 150 Tamil Tigers 232 Tannenberg, Battle of 70 Taoism 233 Tea Party 16 Tehran 110, 112, 116 embassy hostage crisis 15 Tennessee 21 Tertitskiy, Fyodor 165 Texas 28, 31, 32, 242 Thessalonica 91 Thomas, Rear Admiral 48 Thomson, Charles 18 Tibet 161–162 Tiranga 154–157 Titicaca, Lake 204 Togolese Republic 183 Tongzhi, Emperor 159 Topelius, Zachris 82 Trafalgar, Battle of 44 Transoxiana 150 Transpadane Republic 76–77 Trasnsjordan 103 Tricolor, French 67, 69, 71, 81 tricolour Bolivian 196, 198, 204 Dutch 85–86, 191, 192, 235 Ethiopian 177–178, 181–183 German 70–71, 74–75, 170 Iranian 109–110, 112, 120 Iraqi 106, 114–115 Irish 54 Italian 76–78, 205 Mexican (Bandera de México) 205–208 Russian 86, 89 Uzbek 150–151 Venezuelan 5, 202, 203 Tripoli 118–119 Tripolitania 118 Trump, Donald 30 tulip 110–112 Tunisia 76, 109, 118–119, 247 Turkey 40, 60, 61, 63, 64, 85, 92, 107, 108, 109, 114, 127, 149, 152, 236, 238 Russo-Turkish war 233 Turkmenistan 105, 148–149, 150 Tuvalu 46 U UAE (United Arab Emirates) 100 Uganda 125, 186 Uighur 161 UK 29, 30, 39, 43, 45–48, 50–54, 56, 61, 80, 140, 188, 219, 228, 235, 247, 249 Ukraine 89 Umayyad dynasty 100, 111 UN (United Nations) 4, 50, 62, 91–92, 93, 116, 149, 182, 224–225, 245, 246, 248–252 see also League of Nations Union Jack 6, 18, 33–56, 217 United Arab Republic 113 Ur 147 Urals 64, 90 Uruguay 217–218 USA 1, 13–18, 20, 23–32, 47–49, 71, 115, 116, 127, 131, 156, 165, 178–180, 182, 199, 209, 210, 212–214, 217, 219, 236, 241–243, 249 Federal Republic of Central America 209–211 Flag Acts 17–18 Revolution 200 War of Independence 17, 18 see also Stars and Stripes United Provinces of Central America, flag of 209 see also Latin America Uzbekistan 117, 148, 150, 152 see also tricolour, Uzbek V Valdemar II, King 79 Venezuela 201, 202 see also tricolour, Venezuelan Vermont 18 Versailles, Treaty of 102 Vichy regime 69 Victor Emmanuel II 77 Vienna 108 Vietnam 23, 162, 163 War 15, 28 Vikings 66 Vishnu (god) 73 W Wahhabism 102–103, 105–106, 126 Walden, Sidney 243–244 Wales 38–40, 56 Warhol, Andy 14 Warsaw Pact 89 Washington 213–214 Waterford 54 Waterloo, Battle of 44 Weimar Republic 70, 71, 73, 74 West Bank 132, 136, 137, 238 Westendorp, Carlos 93 White, Charles Mowbray 180 White Ensign flag 51 white flag 231–232 William of Orange 53, 85 William the Conqueror 66 Wiphala 197, 204–205 X Xi Jinping 162 Y Yemen 100, 101, 120 Yugoslavia 90–92 Z Zambia 186 Zapata, Emiliano 203 Zeng Liansong 159–162 Zimbabwe see Rhodesia Zionism 116–117 Zurich 192 First published 2016 by Elliott and Thompson Limited 27 John Street London WC1N 2BX www.eandtbooks.com epub: 978-1-78396-228-0 MOBI: 978-1-78396-229-7 Copyright © Tim Marshall 2016 The Author has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this Work.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, low earth orbit, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, 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, Right to Buy, 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, William Langewiesche

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: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, 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, zero-sum game

” 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: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

ONE A Brief History of Population We came so close to not being at all. There were only a few thousand humans left, maybe fewer, clinging to the shores of southern Africa, on the brink of oblivion.5 The catastrophic eruption of Mount Toba in Sumatra 70,000-odd years ago—there’s been nothing its equal since—spewed 2,800 cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere, spreading from the Arabian Sea in the west to the South China Sea in the east, and giving the earth the equivalent of six years of nuclear winter. Toba “is considered by some scientists to be the most catastrophic event the human species has ever endured.” 6Homo sapiens was already in trouble; although we had mastered tools and fire during our 130,000-year history to that point, the earth was in a cooling cycle that had wiped out much of the food supply. Now Toba made things much, much worse.

“As the domestic political balancing act became more difficult, the temptation grew for Germany’s rulers to unify their country through foreign policy initiatives.”443 Such as a quick little war that would have the boys home for Christmas. Together with its tottering Austro-Hungarian ally, Germany dragged the world into the first of two cataclysmic wars, the greatest folly and tragedy of modern times. Will the Chinese be similarly tempted? It could be something that puts Taiwan firmly in its place, or that lets everyone know the South China Sea is mare nostrum. A quick little war. The boys will be home by Chinese New Year. That doesn’t have to happen. China could evolve peacefully into a mature global power, managing its demographic challenges with restraint. And if the other hot spots—North Korea, Iran, and who-knows-where-next—manage to avoid provoking war, then the world could enter a new era of peace: a geriatric peace. The political scientist Mark Haas coined this term.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, business cycle, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

The Return of Instability to Government No matter what you may think of the content of current policy, America’s government has been run pretty stably for the last few decades, as I discussed in chapter 8. Nonetheless, a problem will arise as more and more funds are preallocated and locked into preordained uses. At some point this country will face an immediate crisis, and there won’t quite be the resources, or more fundamentally the flexibility, to handle it. Imagine, for instance, military crises in the Baltics and the South China Sea at the same time. To resolve such a messy situation, America probably would need more resources, more cooperation across government, and more public support for involvement than we currently have. Of course, that is just an example. I don’t know what this crisis will be or when it will come. If not a foreign policy problem from a two- or three-front conflict, it could be an environmental catastrophe requiring immediate attention, a major terrorist attack, or perhaps something entirely unexpected, a true “Black Swan,” so to speak, in Nassim Taleb’s use of that term.

Now let’s turn to the most dangerous feature of our future: foreign policy and global affairs. THE RETURN OF INSTABILITY AT EVERY LEVEL, INCLUDING THE GLOBAL As we look to the global arena now, more than fifteen years into the new millennium, a lot of the optimism from the 1990s has vanished. Much of the Middle East has been destroyed, Russia has invaded Ukraine and broken down the old international order, China is newly assertive in the South China Sea, and terrorism is a major news theme in many parts of the world. Europe seems unable to deal with its refugee problem in comparison to the rather smoothly handled Yugoslavian refugee crisis of the 1990s. Both Russia and China seem to be less free, and to be resorting to more censorship, than ten or fifteen years ago. In Turkey, democracy seems to be collapsing altogether. European growth remains sluggish, and it is far from obvious that European Union governance mechanisms can meet current challenges, including problems with the eurozone and the need for a more coherent refugee policy in light of an inflow of millions of North Africans, with more likely to come.


pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

One could envision militaries deploying autonomous weapons in a wide variety of contexts but still keeping a human finger on the nuclear trigger. Nonnuclear applications still hold risks for accidental escalation. Militaries regularly interact in tense situations that have the potential for conflict, even in peacetime. In recent years, the U.S. military has jockeyed for position with Russian warplanes in Syria and the Black Sea, Iranian fast boats in the Straits of Hormuz, and Chinese ships and air defenses in the South China Sea. Periods of brinksmanship, where nations flex their militaries to assert dominance but without actually firing weapons, are common in international relations. Sometimes tensions escalate to full-blown crises in which war appears imminent, such as the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. In such situations, even the tiniest incident can trigger war. In 1914, a lone gunman assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, sparking a chain of events that led to World War I.

This same action could be perceived very differently in contested areas, however, such as the Senkaku Islands, where both countries assert sovereignty. In such situations, a country whose drone was shot down might feel compelled to escalate in order to back up their territorial claim. Hints of these incidents have already begun. In December 2016, China seized a small underwater robot drone the United States was operating in the South China Sea. China quickly returned it after U.S. protests, but other incidents might not be resolved so easily. All of these complications are manageable if autonomous systems do what humans expect them to do. Robots may raise new challenges in war, but humans can navigate these hurdles, so long as the automation is an accurate reflection of human intent. The danger is if autonomous systems do something they aren’t supposed to—if humans lose control.

., 48f human intervention in, 147 Senkaku Islands incident, 208–9 Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW), 51–52, 326 sentry robots, 5, 102, 104–5, 112–13, 118, 303–4 SGR-A1 sentry robot, 5, 104–5, 118, 303–4 Shadow drone, 209 Shattuck, Lawrence, 308 Shelley, Mary, 234 Sherman, William Tecumseh, 274, 296 Shield AI, 122–24 shot detection system, 113–14 Siemens Step 7 software, 214 Singapore, 103 Skinner, B. F., 39 Skynet (fictitious weapon system), 26–28, 52–53, 134, 233–34, 360–61 SMArt 155 artillery shell, 343 “smart” weapons, 38–40; see also precision-guided munitions Somme, Battle of the, 38 sonar, 85 Sorcerer’s Apprentice (animated short), 148–49 South China Sea, 209 South Korea, 5, 102, 104–5, 260, 303–4, 356 sovereignty, drones and, 208 Soviet Union, 1–2, 76, 313–14; see also Cold War S&P 500, 199, 204 space shuttle, 154, 382n SpaceX, 154 Spark hobby drone, 115 Sparrow, Rob, 259 spear phishing attacks, 224 speed, 199–210 autonomous weapons and, 207–10 and crisis stability, 304–5 in cyberwarfare, 229–30 and limits of centaur warfighting, 325–26 online price wars, 205 in stock trading, 200–204, 206–7 spoofing attacks, 182–83, 183f, 186, 206 Sputnik, 76, 80 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), 37–38 stability, 297–318 autonomous weapons and, 302–3 autonomous weapons’ potential to inflame crises, 317–18 benefits of autonomous weapons in crises, 311–14 and debate over autonomous weapons bans, 351–52 and nuclear weapons, 298–302 psychology of crisis decision-making, 306–11 and removal of human fail-safe, 305–6 speed and, 304–5 stability-instability paradox and mad robot theory, 314–16 strategic, 297–302 Stark, USS, 169 Star Wars, 134 “Star Wars” missile defense shield, 309–10 stationary armed sentry robots, 104–5 stealth drones, 56, 61–62, 209, 354 stigmergy, 21 stock market algorithmic trading, 200–201, 203–4, 206–7, 210, 229, 244, 387n E-mini price manipulation incident, 206 “Flash Crash,” 199–201, 203–4 Knight Capital Group incident, 201–2 Strategic Air Command (SAC), 307 strategic corporal problem, 309 Strategic Defense Initiative, 1, 309–10 strategic stability, 297–302 Strategic Stability (Colby), 299 Strategy of Conflict (Schelling), 341 Stuxnet worm, 213–16, 223, 224 Submarine Safety (SUBSAFE) program, 161–62 submarine warfare, 101 suffering, unnecessary, 257–58 Sullivan, Paul, 162 Sun Tzu, 229 Superintelligence (Bostrom), 237 supervised autonomous weapon systems, 29, 45–46, 45f, 193, 329f CODE, 72–76, 117, 253, 327–28 human intervention in, 147 surface action group (SAG), 64 surrender, false, 259–60 surveillance drones for, 13–14 FLA and, 68–71 swarming by autonomous weapons, 11–13 CODE program, 72–76 command-and-control models, 20f and evolution of autonomy, 17–23 FLA and, 71 of U.S. ships by Iran, 22, 107 synthetic aperture radar (SAR), 86 Syria, 7, 331 system failure, Three Mile Island as, 151 T-14 Armata tank, 116 Tacit Rainbow, 49 Tactical Technology Office (TTO), 79–83 Tactical Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM-E), 55, 368n tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), 41 Taliban, 3, 253 tanks, robotic, 115–16 Taranis drone, 108–11 targeting ATR, 76, 84–88 autonomous, 116, 123–24, 187 DIY drones and, 123–24 by human-assisted automated weapons, 98 by sentry robots, 112–13 of weapons instead of people, 261 target location error, 98 Target Recognition and Adaption in Contested Environments (TRACE), 84–88, 128 targets, cooperative/non-cooperative, 84–85 task, as dimension of autonomy, 28 TASM, See Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile TensorFlow, 128–29 Terminator (film series) and autonomous weapon debates, 264 fate in, 360–61 good Terminators in, 295 self-aware robots in, 27 Skynet, 26–28, 52–53, 134, 233–34, 360–61 “Terminator Conundrum,” 8 terrorism, 93, 134 Tesla Model S crash, 147 Tetris, 239 thermostats, programmable, 30–31, 33–34 Third Offset Strategy, 59, 82, 93 Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ), 130–33 Three Laws of Robotics (Asimov), 26–27, 134 Three Mile Island nuclear accident, 151–53, 156 Thresher, USS, 161 tightly coupled systems, 152 TJ (Thomas Jefferson High School), 130–33 Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile (TASM), 49, 49f, 53–54, 368n Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM-E), 55, 368n Tornado GR4A fighter jet incident, 138–40, 176 torpedoes, 39–40 torture, 280 total war, 274, 296, 341 Tousley, Bradford, 80–84, 149, 210, 223–24 TRACE (Target Recognition and Adaption in Contested Environments), 84–88, 128 training, limitations of, 177 transparency and crisis management, 328–29 in description of weapons research, 111 in treaty verification regimes, 344–45, 352–53 treaties, arms control, see arms control Trebek, Alex, 146 Trident II (D5) ballistic missile, 173 Trophy system, 92 trust in Aegis combat system, 168 in automation, see automation bias and cybersecurity, 246 and dangers of autonomous weapons, 192, 194 and deployment of autonomous systems, 83 and need to understand system’s capabilities and limitations, 149–50 Tseng, Brandon, 122, 123, 133 Tseng, Ryan, 122 TTO (Tactical Technology Office), 79–83 TTP (tactics, techniques, and procedures), 41 Turing, Alan, 236 Turing test, 236 Tutsis, 288 Twain, Mark, 35–36 Twitter, 185, 224 U-2 surveillance plane, 307, 310–11 UAV (uninhabited aerial vehicle), 104 UCAV (uninhabited combat aerial vehicle), 62 unguided weapons, 38–39 UNIDIR (UN Institute for Disarmament Research), 150–51 uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV), 104 uninhabited combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), 62 United Kingdom (UK) autonomous weapons policy, 118 Brimstone missile, 105–8, 117, 326, 353 stance on fully autonomous weapons, 110–11 Taranis drone, 108–11 transparency in description of weapons research, 111 WWII aerial bombardments, 341–42 UK Joint Doctrine Note 2/11 (The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems), 109 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), see Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), 150–51 UN Security Council, 344 United Nations Special Rapporteur, 287 U.S.


pages: 498 words: 153,927

The River at the Centre of the World by Simon Winchester

British Empire, Deng Xiaoping, Khartoum Gordon, Nelson Mandela, 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: 548 words: 147,919

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

airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, different worldview, disruptive innovation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Turing test, unemployed young men, Valery Gerasimov, 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: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

These small triumphs of ingenuity are needed to bring the goods to your house, and they have deep historical roots. There are huge ports like Felixstowe dotted across the globe. Singapore’s deep-water harbour is one reason why Sir Stamford Raffles chose it as a base for British trading in 1819; another reason is its strategic location at the south-eastern end of the Strait of Malacca, between the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. Any boat wanting to travel from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea needs to go through the strait. Today the port is the second-busiest in the world and Singapore is one of the planet’s most prosperous nations, thanks to its position at the heart of Asian trade and finance. Shipping containers are so uniform in appearance that it is difficult to tell what is inside them. But in Singapore, it was possible to catch a glimpse of what the ships were actually carrying.

In the last 50 years, more and more nations have made the breakthrough out of poverty, starting with Asian “tigers” like South Korea and Taiwan, and moving on to the giants of China and India. Economic power is shifting away from Europe and North America, where it resided for the last three centuries, and back to Asia. This is a return to “normal” in some ways, since the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea were for a long time the heart of the global trading system. Many economic changes that have led to long-term prosperity faced short-term opposition. Change means that some tasks must stop so that others may start, and that creates losers as well as winners. In the short term, the complaints of the losers may dominate the discussion. They lose their jobs or suffer cuts in pay and are understandably unhappy as a result.

