13 July 2017   Leave a comment

British researchers have found that Saudi Arabia is a key sponsor of radical interpretations of Islam and funds many groups that endorse the use of violence and terrorism to advance those interpretations of Islam. The findings are not that surprising to many who have studied extremist groups, but it is the first time that a research study has nailed down the extent of Saudi support for violence.  The findings stand in stark contrast to the rhetoric of states, like the US, who condemn terrorist violence but embrace (and support militarily) Saudi Arabia.  The contradiction in rhetoric and practice can only be explained in terms of Saudi economic power in the global petroleum market.

US President Trump in Saudi Arabia

                                                                    

Chinese Nobel Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, has died of liver cancer while still in the custody of Chinese prison authorities.   Liu was jailed in 2009 for helping to draft what is known as the Charter 08 manifesto, which called for, among other demands, an end to one-party rule in China.  Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 but was not allowed to receive the award in Norway.  The Nobel Committee gave him the award for “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China“.  Liu advanced the idea of human rights based upon liberal ideas, ones which are not consistent with the conception of human rights held by the Chinese Communist Party.

Liu Xiaobo

The Pew Research Center has issued a new report on how the world views China and the US in economic terms.  Overall, more people in the world regard the US as the world’s leading economic power rather than China (42% vs. 32%).  But views differ among nations.  Several European states who trade extensively with China regard China as the world’s leading economic power.  However, countries in east and southeast Asia, which also trade extensively with China, still regard the US as the economic power. Over time, Asian countries appear to have lost confidence in Chinese economic power.

The Countries Polled in the Pew Research Center Study

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Posted July 13, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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