Election in Egypt: Surprisingly Peaceful

November 30, 2011 in Middle East, The World Today

 

By Connor Shirley

          Egypt was one of the first countries to follow the example of the Tunisian revolutions. Merely ten days after Ben Ali fled Tunisia, Egypt became embroiled in a wave of self-immolation and mass protest which met violent police crackdowns.  There were many civilian deaths leading up to the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, including over 200 just in Cairo itself. However, Mubarak leaving proved to be no panacea to the ails of the Egyptian populace. The Egyptian military, which was very influential in removing Mubarak, refused to surrender power to the people and has attempted to control any new form of government that is proposed.

          Throughout all of Egypt’s revolution, there had been large numbers of people camped out in Tahrir Square, a location that has been known informally as “Liberation Square” since the Egyptian Revolution of 1919. Unfortunately, after Mubarak’s resignation, the army invaded the square and destroyed many of the encampments of the people protesting the general’s reluctance to allow change to take place. The surrounding areas, such as Libya and Syria, watched nervously as an apparently successful revolution stalled and appeared to retrogress.

          Fortunately, over the past two days, elections have been held in Egypt. And not only were the elections apparently fraud-free, they were almost entirely peaceful. At the end of the election sessions, there were a group of ‘thugs’ who attacked the protesters still in Tahrir square and injured several people, but compared to the large scale violence and disruption previously seen by Egypt, I believe it is safe to say that the elections are a success. At this point, whatever the outcome of the elections is almost inconsequential to the simple novelty of an election in Egypt. Egypt has never seen anything like this before, and moving forward the populace will be dealing with things never before considered by their public policy makers.

          The only concern I have about the elections is what they have revealed about the mindset of the people. The Salafis, a group many western scholars consider to be a right-wing conservative fundamentalist Islamic group, are going to be a large part of the new government. On top of that concern, the Muslim Brotherhood, who is leading in the current polls, is pushing for a reinstatement of Shariah law, which would return Egypt’s courts to the traditional Islamic law system. I believe that the return to this system of law would be detrimental to the progress the Egyptian people have worked so valiantly for and also that many of the western countries will view this as a ‘failure’ of the revolution. However, if it is what the people want, and if we truly value the ideals of democracy, we must embrace whatever the people of Egypt decide, even if it’s a system of law that has seen only minor changes for the past 600 years.

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

Cuba and the End of the Communist Experiment

November 29, 2011 in Latin America, The World Today

Guevara, Castro, and Cienfuegos

By Andrew Melton

Cuba is no longer the communist country led by the larger-than-life figures pictured above. While eye-catching revolutions and protests occur around the world, a silent, yet monumental change is taking place in Cuba. Raul Castro, the current president of Cuba, has slowly been implementing reforms over the past year in hopes of revamping the economy. These reforms are meant to create private enterprise through the relaxing of government restrictions. Over 180,000 “self-employment” licenses have been granted in the last year, and just this month the ownership of certain kinds of private property was legalized. The latter reform, in my opinion, is by far the more noteworthy. For the first time in half a century Cubans can buy and sell their homes and those famous classic cars we Americans know and love.

These reforms were passed way back in April by the Sixth Communist Party Congress and are finally being implemented. December will be a great month to watch what is coming out of Havana. On December 1st farmers will be able to sell their products directly to businesses of the tourist industry. This will mark a major step away from an unnecessary bureaucratic system filled with middlemen.

Just three weeks later, another important breakthrough will take place. On December 20th the Cuban government, via its national bank, will offer loans to those categorized as “self-employed.” This is huge because the vast majority of those that belong to this group operates small businesses and complains about the inability to expand their enterprise. This new credit system could possibly provide the capital necessary to transform Cuba’s private sector from a collection of small businesses to a significant actor in the economy.

Cuba is a fascinating place. The Cuban Revolution of 1959 was by far the most successful communist revolution to take place in Latin America. That being said, Cuba needs these reforms. It needs them bad. The communist economic model has been implemented in multiple countries, but it has never found a way to succeed. Like most things in life, a good economic system requires balance: that means policies from both ends of the ideological spectrum. These reforms are pulling Cuba to a more centralized ideological location.

I have always dreamed of going to Cuba. The story surrounding the Cuban Revolution is controversial, but captivating. I’m no communist, but I do admire what Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos, and all the members of the July 26 Movement were able to accomplish. The communist experiment was interesting, however the liberalization of the Cuban economy was much overdue. The speed and caliber of the reforms are reassuring and give me an optimistic view on Cuba’s future. Hopefully these changes mean an end to Cuba’s role as a relic of the Cold War and bring about a Cuba more adapted for the contemporary global landscape. Plus it would be great to finally be allowed to fly to Havana.

