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Posts Tagged ‘Patten’

A Dangerous Trump Spring

Posted by hkarner - 3. April 2018

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Donald Trump’s disregard for liberal democratic values is weakening the institutional pillars of the world order that the US itself had long championed. Only if the world’s other liberal democracies cooperate to push back against the US can the international community hope to hold on until more responsible American leadership returns.

LONDON – It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Flowers are starting to bloom, as the sun shines brighter and longer each day. When it comes to world affairs, however, the outlook is hardly rosy.

In the Middle East, Israel has threatened military action against Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia is also challenging Iran, in an attempt to curb the country’s growing influence in the region. In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been tightening his grip on power, including by using the military to crack down on political opponents, and has just secured a bogus electoral victory. (Will Arab soldiers never learn that dictatorship increases Islamist fundamentalism and promotes instability?)

But this trend is far from limited to the Middle East. President Vladimir Putin has just sailed to his own guaranteed electoral victory, thanks partly to his use of the security services and their friends in the Russian mafia to eliminate any potential threat to his regime. But the Kremlin is not satisfied with damaging Russia’s own polity with plutocratic gangsterism; it is also working to undermine democratic processes elsewhere. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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In Defense of Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 31. Januar 2018

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Democracies have had a bad few years, but that is no reason to tout the virtues of dictatorships and authoritarianism. History shows that, when it comes to prosperity and human wellbeing, societies that defend economic and political freedom come out on top.

SYDNEY – Imagine that you, like me, are a typical product of Western liberal democracy, and are invited to give a lecture to a group of Chinese students in Beijing or Shanghai on its benefits. Ignoring the fact that, in reality, the Chinese government would never allow such a lecture, ask yourself: What would you say?

First and foremost, it would be advisable to acknowledge that you do not speak from a position of moral superiority. Western civilization in the first half of the twentieth century was not very civilized. Human rights were trampled. Class war destroyed entire political systems. There were large-scale violent conflicts and much ethnic cleansing. Given this history, Westerners are in no position to lecture on civil liberties or humane values.

It is also worth noting that the global march toward democracy, which seemed nearly inexorable after the fall of the Berlin Wall, now seems to be reversing. According to Stanford University’s Larry Diamond, several countries that were democracies at the beginning of this century have since shifted to different systems. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Donald Trump Thought

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2017

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Xi Jinping Thought has now been enshrined in the charter of the Communist Party of China, making Xi more powerful than any leader since Mao. If Donald Trump’s own eponymous ideology were entrenched similarly in the US Constitution, what would it require of future American leaders?

LONDON – After US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to China, it can only be a matter of time before right-wing media outlets like Breitbart News and Fox News suggest that he should take a page from President Xi Jinping’s playbook, despite the overwhelmingly Leninist nature of its contents.

At last month’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi was effectively anointed his country’s supreme leader. By enshrining so-called Xi Jinping Thought in the CPC charter, Party members established Xi alongside the People’s Republic’s two historical giants, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping – the only other Chinese leaders with officially recognized eponymous ideologies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s New Emperor

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2017

Chris PattenChris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

In another country, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s concentration of power might trigger accusations of latter-day totalitarianism. In China, however, Xi’s behavior has drawn praise from observers who believe that he is leading the way to the fulfillment of the “Chinese dream” of national rejuvenation.
HONG KONG – An anecdote about US President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 has long been regarded as confirmation of the long view of history taken by Chinese leaders. Zhou Enlai, Mao’s dutiful number two, is said to have responded to a question about the lessons of the French Revolution by saying that it was too soon to tell. In fact, according to diplomats who were there, Zhou was discussing not the revolution of 1789, but the 1968 student uprising in Paris, so it probably really was too soon to tell.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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This Year’s Cruelest Month?

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2017

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The West’s Decadent Foreign Policy

Posted by hkarner - 25. Juli 2017

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China’s Hong Kong at 20

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2017

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Democracy Trumps Terrorism

Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2017

 

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What Mandate for Theresa May?

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2017

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Britain’s Messy Divorce

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2017

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