While the term “Silk Road” is now commonplace, it is worth noting that most goods will probably have been transported by sea. (Indeed, in the terminology of the current Chinese government’s Belt and Road initiative, the sea route to Africa and the Mediterranean is the road element.)13 The overland route was vulnerable to disruption by raiders and suffered a decline after around 750CE before reviving again at the time of the Mongol empire. Shipwrecks in the South China Sea have shown vast cargoes of pottery, with 55,000 pieces in one wreck and 500,000 in another. Such cargoes were far too bulky to have been carried by pack animals. One of the most remarkable finds in recent years was the Belitung shipwreck, found off the coast of Indonesia. This Arab dhow was on the way back from China in the ninth century CE and contained the largest ever hoard of Tang dynasty artefacts.


pages: 302 words: 92,507

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

Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Exxon Valdez, Mason jar, refrigerator car, South China Sea, Thales of Miletus, 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.


pages: 307 words: 88,745

War for Eternity: Inside Bannon's Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Etonian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Saturday Night Live, school choice, side project, Skype, South China Sea, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks

For Steve, the message gave him license to forage further, to admit aloud to himself that the Bible as a blueprint for life was incomplete, and that a fuller spirituality even in the Christian tradition would require venturing beyond. At least, that was his tacit justification as he dove into the Upanishads or Aldous Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy. And the effort wasn’t all about reading, either. Steve renewed his practice of meditation while on the destroyer. The stress of the responsibilities of patrolling the South China Sea was enough to make moments of calm and stillness brought by meditation palliative and essential. His method was basic, a distillation of what he had learned in college: he found a sitting position—nothing fancy—closed his eyes mostly, dropped his chin, relaxed his shoulders, and centered his attention on calming his breaths. He found a mantra to repeat to himself silently, over and over again.

All that came of it was some good-natured razzing, but Steve felt anxious each time it happened. He was fearful of exposure. As a naval officer, especially in this part of the world, you just couldn’t be talking about stuff like this. He knew what his superiors would think of him, and had on occasion laid awake at night playing hypothetical conversations in his head. He pictured his superior finding out: “Bannon’s doing fucking Zen meditation on a combatant? In the South China Sea? On picket duty? Put a mark in his fitness report. Drop his security clearance. There are nukes on this ship, and we’ve got a pollywog going native. Bannon’s a weirdo!” That would be devastating—being weird. If you’re weird in a wardroom, you’ll get a shitty fitness report. You get a shitty fitness report, and you start dropping down the hierarchy. Steve hadn’t gotten this far because he was a privileged U.S.


Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

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, Kickstarter, large denomination, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, period drama, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, white picket fence, 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

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.


Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain by John Darwin

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, European colonialism, financial independence, friendly fire, full employment, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Kowloon Walled City, land tenure, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, open economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Right to Buy, Scientific racism, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing

The isle of Mauritius, on the sea-route to India, was taken by France in 1715. In the ‘country trade’ – that is the traffic within Asia – an array of indigenous merchants plied routes that predated by centuries the arrival of European shipping. Arab and Swahili merchants in East Africa, Hadramis from Southern Arabia, Indians from Surat, Bugis from the Celebes, as well as Chinese, carried much of the trade of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea.41 Of all these groups, it was the Armenians, with their headquarters at New Julfa in Safavid Isfahan, whose commercial success was most widely envied by Europeans. As we shall see, the English in Asia were anxious to link their own fortunes with those of this remarkable network. To make their way into this world, and snatch a profit from its trades, the English merchants had banded together into a common concern.

But it was Britain’s possession of India that made it a great Asian power, and for much of the nineteenth century, the Asian power. No other European state acquired an overseas territory on remotely this scale, or one which conferred such astonishing benefits. With India in their hands, the British had the means to exert their power across a huge swathe of the world from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, and even for a time into the Sea of Japan. This was partly because India supplied so many mercantile assets (Indian merchants as well as cotton and opium). But India’s unique value lay mainly in the fact that it gave the British an army. After the Mutiny, when the Indian army was shrunk, and the all-British garrison enlarged, two thirds of Britain’s regular forces (Indian and British) were paid for by the Indian taxpayer.

I owe this point to Richter, Facing East, p. 41. 38. Ibid., p. 51. 39. P. C. Mancall, Deadly Medicine: Indians and Alcohol in Early America (London, 1995), p. 14. 40. V. Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context c. 800–1830 (Cambridge, 2003), vol. 1, pp. 277–82. 41. For a fascinating survey, D. Lombard and J. Aubin (eds.), Asian Merchants and Businessmen in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea (Delhi, 2000). 42. This is a tiny selection from that extraordinary lexicon of Anglo-Indian speech, H. Yule and A. C. Burnell (eds.), Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, first published in 1886. 43. For these ventures, W. Foster, England’s Quest of Eastern Trade (London, 1933). 44. See N. Hiromu, ‘The Factories and Facilities of the East India Companies in Surat: Locations, Building Characteristics and Ownership’, in Haneda Masashi (ed.), Asian Port Cities 1600–1800: Local and Foreign Cultural Interactions (Tokyo, 2009), p. 221 (quoting Sir Thomas Roe). 45.


pages: 319 words: 100,984

The Moon: A History for the Future by Oliver Morton

Charles Lindbergh, commoditize, Dava Sobel, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, multiplanetary species, Norman Mailer, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, UNCLOS, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Lunar resources are a big issue if you want to make a moonbase permanent. At the scale of national economies they hardly move the dial. Disputes over who has the right to go where in the South China Sea could escalate into a real concern very quickly; rights of passage across Shackleton Crater seem less likely to. But in this respect the Moon does not exist in a vacuum, responding only to the solar wind. The political climate on Earth—and thus, in the Anthropocene, the Earth’s own climate—will buffet it, shake it, reshape it. The way people treat each other in Shackleton Crater will depend on what happens in the South China Sea. The extent of any future development of the Moon will depend in part on what is found there, in part on ingenuity, in part on luck. But it will depend much more on how the rest of the world develops, both politically and economically; what its wants are and what its conflicts.


pages: 366 words: 100,602

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

centre right, colonial exploitation, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, 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.


Global Catastrophic Risks by Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Cirkovic

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, availability heuristic, Bill Joy: nanobots, Black Swan, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, death of newspapers, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, feminist movement, framing effect, friendly AI, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, global village, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, P = NP, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, South China Sea, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Tunguska event, twin studies, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, War on Poverty, Westphalian system, Y2K

Recent information on the environmental effects of super-eruptions supports the exceptional climatic impact of the Toba eruption, with significant effects on the environment and human population. 10.2 Atmospheric im pact of a super-eruption The Toba eruption has been dated by various methods KfAr method at 73,500 ± 3500 yr B P (Chesner et al., 1991). The Toba ash layer occurs in deep-sea cores from the Indian Ocean and South China Sea ( Huang et al., 2001; Shultz et al. , 2002; Song et al., 2000) . The widespread ash layer has a dense rock equivalent volume (DRE) of approximately 800 km3 (Chesner et al. , 1991). The pyroclastic flow deposits on Sumatra have a volume ofapproximately 2000 km 3 DRE (Chesner et al., 1991; Rose and Chesner, 1 990) , for a total eruption volume of approximately 2800 km 3 ( D RE). Woods and Wohletz ( 1 991) estimated Toba eruption cloud heights of 32 ± 5 km, and the duration of continuous fallout of Toba ash over the Indian Ocean has been estimated at two weeks or less ( Ledbetter and Sparks, 1979).

., 1 990) and spreads from a point source, but volcanic dust is injected much higher into the stratosphere, and hence Toba ash could have had a wide global coverage despite its short lifetime. Evidence of the wide dispersal of the dust and ash from Toba can be seen from lake deposits in India, where the reworked Toba ash forms a layer up to 3 m thick, and from the widespread ash layer in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea (Acharya and Basu, 1993; Huang et al., 2001; Shane et al., 1995). Evidence for rapid and severe cooling from the direct effects of volcanic ash clouds comes from the aftermath ofthe 1815 Tambora eruption. Madras, India experienced a dramatic cooling during the last week of April 1815, a time when the relatively fresh ash and aerosol cloud from Tambora ( 10-1 1 April) would have been overhead.

The eruption clouds of individual historic eruptions have been too short-lived to drive lower tropospheric temperatures to their steady­ state values (Pollack et al. , 1993), but the apparently long-lasting Toba aerosols may mean that the temperature changes in the troposphere attained a larger fraction of their steady-state values. Huang et al. (2001) were able to correlate the Toba ash in the South China Sea with a 1 oc cooling of surface waters that lasted about 1000 years. Considering a somewhat smaller super-eruption, the Campanian eruption of approximately 37,000 cal yr BP in Italy (150 km 3 of magma discharged) was coincident with Late Pleistocene bio-cultural changes that occurred within and outside the Mediterranean region. These included the Middle to Upper Paleolithic cultural transition and the replacement of Neanderthals by 'modern' Homo sapiens (Fedele et al., 2002). 10.4 Possible environmental effects of a super-eruption The climatic and environmental impacts of the Toba super-eruption are potentially so much greater than that of recent historical eruptions (e.g., Hansen et al., 1 992; Stothers, 1 996) that instrumental records, anecdotal information, and climate-model studies of the effects of these eruptions may not be relevant in scaling up to the unique Toba event (Rampino and Self, 1 993a; Rampino et al., 1 988) .


pages: 113 words: 36,039

The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction by Mark Lilla

Berlin Wall, coherent worldview, creative destruction, George Santayana, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, liberation theology, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, urban planning, women in the workforce

The theme of total emancipation, practiced in the present, in the enthusiasm of the absolute present, is always situated beyond Good and Evil. . . . Extreme violence is therefore the correlate of extreme enthusiasm, because it is in effect a question of the transvaluation of all values. . . . Morality is a residue of the old world. After many thousands of the victims of the Vietcong escaped on their rafts into the South China Sea in the mid-1970s, and millions (not hundreds of thousands) were butchered in Cambodia, the French romance with revolution seemed to end. During the following two decades the last surviving Maoists like Badiou lived in interior exile while the political debate revolved around human rights, multiculturalism, and neoliberalism. In the new century, though, as a more radical leftism returned, Badiou made a comeback.


pages: 445 words: 105,255

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Bill Joy: nanobots, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, 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, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Thomas Malthus, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

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: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

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, 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, undersea cable, 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: 444 words: 107,664

The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories by Edward Hollis

A Pattern Language, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, place-making, South China Sea, the scientific method, Wunderkammern

Or a millennium and a half of Venetian history, perhaps. A week later, Adelson hands a beautiful woman down into a gondola. She smiles at him, and he chuckles a little, because it is Diana Ross who reclines on the cushion by his aging side. Their gondolier sings to them as he steers through the canals, and on the hour the deep bell of San Marco resounds in the night air. They scarcely notice the waves of the South China Sea lapping on the sands of the Cotai Strip outside. The Western Wall, Jerusalem In Which Nothing, and Everything, Has Changed THE ARCHITECTURE OF FAILED DIPLOMACY Scheme for Palestinian access to the Haram e-Sharif, prepared by Eyal Weizman and Rafi Segal (detail). INHERITANCE The last place whose secret life is recounted in this book is older by far than the Parthenon, and in some quarters much better known; but it makes an odd sort of tourist attraction.

Theodore, 43, 55, 57 Saladin, 295 Salford, 219 San Gimignano, 135 San Miguel de Allende, 83 Santa Fé, 127 Saville, Peter, 224 Saxony, 182 Scarpa, Carlo, 9 Schabowski, Günther, 243–44, 246 Scheerbart, Paul, 216 Schinkel, Karl Friedrich, 31–32, 169, 173–76, 179–81, 184–85 Scholl, Sophie, 31 Scotland, 25, 100 Scott, Fred, 9 Sebrok, Abbot, 115, 117–18 Segal, Rafi, 290 Seine, River, 198 Selim II, Sultan, 73 Serapis, 49 Serlo, Abbot, 109, 118–19 Severn, River, 107, 115 Seville, 129, 140 Sèvres, Treaty of, 76 Sex Pistols, 224, 229 Sforza, Francesco, 150 Shakespeare, William, 11 The Tempest, 7–8 Shanghai, 7, 263 Sharon, Ariel, 290 Sheba, 301 Sheffield, Park Hill estate, 218, 221 Sicily, 83 Sidney, Philip, 97 Siena, 150 Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, 151, 154 Silesia, 182 Sinai, 296 Sinan, 74–75, 294 Sinatra, Frank, 263 Singapore, 270 Six-Day War, 288 Skelmersdale, 218 Slany, 83 Society of Dilettanti, 28 Socrates, 18 Solomon, king of Israel, 65, 69, 295, 301 Sophocles, 18 Sophronius, Patriarch, 297 South China Sea, 277 Soviet Union, 181 see also Russia Spain, 68, 127–29, 143, 318 reconquista, 126–27, 133 Spanish Inquisition, 294 Sparta, 152, 165 Spree, River, 35 Sri Lanka (Ceylon), 15, 128 Stalin, Josef, 184 Staunton, Abbot, 111–12, 119 Stewart, Helen, 260, 262 Stone, Sally, 9 stories, 11–12 Stuart, James. See Antiquities of Athens Stuttgart, 185 Suleyman, Sultan, 72, 74–75, 294 Sulla, consul, 47 Sully, Maurice de, 201–4 Sweden, 247, 252 Syracuse, 7 Syria, 46, 142 T Taut, Bruno, 216 Tersatto, 88, 92–93 Thames River, 35 Themistocles, 32 Theodora, empress of Constantinople, 64, 75 Theodosius I, emperor of Rome, 20, 32, 48, 64 Thermopylae, Battle of, 20 Thokey, Abbot John, 107–10 Thomas of Cantebrugge, 117–18 Thomas of Canterbury, 116 Thucydides, 15, 18, 25, 35 Thutmosis, Pharaoh, 49 Timbavati, 265 titanium, 35 Titus, 298–99, 302 Tivoli, 141, 175 Torcello, Rustico da, 50–51 Town, Ithiel, 5 Trelleborg, 247 Tresivio, 83 Troy, 22, 46, 105 True Cross, the, 90 Truman, Harry S., 185 Tschumi, Bernard, 35, 233 Tully, Robert, 117 Turkey, 78, 284 Tuscan language, 157 Tuscany, 56 Tzara, Tristan, 224 U Ukraine, 261 Umayyad dynasty, 140 UNESCO, 78, 284–85 United Nations, 288 United States of America, 181 Ur, 300 Urbino, 150 V Valhalla, 31 Valtelline, 83 Valturio, Roberto, 152, 165 Venice, 12, 24, 40, 43, 49–58, 66, 165, 175, 294 Arsenale, 55 Basilica of San Marco, 9, 42–43, 51–52, 55–56, 81 Bucintoro, 43 families of the Golden Book, 57 horses of San Marco, 41–43, 47–48, 55, 57–58, 66 Las Vegas and, 261–62, 267–69 Marco Polo and, 258, 270 Pala d’Oro, 42–43 Piazza San Marco, 57 Torcello island, 50 and tourism, 257, 272–74 winged lion of St.


pages: 424 words: 108,768

Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History by Lewis Dartnell

agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, clean water, Columbian Exchange, decarbonisation, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Google Earth, Khyber Pass, Malacca Straits, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pax Mongolica, peak oil, phenotype, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spice trade, supervolcano, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

Routes from the Indian Ocean threaded through the narrow Strait of Malacca, others stretched down from the East China Sea, and also from the Moluccan Spice Islands in the east, all converging on trading ports on the Malay Peninsula or the islands of Java and Sumatra.38 By AD 1400, the port of Malacca on the south-east Malaysian peninsula had grown from a small fishing village to one of the largest centres of maritime trade in the world.39 It was strategically located roughly halfway along the 800-kilometre Strait of Malacca between the Malay Peninsula and the long island of Sumatra, at a point where the funnel-shaped strait narrows to just 60 kilometres wide. The Strait of Malacca was one of the most important waterways in the Eastern Hemisphere as it served as the crucial marine thoroughfare between the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.40 The port’s heaving markets burst with a huge diversity of trade goods: wool and glass from Venice, opium and incense from Arabia, porcelain and silks from China, and of course the spices from the Bandas and the Moluccas.41 Malacca was one of the most cosmopolitan places on Earth, its port a forest of masts where the dhows from the Indian Ocean berthed alongside the junks from China and the Spice Islands, and with a population larger than Lisbon speaking scores of different languages that could be heard over the din of the markets.42 It was the riches of this spice trade that provided the major draw for European navigators trying to find new sea routes to the east at the end of the fifteenth century.§ And when they arrived, they strove to dominate this expansive South East Asian trade network by capturing key features of the geography of the seas: naval chokepoints.

