The World's Plaidiest News Source
Hello Plaid friends! Just got back from Beijing where I was being fitted for some custom-made plaid boxer-briefs. You can’t get that kind of high quality shit here in the states, and when the measurements are taken by a team of Chinese hotties…well, let’s just say “me love China long time!” And my Plaid brothers, let me give you a small piece of advice: boxer-briefs. Not boxers. Not briefs. But boxer-briefs. Ask any lady—they totally dig the boxer-briefs. And in plaid? Watch out! You will be irresistible!
Anyway, after the marathon boxer-brief bonanza, I bumped into a bodacious brother that I feel all worldy-wise people should know about—Wen Jiabao. Who is the man in China? Yes, Hu is the man in China! But you need to know the Hu, what, where and Wen of China, and Wen is the subject of this rant. Wen? Now!
Premier Wen visits Japan
China ‘wants better Japan ties’
Chinese PM announces Ghana loan
China gives Cambodia $600m in aid
China PM lauds India agreements
Wen Jiabao is China’s Premier/Prime Minister, and easily one of the hardest working cats on the foreign relations front from anywhere on the damn Plaid planet. This guy is a serious Chinese ‘Johnny Hustle’ man! He has been busting his ass for years touring the globe and wringing hands and striking deals from Brazil to Sudan to India to Australia. Back the fuck up my friends, don’t get in this guy’s way, ‘cause he means business–literally!
The US Secretary of State Condelezza Rice is usually out touring middle eastern hotspots and old Cold War allies trying to put a positive spin on the current administrations debacles. Meanwhile, Wen Jiabao has been hitting every singe region and state on the planet cutting business, trade, and energy deals. He also has been cementing strategic alliances, offering up aid and incentive packages for developing countries, and even firming up ties with old enemies (see story above on Japan).
The contrast could not be more striking that that between Rice and Wen: when Rice shows up on scene, it’s usually to scowls and harsh questions; when Wen is in house, its usually all smiles!
As you are reading this, right this second, Wen is in Japan addressing the Japanese Diet. No, he’s not talking about sushi and sake; the Diet is the equivalent of the US Congress—and he is the first Chinese Prime Minister to ever be invited to it for decades. And what’s he talking about? How China wants to firm up ties with their historic arch-enemy Japan…and the first thing he brings up is Japanese war atrocities during WWII! Man, this guy’s got balls!
And he commands respect too. Some in Japan will condemn his remarks, but the current Japanese leadership (Shinzo Abe in particular) are going to continue to strengthen their relationship with Wen, Hu, and China in general. He also is extremely adept at finding new friends in Latin America, in Africa, in the Middle East, and South Asia as well. This dude has been everywhere in the last several years! Simultaneously, the US admin’s main leaders have gone virtually nowhere…which is one of the reasons that so many places are finding it very easy to cozy up to China. Latin America and Africa in particular are establishing all kinds of trade links and relationships with China…a situation which is perturbing the US greatly.
But how can you blame these regions/countries from hooking up with China? China‘s economy is exploding; China needs the raw materials and energy resources that many developing countries have to offer; China often offers no-strings-attached financial aid to developing countries; and China is seen as a growing world political power with increasing clout, but not as an imperial power which invades other countries. Hmmmm…..who in the world would be seen in that light?
Wen has been cultivating these relationships all over the planet, courting countries large and small. And with great success. The fact that he is in office for life—or until the Chinese leadership wants him to go away—means that he will be active on the world stage for some time to come. So know Wen, and know Wen well.
Premier Wen is the nizzle, the whizzle, the Chinese fra-schizzle!!!
Greetings world watchers! Sorry for the weekend hiatus, but the Plaid Avenger was in Ho Chi Minh City getting fitted for a retro Battle of Dien Bien Phu plaid jumpsuit. Oh…the good old days, out fighting the Frenchies in the jungles of Indochina…. Oops, I have once again digressed. Let’s get back to some under-reported news stories of great impact to your future. And I’m not even going to stay on the planet for this rant, because its all about space!
Russia, China aim for Red Planet
Russia is world leader in space launches
China’s new space program unveiled
Dudes! Dudettes! This is some serious shit going down, and it is barely even reported on in the US! Last week we talked about how Hu visited Putin to talk trade, especially in fuel and weapons, but apparently these countries are getting even cozier on a whole host of issues. Like going to Mars. Wtf? Yeah, Mars, man…like that planet no one has stepped on yet. Development of space programs is a real biggie, for several different reasons. Let’s look at them, shall we?
Russia was/is a leader of space exploration, including related technologies. Russia would like to continue to regain its status as a serious global power. Russia also needs investment.
China is THE up-and-coming world power. China wants to continue to make gains in its status as a major world power. China has shitloads of capital to invest.
Are you starting to see this match made in heaven? Ahhh yesss, most honorable ancestors; we shall have kick-ass space rockets!
Further development of the Chinese Space program, in cahoots with the Russian program, is a serious win-win for these two countries. Russia gains investment. China gains access. Both gain technological advancement. But most importantly: Both gain world status. How? Please consider my plaid friends, that the ‘Space Club’ is the most exclusive entity on earth—only US, Russia, and now China have put humans in space. And China in particular wants to be in all the coolest clubs it can get in—it’s a status thing. It’s why China wants to host the Olympics, and the Miss World pageant, or whatever else they are up to. Having a space program is simultaneously a political, economic, technological, and cultural statement: It says ‘we are at the top: we have the capital, the technology, the drive, and the will to go where no man has gone before.’