 

 

 

 

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

Homophobia and Institutional Hatred in Africa

November 28, 2011 in Africa, The World Today

AP Photo

By Chelsea Sweeney

Justice finally triumphed in court for slain gay rights activist David Kato earlier this month in Uganda.  Kato was viciously beaten to death with a hammer after his picture was published in a newspaper article calling for gay activists to be hanged.  Kato was a prominent figure in a campaign against a bill going through Uganda’s parliament allowing the death penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality.”  Although his killer will be locked away for the next three decades, homophobia continues to be a major problem, as homosexuality is explicitly forbidden in the laws of many African nations.

Laws against homosexuality exist as a remnant of British colonial rule.  Gay men and women in countries such as Uganda, Cameroon, and Gambia, face harassment, prejudice, and profiling by police forces.  Blatant discrimination was seen in a recent case of a man sentenced to three years behind bars after a single text message in Cameroon.  The appalling practice of corrective rape to “cure” lesbians is also a large problem, even in South Africa where same-sex marriage is legal.  And when David Kato made a speech prior to his death against Uganda’s aggravated homosexuality bill, his speech was overshadowed by supporters of the bill openly joking and mocking him.  Even one of the members of the Ugandan Human Rights Commission was participating in the regrettable display.

This cultural stigma will not end anytime soon with religious influences coming into play.  As mirrored elsewhere in the world, religious figures do nothing but encourage this legal and cultural homophobia.  In Cameroon in 2005, a Catholic archbishop preached that homosexuality is responsible for – of all things – youth unemployment.  His twisted logic was justified by an absurd claim that high ranking figures prefer to give jobs to gay men.  This kind of false information from religious authorities sadly continues to be part of the basis for institutional homophobia.

Some try to flee to Western countries where homosexuality is more widely accepted.  Unfortunately they face problems receiving asylum; immigration authorities believe that their asylum claims could be avoided if they acted more discreetly.  How they think that living in hiding with the fear of being discovered will help them avoid arbitrary police brutality is beyond me.

There have been some attempts by outside figures to do something about these human rights abuses.  British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that countries receiving aid from the UK must legalize homosexuality.  But this only reiterates the prevalent idea that homosexuality is an un-African product of Western culture.  Forcing conditional aid simply brings to mind ideas of Western imperialism, and African authorities believe they are being treated like children with these demands.

A shift in the mainstream treatment of homosexuality will take time and effort.  It is necessary to lead by example in Western countries, where there have only been patchy improvements in gay rights.  And the grassroots efforts within Africa should be supported, instead of Western authorities imposing these values from above.  We can continue to spread David Kato’s message that homosexuality is not un-African, it is not unnatural, and any kind of legalized homophobia should be abolished.  Uganda’s capital punishment bill has been tabled for now, and let’s hope soon enough it is permanently forgotten.

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

Turkey Day 2011

November 23, 2011 in The World Today

Hello World!

As you may have all noticed, the AzMUN Editorial Board has been taking a break from posts due to our Chicago conference and Turkey Day 2011. Don’t fret we’ll be back starting next Monday. Until then we hope you can placate your international policy fix with some turkey consumption and this video featuring  the most touching Slapsgiving moments courtesy of How I Met Your Mother.

See you Monday!

Francisco

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

Scandal: Greece Wrongs Eurozone – May End In Divorce

November 18, 2011 in Europe, The World Today

By: Zach Wojtowicz

Photo Credit: rivesjm.wordpress.com

The eurozone was thought up by Robert Mundell and several other high-powered economists in the 1990s. Their intention was to create a currency that would rival the dollar and eventually become the world’s chief reserve currency (one held in the vaults of central banks and commonly used in global commodity markets). In their mind, a unified European currency would afford the continent equal economic footing with the U.S., whose ubiquitous dollar allowed it certain desirable advantages. By this account, the Euro has been a stunning success. The Euro, now the second largest reserve currency, has continually gained value against the dollar and is celebrated for its strength and stability.

On the other hand, this same strength was the downfall of Greece. To understand why, contemplate the fact that the eurozone is a monetary union, but not a fiscal union. That is, participating countries share a common currency, but are fully autonomous in the creation of a government spending policy. This allowed for Greece to spend money on public programs while denominating its debt in Euros, the very same Euros that were backed by the full faith and credit of fiscally responsible nations such as Germany. With this privilege, Greece could borrow larger amounts of money at lower interest rates than it should have. Effectively, Greece was given Germany’s credit card. They took it to the spending limit. They bought a Ferrari, and a nice house with a pool.