Index Abbasids 212 Aberdeen: granite 148, 151 Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Mosque 136 Abu Simbel, Egypt: Great Temple of Rameses II 132 Achaemenid Empire 202 Acheulean tools 17, 22 acid rain 142, 280 Aden 107 Aden, Gulf of 11 adobe bricks 131, 155 Aegean/Aegean Sea 99, 100, 117, 162 Aegospotami, Battle of (405 BC) 118 Afar region/triangle 11, 18 Afghanistan 183, 190, 194 Africa 11, 15, 21, 56, 98, 104, 105, 106, 139, 160, 218n, 219, 220, 267, 285 animals 88, 89 hominin migration from 22, 23, 45–6, 47, 52, 63 plants 67, 87 see East, North, South and West Africa African-Americans 125–6 Agassiz, Lake 60, 61–2 agriculture/farming 25, 26, 28, 52, 59, 61, 62, 63–5, 70–71, 87–8, 90, 130, 203, 205, 255, 256–7, 258, 280, 281, 285 and climate change 280 and oil 274 and population growth 70 tools and ploughs 76, 77, 165–6, 215n, 255, 268, 285, 286 see also cereal crops; fruit; legumes aircraft engines 175, 176 Akkadians 131 Akrotiri, Thera 163 Akshardham, Delhi 136 Alabama 125, 126 cotton plantations 125, 253–4 Alans 207 Alaska 48–9, 52, 195 Alborán microcontinent 218n Alborz Mountains 29–30 Alcáçovas, Treaty of (1479) 229, 230 Alexander the Great 101, 117n, 202 Alexandria 101, 187 Library 227 algae 138, 171, 261 Algeria 100 alpacas 76, 88, 89 Alps, the 32, 56, 58, 116, 135, 140, 154, 159, 163, 285 Altai Mountains 47, 196, 202 aluminium 174–5, 177, 182 aluminium silicates 266 Amazon 7, 63, 189 rainforest 223n, 275, 285 America(s) 55, 194n animals 88–9 discovery of 231, 237 human migration into 48–52 see also North America; South America; United States American Civil War 124, 126, 254 American War of Revolution (1775–83) 122 ammonites 138 Amnissos, Crete 162 amphibians 79, 262 Amsterdam: banking 97 Anatolia 131, 157, 165, 204, 205 Andes Mountains 32, 54, 66, 67, 74 angiosperms 40, 78, 79–82, 90, 141n Angkor Wat, Cambodia 129 animals, wild 13, 33–4, 49, 72, 83, 88–9, 66n domestication of 52, 59, 74–8, 88–90, 199 megafauna 53n see also mammals Antarctica 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 53, 86, 104, 267, 277 antelopes 12, 83 ‘Anthropocene’ Age 3 antimony 175 APP mammals 82, 84, 85, 86 Appalachian Mountains 55, 124, 125, 267, 270 Aqaba, Gulf of 110n Arabia/Arabian Peninsula 11, 27, 28, 47, 53, 75, 104, 107, 108–9, 110, 115, 188, 191 camels 89 deserts 29, 190, 192, 215, 285 stone tools 52n Aragon, Spain 218 Aral Sea 105, 196 architecture 129–30, 131 American 134–5, 136 and n ancient Egyptian 132–3 British 134, 151–3, 154–5 Minoan 161, 162 Roman 136n, 162n Arctic, the 36, 38, 39, 40, 43, 64, 85 Arctic Ocean 60 Ardipithecus ramidus 13–15, 18 Argentina: pampas 196 artiodactyls 82–3, 84, 86, 144 Asia, South East 10, 75, 91, 119, 239 islands 111–15, 112–13 asphalt 273, 274 Assyrian Empire 27, 131, 202 asteroids 94, 143n, 168, 178n, 179 astronomy 194, 252n Athens 116, 117–18 Atlantic Ocean 43, 61, 62, 95, 96, 99, 104, 106, 122, 139, 218, 219–20, 222, 226, 227, 229–30, 231, 237, 238, 267 and Mediterranean 105, 106, 118 Atlantic Trade Triangle 246, 249, 250–51, 252–4 Atlas Mountains 105, 163, 267 Attila the Hun 207 aurochs 74 Australia 10, 42, 48, 52n, 54, 121, 252 and n, 267, 285 domesticable animals 88 rare earth metals 181 grasses 87 Australopithecus 14–15, 16 A. afarensis 14, 18 Avars 203 avocados 66n Awash river valley 13, 14, 18 Azores, the 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 229, 230, 231 Aztec culture 28 Bab-el-Mandeb strait 47, 107, 108, 110, 119, 121 Babylon 71, 273 Babylonians 131 Bacan Islands 114 Baghdad 110, 190, 212 Bahamas, the 230 Bahrain 120 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan 197n Balaclava, Battle of (1854) 129 Banda Islands 111, 112–13, 114, 115 Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) 169–70, 173, 177, 179 Bank of England, London 134 banks and banking 97, 134 Barbarossa, Operation 215 Barbegal, France: waterwheels 257 barley 61, 65, 67, 117 basalt eruptions/flood basalt 141, 142, 143, 144, 145 basalt(ic) rocks 11, 141, 143, 145, 146, 160 Batavia (Jakarta), Indonesia 252 batteries, rechargeable 176, 180 bay (herb) 115n beans 66, 81 Beatles, the: ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ 14n Bedouins 129 belemnites 138 Belgium 96, 269, 284 Belize 28 Bering land bridge/Strait 48, 49, 51, 52, 54, 89, 191 Bessemer Process 166–7 BIFs see Banded Iron Formations Big Bang 167 Biological Old Regime 258 bipedalism 14–15, 16 birds 33, 80, 219n, 263 bison 49, 214n bitumen 273 ‘Black Death’ (accumulation of shale) 279 Black Death (plague) 211–12 Black Sea 105, 106, 117, 118, 120, 185, 190, 196, 207, 278n ‘black smokers’ 159, 160, 163 blast furnaces 165, 211, 257, 259 Bojador, Cape 223–4, 225 bone china 149 Borneo 112 Bosphorus 196, 117, 118, 120 Boston, Massachusetts 56 Brahmaputra River 91 brassicas 81, 82 Brazil 181, 244n, 247n coffee plantations 252, 253, 254 Brazil Current 238, 239, 253 bricks 131, 139, 149, 152, 174, 255 adobe 131, 155 firebricks 131–2 Britain/England 56–9, 97 architecture 134, 152–3, 154–5 ceramics 149–50 coalfields/mines 259–60, 266, 269, 270–72, 271 corsairs 249 electricity 271n exploration 229, 231 geology 150–53, 151 Labour Party 270, 271, 271–2 maritime trade 107n, 245 railways 260 Roman coal mines 259 Royal Navy 58, 118, 119 steam engines 259–60 see also Industrial Revolution; London British Museum, London 134, 148 bromine 175 bronze/bronze artefacts 1578, 161, 165, 174 Bronze Age 99, 137, 156, 158, 160–61, 164, 174, 200n Brouwer, Captain Henrik 250–51 Brouwer Route 119n, 246, 250, 250–52 bubonic plague 211–12 Buckingham Palace, London 134 Buffalo, New York 55 Bukhara, Uzbekistan 190, 212 Bulgars 203, 204 Burgundians 207 Burma 92 Bush, President George W. 124 Bushveld Complex, South Africa 179–80 butane 276 Byblos 101n Byzantine Empire 205, 213 Cabot, John 231 cacti 80 calcium carbonate 41, 129, 133, 139, 140 Calicut, India 240 California 52n, 248 Cambodia 92 Cambrian Period 152, 153 camels 19, 49, 75, 76, 77, 83, 88, 89, 107, 187, 191–2, 193, 197 Bactrian camels 89, 191 dromedaries 89, 191 Canada 49, 60, 63, 89, 163, 179, 195, 267, 277 fur trade 195 canals 71, 74, 150 and n, 152, 187 Canary Current 237 Canary Islands 218–19, 220, 222, 223, 225, 227, 228, 229, 230 Cape Cod, Massachusetts 56 Cape of Good Hope 121, 225–6, 231, 250 Cape Town 252 Cape Verde Islands 218, 219, 220, 229, 239, 253n capitalism 96–7, 154, 270 caravans, merchant 81, 107, 110, 187, 188, 192–3, 194, 201, 211, 218 caravels 246 carbon 1, 85n, 157, 165, 166, 167, 175, 261, 263, 273, 275–6, 278, 279, 280, 281 carbon dioxide 10, 38, 40, 42, 44, 65, 84, 85 and n, 139, 142, 143, 144–5, 170, 171, 172, 261, 265, 275, 279–80, 281 and n, 287 Carboniferous Period 6, 78–9, 134, 151, 261–8 Caribbean, the 28, 52, 61, 230, 231, 237 sugar plantations 252, 253, 254 Carnegie, Andrew 270 Carolinas, the 124, 125 cotton plantations 253–4 Carpathian Mountains 163, 185, 196, 204 Carrara marble 135 cars/automobiles 174, 273 Carthage 100–1, 105n, 208 cartwheel hubs 130 Caspian Sea 105, 120, 196, 201, 207 cassava 131 Castile, Spain 217, 218 catalysts, chemical 178, 180 catalytic converters 178 cathedrals 127, 129, 134 Catholicism 185n cattle/cows 67, 74, 75, 76, 77, 82n, 83, 84n, 86–7, 88, 172n, 198, 198, 201 Caucasus 185, 196, 204, 207, 209, 215 cedars/cedarwood 73, 70, 101n, 131 cellulose 263, 264 cement 139, 140–41 ‘pozzolanic’ 162n Cenozoic cooling 9–10, 39–40, 81 Cenozoic era 42, 44, 90, 141n Central Steppe see Kazakh Steppe ceramics/pottery 131–2, 255 porcelain 112, 115, 149–50 cereal crops 65, 67–9, 70, 78, 80, 86–7, 90, 125, 287; see also grain(s) Cerne Abbas Giant, Dorset 137 Cerro Rico see Potosí Ceuta, Morocco 217–18 Ceylon see Sri Lanka chalk 132, 136–8, 139–40, 152 Channel Tunnel 137 charcoal 157, 161, 164, 166, 173n, 255, 269 chariots, war 76, 116n, 200n chert 17n, 156, 170 Chicago 55, 56, 135 chickens 74 Chile 54 chimpanzees 7, 14, 16, 46 China 28n, 182, 183–5, 186, 187, 190, 195, 206, 213, 214 agriculture 63, 65–6, 67, 77, 184 blast furnaces 165, 257 bronze 157 bubonic plague 211 canals 187 coal 258–9, 264 collar harnesses 77 compasses 169 exports 112, 115, 249 first humans 48, 52n, 53 ginkgo 79 Great Wall 203–4, 208 Homo erectus 23, 47 Mongols (Yuan dynasty) 209, 210, 212, 214 and oil 121 population 92, 186, 211, 284 porcelain 112, 115, 149 rare earth metals 177, 181 salt production 273 silk 112, 115, 187–8, 193n and South American silver 249 and steppe nomads 202–3 tea 112 and Tibet 91–3 waterwheels 165, 257 and Xiongnu 202, 206 china, bone 149 see also porcelain chokepoints, naval 98, 115, 118–19, 121, 217n, 273 Christianity 185n, 217 cinnamon 113, 114, 193, 241 civilisations, early 25–30, 26–7, 70–74, 90, 98–9, 132 Clarke, Arthur C. 94 clathrate ice 85–6 clay 130, 131–2, 152, 266 soils 154–5, 166 Cleopatra VII, of Egypt 101, 147 ‘Cleopatra’s Needles’ 147 Cleveland, Ohio 55 climate changes 2–3, 9–10, 11–12, 18–19, 21–5, 61, 63, 64, 70–71, 72, 84–5, 86, 143–4, 279–81; see also ice ages Clinton, Hillary 122 cloves 114, 115n, 241, 247 clubmosses 262 clunch 152 coal 78, 149, 258–60, 279 formation of 261–8, 267, 274, 280 politics of 269, 270, 270–72, 271 cobalt 159, 175 coccolithophores 138, 139, 140, 144 coccoliths 274, 275 cockroaches 262 cocoa 66n coconuts 81 Cocos Plate 28 cod 95, 97 coffee plantations, Brazilian 252, 253 coins 168n, 182 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Kublai Khan 210 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 97n, 234 Cologne Cathedral 127 Colombia: platinum 178n Colosseum, Rome 133 Columbian Exchange 113n Columbus, Christopher 52, 227–31, 236, 239, 241 comets 94, 143n, 178n compasses, navigation 118n, 169 concrete 56, 139, 140–41, 272 reinforced 130n, 167 Congo 7, 11 conifers 79, 130, 141, 195 Constantinople (Istanbul) 185n, 193n, 205, 207, 211, 213 cooking food 15, 17, 69, 131, 132 cooling, global see Cenozoic cooling; ice ages copper/copper ore 157, 158, 159, 160–62, 163–4, 174, 175, 179, 182, 201n smelting 131, 156, 157, 161 coppicing 256 coral/coral reefs 193, 252n, 280 Cordilleran ice sheet 49 coriander 115n Corinth 117 Coriolis effect 233, 235, 237 Cornwall Eden Project 150n granite 267n kaolin 149, 150n tin mines 158, 267n Corsica 208 Cotswolds, the 152 cotton 82, 112, 125, 126, 193, 252, 253–4, 255, 259, 263, 269 courgettes 66n cows see cattle Cretaceous Period 40, 42, 80, 123, 124, 137, 138, 139, 141n, 143n, 144, 145, 152, 178n, 274, 276–9, 278 Crete 99, 161–3 Crimean Peninsula 129 crocodiles 72, 85 crops 255 domestication of 52, 63–4, 65–9, 68–9 rotation 255 see also cereal crops; grain(s) Cuba 230 Cumans 203 Cumberland: coalfields 272 cumin 115n current sailing see sailing and navigation cyanobacteria 171, 173 Cyclades, the 99 Cyprus 99, 160 copper mining 158, 160–62, 163 Troodos Mountains 160, 163 Da Gama, Vasco 239–41, 244 Danube River/Valley 185 and n, 196, 204, 206, 207, 208 Dardanelles, the 117, 118, 120 ‘Dark Ages’ 219 Dartmoor 147, 151 dates (fruit) 81 Dead Sea 106, 110n Deccan Traps 143n deer 83 Delhi: Akshardham 136 Denisovan hominins 16, 23, 47, 50–51, 51, 53 deserts 1, 12, 29, 61, 72, 73, 80, 81, 89, 100, 107, 148n, 184, 189, 190–92, 195, 215–16, 232, 285 see also specific deserts Detroit, Michigan 55 Dias, Bartolomeu 225–7, 229, 239 diatoms 140, 171, 274 dinoflagellates 85, 274 dinosaurs 40, 80, 82, 141, 143n Diomede Islands 48 Djibouti 11, 18 DNA, hominins’ 45–7 Dogger Bank/Doggerland 95, 96, 97 dogs 74 doldrums, the 224, 234–5, 239 donkeys 76, 83, 88, 89, 192 Dover, Strait of 57, 59 dragonflies, giant 262–3, 265 Drake, Sir Francis 55, 249 Dublin: Leinster House 136n Durham: coalfields 272 Dutch East India Company 250 dysprosium 175 Dzungaria, China 197, 214 Dzungarian Gate, China–Kazakhstan border 189, 196–7, 203, 204 Eanes, Gil 223–4 Earth 282–3, 284, 286–7 circumference 227, 228 creation 94, 168 first circumnavigation 232, 248 magnetic field 169 orbit round the Sun 19, 21, 22, 24, 35, 36–9, 37 tilt 19, 35, 36–9, 37, 38, 44–5; see also Milankovitch cycles see also climate changes; tectonic plates earthenware pots 131, 149 earthquakes 8, 25, 28, 29, 30 East Africa 7–8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16 climate 12, 18–25, 44 tectonic processes 10–13, 18–21, 24, 25, 30, 189 East African Rift 2n, 10–13, 17n, 18, 20, 20–25, 44, 108, 189, 287 East China Sea 114, 187 East India Company 222n East Indies 111 Eastern Desert 107, 133 Eastern Orthodox Church 185n Eastern Steppe 197 eccentricity cycle 19, 21, 22, 36, 37, 39 Ecuador: platinum 178n Edinburgh 151 Egypt/ancient Egypt 26, 28n, 64, 72–3, 100, 101, 107, 110, 119, 157, 184 buildings 132–3 pharaohs 72, 101, 127, 129, 147 pyramids 127–8, 129, 133, 138 sculpture 133, 147–8 electricity 156, 174, 271n, 272, 281, 282–3, 284, 286 electronic devices 157, 168, 175, 176, 178, 180, 181–2 elephants 33, 72, 256n Elgon, Mount 12 elm 130 Empire State Building, New York 134 Energy Return on Investment (EROI) index 274 English Channel 56, 57, 58–9, 134, 137 Eocene Epoch 129 equator, the 189, 232, 233, 234, 235, 238 equids 88–9, 197–8 Eratosthenes 227 Eridu 71 Eritrea 11 EROI index see Energy Return on Investment Erzgebirge Mountains: tin mines 158 ethane 276 Ethiopia 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 28n, 72 Etna, Mount 117 Etruscans 27, 28 Euphrates, River 27, 65, 90, 107 Eurasia 9, 26, 27, 28, 39, 42, 47, 56, 77, 106, 143, 183, 194 climate 2, 48, 196–7 fauna and flora 49, 53n, 79, 87–90 warfare 76 Exeter Cathedral 134 Exploration, Age of 96, 216, 217, 246 extinctions, mass 40, 82, 85, 141, 142–3 and n, 144, 145, 178n factories (coastal forts) 253 farming see agriculture feldspar 148 Ferdinand II, of Aragon 227 ferns 78, 79, 262 Ferrel cells 235–6, 248 Fertile Crescent 63, 65, 66, 67, 158, 269 fertilisers, artificial 120, 178–9 feudalism 212 Finland 195, 286 fir trees 79, 130, 141 fire 15, 17, 69, 131–2, 