Or was that Captain Kirk? Did you ever see that episode where Kirk bitch-slaps Dr. Spock? No wonder Bones McCoy was driven to drink…
Perhaps you are now wondering why the Plaid Avenger even cares. How is a Russian/Chinese space venture of importance to us? Here’s how: China has plans to visit the moon. Only the US has pulled that one off. With talk of Mars missions, this whole space exploration gig appears to be dawning into a new age. China has already floated the idea of a moon colony too. And what’s that old saying…oh, yes: possession is 9/10 of the law. Meaning: whoever is sitting on it can claim it. Perhaps your kids or grandkids will be visiting a moon hotel on their summer vacation…and it most likely will be owned by a Hong Kong syndicate.
How do you think the US will respond to all these developments? Just sit on the sidelines? Oh, hell no! I cannot predict future events with exactness, but you can take this premonition to the bank: THE NEW SPACE RACE HAS BEGUN! Right now! In our age! Competition is a hell of a thing, especially between two or three rich world powers. Why do you think the US went to the moon in the first place? Answer: just to beat the Russians to the punch. And I believe that with recent space initiatives—by the Chinese, the Russians, the Japanese and the EU—that the US is going to soon explode back onto the scene for a moon base, a Mars base, and what the hell ever else that China may be planning.
And here is the Plaid inside scoop: even if a lot of forward thinkers and scientists don’t push for a moon base, ultra-conservative military hawk types will. How hilarious! There will be voices of concern raised at the DoD that if China has a moon base, then they could have missiles on that moon base, which means we must have a moon base, so we can have missiles to counter their missiles on the moon base. Hahahaha…its all so delightfully corny, except for the fact that it will probably unfold in exactly this manner. (Go watch Dr. Strangelove for an exact depiction of how this will happen.) Consider the worldwide investment and political discourse occurring already concerning the ‘missile defense shield’. How much more attention will a ‘moon defense’ get?
Bottom line: We are just out of the starting blocks, but the next space race is ON. China, with Russia‘s help, is going to explode onto the space exploration scene with a vengeance. Japan is already stepping up their program. The EU too. Look for announcements from NASA in the coming year that we will have a moon colony in the works. And if you have some capital lying around that you want to invest for your kids and grandkids: look to companies in aerospace industries and technologies. They will be blowing up: financially, figuratively, and literally.
Danger Will Robinson! Danger! The Chinese are going to the moon!
Hmmmm…..do they make plaid astronaut gear? That would be stylish…
Pay attention world watchers! Today’s under-rated story involves two titans teaming up for a tour promoting trade:
Hu heads to Russia to boost trade
Chinese leader starts Russian tour
Russia‘s Vlad ‘the man’ Putin of Russia is hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao for a three-day tour which will certainly revolve around increasing economic links between the two countries. The titanic two largest territories of Asia talking trade! And what kind of trade in particular? Guns and gas! Guns and gas! Guns and gas!
China has become the largest purchaser of Russian weaponry in the last decade. Guns, tanks, missiles, you name it. Those Ruskies were always good at building that shit! Of course, this upsets the US because they feel threatened by the growth of Chinese military power, and perhaps more upset because they’re not buying the death toys from us. Missile-envy can be a bitch. But this issue is of lesser consequence for me right now. The other commodity is of more strategic importance.
As you well know, China already produces every damn manufactured trinket and textile on the planet, so they are selling loads of that shit to Russia—and of course they are selling way more of that shit to the US too. But what does Russia have for sale that China needs? First and foremost: fuel. Oil and natural gas to be precise. Russia has shit-tons of the stuff in reserve, and these fossil fuels are almost solely responsible for Russia economic growth out of the gutter for the last decade. As China continues to expand, they need more fuel to keep the ball rolling, and Russia has it!
Why is this important for understanding your Plaid Planet? Russia is re-gaining its position as a world power player precisely because they are positioning themselves as the energy broker for the whole damn Eurasian continent. Russia already supplies the EU (European Union) with the majority of their fossil fuel needs: a fact which has many folks in Europe a bit worried. They are heavily reliant on Russia for energy, which puts Russia in a position of bargaining power, and perhaps outright political power if something crazy like a oil embargo were to occur out of the Middle East (Yeah, I know how crazy is that idea? That would never ever ever happen would it? Oops: look into 1973 oil embargo)
And now let’s make you smarter: the Plaid Avenger knows how this shit is going down in real life man! Vlad ‘the Man’ Putin is all about strengthening ties with China, specifically by selling them more fuel. Do you see the position this puts Russia in? Vlad sure does! If Russia gets the Chinese addicted to their gas and oil, just like Europe already is, then Russia is essentially the pimp daddy for all the energy-whores of Eurasia. They will literally be making money coming and going, on both sides of the continent. Which means they can pit consumers against each other in a bidding war and, much more importantly, can use this energy addiction as a source of political capital across the continent.
What do I mean by this? What happens if the China pisses off Russia? They can choose to sell more oil to the EU for cheaper. What happens if the EU or a single European country pisses off Russia? They could turn the oil spigots completely off– By the way, that actually already occurred last winter in Belarus. Lesson: Don’t piss off the bear!
Man, everybody will be kissing Russian ass…just to get that Russian gas.
Hmmmmm…me thinks a fossil fuel rhyme just occurred.
The Plaid Avenger has struck again!
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Issue 2: Battle For Burma
Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?