6 August 2015   Leave a comment

Russia has laid claim to a substantial part of the Arctic based upon its interpretation of how its continental shelf extends into the region.  Russia has submitted an incredible amount of scientific data which it claims proves that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea interprets national territory in a manner which supports its claim of ownership.  The UN will investigate the evidence which will undoubtedly be contested by other states who dispute the claim such as Canada, Denmark, and the United States.

Andrzej Duda has been sworn in as Poland’s new President.  Duda is a member of the right-wing Law and Justice Party which is currently an opposition party in the Parliament, although Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October.  Duda’s election signals a shift to the right:  Duda favors stronger action against Russia’s activities in Ukraine and supports more robust moves by NATO to counter what he regards as a growing threat form Russia to east and central European countries. Duda is also a strong supporter for the continued use of coal in energy production since Poland has ample supplies of the fuel.  Those positions are less consistent with the western members of the EU such as Germany and France.

There is an ongoing crackdown against liberal academics in China.  According to some, over 200 academics have been detained or interrogated in recent months.  Those academics who support enlarging the realm of choice in politics–suggesting avenues to power other than through the Communist Party–have been harassed by authorities, and many of them have left the country.  It seems clear that President Xi is intent on retaining complete authority within the Party and regards liberal democracy as illegitimate.

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Posted August 7, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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