173–4 firebricks 131–2 fish/fishing 95–6, 97, 275, 280 flax 82 flint 17n, 137, 139–40, 156, 164 Florida 237 flour 63, 68–9, 257 flowers see plants and flowers foraminifera/forams 85, 128–9, 133, 138, 139, 140, 144, 275 forests see rainforests; trees/forests fossils 13–14, 18, 40, 52n, 137–8, 141, 150n, 160 France 56, 57, 58, 185, 207, 208, 267, 269, 284 corsairs 249 fur trappers 195 maritime trade 245 waterwheels 257 wine regions 137 frankincense 192, 193 Franks 207, 208 frogs 85 fruit/fruit trees 78, 81 fungi 263, 264 fur trade 195 Galilee, Lake 110n gallium 176, 180 Ganges Basin 268 Ganges River 26, 66, 267 Gansu Corridor 184–5, 188, 203, 204 gas, natural 274, 276, 279, 280 Gaul 185, 207 Gazelles 61, 72, 275 genetic diversity 45–7 Genghis Khan 205, 209 Genoa/Genoese 99, 211, 212, 217, 227, 229 geological map, first 150 and n Germanic tribes 185n, 206–7, 208, 269 Germany 58, 59, 127, 185n, 208, 273, 284 Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland 143 Gibraltar 217n Strait of 99, 101, 106, 118, 158, 217 and n, 220 ginger 112–13, 114, 241 ginkgo 79 giraffes 83 Giza, Egypt: pyramids 127–8, 129, 133, 138 glaciation/glaciers 31, 32, 40, 54–7, 58, 60, 91, 146, 171–2, 184, 264–5 glass/glass-making/glassware 115, 132, 140, 193, 255 glazing pottery 131 globalisation 246 global warming 31, 38, 86, 281n; see also climate changes; greenhouse gases gneiss 133 Goa, India 245 goats 67, 74, 75, 77, 83, 88, 117 Gobi Desert 184, 185, 189, 191, 197 GOE see Great Oxidation Event gold 159, 168 and n, 174, 175, 178, 182, 192, 193, 218 Gona, Ethiopia 18 Gondwana 139, 264, 265, 267 gourds 66n grain(s) 63, 65, 65, 67–8, 73, 74, 116–18, 120, 166, 200, 205, 208, 257; see also cereal crops Grampian Mountains 148 Granada, Spain 218 and n granite 127–8, 132, 133, 145–8, 158, 267n grasses 67, 77, 80–81, 87–8, 90 grasslands 15, 77; see also savannah; steppes Great Hungarian Plain 196, 205 Great Indian Desert 29 Great Oxidation Event (GOE) 171–2, 173, 280n Great Pyramid, Giza 127–8, 129, 138 Great Sandy Desert, Australia 190 Great Wall of China 203–4, 208 Greece/ancient Greeks 27, 28, 73, 99, 100, 107, 110–11, 115–18, 135 armies 116n, 118 city-states 73, 116–17 Huns 207 greenhouse effect 10, 40, 42, 84–5, 142, 171 greenhouse gases 38, 40, 42, 44, 279–80 see also carbon dioxide; methane Greenland 32, 40, 96, 143 Grenville Mountains 153 Guatemala 28 guilds, medieval 212 Guinea, Gulf of 224, 239, 253 guinea fowl 74 guinea pigs: and scurvy 241n Gulf Stream 43, 61, 237, 238, 286 Gunflint Iron Formation 170n gunpowder 194, 200n, 211, 213 gymnosperms 79, 141 gyres, ocean 237, 238n, 247 Hadley cells 232–3, 235–6, 285 haematite 170 Haifa, Israel 101 Han dynasty (China) 93, 183, 184, 186, 187 and n, 190–91, 203–4 Harappan civilization 26–7, 64 Hawaii 107n, 222n helium 167, 180n Hellespont, the 117, 118, 120 hemp 82 Henry VII, of England 231 Herat, Afghanistan 190, 194 herbicides 120, 274 herbs 115n Herculaneum 162 Herodotus 73 hickory 130 hides/leather 75, 77, 88, 140, 193, 255 structures 130 Himalayas, the 9, 10, 11, 26, 32, 42, 48, 159, 184, 191, 195, 203, 242, 243, 268, 285 Hindu Kush 190, 203 hippopotamuses 33, 83n Hispaniola 230 Hitler, Adolf 215 Holland see Netherlands Holocene Epoch 32, 40, 42, 64–5 Homer: Iliad 200n hominins 7–8, 12–16, 22, 23, 30, 44, 53 bipedalism 14–15, 16 brains and intelligence 15, 16, 17, 19–20, 22, 24, 25 DNA 45–7 as hunters 15, 17 migration from Africa 22, 23, 45–6, 47, 52, 63 and see below Homo erectus 15–18, 22, 23, 47 Homo habilis 15, 16 Homo heidelbergensis 16 Homo neanderthalensis see Neanderthals Homo sapiens/humans 7, 8, 16, 22, 23, 25, 47, 49–54, 84 Hormuz, Strait of 107, 119, 120–21 ‘horse latitudes’ 235 horses 49, 75, 76, 77, 83, 86–7, 88, 89–90, 192, 197–200, 201–2, 205, 213, 214 Hudson Bay, Canada 49 Humboldt Current 247, 249 Hungary 185n, 202, 209 Huns 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208 hunter-gatherers 15, 61, 62, 63, 70, 74, 75, 80, 197 hydrogen 167, 175 hydrogen chloride 142 hydrogen sulphide 280 Iberian Peninsula 104, 105, 185, 208, 217 see also Portugal; Spain ice ages 19, 23, 24, 31–5, 34–5, 38–9, 44–5, 48–52, 53-60, 61, 64, 95, 172, 265 Little Ice Age 195n, 211 ichthyosaurs 133 igneous rocks 132, 179 incense 115, 192 India 9, 26, 27, 28n, 42, 48, 91, 92, 104, 110–11, 114, 188, 191, 202, 203, 213, 228, 244, 245, 267, 285 cotton 112, 193, 259, 269 eruption of Deccan Traps 143n exports 193 Mogul Empire 210n, 249 monsoons/monsoon winds 1, 10, 110, 242–4 population 284 rare earth metals 177 spices 112–13, 115, 218 Indian Ocean 10, 11, 29, 107, 108, 110, 111, 119, 187, 191, 226, 227, 229, 237, 238, 239–40, 243, 244, 245, 248, 252 Indiana limestone 134–5 indigo 193 indium 175, 176, 180, 181, 182 Indonesia 47, 48, 54, 121, 285 volcanic activity 111 Indonesian Seaway 10, 11 Indus River/Valley 26, 91, 107, 190, 268 civilisations 26–7, 66, 73, 90, 157 Industrial Revolution 5, 31, 78, 97, 125, 130n, 150, 152, 167, 254, 259–60, 266, 268, 269, 279, 286 insects 80, 262–3, 265 internal combustion engine 78, 273 Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) 234–5, 243 Iran 29–30, 48, 110, 120, 121, 190; see also Persia Iraq 48, 71, 120 iridium 177–8 iron 1, 92, 130n, 163, 164–5, 167, 168–9, 170, 174, 177, 178, 280n and Banded Iron Formations 169–70, 173, 177 cast 165 production 164–5, 183, 257, 259, 260, 266, 269, 270 tools and weapons 128, 165–6, 173, 174, 285 wrought 164–5, 166 see also steel Iron Age 156, 165, 167, 174 irrigation 65, 71, 73, 90, 92, 116, 200 Isabella, of Castile 226n, 227, 229, 230 Isfahan, Iran 190 Islam/Islamic culture/Muslims 110, 205, 212, 213, 217–18 and diet 83n Israel 52n, 101n, 163, 285 Istanbul see Constantinople Italy 105n, 133, 207, 208, 285 see also Rome ITCZ see Intertropical Convergence Zone jade 183 Jakarta, Indonesia 252 Janissaries 205 Japan/Japanese 121, 122n, 222n, 228, 245, 248 exports 112 landfill mining 182 Java 111, 114, 119n, 251, 252 Jefferson, President Thomas 136n, 147 Joao II, of Portugal 226, 229 Jordan valley 110n Judaism: and diet 83n Jupiter 36, 180n Jurassic Coast, England 137–8 Jurassic Period 133, 134, 274, 279 Kalahari Desert 190 Kalmuks 203 kaolin 148–9, 150n Karakorum, Mongolia 209, 211 Kazakh Steppe 196, 197n, 201 Kellingley, Yorkshire: coalmine 271 Kenya 10, 239 Kenya, Mount 12 kerosene 273 Khitans 202 Khufu, Pharaoh 127 Khwarezmids 212 Khyber Pass 190, 203, 204 Kilimajaro, Mount 12 Kirghiz, the 202 Kish 71 Knossos palace, Crete 161 Korea/South Korea 121, 184 Krakatoa, eruption of (1883) 111 Kublai Khan 210 Kunlun Mountains, China 191 Kuwait 120 Laetoli, Tanzania 14 lakes 20, 20, 21, 57, 72 ‘amplifier’ 20, 21, 22, 24, 44 meltwater 60 Lancashire: coalfields 272 landfill mining 182 ‘lanthanide’ elements 176 lanthanum 176–7 lapis lazuli 183 larches 79 Laurasia 139, 267 Laurentia 153 Laurentide ice sheet 49, 55–6 lava, volcanic 12–13, 24, 132, 141–2, 143, 144 lead 131, 159, 163, 168, 174 leather see hides Lebanon 101n, 131, 163, 285 Le Clerc, ‘Peg Leg’ 249 legumes 81 Lesser Antilles 230 Levant, the 23, 60, 61, 65, 73, 74 Lewis (Meriwether) and Clark (William) 55 Libya 100, 277 lignin 264 limestone 85n, 132, 144, 153, 257, 266 hot-spring 133 Indiana 134–5 nummulitic 127, 128–9, 132–3 oolitic 133–4 Tethyean 135–6 travertine 133 linen 193, 255, 263 lions 33–4 lithium 167, 180, 182 llamas 74, 76, 88, 89 loess soils 56, 65, 184 and n Lombards 207 London 135, 137, 152, 154–5, 272 Bank of England 134 British Museum 134, 148 Buckingham Palace 134 Cleopatra’s Needle 147 Great Fire (1666) 134 Marble Arch 135 One Canada Square 154–5 St Paul’s Cathedral 134 The Shard 154–5 Tower of London 134 Underground/Tube 155 Los Angeles 248 Getty Center 133 Lucy (hominin) 14, 18 lycopsids 262 Macau, China 245 mace 114, 115n Mackenzie River 60 Madeira 218, 220, 222, 229, 253n Magellan, Ferdinand 54, 247–8 Magellan Strait 54–5 magma 11, 20, 28, 111, 132, 142, 143, 145, 146, 148n, 158, 1 59, 179 Magna Carta 58 magnetic field, Earth’s 169 magnetite 170 magnets 175, 176, 180n Magyars 203, 204 Maison Carrée, Nîmes, France 136n maize 66, 67 Makian Island 114 Malabar Coast, India 114, 240 Malacca, Malaysia 114–15, 245 Strait of 114, 115, 119, 121, 249 Malay Peninsula 114–15, 245 Mali 10, 193 Malindi, Kenya 239 Mallorca 221 mammals 5, 7, 12, 40, 53n, 61, 75, 86–7, 88, 90, 141n, 144 APP 82–4 mammoths 31, 49, 66n Manchuria 197, 202 Mani Peninsula, Greece 135 Manila Cathedral 136 Manila Galleon Route 246, 248–9, 250, 250–51 Mao Zedong 91 map-making 194 marble 132, 135–6 Marble Arch, London 135 marine snow 275 marjoram 115n Marmara, Sea of 117 mastodons 66n mathematics 194 Mayan civilisation 28, 64 meat 17, 75, 77, 83n, 84, 90, 198, 199, 255 medicines 82, 114, 175, 178, 194 Mediterranean region/Sea 28, 98–106, 112, 116, 118, 135, 158, 160, 163, 185, 187, 246 Megara, Greece 117 Mekong River 91 Melanesia 47 Merv, Turkmenistan 190, 212 Mesoamerica 28, 63, 66, 67, 129 Mesopotamia 26, 27, 28, 65, 67, 70–71, 71, 72, 200, 202 bronze 157–8 civilisations 130–31, 132 Mesozoic Era 42, 141 metals/metalworking 74, 130 and n, 131, 156–7, 255 casting 157 smelting 131, 132, 156 see also specific metals metamorphic rocks 132 methane 40–41, 84, 85n, 171–2, 172n, 276, 280n methane clathrate 85–6 Mexican War of Independence (1810–21) 248 Mexico 28, 66, 74, 248 Gulf of 279 Michelangelo Buonnaroti: David 135 microchips 17n, 148n, 175–6 Mid-Atlantic Ridge 9, 160, 221 Middle East 47, 65, 81, 104, 119, 120, 197, 202, 209, 211, 215n` Middle Passage 253n Milankovitch cycles 19, 37, 37–9, 44, 60, 70, 281n Military Revolution 213 milk 75–6, 88, 90, 199, 255 millet 65, 57, 184 millstones 63, 68 Ming dynasty (China) 204, 212 Minoan civilisation 27–8, 99, 161–3 Linear A script 163n Mississippi River 55, 123, 124, 125 Missouri River 55 mitochondria 45 Mitochondrial Eve 45–6 mobile phones see smartphones Mogadishu, Somalia 240 Mogul Empire 210n, 249 Mojave Desert 191 Moluccas, the 112–13, 113, 114, 115, 247 and n Mongol Empire 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 209–13, 214 Mongolia 47, 197, 209 monsoons 72, 114, 189–90, 192, 238–9, 285 winds 110, 192, 240–44, 243, 251 moraines 54, 55–6, 95 Morocco 217–18, 223, 267 mortar 132, 139, 140–41 Moscow 195 Moti Island 114 mountain ranges 8, 9, 26, 28, 91, 98, 99, 104–5, 139, 144, 146–7, 159–60, 267–8, 285; see also volcanoes and specific ranges Mousterian tools 17, 22 Mozambique 11, 239 mules 76, 77 Mumbai, India 107n Muslims see Islam Mycenaeans 163 myrrh 192 Nagasaki, Japan 245 Napoleon Bonaparte 58, 59, 222n Native Americans 47 Natufians 61, 62 Neanderthals 16, 17, 23–4, 47, 50–51, 51, 53, 164 Neoclassicism: in architecture 136n Neolithic era 63–5, 158, 198 Nepal 92 Netherlands 58, 96–7, 114n, 119 and n, 284 corsairs 249 and Japan 122n maritime trade 245, 250–52 windmills 257 Newfoundland 96, 231 New Guinea 10, 48, 63 agriculture 66, 67 New York 55, 56, 114n, 153–4 Chrysler Building 153 Cleopatra’s Needle 147 Empire State Building 134, 153 Rockefeller Center 153 skyscrapers 154, 155 United Nations building 134, 145 Yankee Stadium 134 New Zealand 32, 237 nickel 167, 168, 175, 179 Nile, River/Nile Valley 23, 65, 72–3, 90, 100, 101, 106, 127, 132, 133, 184, 185, 187, 285 Delta 102, 107 Nineveh 71 Nippur 71 nitrogen 170, 178–9 noble metals see platinum group metals nomadic tribes 200, 201–3, 204–5, 206, 286 see also pastoral nomads Noranda (mine), Canada 163 Norfolk: cottages 152 Norilsk, Russia: mines 179 Norse fishermen and seafarers 95, 96 North Africa 89, 110, 128, 129, 138, 206, 208, 211, 215 agriculture 63, 65 camel caravans 192–3 climate 72, 101 coastline 99, 100–2, 105, 185, 217n North America 32, 33, 39, 43, 44, 48, 49, 51, 60, 63, 64, 103–4, 139, 143 animals 53n, 197, 214n grasses 87 prairies 79, 196, 214n, 284 see also Canada; United States North Atlantic Garbage Patch 238n North Atlantic Gyre 238n North Atlantic Igneous Province 143 North Downs 137 North Pole 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 44, 224 North Sea 57, 95, 96, 279, 286 Northumberland: coalfields 272 Norway 54, 286 nuclear fission/fusion 167–8, 169, 182n, 281 Nummulites/nummulitic limestone 128–9, 132–3 nutmeg 114, 114n, 115n, 241, 247 oats 67 Obama, President Barack 124 obsidian 17n, 140, 156 Oceania 47 oceans 5, 10, 41, 43, 85, 86, 94–5, 97–8 acidic 280 anoxic 142, 173, 278, 278–9 Banded Iron Formations 170, 171, 179 black smokers (hydrothermal vents) 159, 160 chokepoints 98, 115, 118–19, 121, 217n, 273 crust 8–9, 94, 104, 139, 142, 145–6, 159, 160, 163, 221 currents and current sailing 5, 41, 219–20, 222, 223–4, 226, 227, 230–31, 232, 244n, 246 doldrums 224, 234–5, 239 falling/lower levels 32, 34, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 53–4, 56–7, 89, 95, 125, 138–9 gyres 237, 238n, 247 and iron 173 and plankton 85, 144–5, 274–6 rising/higher levels 31, 33, 38, 40, 52, 54, 57, 60, 96, 97, 124–5, 129, 138, 221, 268, 277, 280 salt content 105–6 thermohaline circulation 61–2, 278 see also specific oceans and seas ochre 164 Ogodei Khan 209 Ohio River 55 oil 120–21, 262–3, 273–9, 280, 286, 287 ‘oil window’ 276 Oldowan tools 16–17, 18, 22 olive oil 257 Oman 131 onagers 89 One Thousand and One Nights 110 ooliths 133–4 oolitic limestone 134 ophiolites 160, 163, 201n opium 115 oregano 115n Organic Energy Economy 258 orogeny 267n Orpheus and Eurydice 135 osmium 177 ostriches 72 Ostrogoths 207, 208 Ottoman Turks 205, 213 oxen 75, 77, 200 Oxford University 134 oxygen 167, 170–74, 175, 265, 275, 278, 280 ozone layer 142 172 and n Pacific Ocean 10, 43, 111, 122, 191, 222n, 237, 247, 248 Pacific Trash Vortex 238n Pakistan 92, 284 Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 40, 84–6, 129, 143, 145, 279–80, 287 Palaeogene Period 42, 178n Palaeozoic Era 42, 141 Palestine 185 Palin, Sarah 48n palladium 175, 177, 179, 182n Pamir Mountains 189, 