new Internationalist JUNE IssUE 423
I remember the Cold War with no warmth. It was a time of paranoid rantings. In one corner sat the capitalist ‘runningdogs’ (the United States); in the other, those ‘communist bastards’ (the USSR). Ignoring the poor inside and outside their countries, both sides threw ever-increasing fortunes at an arms race doomed to fail. Russia collapsed under the weight of it.
Today – as China’s influence on the world overtakes that of the United States – paranoid rantings are returning to international debate. In my country, Australia, there’s public disagreement between the intelligence and defence forces about whether we need to ramp up our military to defend ourselves from the Chinese. Putting aside the rather awkward reality that the Chinese outnumber Australians 60 to 1, the good news is that China gives no indication of wanting to take up arms and expand beyond the boundaries it already claims. It doesn’t need to. This magazine should help to explain why.
‘Emerging superpower’ is just one of those buttons that, when pressed, provokes extreme reactions in governments. In China, ‘dissenter’ is another. Twenty years ago this month,
Chinese tanks rolled over protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The picture of a young man standing alone in front of one of the tanks was – and still is – beamed around the world. It is a potent symbol of the power of protest, celebrating the bravery of individuals who stand up against the full force of government to claim their rights. It is a timely reminder, for it is not just in China where repression rages. This month’s Special Feature, ‘You are being watched’, reports on surveillance tactics being used by police and special forces on picket lines from New York to New Zealand. Tiananmen Square may be closer to home than you think.
Chris Richards for the New Internationalist Co-operative
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China in charge
4 Made in China
Chris Richards meets ‘Capi-communism’ – the Chinese version of capitalism that’s plundering Papua New Guinea. 8 The Cultural Crusades
Throw away the guns. Nick Young reports on the conquering power of Chinese culture. 10 Confucius goes to Chile
Lezak Shallat discovers why Latin Americans are learning Chinese. 11 On the world’s factory floor
Facts and figures about China’s growth and what it costs. 12 Breath of the dragon
China’s aid and arms are promoting oneparty governments, argues Rebecca Tinsley.
14 Hu’s who
A guide to who’s running the show in China. 16 The yuan plays the dollar
Egyptian economist Gouda AbdelKhalek talks with Rowenna Davis about China’s political plays in the Middle East. 18 The next dynasty
Resource wars? Climate armageddon? What business-as-usual in China will mean for the rest of the world. 20 Wheel back the factories
Chinese investors may bring manufacturing back to the West, discovers Libby Tucker.
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sPeCIal FeatuRe 21 You are being watched Police surveillance and intimidation of political activists is hitting new heights. Olly Zanetti dodges the long lenses to expose Big Brother’s latest attack on the right to protest.
RegulaR FeatuRes 2 Letters
Why conflict is normal; returning to our primal roots; NI keeping it real. PLUS: Letter from Cairo – Maria Golia ponders Egypt’s attitude towards sexuality. 25 Currents
Building a wall around Rio slums; the manipulation of the media in Belarus; and the Kenyan Government’s shocking human rights record. 27 Only Planet
The rich person’s meat is Gort and Klaatu’s poison. 28 Big Bad World
Our children’s inheritance, by Polyp. PLUS: NI Prize Crossword 29 Making Waves
Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed AlDaradji talks to Ed Stocker about the dificulties of making movies in his homeland. 30 Mixed Media
A sports film with a difference; an indigenous rocker shows his softer side; and a selection of post-election South African reading. 32 Southern Exposure
Khaled Hasan captures life working in Bangladesh’s brickfields. 33 View from Bulawayo
Back in the country after a two-month trip, Mgcini Nyoni is shocked to see the fear and hunger of his fellow-Zimbabweans. 34 Essay: A remarkable failure
Drug prohibition doesn’t work. Time to legalize instead, argues Rachel Godfrey Wood. 36 Country Profile:
Trinidad & Tobago
Front cover: Garrige Ho / Reuters. Magazine design: Ian Nixon. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.