There was no oversight, no body which could regulate the financial decisions of individual members. Such a body was simply not included in the legal structure – it wasn’t seen as necessary or desirable. Eurozone countries were not inclined to surrender their fiscal independence after already binding themselves to a common currency and central bank. What sovereignty would they have left? At that point, the eurozone countries would be like states in the United States.

However, their preservation of the ability to spend independently, while still paying collectively, has led to a major problem. To put it simply, the eurozone wanted its cake, and to eat it too. There was only one insurance against fiscally delinquent nations endangering the euro: strict admissions requirements. However, with the clarity of hindsight, it has become apparent that Greece fudged its budget numbers and economic statistics in order that it might gain admittance to the eurozone.

Economists Milton Friedman and Robert Mundell fiercely debated the long-term feasibility of the eurozone when the idea first began to gain serious traction. Friedman prophesied that some nations would abuse the common currency and that political tensions would eventually lead the system to collapse. The current predicament confirms Friedman’s reputation for correct analysis and remarkable foresight.

Greece is finally being brought to financial justice for its reckless past. It’s people are not happy about the recent austerity measures; they aren’t happy about the fact that they can no longer retire at 50, employ twice as many schoolteachers per pupil as France, and live without taxes. But from the perspective of the rest of Europe, these were privileges that Greece should never have had in the first place.

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

In Death of Official, México Feels Déjà Vu

November 17, 2011 in México, The World Today

Courtesy of Adriana Gomez Licon, The Huffington Post

By Michelle Moraila

“México has lost a great patriot.”

These are the words President Felipe Calderón uttered with difficulty during a speech commemorating the loss of México’s Secretary of Interior. The morning of Friday, November 11 was full of grief, fear, and speculation as México mourned the deaths of José Francisco Blake Mora and seven others who perished in a tragic helicopter crash in the midst of the Amecameca zone. The mountainous region between the state of Morelos and the State of México is known for its unpredictable weather and dense fog, but officials are still uncertain as to what exactly caused the fatality. Blake Mora, along with Felipe Zamora, the country’s Vice Interior Minister, were headed to Cuernavaca, Morelos to meet with the state’s governor and the Mexican Association of Law Enforcement when the helicopter mysteriously vanished from the radar and was found destroyed two hours later.  

Mr. Blake Mora was more than the Secretary of Interior. A member of the National Action Party, he was one of the most recognizable faces in the campaign to fight drug cartels and a man who consistently strived for a peaceful México. But his death represents a heightened sense of insecurity and uncertainty for Mexican citizens. Three years ago, the former Secretary of Interior died in a scarily similar air crash. The resemblance between the two accidents has created a great amount of speculation amongst Mexicans who believe these were no coincidences. Conspiracy theories have surfaced claiming this was an inside job staged by Calderón himself, while others firmly believe that the same drug traffickers he worked to put in jail assassinated him.

Could it really be a mere coincidence that two Secretaries of Interior working for Calderón suffered such similar fates? Mexican officials have stated that they will investigate all possible causes for the crash but it is undeniable that this tragedy could well have been an act of corruption or homicide. The fact of the matter is the system is infiltrated with lies and greed, and truth may never be fully investigated. Both deaths involved individuals whose mission was to fight drug trafficking so it makes sense that someone who wanted to prevent the efforts would be the perpetrator. The Mexican people want a straightforward answer, and it is evident that his mysterious death has increased of fear amongst many. It is a fear that will most likely remain even after officials announce what triggered the accident.

My most sincere condolences go out to those who were personally affected by this event. May they rest in peace, and may the Mexican citizens know the veritable cause of the collision.

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

Iran and the Nuclear Threat

November 16, 2011 in Middle East, The World Today

AYATOLLA KHAMENEI / CREDIT TO AP

By Connor Shirley

 

“I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new, one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare.” – President Eisenhower to the 470th Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly

 

News that the International Atomic Energy Agency has found evidence of a certain type of computer modeling used for nuclear warhead projection plans in one of Iran’s nuclear program has led to an international furor for even more pressure and trade sanctions on Iran. The U.S. has frozen Iranian assets abroad consistently since 1969, including freezing bank accounts and aviation and military equipment. If the U.S. attempts to increase these sanctions to an even higher level, the resilient Iranian economy (with an average growth rate of 5.2% from 2000-2007) might be even more crippled than it already is, especially if the U.S. finally decides to push for severe oil sanctions.