191 Panama Canal 55, 120 Panama Isthmus 43, 44, 49, 88, 89, 249 Pangea 87, 103, 104, 138, 139, 141, 143, 144, 201n, 262, 267, 267, 268, 276 Panthalassa 103n Pantheon, Rome 135, 162n paper/paper-making 79, 194, 263 Paris Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel 200n Cleopatra’s Needle 147 Parks, Rosa 126 pastoral nomads 77, 200, 201, 203, 213, 214, 286 horse-riding 201–2, 208, 213–14, 215 Patagonian Desert 190 Patagonian Ice Sheet 54 Patzinaks 203 ‘Pax Mongolica’ 210–11 Pearl Harbor 222n peat 261–2, 263, 265, 266, 268 Peloponnesian War (431–405 BC) 117–18, 120 Pentagon, Virginia 134 pepper/peppercorns 112–13, 114, 115n, 193, 241 peppers 81, 113n perissodactyls 82–3, 84, 86, 144 permafrost 33, 86, 91 Permian Period 42, 103, 138, 141, 142, 143, 179, 264 Persia 27, 117n, 187, 188–9, 202, 207 exports 131, 193 kerosene 273 mythology 200n Wall 207–8 windmills 257 Persian Gulf 70, 104, 107, 108, 110, 119 oil 120, 121, 279, 286 Peru 67, 278n, 286 pesticides 120, 274 PETM see Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum petroleum 178, 273 PGMs see platinum group metals pharaohs 72, 101, 127, 129, 147 pharmaceuticals 120, 178, 274 Pharos, island of 101 Philippines, the 248, 249 philosophies, spread of 194 Phoenicia/Phoenicians 99, 100, 101n, 107, 158, 163, 219, 237 photosynthesis 142, 171, 258, 261, 265, 274–5 phytoplankton 274–5 pig iron 165, 166, 177 pigs 74, 83, 88 pine trees 79, 130, 161 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 270 plague 211–12 plankton 85, 138, 140, 144, 145, 274–6, 278, 287 plants and flowers 78 angiosperms domestication of 52, 59, 62, 64, 65–7, 68, 81, 87, 214n gymnosperms see also cereal crops; crops; photosynthesis plastics 120, 150n, 175, 178, 238n, 274 plate tectonics see tectonics platinum 177, 178–9, 182 platinum group metals (PGMs) 168, 176, 177–8, 179–80, 182n pliosaurs 133 ploughs 76, 77, 165–6, 215n, 255, 268, 285, 286 Polar cells 235 Polaris 37, 224 Polo, Marco 258–9 Pompeii 162 Pontic–Caspian Steppe 196, 214 population growth 2, 22–3, 70, 72, 87, 117, 166, 255, 256, 257 porcelain 112, 115, 149–50, 249 Portland stone 134 ports 98, 100, 101, 105n, 115, 119, 194, 212 Portugal/Portuguese 193, 217–18, 219–20, 222, 229, 245, 247n sailors 119, 193, 223–7, 231, 234, 239–41, 244–5, 247–8 slavery/slave trade 218, 222, 253n Portuguese Route 249–50, 250–51 potatoes 66, 81, 82, 131 Potosí silver mines, Bolivia 248–9 pottery see ceramics precession 19, 21, 23, 36–7, 37, 44 primates 82, 84, 86, 144 printing 194 Pripet Marshes 204 promethium 176 propane 276 Protestantism 185n Ptolemy (geographer) 111, 226 pumpkins 66n pyramids 127–8, 129, 133, 138 Pyrenees Mountains 267 Qatar 120 Qin dynasty (China) 184, 203 Qing dynasty (China) 91, 195, 214 quartz 148 and n quartzite 17n Quaternary Period 31, 32, 34–5, 40, 42 quicklime 139 radiolarians 140, 275 railways 55, 56, 100, 150n, 152, 167, 260 rain-shadow effect 11, 190, 195, 214n rainfall 10, 11, 21, 64, 142, 189, 280 rainforests 7, 80, 190, 223n, 232, 275, 285 rare earth metals (REMs) 168, 176–7, 180, 181–2 Ravenscroft, George 140 Reconquista, the 217, 219 Red Sea 11, 104, 107, 108–10, 121, 133, 187, 192, 193 redwoods 79 Reformation, Protestant 185n religions 194 see also Christianity; Islam; Judaism REMs see rare earth metals reptiles 79, 82, 133 Rhine, River 57, 185, 206, 207, 208 rhinoceroses 33, 83 rhodium 177, 182n rice 65–6, 67, 69, 91 Rio Tinto mine, Spain 163 rivers 2, 41, 61, 70, 72, 90, 91–3, 92, 116, 144 see also specific rivers roads 2, 56, 74, 93, 100, 187, 273, 274 Roaring Forties 43, 237, 250, 251, 252 and n rock types 132; see also basalt(ic) rocks; shale rocks Rocky Mountains 55 Rodinia 153 Roman Empire/Romans 27, 28, 73, 99, 100–1, 110–11, 162, 183, 185–7, 190–91, 206–8, 210–11, 218 architecture 136n, 162n coalmines 259 metalworking 259 population 186 underfloor heating systems 259 waterwheel 257 Rome 185, 207, 208 Colosseum 133 Pantheon 135, 162n Trajan’s Column 135 root plants 81–2 rosemary 115n Rove Formation 170n Rub’ al-Khali Desert 191 rubber, synthetic 178 rubies 241 ruminants 83; see also cattle/cows Run, island of 114n Rushmore, Mount 147 Russia/Soviet Union 48–9, 195, 197n, 209, 213, 214 Hitler’s invasion 215 trade 120 wheatfields 214, 215n see also Siberia ruthenium 177, 182n Rwanda 28n rye 61, 52, 67 sabre-toothed tigers 31, 49 saffron 115n Sahara Desert 66, 72, 89, 189, 192–3, 217–18, 220, 223n Sahel, the 63, 66, 74 Sahul 48 sailing and navigation 118n, 169 current sailing (volta do mar) 219–20, 223–4, 226, 227, 230–31, 232, 244n in doldrums 224, 234–5, 239 see also oceans; ships; trade routes, maritime St Christopher, Gulf of 226 Saint Helena 221n St Lawrence River 55 St Paul’s Cathedral, London 134 Salisbury Plain 137 salt 105, 193, 273 Salween River 91 Samarkand, Uzbekistan 190, 194, 212 Sanchi Stupa, India 129 sand 148n sandstone 132, 151–2, 276 Nubian 132, 133 Santa Marta, Gulf of 225 Santa Vitória, Brazil 225 Santorini (Thera) 162–3 Sao Tomé 225 Sardinia 99, 208 Sargasso Sea 238n Saturn 181n Saudi Arabia 120–21 savannah 7–8, 12, 14, 24, 66, 189 Scandinavia 32, 57, 58, 95, 195 scandium 176 schist 153, 154 Scotland 54, 57, 58, 148, 150 screens, TV and smartphone 176, 181 scurvy 240 and n, 241 Scythians 202 seas see oceans seaweed 171, 238n sedimentary rocks 132 Sefidabeh, Iran 29 Serengeti Desert 33 Shah Jahan 249 shale rock 125, 170, 266, 276, 279 sheep 74, 75, 76, 77, 83, 86–7, 88, 117, 198, 199, 201, 209 ships/shipping 78, 95, 96, 98, 101n, 107–8, 117–21, 167, 193, 219, 228, 246 galleons 237, 246, 248–9 galleys 219 hammocks 230n masts 130 scurvy 240 and n, 241 slave ships 253–4 steamships 107n, 122n, 260 warships 119, 122n see also sailing and navigation Siberia 32, 47, 48, 52, 142, 185, 195, 201n, 267, 279, 286 Siberian Traps 141–2, 143, 179 Sicily 105n, 208 siderophile metals 168, 178 Sierra Nevada Mountains 218n silica/silicon/silicon dioxide 17n, 140, 146, 148n, 167, 168, 175, 178n silk 112, 115, 187 and n, 193n, 249, 255 Silk Road 110, 182, 186, 187–91, 193–4, 197, 203–4, 211, 215, 285 silver 159, 163, 168, 174, 175, 177, 182, 193, 248–9 Sinai/Sinai Peninsula 23, 47, 131 Sinai Desert 110, 192 sisal 82 skyscrapers 153, 154, 155, 167 slate 132, 152–3 slavery/slave trade 116n, 125–6, 205, 218, 222, 253–4, 269 sloths, ground 49 smartphones 168, 175, 176, 181–2 Smith, William 150n Snowball Earth 172 solar energy 67, 171, 255, 257–8, 281 solar wind 169 Somatic Energy Regime 258 Sonoran Desert 191 sorghum 66, 67 South Africa 11 Cape of Good Hope 121, 225–6, 231, 250 platinum group metals 179–80 rare earth metals 177 veld 196 South America 42, 43, 48, 49–50, 54, 89, 104, 139, 237, 267 slave trade 254 South China Sea 115 South Downs 137 Southern Cross 225 South Pole 42, 43, 44, 103, 265 Soviet Union see Russia soya beans 65 Spain/the Spanish 58, 59, 90, 118, 218 and n, 226n, 227, 229, 231, 247n, 267 explorers and navigators 119, 218n, 219, 231, 237, 245, 247, 248–9 galleons 246, 249 mines 163 Reconquista 217, 218 saffron 115n Visigoths 208 Sparta 117–18 Spice Islands 96, 240, 245, 247, 251 spice trade 112–15, 193, 211, 218, 241, 245, 249, 252 spiders 262 spore-forming plants 78–9 spruce trees 79 squash plants 66, 81, 214n Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 113, 221, 245n Staffordshire: coalfields 272 star fossils 138 stars 37, 118n, 148n, 167–8, 169, 224, 227, 240, 252n, 281 steam engines 78, 97, 149, 233, 254, 259–60, 273 steam-powered machinery 148 steamships 107n, 122n, 260 steel 130n, 166–7, 174, 255, 272 step pyramids, Mesoamerican 128 steppes 33, 61, 62, 77, 79, 89, 196–203, 198–9, 204, 208 nomads 200, 204–5, 206, 208, 213–14 stirrups 194 stock market, first 97 Stoke-on-Trent: potteries 149 Stonehenge, England 137 Strabo 111, 228 ‘subtropical highs’ 232, 233 Sudbury Basin, Canada 179 Suez, Gulf of 110n Suez Canal 107n, 120, 121 Suffolk: cottages 152 sugar plantations 222, 252, 253 Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro 147 sulphides 157, 159, 280 sulphur 1, 167, 259 sulphur dioxide 142 Sumatra 111, 112, 114, 115, 119n, 252 Sumerians 71, 131 Sun, the/sunlight 36, 41, 43, 44, 171, 232, 258, 281 Earth’s orbit round 19, 21, 22, 24, 35, 36–9, 37 proto- 9, 168 solar wind 169 ultraviolet radiation 142, 170, 172 and n see also solar energy Sunda Strait 119n, 252 Sundaland 48 sunflowers 214n supernovae 167 swamp forests 262–3, 265–6, 268, 274 Sweden 286 Syria 163, 285 Tabriz, Iran 30 taiga 79, 195, 196 Taj Mahal, Agra, India 249 Taklamakan Desert 185, 189–90, 191 Tambora, eruption of (1815) 111, 141n tantalum 175 Tanzania 10, 11, 14 tapirs 83 Tarim Basin, China 185, 189, 204 taro 66 Tasmania 48, 97 Taurus Mountains 74, 163 Teays River 55 tectonic plates 8–10, 11, 12–13, 18, 24, 25, 41, 43, 56, 88, 98–9, 102–3, 106, 111, 135, 145–6, 148n, 159, 160, 161–2, 190–91, 218n, 262, 266, 268 and convergent plate boundary 9 and early civilisations 25–30, 70 Tehran, Iran 29–30 Ternate Island 114 Tethyean limestone 135 Tethys Ocean/Sea 102–3, 103, 104, 104–5, 105, 129, 135, 136, 138, 160, 163, 218n, 267, 274, 276–7, 279, 285 textiles 259, 269; see also cotton; wool Thames, River/Thames Valley 57, 154 Thar Desert 191 thatch-roofed buildings 152 Thebes, Egypt: Luxor Temple 132 Thera (Santorini) 162–3 thermohaline circulation 61–2, 278 Thirty Years War (1618–48) 58 thrust faults 28–30 thyme 115n Tian Shan Mountains 191, 196 Tibet/Tibetan Plateau 10, 28n, 91–3, 92, 184, 185, 191, 242, 243, 285 Ticino, River 140 Tidore Island 114 Tigris, River 27, 65, 90, 107 timber 73, 79, 130, 255–6 timber-framed houses 152 Timbuktu, Mali 193 tin 158, 164, 175, 267n tipis 130 Tivoli, Italy: mineral springs 133 Toba, eruption of 111 tobacco 252, 254 toilets, Minoan 161 tomatoes 66, 81 tools 15, 16–17, 22, 24, 137, 140, 156 Acheulean 17, 22 agricultural 76, 165–6, see also ploughs bronze 157–8, 161, 164, 165 iron 165 Oldowan 16–17, 18, 22 steel 166–7 Tordesillas line 247n Toscanelli, Paolo dal Pozzo 228 Towers of Paine, Chile 147 trade routes 29, 30, 58, 76, 89, 110, 158, 185, 194, 203, 215 maritime 106–11, 108–9, 110, 112, 114–15, 118, 119–21, 194, 216, 218, 232, 247–54 see also Silk Road trade winds 73, 219, 220, 230, 233–4, 235, 237, 238, 243–4, 246, 247, 253 Trafalgar, Battle of (1805) 58, 118 travertine 133 trees/forests 12, 15, 33, 40, 44, 61, 78, 79, 80, 81, 85, 161, 189, 255, 258, 263–4 and coal formation 261–5 coppicing 256, 258, 259 swamp 262–3, 265, 266 see also rainforests; timber Triassic Period 141, 143 Troodos Mountains, Cyprus 160, 163 Trump, President Donald 122, 124 tsunamis 25, 163 tundra 31, 33, 53, 79, 195 tungsten 168 Tunisia 100, 105 Turkey 65, 70, 88 see also Ottoman Turks turkeys 74 Turkmenistan 190, 212 Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire 137 Uighurs 202 Ukraine 120, 202 Umayyad Caliphate 217 ungulates 12, 82–4, 86–7, 90, 196, 200, 287 see also camels; cattle; hippopotamuses; horses; pigs; rhinoceroses; zebras etc United Arab Emirates 120 United Nations building, New York 134, 145 United States 55–6, 121, 122, 124–5, 262, 267 architecture 134–5, 136 ‘Black Belt’ 125–6 coal industry 279–70 cotton plantations 125, 252, 253–4 elections (2008, 2012, 2016) 122, 123, 124 forests 195 and Hawaii 107n, 222n Indiana limestone 134–5 and Japan 122n, 222n population 284 rare earth metals 181 slavery 125–6, 253–4 see also Alaska; North America Ur 71 Ural Mountains 163, 196, 200–1 and n, 267 uranium 168, 181n, 182n Uruk 71 Uzbekistan 190, 194, 212 Vandals 207, 208 Variscan Orogeny 267 Vega 37 vegetables 66 and n, 69, 78, 81–2, 131 Venezuela 231, 279 Venice 99, 115, 140, 211, 212, 217, 229 Vienna 209 Vietnam 92 Virginia Pentagon 134 State Capitol 136n tobacco plantations 254 University Library 136n Visigoths 207, 208 volcanoes/volcanic activity 8, 9, 12–13, 24, 25, 28, 43, 85–6, 98, 107, 111, 133, 141–2, 162 and n, 172, 173, 221n, 222, 277 Krakatoa 111 Mount Elgon 12 Mount Etna 117 Mount Kenya 12 Mount Kilimanjaro 12 Popocatepetl 28 Potosí (Cerro Rico) 177, 248n Tambora 111, 141n Thera 162–3 Vesuvius 162 wagons 76, 77, 200 Wales coal 266, 272 slate 152–3 warfare 57–8, 76, 98, 101, 116n, 117–18, 119, 122, 124, 126, 184, 200n, 217, 222n, 229, 245, 247n, 248, 254 nomadic tribes 201–3, 204–6, 213 see also gunpowder; weapons Washington, DC Capitol Building 136n Hoover Building 136n National Cathedral 134 Peace Monument 136 Treasury Building 136n White House 136n water buffalo 77 Waterloo, Battle of (1815) 222n waterwheels 68, 130, 165, 257, 259 wattle and daub 152 Weald–Artois anticline 56, 154 weapons 17, 137, 140, 156, 200n bronze 116n, 157–8, 164, 165 iron 165, 166 steel 166, 174 West Africa 66, 75, 242 coastline 193, 218, 223, 224, 253 Western Ghats, India 114 Western Steppe 196, 201 whales 83n, 95, 275 wheat 61, 65, 67, 87–8, 117, 184, 214, 215n, 286 White Cliffs of Dover 57, 137, 138, 145 White House, the 136n Wight, Isle of 137, 221 wigwams 130 wildebeest 33 windmills 68, 96, 130, 257 winds 5, 32, 56, 61, 99, 197, 216, 220, 223n, 232–3 and Coriolis effect 233, 235, 237 easterly trade winds 73, 219, 220, 230, 233–4, 235, 237, 238, 243–4, 246, 247, 253 monsoon 110, 192, 240–44, 243, 251 polar easterly 235, 238 solar 169 southwesterly/westerly 220, 226, 230, 236, 237, 238, 239, 244 wool 76, 77, 88, 90, 115, 201, 255, 259 Wren, Sir Christopher: St Paul’s Cathedral 134 writing/script Minoan 163n Phoenician 101n Sumerian 131 Xiongnu, the 202, 206; see also Huns Y-chromosome Adam 46 yams 66, 82 Yangtze River 28n, 65–6, 91, 184, 187 Yankee Stadium, New York 134 Yellow River/Valley 28n, 63, 65, 73, 90, 91, 184, 187 yew trees 79 Yorkshire 134, 152, 271, 272 Yosemite National Park, USA 147 Younger Dryas Event 61, 62, 64 yttrium 175, 176 Yuan dynasty (China) 91, 210, 212 yurts 130 Zagros Mountains 27, 71, 74, 104, 110 zebras 12, 83, 89 ziggurats 131 zinc 159, 163, 174 zooplankton 275


