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Dear Minister You explained on 18 December why we must not take the pressure of Iran. I too am totally opposed to Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, but regret that you do not appear to be taking into account Iran’s experience of the West. You say: “Since 2002, the international community has striven to resolve our… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Perhaps I’m missing something, but to me Bali was a failure although not a disaster. I’m no expert on climate change but two questions bug me: What has Kyoto really achieved, after several years of negotiations and the 10 years which have since elapsed? What will the new treaty achieve at the end of a… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

China-EU Summit rules OK

European officials breathed a collective sigh of relief when they returned to Brussels after the 10th China-EU Summit on 28 November. European expectations were low and many saw damage limitation as their top priority. Frustration had increased over the trade deficit, which is rising at the hourly rate of €15m; the fall in the value… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Why did the British Prime Minister sign the new EU Reform Treaty in Lisbon on 13 December alone, three hours after the official signing ceremony? Certainly not because a House of Commons committee meeting takes precedence. We know that Gordon Brown is not a social soul and prefers ‘talking turkey’ to sipping champagne. The only… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The New Bruges Speech

David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, outlined on 15 November his vision of European integration at the College of Europe – 20 years after Margaret Thatcher’s infamous Bruges speech. Miliband is regarded as a European ‘from the heart’ and his original appointment by Gordon Brown, a Prime Minister who appears neither to like foreigners (a… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Coulda, woulda, shoulda

I commend to you Tom Friedman’s op-ed piece in today’s International Herald Tribune. Let me just offer some quotes: “Two dates – two numbers. Read them and weep for what could have, and should have, been. On Sept. 11, 2001, the OPEC basket oil price was $25.50 a barrel. On Nov. 13, 2007, the OPEC… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The new Chinese leadership

The media have reported over the last couple of days on the new leadership which emerged at the end of the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, held every five years. The focus of the comments was on the nine-man (still no women) Standing Committee of the Politburo. There are differences of opinion as… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Whither EU-China relations?

The EU-China relationship has entered a worrying period. Beijing needs to take seriously European concerns, particularly when expressed by the EU Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, who has consistently resisted protectionist pressures and has been seen as friendly disposed towards Beijing. The EU sells more goods to Switzerland than to China. The trade deficit between the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The German Chancellor’s meeting with the Dalai Lama caused strong negative reactions in Beijing. Why did Merkel hold this meeting? What does it mean for Sino-German relations? The meeting can now be viewed with the warm reception in Washington of the Dalai Lama this week when President Bush presented hm with the Congressional Gold Medal.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Some of French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s public utterances understandably worry Beijing. What will be the changes in Sino-French relations as result of Sarkozy succeeding the Sinophile, Jacques Chirac? Concern is expressed about Sarkozy’s pro-American policy and greater pragmatism in his attitude towards China. Sarkozy’s absolute priority is domestic reform and everything he says and does… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick