Monday, November 26, 2007

Current Irritations in German Relations with China

In an interview, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discusses the cooling relations between Berlin and Beijing following Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Invitation to the Chancellery
The chancellor has to have the freedom to decide whom she receives and where. In that regard we won't let anyone interfere with what we do. In terms of the current deep irritations in our relations with China, it is of course regrettable that the dialogue about law-based government that has been painstakingly built up over years, and in which human rights has been placed at the forefront, has now been interrupted. That is also true of the cancellation of (German) Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück's visit (to China).

German industry is also complaining
That may be true. But I certainly would not pit economic interests against human rights. Advocacy of human rights remains a fundamental component of German foreign policy. The question is how we can best do that. Perhaps we as Social Democrats have a more emphatic experience with policies of détente. During the Cold War, we sought to open up channels of communication and build bridges so that exchange was possible between people - despite the systemic conflicts between the states... Complete interview at

Thursday, November 22, 2007

US Republican RUDY GIULIANI – Recipe for the World?

Spiegel - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the Republican frontrunner in the US presidential campaign. Although he is pro-choice and favors stronger gun-control laws, his foreign-policy plans make even current President George W. Bush seem docile by comparison…

Giuliani gives the conservatives what they long for: a decisive leader with the image of a dragon slayer. His views on economic policy and, more importantly, foreign policy are well to the right of those of the current president. Indeed, Giuliani makes George W. Bush, with his cowboy boots and rapidly waning popularity, seem like an amateur… More at SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL

Sunday, November 18, 2007

US Democratic Campaigns of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards

Iowa Caucuses, Advertisements, and Resources

Excerpt - In the final seven weeks of the race, all campaigns are increasing their efforts here, placing new advertisements and investing more resources. To fight the new push by the Clinton campaign, rivals are also planning to spend nearly all their time in Iowa in December, hoping to raise doubts about her candidacy. While the Obama and Edwards campaigns have been gradually building for months toward this moment, the Clinton campaign has bolstered its activity here in recent weeks, hiring 100 new workers to concentrate on a person-to-person drive to explain the quirky process of the caucuses, with a goal of having 50,000 in-home visits by Christmas.

More than 60 percent of those who have identified themselves as Clinton supporters, senior strategists say, have never participated in the Iowa caucuses. It is a far higher share than the campaign had been anticipating, which suggests that many of the reliable rank-and-file Democrats have chosen another candidate. So the Clinton campaign is working to expand its universe of supporters to women who have never participated. ... More at
The New York Times

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Merkel’s Texas Ranch Visit - Diplomatic Efforts with Iran

Tehran's defiance of international demands that it halt its uranium enrichment program was a major topic of discussion. Russia and China - two of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - are blocking the U.N. from moving toward a third set of harsher sanctions against Iran.

Both Bush and Merkel emphasized that diplomatic efforts with Iran have not yet been exhausted. Bush dismissed a question about when patience with Iran would run out.

"What the Iranian regime must understand is that we will continue to work together to solve this problem diplomatically, which means they will continue to be isolated," said Bush… More at
Associated Press

Saturday, November 3, 2007

German Awareness of India & Strategic Economic Cooperation

Economic Growth vs. Social Gaps
India's rapid economic growth has widened the gap between the new middle class and the impoverished bottom class, which makes up a third of the population. A similar development has already occurred in China, but is likely to cause greater tension in a democracy… India and Germany still do not see eye-to-eye on the World Trade talks in Doha, ongoing since 2001, which is a standard problem between highly developed countries and advancing nations such as India, let alone very poor ones… DW-WORLD.DE

Science Express
The Science Express, with its 13 carriages, will be visiting 56 towns, including many isolated places. It is hoped that it will fire the enthusiasm of young people in India for science. And it will be encouraging Indian experts to undertake courses of study in Germany. At present some 4,000 Indians are studying in Germany, while 80,000 of their compatriots are undertaking higher education in the USA...