pages: 586 words: 184,480

Slow Boats to China by Gavin Young

Ayatollah Khomeini, illegal immigration, Malacca Straits, Pearl River Delta, South China Sea

Small dark crescents of sweat stained his armpits and the small of his back. He pointed at my suede boots and said admiringly, ‘Shoes you number one.’ ‘I give them to you.’ Oh, no. You very big. Small, me.’ After a pause he looked up at me again. ‘Home America?’ ‘England.’ ‘Home me Nha Trang. You see Nha Trang?’ I hadn’t, up to then; I got to know it later, a small and beautiful city on the South China Sea. It has fine beaches, and in those days a French restaurant served fresh lobsters. ‘So much fishing in Nha Trang,’ the soldier said, smiling. I hadn’t met many Vietnamese at that time, and I looked at him with interest. Where the fine line of his Oriental cheekbones swept down to the rosebud mouth there was no hint of hair. He couldn’t have been much over nineteen. It began to rain, and the dark stain on my new friend’s back quickly widened as water dripped from his helmet.

In a year or two Brunei would become an independent sultanate; for now, it was under British protection. In 1841 a sultan of Brunei had rewarded the English adventurer James Brooke with the territory of Sarawak in return for his aid in putting down rebellious chiefs and fighting off, in his sailing ship, the Royalist – and sometimes in alliance with the ships of Captain George Keppel of the Royal Navy – the swarms of Sulu marauders. As the Perak rolled through the South China Sea towards Muara, the port of Brunei, Mr Boon, the white-thatched steward, scuttled on his bowlegs across my cabin like an albino crab, backwards, forwards, sideways, wielding a dustpan and brush. Looking for exercise, I staggered along the deck towards the stern. Two Chinese with bandannas around their heads were hammering rust off the rail. ‘Where you go after Brunei?’ one of them asked me.

Relationships on ships are generally easy and casual, and antipathies are kept well in hand, even ashore. I suppose they have to be, for what alternative is there but bodily harm and murder? Barker had a nice line in mock anxiety. He liked to sprinkle chilli sauce, so to speak, on the blander periods of shipboard existence. ‘I hope we can muddle through between here and Sandakan,’ he said glumly as we rocked out into the South China Sea, heading north-east. Why shouldn’t we? I wondered. I had discovered an unused bar and game room on the deck below my quarters in the owner’s cabin, a large though not luxurious room with a bunk, chest of drawers, and shower attached. Barker came into the game room, a relic of passenger days, a couple of hours after we’d sailed, and found me sitting at a low table with a writing pad in front of me.


pages: 615 words: 187,426

Chinese Spies: From Chairman Mao to Xi Jinping by Roger Faligot

active measures, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business intelligence, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, housing crisis, illegal immigration, index card, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, Port of Oakland, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, union organizing, young professional, éminence grise

The 2nd Artillery was also affected by another incident at this time, carefully concealed by the authorities. It took place on 26 April 1999—the day after the Falun Gong demonstration—between 5.30am and 10.30pm. The central military command of the PLA in the Canton region found itself totally paralyzed following an attack by a computer virus. Communications were disrupted between this command centre—which oversees the South China Sea fleet as well as the units of the infamous 2nd Artillery—and the eighty-plus bases that it controls. While PLA computer scientists were struggling to fix the system, the leadership was torn between several hypotheses: was this a ramping up of Falun Gong aggression? Was the CIA behind it? Taiwan? Or all three?10 In the aftermath of the cyber-attack, orders were given for all PLA soldiers who were Falun Gong adherents to come forward, sign a declaration renouncing their faith, and hand over any sacred objects or philosophy books written by Li Hongzhi.

These PLA3 stations are organized according to their targets: the Chengdu station, for example, monitors Tibet and India, while the Shenyang station monitors Korea and Japan.12 The other sites are located in north-east China, near Jilemutu and Kinghathu Lake; on the south coast near Shanghai; and in the military districts of Fujian and Canton, which are constantly mobilized against Taiwan. There are also stations situated near Kunming (north of Vietnam and Myanmar), as well as in Lingshui, on the southern tip of Hainan Island in southern China. The Lingshui base expanded in 1995 to cover the South China Sea, the Philippines and Vietnam, which is also monitored by stations dotted all the way along the border. In the 1980s, further stations were set up on two small islands in the Paracelsus archipelago. In addition to the Kashi and Lop Nor stations, two more were established in Xinjiang: the Dingyuanchen base, focused on Russia and the primarily Muslim former Soviet republics, is distinct from the Changli base, near the provincial capital Ürümqi, which intercepts satellite communications.

According to the Japanese Self-Defence Forces, it was carrying out a military intelligence mission. Secondly, in April 2002, the Canton-based Xianyang 14 patrolled within Taiwan’s territorial waters. Finally, in July 2004, a Japanese P3-C aircraft spotted the oceanographic ship Nandiao 411 (“Song of the South”, a play on the double meaning t’iao or diao, both “to sing” and “to make intelligence”) in waters off Okinotorishima Island. This vessel, run by the South China Sea Fleet headquartered in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, was seen sailing not far from the same island again in May 2005. But by the early 2000s, the PLA had succeeded in further expanding its eavesdropping capabilities far beyond this kind of regional coastal navigation. Spy ships in the South Pacific As we know, France is a particularly favoured target of Chinese intelligence, which is known to have operators in the DOM-TOM, the French overseas departments and territories.


The Linguist: A Personal Guide to Language Learning by Steve Kaufmann

borderless world, British Empire, discovery of DNA, financial independence, haute cuisine, South China Sea, trade liberalization, urban sprawl

However, the least expensive way to cheer myself up was to pay ten or fifteen Hong Kong cents to cross the harbour on the Star Ferry. I never got tired of studying the skyline and the traffic on the water during this fifteen minute crossing. For the first months I lived on the Hong Kong side near Stanley and Repulse Bay. I had an unobstructed view of a romantic little bay where I could satisfy my desire for the exotic by studying the Chinese transport junks plying up and down the sparkling turquoise waters of the South China Sea. This relatively sparsely populated part of the Crown Colony had beaches, leafy semi-tropical vegetation and a large European population. It was like a resort. I was expected to live there and attend the Hong Kong University where all previous diplomatic language students had studied. But after a few months I chose to live and study on the more densely populated Kowloon side, and I enrolled at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


pages: 419 words: 119,368

Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

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.


The Beach by Alex Garland

David Attenborough, friendly fire, Khyber Pass, South China Sea

I was pleased to see the pale shapes, floating in the water like drops of silvery oil. I loved their straightforward weirdness, the strange area they occupied between plant and animal life. I learnt an interesting thing about jellyfish from a Filipino guy. He was one of the only people my age on an island where I'd once stayed, so we became pals. We spent many happy weeks together playing Frisbee on the beach, then diving into the South China Sea. He taught me that if you pick up jellyfish with the palm of your hand, you don't get hurt — although then you had to be careful to scrub your hands, because if you rubbed your eyes or scratched your back the poison would lift off and sting like mad. We used to have jellyfish fights, hurling the tennis-ball-sized globs at each other. On a calm day you could skim them over the sea like flat pebbles, although if you chucked them too hard they tended to explode.

"And I'm going to be incinerated in another four weeks if no one signs my release papers. The Embassy won't cover the cost of returning my body." "You… wanted to be buried." "I don't mind being incinerated, but if my parents won't come to collect me then I don't want to be sent. I'd rather have my ashes left out here." Mister Duck's voice began to crack. "A small ceremony, nothing fancy, and my ashes scattered into the South China Seas." Then he collapsed into uncontrollable sobbing. I pressed my face and hands against the netting. I wished I were in the room with him. "Hey, come on Mister Duck. It isn't so bad." He shook his head angrily, and through his sobbing I noticed he'd started to sing the theme song from M*A*S*H. I waited until he'd finished, not knowing where to look, then said, "You've got a good voice," mainly because I didn't know what else to say.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

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

"Robert Solow", 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, creative destruction, 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 pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, off grid, 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, standardized shipping container, 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: 419 words: 118,414

Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack by Steve Twomey

British Empire, index card, Internet Archive, Maui Hawaii, South China Sea

Japan’s consul general in occupied Shanghai had told Tokyo “that all preparations are complete for taking over all physical property in China belonging to British, American and other enemy nationals.” The Imperial Navy, McCollum went on, had confiscated “many” Japanese merchant ships, refitting some of them as antiaircraft platforms, and all of its warships had now completed a “repair check up.” One newly organized task force was operating in the South China Sea, a second new one “in the Mandate Island area.” A picket line of surface ships and air patrols ran between the Marshall Islands and the Gilberts. Some twenty-four thousand “fully-equipped veteran” troops—his total differed from the War Department’s report to Roosevelt—had boarded transports, taking “a considerable number of tanks and trucks, quite a few of which were camouflaged green,” to blend with jungle terrain, which meant they were going south.

To an admiral, the lingo of the analysis was not bizarre in the least. “BBs” were battleships, “CAs” cruisers, and “CVs” carriers. The Imperial Navy, like the US Navy, grouped ships of a kind into divisions or squadrons. A “CruDiv” was a cruiser division and a “Subron” was a submarine squadron. Under the geographic headings of “Baku-Takao” and “Hainan-Canton”—all places in, or on the shores of, the South China Sea—Layton placed more than eighty major Japanese warships. This reflected the grand advance south, in the direction of Malaya, the Dutch Indies, and the Philippines, that Stark’s warning had emphasized. Layton’s list declared that still more warships were in the waters of the Marshall Islands, still others already off French Indochina, still more near Japan, including most of the Imperial Navy’s battleships, which suggested they, at least, would play no part in the imminent scheme, whatever it was.


pages: 131 words: 41,052

Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century by Mark Leonard

Berlin Wall, Celtic Tiger, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, global reserve currency, invisible hand, knowledge economy, mass immigration, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, one-China policy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pension reform, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, shareholder value, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus

Chinese theorists like to stress that, while the economic strength of Japan and the other Asian dragons was based on aggressive, even predatory exports, China’s growth can be attributed not just to overseas markets but also to massive domestic consumption and foreign investment. 5 As China has opened its door to imports, which increased by more than 40 per cent last year, Chinese growth has acted as an economic booster not just to its region, but to the whole world. Certainly, the Chinese have gone to great lengths to communicate their desire for peace. In recent years, they have resolved virtually all land border disputes with their neighbours. They signed a non-aggression pact with ASEAN, which means that sovereignty disputes over flashpoints such as the South China Sea would be shelved indefinitely in the interest of joint economic development. They are working earnestly to help resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. Through means that include free trade agreements, the Chinese leadership also pledged to boost imports from, and economic aid to, ASEAN countries.6 They have conducted joint military exercises with Russia, Kyrgyzstan, India, and Pakistan to build trust with their neighbours.7 China is also trying hard to avoid a confrontation with the United States.


pages: 413 words: 119,379

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

Airbus A320, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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, zero-sum game

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: 443 words: 125,510

The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities by John J. Mearsheimer

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Ayatollah Khomeini, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, Clive Stafford Smith, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal world order, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Peace of Westphalia, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs

Furthermore, nuclear weapons make it highly unlikely that contemporary great powers will fight a major conventional conflict like World War II. Wars between them are likely to be limited in both means and goals. It is hard to imagine, for example, that China and the United States would engage in an all-out conventional war in Asia; but it is not difficult to envision them fighting a limited conflict in the South China Sea or over Taiwan with the thought that the economic costs of such a war could be kept manageable. There is also abundant evidence that states at war with each other do not always break off economic relations. Sometimes they trade with the enemy in wartime because each side believes it benefits from the continued intercourse. Jack Levy and Katherine Barbieri, two of the leading experts on this subject, write: “It is clear that trading with the enemy occurs frequently enough to contradict the conventional wisdom that war will systematically and significantly disrupt trade between adversaries.”

They add, “Trading with the enemy occurs during all-out wars fought for national independence or global dominance as well as during more limited military encounters.”51 In short, a country may fight a war against a rival with which it remains economically interdependent and not threaten its own prosperity.52 Finally, as Peter Liberman explains in his important book Does Conquest Pay?, sometimes it does.53 For example, if China fought and won a war for control of the South China Sea, it would end up owning the abundant natural resources on the sea floor that would surely help fuel Chinese economic growth. States occasionally start wars with the expectation that victory will bring economic and strategic benefits that outweigh the costs of undermining interdependence. The Primacy of Politics over Economics But even if one assumes significant costs of war between two economically interdependent states, war remains a real possibility.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

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

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, 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: 326 words: 48,727

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

addicted to oil, 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, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, 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, 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: 158 words: 46,353

Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert H. Latiff

Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, cyber-physical system, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, Internet of things, low earth orbit, Nicholas Carr, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, self-driving car, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Wall-E

A Concluding Plea Acknowledgments Notes A Note About the Author For my friend Jack Reilly If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. —GENERAL OF THE ARMY OMAR N. BRADLEY, Armistice Day speech, November 1948 INTRODUCTION ON A SWELTERING AUGUST DAY, following weeks of heightened tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine and Syria, and harsh words between the United States and China over actions in the South China Sea, and as workers are preparing to depart the cool of their air-conditioned Manhattan office buildings for the gridlocked highways and subways, several large electric power plants along the East Coast simultaneously experience dramatic over-speed conditions in their large turbine motors. Plant operators are unable to stop the steam turbines, whose automatic control and data systems have been infected by sophisticated computer malware, and they catastrophically tear themselves apart, cutting power to large segments of the population and industries in the Northeast.


pages: 523 words: 144,971

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

air freight, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, 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: 651 words: 135,818

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

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, land reform, megacity, microcredit, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

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: 477 words: 135,607

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

"Robert Solow", air freight, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, business cycle, 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, Jones Act, 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, zero-sum game

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: 389 words: 131,688

The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life by Mark Synnott

blue-collar work, California gold rush, Google Earth, index fund, Nate Silver, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, trade route, Y2K

The gully was about thirty feet across, its walls polished and striated by the debris-ridden flash floods that coursed through it like a flushing toilet every time it rained. It was not the kind of place you ventured without a helmet. Below us, the gully dropped out of sight into a mist-filled cauldron. If we were canyoneers, we could have kept rappelling into the abyss. Six miles farther down the canyon and 10,000 feet below, the gully would eventually spill us into the South China Sea. At the time, only three parties had ever successfully negotiated the canyon, one of which barely survived. A few months after the Trango expedition, I found myself in a dusty base camp below a volcanic spire in northern Cameroon. Around the campfire one night, my two South African climbing partners regaled me with tales of a mysterious jungle canyon lined with titanic cliffs. With each round of the whiskey bottle, the walls grew, until a giant beetle landed in the dirt in front of one of the South Africans.

