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Ups and Downs in China

We look at the rise of China as an economic and political power

In April the first rail freight service from Britain to China left a terminal in Essex for a 7,500-mile journey to eastern China. Thirty containers with goods such as whisky, soft drinks and pharmaceuticals travelled via the Channel Tunnel and seven countries (including Russia and Kazakhstan). The train took over two weeks to reach its destination, but this route is cheaper than air transport and faster than sea. Three months before, the first freight train had travelled from China to the UK. This illustrates the fact that China is now a central part of the global trade system, as both importer and exporter.

Material World: Migration - Internal and External

Material World

It is hard not to take notice of the building of fences and walls to keep out unwelcome foreigners, like Trump's Mexican Wall to stop Hispanics and Fortress Europe's barriers to repel those who seek a better life. The media thrives on feeding the fear of invading and swarming hordes of fellow human beings, who maybe are part of our common humanity but for the xenophobes and nationalists, not deserving of a humanitarian reception or a compassionate welcome.

CND - Out of Touch With Reality

When India's Prime Minister Mr. Nehru decided to prepare by all possible means for what he said might be a war against China lasting for years, he admitted that under pressure of events he and the Indian government had abandoned their long-held policy. He said that for years they had been “out of touch with reality,” and the Chinese invasion had shocked them all out of “the artificial atmosphere of our creation.” For years Nehru had been chiding other governments for their reliance on arms and the waging of war—now he was calling on the Indian workers to emulate the action of the British Government in 1940 of building up armaments after the evacuation of Dunkirk. He appealed to the American and British governments, hitherto the objects of his rebukes, to supply arms to India.

Hong Kong Hand-over

In September last year the British and Chinese governments signed a Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong, which provided for China to resume control from 1 July 1997. This was the culmination of two years of hard bargaining over the spoils of a sordid nineteenth-century imperialist expansion, which also reveals not a little about twentieth-century capitalism.

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