Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reads Too Important to Wait for Hump Day

Liu Xiaobo

This week starts the baseball playoffs and the reads I've chosen are a baseball managers dream, a string of home-run articles that clear not only the bases, but helps to blow away the fog of confusion that looms over the horizon of international relations.

First off, is this post from Mark of zenpundit who wrote about China's reaction to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Chinese disident, Liu Xiaobo who has been imprisoned for two years of an eleven year sentence. Mark sums up his thought.
Something is amiss at the Central Committee and higher levels of the CCP and government. Either primary attention is being given to internal power struggles related to eventually generational shift of leadership, or a particularly belligerent and parochial faction has increased it’s influence at the expense of better informed and more pragmatic groupings that have steered China in the recent past.
Read more:
China is Vulnerable to 4GW and 5GW

Coming on the heels of Marks lead-off home run, is this on China's perceived chokehold on rare earth minerals. Michael Richardson of Yale Global online writes.
In the race to build superior industrial and military products, China has a key advantage: the world’s biggest reserves of rare-earth minerals that are essential to producing some of the newest technologies. Western businesses have been increasingly concerned by this domination, and China’s recent informal stoppage of exports of rare- earth material to Japan pushed the issue to the front burner.
China dominates mining of rare earths used in an increasingly wide array of civilian and defense applications. Rare earths are essential for hundreds of commercial as well as military applications: electric motors and batteries for hybrid cars, wind-power turbines and solar panels, mobile phones, cameras, portable x-ray units, energy-efficient light bulbs and stadium lights, fiber optics, glass additives and polishing In a technology-intensive world, these rare earths have become some of the most sought-after materials in modern manufacturing, even though they’re used in relatively small amounts.
Read more:
China's Chokehold on Rare Earth Minerals

And in the clean-up position, Thomas Barnett manages to put on a hitting exhibition producing must a read daily post that swells with the energy previous spread among the daily half dozen to half-score of posts that challeged even the most avid reader to digest. Here are a couple of  samples of Tom's daily titans.

Chart of the Day more likely to be Indias Century than China

On food, Asia can't keep pace with rising middle class demand

Finally, Barnett unleashes this blast that clears the bleechers and flys by the boys in blue and lands amid the deep blue Pacific. Citing a New York Times article about the rising alarm within the next generation of Chinese military officers toward American military intentions, Tom asks the reader to follow him.

The U.S. military, which found its network-centric warfare roots in the seminal shell game known as the Taiwan Straits crises of 1995-1996, now takes inspiration from China's response since then (a build-up of anti-access/area denial assets that rely heavily on ballistic missile attacks to keep our carriers at bay) to launch its own AirSea Battle Concept--a new high-tech warfighting doctrine that makes no bones about specifically targeting the Chinese military
And we wonder why the Chinese military seem to think we're their number one enemy? Are we honestly that clueless or has our disingenuity broken through to some higher, slightly irrational plane?
Follow me into this brave, alternative world:
Barnett goes on to list fourteen events or scenarios that if the shoe were on the other foot, we would find mighty uncomfortable. He then expands on these thoughts to serve up some sobering analysis of U.S- China relations. Well worth reading along with catching the referred too podcast from the BBC interview and reading the referenced NYT article.

Read more:
Rising Near Peer Returns the Paranoid Favor

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