He seemed happy to trade a less comfortable bunk for some private space. We had decided not to bring a stove, to save weight, so we dined on salami, cheese, and crackers, which we passed between the two ledges in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. For dessert we shared a block of caramel-filled milk chocolate. Off in the distance, past a row of pink and purple clouds that appeared to be marching across the South China Sea, I could see the hazy outline of a distant island. I wondered if I was looking at the Philippines. “Hey, Alex, what are you going to call your pitch?” asked Conrad, who was drawing a map of our route, what climbers call a topo, in a small yellow notebook. On a big-wall first ascent, it’s a custom to give names to significant pitches or features. “I hadn’t even thought about it,” replied Alex, “but how about ‘the Emily pitch—beautiful and intimidating.’”


pages: 190 words: 50,133

Lonely Planet's 2016 Best in Travel by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, David Attenborough, haute cuisine, Maui Hawaii, sharing economy, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, sustainable-tourism, urban planning, walkable city

See www.amtrak.com. 10 Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Though this train runs on tracks built by French colonialists in the 1930s, its spirit is 100% Vietnamese. They call this top-to-toe line the Reunification Express, because when it resumed service in 1976 – after years of US bombardment – it rumbled across a freshly reunited nation. And what a rumble, a 1726km journey from the frenetic streets of northern Hanoi to sizzling southern Ho Chi Minh City, via the shores of the South China Sea, the formerly country-dividing DMZ, historic Hué, sandy Nha Trang and untold numbers of rice paddies, water buffaloes and bucolic scenes. Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City takes around 30 hours. Popular Hoi An is not on the railway; it’s 30km by bus from Danang station. • By Sarah Baxter Best Places to Test Your Survival Skills Can’t sit still while on holiday? Embark on one of these ten adventures and we reckon you’ll be begging for a beach and a good book afterwards. 1 Bear Grylls Survival Academy, Zimbabwe Bear Grylls is on his way to creating an entire army of survivalists who are overly enthusiastic about freezing their butts off and eating disgusting things.


pages: 181 words: 54,629

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman

beat the dealer, New Journalism, South China Sea

Paranoid dementia?—What is it? My Argentine luggage? This crippled, loping 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-eighths 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 U.S.S. Crazy Horse: Somewhere in the Pacific (Sept. 25)—The entire 3465-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

Airbnb, always be closing, bounce rate, call centre, carbon footprint, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, 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: 516 words: 159,734

War Without Mercy: PACIFIC WAR by John Dower

anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, European colonialism, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, 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: 537 words: 149,628

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

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, digital map, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, new economy, old-boy network, 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, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

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: 108 words: 63,808

The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks

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: 274 words: 60,596

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, diversified portfolio, financial independence, George Gilder, index fund, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, price stability, random walk, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve

Gold Isn’t an Investment Our education systems have done such a lousy job teaching us about money that you can conduct a little experiment out on the streets that I guarantee will deliver shocking results. Walk up to an educated person and ask them to imagine that one of their forefathers bought $1 worth of gold in 1801. Then ask what they think it would be worth in 2011. Their eyes might widen at the thought of the great things they could buy today if they sold that gold. They might imagine buying a yacht or Gulfstream jet, or their own island in the South China Sea. Then break their bubble with the revelation in Figure 8.1. Selling that gold would give them enough money to fill the gas tank of a minivan. Figure 8.1 Gold vs. U.S. Stocks (1801–2011) One dollar invested in gold in 1801 would only be worth about $73 by 2011. How about $1 invested in the U.S. stock market? Now you can start thinking about your yacht. One dollar invested in the U.S. stock market in 1801 would be worth $10.15 million by 2011.8 Gold is for hoarders expecting to trade glittering bars for stale bread after a financial Armageddon.


pages: 203 words: 63,257

Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Ray Jayawardhana

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Magellanic Cloud, New Journalism, race to the bottom, random walk, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Skype, Solar eclipse in 1919, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, undersea cable, uranium enrichment

The starring role of neutrinos in a great many sagas unfolding across physics, cosmology, and astronomy explains why scientists make considerable efforts to trap these minuscule particles. Over the past two decades, they have built ever more sophisticated neutrino experiments dotting the globe. From a deep nickel mine in Ontario to a freeway tunnel crossing a mountain in central Italy, and from a nuclear waste site in New Mexico to a bay on the South China Sea, neutrino hunters are chasing their quarry. The most impressive of their traps remains IceCube, the world’s biggest neutrino telescope, built at a cost of over $270 million. Its completion is a long-held dream come true for its visionary director, Francis Halzen. Growing up in Belgium, Halzen hoped to become a schoolteacher, but at university he got interested in physics, and he never looked back.


pages: 589 words: 162,849

An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent by Owen Matthews

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, garden city movement, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, post-work, South China Sea, urban planning

The final fillip of this networking tour de force was to procure press accreditation from two German photo agencies for his boss Ulanovsky.16 On 29 November, Basov cabled Moscow Centre that his team was ready for departure – despite the fact that Weingarten the radio operator had arrived too late in Berlin for any kind of cover to be prepared.17 On 7 December the three Soviet spies departed on the same ship from Marseilles, bound for Shanghai. It was a risk to send them all together, explained Basov to Centre, but such was the urgency of their assignment that he did not want to risk waiting two or three weeks for the next transport. The Fourth Department team had an agreeable voyage. Rather too much so, as it turned out. At a boozy New Year’s Eve party somewhere in the South China Sea, Ulanovsky had got drunk with a group of friendly Britishers. ‘Kirschner’ had introduced himself as a representative of the Schelder-Consortium – and later, as the bonhomie flowed, confided to his new friends his plans to sell arms to the lucrative Chinese market. Unfortunately for Ulanovsky – and unbeknown to him, as they were better at holding their tongues when drunk than he – his Hogmanay companions were British officers from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Shanghai Municipal Police, returning to China after leave.

Furthermore, the attack should be ‘sudden’ and supported by Germany, who would ‘assist Japan indirectly by taking the offensive in the Atlantic during the period and by thus drawing British forces there’.43 The Germans’ simple realisation that Singapore was impregnable from the sea but almost undefended from the land was a brilliant piece of creative tactical thinking. However, despite the cleverness of the plan, Ott’s campaign to persuade the Japanese to attack Singapore ran into a snag almost from the outset – a complication of the Germans’ own making and the fruit of a fateful naval engagement in the South China Sea. At around 7 a.m. on 11 November 1940, the British Blue Funnel cargo liner SS Automedon was spotted by a German surface raider about 340 kilometres miles north-west of Sumatra. The Automedon was carrying crated aircraft, motor cars, spare parts, liquor, cigarettes, and food and was bound for Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Her German pursuer was the Atlantis, a heavily armed converted freighter.


The China Mission: George Marshall's Unfinished War, 1945-1947 by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

anti-communist, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, failed state, haute couture, land reform, long peace, South China Sea

Before the Soviets could effectively intervene to save them, the Communists would be annihilated. Chiang had ordered attacks on remaining pockets of Communist strength. He had troops massing to take Yenan (despite promises to the contrary to Marshall, who no longer placed much stock in such promises anyway). He had even started extending his writ beyond Chinese shores, preparing to send decommissioned American Navy ships to seize islands in the South China Sea, based on a map of an expansive U-shaped claim to the contested waters drawn up by his officials. He was confident: total victory was within reach, and it was time for a last burst of action. “You can sometimes win a great victory by a very dashing action,” Marshall would say. “But often, or most frequently, the very dashing action exposes you to a very fatal result if it is not successful.”

Christensen, Thomas J. “A ‘Lost Chance’ for What? Rethinking the Origins of U.S.-PRC Confrontation.” Journal of American–East Asian Relations 4 (Fall 1995): 249−278. _______. Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947−1958. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. Chung, Christopher P. C. “Drawing the U-Shaped Line: China’s Claim in the South China Sea, 1946–1974.” Modern China 42 (January 2016): 38–72. Coffman, Edward M. “The American 15th Infantry Regiment in China, 1912−1938: A Vignette in Social History.” Journal of Military History 58 (January 1994): 57−74. Cohen, Warren I. America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations. 4th edition. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. _______. “Cold Wars and Shell Games: The Truman Administration and East Asia.”


pages: 592 words: 161,798

The Future of War by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Glasses, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, long peace, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

‘On the current trajectory’, Allison warned, ‘war between the US and China in the decades ahead is not just possible, but much more likely than currently recognized’. It was not, however, ‘inevitable’. 28 China would soon overtake the United States in economic, and then potentially, military power. Huntington was invoked to explain the clash of cultures between the two. There were also the real points of tension over Taiwan, the South China Sea, North Korea, and trade, from which Allison could generate plausible scenarios for conflict. Allison’s ‘big idea’ was to frame this moment as part of a recurring historical pattern, when predominant powers saw their positions threatened. This he called the ‘Thucydides Trap’, referring to the Greek historian’s famous explanation for the Peloponnesian War: ‘It was the rise of Athens and the fear that it instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable’.

A declining US unwillingness and/or slipping capacity to serve as a global security provider would be a key factor contributing to instability, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.38 The next document, published a few weeks after the 2016 election, was bleaker than those that had gone before. Since 2012 there had been Russian interventions in Ukraine and Syria and growing tensions over Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. It noted the mood of ‘anti-immigrant and xenophobic sentiment’ in the core Western democracies. Nationalism was being employed in countries where ‘leaders seek to consolidate political control by eliminating domestic political alternatives while painting international relations in existential terms’. It warned of ‘rising tensions within and between countries’ over the coming five years, with ‘an ever-widening range of states, organizations, and empowered individuals’ shaping geopolitics.


pages: 586 words: 160,321

The Euro and the Battle of Ideas by Markus K. Brunnermeier, Harold James, Jean-Pierre Landau

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, diversification, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Irish property bubble, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, secular stagnation, short selling, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special drawing rights, the payments system, too big to fail, union organizing, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, yield curve

Later in the year, Osborne visited China, announcing a “golden decade” of British-Chinese relations and of Britain as China’s new “best partner in the West.” Then the Chinese president Xi Jinping came on a state visit to London, which was crowned with a controversial deal to buy Chinese nuclear power plants. At the same time, Cameron followed a much softer line than the United States on issues such as China’s human rights record or its push into the South China Sea. Xi took up Osborne’s language and referred to his “visionary and strategic” hosts. Britain was looking for a new global role, in which new partners would step into the places of the economically and politically challenged older industrial countries.40 British isolation in Europe increased as a consequence of a referendum on EU membership promised by Cameron: the aim was fundamentally to defang the euroskeptic UKIP party, which threatened to perform very well in elections to the European Parliament scheduled for June 2014.

In 2014, the dynamics of the European debate also changed and made it much clearer that the European project brought security benefits for the Continent as a whole. At the beginning of 2013, Luxembourg’s prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker was widely ridiculed for evoking the shades of 1913 and Europe’s last prewar year of peace as a warning of the dangers of the escalation of national animosities and rivalries within Europe. One year later, he looked prophetic. By 2014, as the security situation in the South China Sea deteriorated, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe cast China as the equivalent to Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany; and the outbreak of fighting in Eastern Ukraine, as well as in Iraq and in Gaza, was a sharp reminder of the dangers of conflict escalation. The escalation of conflict in Syria in the summer of 2015 prompted a large flow of refugees into Europe and divided Europeans in a new east-west split, with Eastern Europeans worrying about the cultural impact of Muslim refugees and attempting to limit the inflow.


Inside British Intelligence by Gordon Thomas

active measures, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, job satisfaction, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, lateral thinking, license plate recognition, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

The weapons could then be transferred to a Venezuelan registered ship and repackaged for Zimbabwe,” one ship’s broker at Lloyd’s, the world’s largest shipping broker, told the author. The Trident—one of four in the fleet which is based in Faslane on Scotland’s Clyde—continued to track the freighter until it suddenly hurried back to its home port in late May 2008. A month later MI6 analysts had once more involved GCHQ in confirming that China had built a major naval base deep inside caverns on the South China Sea island of Hainan. Using high-resolution satellite images, the analysts decided the base could contain up to twenty of the latest C94 Jin-Class submarines, each equipped with antisatellite missiles and nuclear-tipped rockets. Knocking out the satellites would effectively leave Taiwan, Japan, and other countries around the Pacific Rim without a key warning system. An attack would also disrupt vital communications between U.S. battle squadrons in the region and Washington.

An attack would also disrupt vital communications between U.S. battle squadrons in the region and Washington. The Trident on patrol off Africa joined the U.S. Pacific Fleet to help establish a clear image of what was happening inside the secret base. Naval intelligence officers in London and Washington confirmed that the discovery of the base would present “a significant challenge to U.S. naval dominance and protection to countries ringing the South China Sea.” The base, a.k.a. Yulin, was sited at Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan Island. The island came to the attention of Western intelligence in April 2001, when a U.S. EP-3 spy plane trying to test the island’s electronic defenses was forced to land there by Chinese fighters, one of which crashed in the sea, killing the pilot. The twenty-four U.S. crewmen on board, including specialist technicians, brought the first international crisis to the administration of George W.


pages: 538 words: 164,533

1968: The Year That Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, feminist movement, global village, Haight Ashbury, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

On March 14 the U.S. command reported that 509 American servicemen were killed and 2,766 had been wounded in the past week, bringing total casualties since January 1, 1961, to 139,801, of whom 19,670 had been killed. This did not approach the 33,000 dead in three years of fighting in Korea. But for the first time the total casualties, including wounded, was higher in Vietnam than in Korea. On March 16 the 23rd Infantry Division, the so-called Americal Division, was fighting in central Vietnam along the murky brown South China Sea in the village of Son My, where they slaughtered close to five hundred unarmed civilians that day. Much of the killing was in one hamlet called My Lai, but the action took place throughout the area. Elderly people, women, young boys and girls, and babies were systematically shot while some of the troops refused to participate. One soldier missed a baby on the ground in front of him two times with a .45-caliber pistol before he finally hit his target, while his comrades laughed at what a bad shot he was.

So little progress was seen in the stalemated Paris peace talks that on the first day of summer The New York Times offered Americans a sad crumb of hope in the carefully worded headline CLIFFORD DETECTS SLIGHT GAIN IN TALKS ON VIETNAM. On June 23 the Vietnam War edged out the American Revolution as the longest-running war in American history, having lasted 2,376 days since the first support troops were sent in 1961. On June 27 the Viet Cong, attacking nearby American and South Vietnamese forces, either accidentally or intentionally set fire to the nearby fishing village of Sontra along the South China Sea, killing eighty-eight civilians and wounding more than one hundred. In the United States on the same day, David Dellinger, head of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, said that one hundred organizations were working together to organize a series of demonstrations urging an end to the war, all scheduled to take place in Chicago that summer during the Democratic National Convention.


pages: 265 words: 71,143

Empires of the Weak: The Real Story of European Expansion and the Creation of the New World Order by Jason Sharman

British Empire, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, European colonialism, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, land tenure, offshore financial centre, passive investing, Peace of Westphalia, performance metric, profit maximization, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs

Furthermore, these empires were largely indifferent to maritime trade as a product of cultural inclination, and the fact that their fiscal base was very much land-based.115 The same applied even to archipelagic Japan.116 A Ceylonese king expressed a common sentiment in his judgment that “whilst the Christians would be Lords of the sea, he would be Lord of the land.”117 There was a similar complementarity of interest between the Mughals and Portuguese: “there developed a reciprocal relationship between two empires, one of the land and one of the sea, based on mutual advantage.”118 Both sides realized that the Mughals were by the more powerful member of the partnership.119 In explaining the position of the Estado da India, Albuquerque wrote to his king that “if Portugal should suffer a reverse at sea, your Indian possessions have not power to hold out a day longer than Kings of the land choose to suffer it.”120 Thus in general, “Europeans scrambled to find a place on the fringes of Asian orders.”121 While Portuguese naval prowess was certainly more than a myth, it ran up against significant checks and defeats: the defensive victories of the Ottomans and the Ming in the Red Sea and South China Sea, the ability of the Acehenese to break the Portuguese maritime spice monopoly, and from 1650 the Omanis beating the Portuguese at their own game of naval predation. Asian powers demonstrated considerable powers of naval power projection, with the Omani expeditions to the Swahili Coast, Ottoman missions to India, the earlier Ming Indian Ocean fleets of the 1400s, and the massive Japanese invasions of Korea in the 1590s all being on a much larger scale than any equivalent European efforts.


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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, 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: 197 words: 67,764

The Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World's Greatest Unfinished Song by Dylan Jones

Donald Trump, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Kickstarter, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

Webb’s original lyrics in the second verse were obviously anti-war, although in Campbell’s version they were altered to become rather more patriotic. ‘I’m not a writer, I’m really a “song doctor”,’ Campbell once said. ‘If I hear a good song that I like, I’ll change lines and chord progressions, and make it my own.’ Unsurprisingly, ‘Galveston’ became especially beloved by members of the armed services. According to Webb, the sailors aboard two US Navy warships stationed in the South China Sea, USS Galveston and USS Wichita, used to stage mock musical battles on the open seas using his songs. As it awaited refuelling, the Galveston would play ‘Galveston’ over its PA to the approaching Wichita, which responded by blasting ‘Wichita Lineman’. (Four decades later, R.E.M. would release a response song called ‘Houston’.) More importantly, because ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’, ‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘Galveston’ and ‘Where’s the Playground, Susie?’


pages: 1,318 words: 403,894

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

air freight, airport security, crowdsourcing, digital map, drone strike, Google Earth, industrial robot, informal economy, Jones Act, large denomination, megacity, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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: 564 words: 178,408

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

Alistair Cooke, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, European colonialism, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, indoor plumbing, jobless men, old-boy network, South China Sea

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.


pages: 611 words: 186,716

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

British Empire, clean water, dark matter, defense in depth, digital map, edge city, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, 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: 230 words: 72,642

Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, Mark Carwardine

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

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: 251 words: 76,868

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

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, 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: 222 words: 76,854

Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin

fear of failure, G4S, Mahatma Gandhi, pattern recognition, South China Sea

You can then channel the force back up from the ground and bounce an opponent away. When a martial artist is described as having a “deep root” the parallel is to a tree—it feels as if his or her body is extended into the earth. CHAPTER 20 TAIWAN 2004 Chung Hwa Cup Tai Chi Chuan World Championships Taipei, December 2–5, 2004 Clouds moved fast, dark and grey, the rain coming in gusts and then tapering off as Typhoon Nanmadol surged over the South China Sea. I’ve always loved storms; now these fierce winds made me electric. It was Thursday evening, forty hours from battle, and I stood at the peak of Elephant Mountain looking down on an Old Taoist Temple, the city of Taipei spread out below. The smell of incense wafted up from the temple shrine, smoke swirling in the building winds. I’d begun preparing for this tournament, the World Championships, the day after losing in the semifinals two years before.


pages: 256 words: 75,139

Divided: Why We're Living in an Age of Walls by Tim Marshall

affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, end world poverty, facts on the ground, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, open borders, openstreetmap, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, the built environment, trade route, unpaid internship, urban planning

There may be five geographic time zones, but there’s only one that is official. The answer to the question ‘What’s the time?’ is ‘Whatever time Beijing says it is.’ This central rule has long been the case, but the twenty-first-century emperor has a luxury few of his precursors enjoyed. He can survey his empire from the air – not just the area encompassed by the Himalayas, to the Sea of Japan and the Gobi Desert, down to the South China Sea, but now the economic empire spanning the globe. Xi is good at quietly projecting his power. He travels more than many of his predecessors. He flies to the world’s capitals, confident in the united economic power of the new China, but en route to the airport he will be reminded of how careful Chinese leaders must always be to ensure that the centre holds. As you drive north-east along the Airport Expressway out of Beijing towards the Great Wall of China, the divisions within the population are at first difficult for an outsider to identify, but then become increasingly easy.


pages: 249 words: 79,740

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

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, 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.


pages: 269 words: 70,543

Tech Titans of China: How China's Tech Sector Is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder, and Going Global by Rebecca Fannin

Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, QR code, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, young professional

These incidents have firmed up China’s resolve to cut reliance on US tech smarts to fill gaps and to grow its own core technologies, but it will take years and won’t be so easily done. A host of issues could put the brakes on what fuels Chinese startups: curbs on China venture capital in US tech startups and a higher bar for Chinese companies to go public in the United States and use that capital to scale up in China. Geopolitical issues loom large. Nationalization or breakups of China’s tech titans. Military conflicts over pending trouble spots in the South China Sea and China’s claim to Taiwan. Poorly implemented state-backed reforms on a local level. Growing criticism over China-styled colonialism, such as using loans to gain control over strategic locations, notably the Sri Lanka port and surrounding land. It’s conceivable that China could roll back the capitalistic reforms ushered in by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s to return to Chairman Mao’s drab communism of several decades ago.


pages: 240 words: 74,182

This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

"side hustle", 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, call centre, citizen journalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, illegal immigration, mass immigration, mega-rich, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Skype, South China Sea

There’s the vast international broadcaster, CGTN; the social media trolls who taunt politicians in neighbouring Taiwan; the pressure exerted on foreign academics who investigate the country.3 A 2013 Pentagon paper reviewing China’s doctrine of ‘Three Warfares’ (economic, media and legal) concluded that it showed ‘twenty-first-century warfare guided by a new and vital dimension: namely the belief that whose story wins may be more important than whose army wins’.4 This had been exhibited in the South China Sea, where China had annexed vast maritime spaces by first building artificial islands and then claiming the surrounding waters as its own, all without firing a shot. But what, I thought as I moved through the immaculate, ambitious airport, created as a symbol of China’s emerging strength for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, were all these techniques there to buttress? * 2049. The date is repeated like a mantra in Beijing – in Communist Party speeches, on posters, in newscasts, pop videos, social media posts – so that it seems the whole vast country is being concentrated into a single year.


pages: 637 words: 199,158

The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John J. Mearsheimer

active measures, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, deindustrialization, discrete time, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Yom Kippur War

According to one prominent Sinologist, China “may well be the high church of realpolitik in the post–Cold War world.”37 This is not surprising when you consider China’s history over the past 150 years and its present threat environment. It shares borders, a number of which are still disputed, with thirteen different states. China fought over territory with India in 1962, the Soviet Union in 1969, and Vietnam in 1979. All of these borders are still contested. China also claims ownership of Taiwan, the Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands, and various island groups in the South China Sea, many of which it does not now control.38 Furthermore, China tends to view both Japan and the United States as potential enemies. Chinese leaders maintain a deep-seated fear that Japan will become militaristic again, like it was before 1945. They also worry that the United States is bent on preventing China from becoming the dominant great power in Northeast Asia. “Many Chinese foreign-and defense-policy analysts,” according to one scholar, “believe that U.S. alliances with Asian countries, particularly with Japan, pose a serious, long-term challenge, if not a threat, to China’s national security, national unification, and modernization.”39 It is worth noting that China’s relations with Japan and the United States have gotten worse—not better—since the end of the Cold War.40 All three states were aligned against the Soviet Union during the 1980s, and they had little cause to fear each other.

Christensen, “Chinese Realpolitik,” Foreign Affairs 75, No. 5 (September–October 1996), p. 37. Also see Alastair Iain Johnston, Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995); and Andrew J. Nathan and Robert S. Ross, The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China’s Search for Security (New York: Norton, 1997). 38. Mark J. Valencia, China and the South China Sea Disputes, Adelphi Paper No. 298 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, October 1995). 39. Yu Bin, “Containment by Stealth: Chinese Views of and Policies toward America’s Alliances with Japan and Korea after the Cold War,” discussion paper (Stanford, CA: Asia/Pacific Research Center, Stanford University, September 1999), p. 5. Also see Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro, “China I: The Coming Conflict with America,” Foreign Affairs 76, No. 2 (March–April 1997), pp. 18–32; Thomas J.


pages: 305 words: 79,356

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

Berlin Wall, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, 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: 294 words: 85,811

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

Berlin Wall, British Empire, double helix, employer provided health coverage, fudge factor, Kenneth Arrow, 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: 278 words: 84,002

Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict by Max Brooks, John Amble, M. L. Cavanaugh, Jaym Gates

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, British Empire, data acquisition, invisible hand, risk tolerance, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, Yogi Berra

It is tempting to see parallels to the Battle of Midway, where U.S. pilots dealt a massive strategic defeat to the Imperial Japanese Navy by sinking all four of its large carriers.2 There is something heroic in watching a handful of pilots destroy an enormous enemy target against long odds. Even if that is the analogy the filmmakers want us to draw, it is not fully paralleled by the Rebels at Endor. The U.S. pilots at Midway were all naval aviators—not hybrid hotshots like General Lando Calrissian, who appeared at the last moment to lead the attack. A much closer analogy would be what the Chinese appear to be doing in the South China Sea, where fishing vessels are crewed with un-uniformed members of the maritime militia and the coast guard may be coordinating or supporting the militia’s actions (with even higher levels possibly involved in the planning process as well).3 Suffice it to say, we might cheer for the on-screen General Calrissian, but hybrid warriors like him are one of the chief concerns for real-world naval officers today, who have to consider whether, for example, fishing ships are simple merchants or maritime militias.


pages: 303 words: 81,071

Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan

3D printing, augmented reality, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, friendly fire, global supply chain, Internet of things, Mason jar, off grid, Panamax, post-Panamax, ransomware, RFID, security theater, self-driving car, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning

It looks to Rush like an act of victory and defiance; like news footage of freshly liberated citizens climbing to the top of statues of their now-fallen dictators, to deface their heads and celebrate their liberty in that brief moment of joy before worrying what will happen next. “Haha! It’s Chris! The crazy fuck!” Simon yells and waves excitedly back. “Chris! CHRIS!” Rush shakes his head, but gets why they’re so excited. Despite spending the last couple of weeks skirting around the mega-ports of the South China Sea, they’d never managed to come into harbor anywhere. You can’t just dock a huge fucking container ship like the Dymaxion by the shore and walk off—and perhaps unsurprisingly most of the suitable berths at the ports were filled with abandoned ships. Apart from the Zodiac crew, who went ahead and scouted out the ports in their little inflatable speedboat, nobody from the Dymaxion had set foot on Chinese soil as yet on this trip.


pages: 304 words: 85,291

Cities: The First 6,000 Years by Monica L. Smith

clean water, diversified portfolio, failed state, financial innovation, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, South China Sea, telemarketer, the built environment, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

conversations about the Los Angeles River: Blake Gumprecht, “Who Killed the Los Angeles River?,” in Land of Sunshine: An Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles, eds. William Deverell and Greg Hise (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), 115–34n14. And it certainly didn’t diminish: Gungwu Wang, “The Nanhai Trade: A Study of the Early History of Chinese Trade in the South China Sea,” Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 31, no. 2 (1958): 3–135; John F. Robertson, “The Social and Economic Organization of Ancient Mesopotamian Temples,” in Sasson, Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, 446. The Spanish chroniclers who arrived: Bruce H. Dahlin et al., “In Search of an Ancient Maya Market,” Latin American Antiquity 18, no. 4 (2007): 363–84. Maya people constructed a type: For discussions of different ancient road networks, see papers in James E.


pages: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

On the other side of the territory, the term ‘gray zone’ has been deployed to describe the most contemporary form of warfare, which exists just below the threshold of conventional armed conflict. Gray zone warfare is characterised by unconventional tactics, including cyberattacks, propaganda and political warfare, economic coercion and sabotage, and sponsorship of armed proxy fighters, all shrouded in a cloud of misinformation and deception.43 Russia’s use of ‘little green men’ in the invasion of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, China’s expansion in the South China Sea, and Iran and Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Syria all point to an evolution of warfare defined by ambiguity and uncertainty. Nobody is clear as to who is fighting who; everything is deniable. Just as the US military is one of the most advanced planners for the realities of climate change, so the military planners at West Point and the General Staff Academy are at the forefront of recognising the cloudy realities of the new dark age.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, 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 Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, 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.


The Ages of Globalization by Jeffrey D. Sachs

Admiral Zheng, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, Commentariolus, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, domestication of the camel, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, European colonialism, global supply chain, greed is good, income per capita, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, packet switching, Pax Mongolica, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, South China Sea, spinning jenny, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

The Great Chinese Reversal In the early fifteenth century, China’s navigational capacity was second to none in the world. The famed seven voyages of Admiral Zheng He during the early Ming Dynasty, in the first three decades of the fifteenth century, are justly remembered hundreds of years later as remarkable naval accomplishments of China.1 These voyages of enormous fleets sailed from China to Southeast Asia, through the South China Sea and the Malacca Pass, around Java and Sumatra, into the Indian Ocean, and all the way to East Africa, Arabia, the coasts of India, and back to China. The route of the fourth voyage, 1413–15, is shown in figure 6.1. 6.1 Zheng He’s Fourth Voyage, 1413–1415 These great voyages were a triumph of naval technology, a remarkable demonstration of China’s grandeur, and an act of Chinese statecraft.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

The oil industry may be the most lucrative the world has ever known, and the idea that still-scarce electric cars pose a serious imminent threat to it might seem fanciful. The industry is worth trillions of dollars a year. The production, supply, and distribution of oil is the subject and cause of much geopolitical instability, and it has been central to conflicts on every continent, from the Middle East to Sudan and the South China Sea. While it continues to be fought over, and while the burning of oil continues to warm the Earth’s atmosphere in an unsustainable way, it’s also important to acknowledge that oil, like salt, has been essential to the vitality of modern society. The United States of America as we know it would scarcely hold together without an abundant supply of gasoline to fuel the cars and trucks that connect its highly dispersed towns, cities, and agricultural areas.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

The change in policy has altered its relationship with the West, and is seen by some as the start of a new cold war. Feted as an economic superpower, China increasingly seeks commensurate political influence. Relying on the nine-dash line, a U-shaped series of markings on a map published in the then Republic of China on December 1, 1947, it is in dispute with the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam over claims to large parts of the South China Sea and its mineral resources, including oil. There are also territorial disputes between China, South Korea, and Japan over parts of the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan. Japan's extensive economic investments and interests in China, including its export markets, have been damaged by the disputes. This instability reflects a power vacuum. In the post–Cold War era, America served as the “indispensable nation,” policing the world's conflicts.12 Many developed countries spent too little on defense, preferring to piggyback off US capabilities.


pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler

Andy Kessler, Apple II, bioinformatics, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business intelligence, buy and hold, buy low sell high, call centre, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Leonard Kleinrock, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, Marc Andreessen, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pets.com, railway mania, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Toyota Production System, zero-sum game

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: 304 words: 90,084

Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

Those who thought that politics would treat foreigners as of equal moral status to residents, and that religious strife and conflict would become a thing of the past, should explain why religion and ethnic origins remain so potent in Europe and the US, and especially explain the heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia’s Sunnis and Iran’s Shias and their allies. The old threat of serious global conflicts has not gone away. The US and China may well come to blows over Taiwan and the South China Sea, and Ukraine looks like a powder keg placed on the fissure between Russia and the EU. Climate change will impact on these nationalistic concerns, but it will not make them go away, and they will not be put aside for the greater good of tackling global warming. Nationalism is the context within which global warming has to be tackled. Appeals to a wider environmental conscience and for countries to act in mutual global interests – when the national self-interest incentive to free-ride remains – are not working, and they are not going to work.


China: A History by John Keay

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, Deng Xiaoping, imperial preference, invention of movable type, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, Pax Mongolica, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, éminence grise

These two provinces therefore lie respectively north and south of the great lakes and so, roughly, north and south of the Yangzi itself. South again, and completing this spine of ‘core’ China come Guangdong and Guangxi. Guang means something like ‘enlarged (southern) territory’. These two once ‘enlarged’ provinces in the extreme south thus lie respectively east (-dong) and west (-xi) of one another. Beyond them in the South China Sea, the island province of Hainan is the country’s southernmost extremity. Returning north towards the Shandong peninsula by way of the coast, the provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangsu plus adjacent Jiangxi and Anhui are smaller, and their names are not so obviously derived from compass bearings. Some contain directional elements, but most have been formed by combining the names of two of their more important centres.

It represents in miniature the layout of his palace, with public rooms to the fore (banqueting hall in the east wing, treasure store in the west wing) and private apartments to the rear (including a chamber for those servants who accompanied him in death and another for concubines similarly ‘honoured’). Both Han and native Yue productions figure among the furnishings, along with African ivory, frankincense from southern Arabia and a circular silver bowl with lid that could be Persian. Then as now, the wealth of Panyu/Guangzhou stemmed from its Pearl River frontage on the South China Sea. Backed by the Nanling mountains, Nanyue seemed to have eluded Han ambitions and to be enjoying the perks of its balmy climate spiced with whatever foreign fancies came its way. The Yue people are thought to have been Malayo-Polynesian rather than Mongoloid like the Xia Chinese. In northern China they were invariably deplored for their alien customs (e.g. banana leaves for plates) as much as for their steamy hillsides and malarial swamps.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

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

back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, 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, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, 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: 364 words: 101,193

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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Climatic Research Unit, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Live Aid, 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: 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

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, 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: 316 words: 103,743

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

back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, car-free, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, mass 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: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

And it’s decimated global rosewood forests and led to the extinction of the Mukula tree, a slow-growing species in central Africa that, for a time, was harvested to make red-colored end tables and chairs with intricate carvings. No foreign power—not the United States, Japan, South Korea, or the European Union—had enough political or economic clout to stop China from extending its special economic trading zones far out into the South China Sea, East China Sea, and Yellow Sea. Nearly half of all global trade must pass through one of those zones, and every single ship that goes by must pay the Chinese government a hefty tax. China observers say that Beijing missed its 2025 target to become the world’s AI powerhouse, even if it has taken control of certain physical world resources. But those observers aren’t looking at the bigger picture.


pages: 332 words: 101,772

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

dark matter, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Golden Gate Park, impulse control, Malacca Straits, Rat Park, 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.


Powers and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

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, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, old-boy network, 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’.


The Pirate's Dilemma by Matt Mason

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Firefox, future of work, glass ceiling, global village, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, patent troll, peer-to-peer, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog

.* We’d catch transmissions from the Cold War, when Russia and America continuously broadcast propaganda at one another pirate-style. If we twist the dial in the other direction, we also would hear pirates working for peace, such as activists who underpinned the draft resistance movement taking to the airwaves in 1970s Australia. We might pick up a new breed of offshore pirates opposed to the Chinese government’s oppressive regime, operating throughout the 1990s from the South China Sea and the Formosa Strait, while another fleet was busy broadcasting peace to the Middle East off the coast of Israel. If we were to tune out far enough, we would hear the collective buzz of more than two thousand pirate stations that have been operating in the shantytowns of Argentina since 1986, and countless others transmitting from Brazil, Haiti, Mexico City, El Salvador, and across South America.


Without Remorse by Tom Clancy

Charles Lindbergh, 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: 356 words: 105,533

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

algorithmic trading, automated trading system, banking crisis, bash_history, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computerized trading, creative destruction, Donald Trump, fixed income, 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!, zero-sum game

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.


pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

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, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, 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, zero-sum game

According to Mallaby, Lübeck represented ‘a formula for creating order out of chaos and prosperity amid backwardness’ in the Middle Ages. It is