Before I analyze what this is going to mean for the relationship between Iran and the rest of the Middle East and the Western powers, I want to talk about the current sanctions and why the neighboring countries are uncomfortable with the possibility of Iran having Nuclear weapons. The first event that is significantly relevant to the current situation was the 1953 C.I.A. backed coup in Iran that replaced a democratically elected Mossadegh with the U.S.A. approved Shah. The Shah ruled for 26 years, funded amply by the United States, until a strong Islamist revolution threw the Shah out and formed the Islamist Republic of Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini. The secular laws of the Shah were replaced by a theocratic Guardian Council of the Constitution, a twelve member council on which half were experts in Islamic law and the other half experts in other areas of law. This council can overturn basically any decision made by the Majlis (Parliament of Iran) and are very influential in choosing the President of Iran, who is currently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The events that followed include an Iraq-Iran war that left Iran with an impression that it didn’t need to take out loans to survive a war like Iraq did, continued sanctions from various countries, and little to no support from Iran’s neighbors because of the contentious nature of Iran’s foreign policy. Iran has faced severe problems with everyone from the U.N. to Saudi Arabia, but continues to persevere despite such drastic opposition.

It is through that historical lens that I interpret the recent attempts by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, if the allegations made by the IAEA turn out to be accurate. Iran has consistently struggled to survive, both economically and militaristically. Iran has faced invasion from its neighbors and withstood from the U.S. without flinching. I realize it is somewhat contentious and perhaps contrarian to portray Iran as the valiant underdog; Iran has been no saint in terms of human rights violations and freedom of speech laws.

Many nearby countries have nuclear weapons, such as Pakistan and India, and perhaps most notably Israel. Iran developing the bomb would bring many of the issues currently facing Iran to the forefront of international relations with Iran, especially the Israeli-Palestine conflict. When such a fervently anti-Israel country gets a bomb, many of the surrounding states may start to fall in step with Iran. I believe that the argument that Iran should be prevented from getting the bomb to stop proliferation is an extension of Nuclear apartheid, where only countries with nuclear technology attempt to stop countries from getting that same technology.

This push for nuclear weapons has been a long time coming for Iran. They currently have no leverage in terms of international diplomacy, and are unable to try and separate their economy from the oil trade. I do not doubt that the Ahmadinejad administration views having nuclear weapons as a step closer to becoming a more independent and more of a power player on the regional level. My only hope is that the U.S. (the only country to have actually used nuclear weapons, mind you) does not attempt to strong-arm Iran into destroying their program. 

 

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

The FARC’s Head is Gone, but the Body Remains

November 14, 2011 in Latin America, The World Today

Scott Dalton/AP

By Andrew Melton

On November 4th, Colombian security forces killed Guillermo León Saenz, more commonly known as Alfonso Cano. Cano was the acting head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a position he inherited following the natural death of Manuel Marulanda in 2008. The Colombian government cites Cano’s death as a momentous event in the fight against the FARC. President Juan Manuel Santos proudly exclaimed, “The FARC had reached breaking point…the leadership will come down like a house of cards.” This is most likely wishful rhetoric, but it does represent a setback for the militant group.

The FARC is a Marxist militant group primarily active in the rural areas of Colombia. The group was founded in the 1960s in response to the conservative government’s violent push to take control of areas under communist control. However, it was not until the 1980’s that the organization gained momentum and transformed into the militant group we see today. The past thirty years have largely been characterized by fighting between the FARC and the government, with stints of negotiations between the two actors. The Council on Foreign Relations does a good job in summarizing the actions of FARC.

The problem with this conflict is that it is not confined to just the FARC and government. The FARC has employed questionable tactics in raising money to support their insurgency. The group does not engage in the trafficking of drugs directly, but it does work with the traffickers in providing fee-based protection. The group also engages in kidnappings and assassinations that have affected countless innocent people. Right-wing paramilitary groups have spawned in response to the FARC and other left-wing movements. These paramilitary groups have committed hundreds of atrocities involving rape and murder and are arguably much more brutal than the FARC.

Whether it be on the right or the left, movements constantly compromise their values in the name of promoting their ideology. In regards to the death of Cano, it is somewhat bitter sweet. The man was an intellectual with just intentions, but the FARC’s actions betray those intentions. The FARC claims to represent the rural poor in a struggle with Colombia’s wealthier classes. However, does that representation merit kidnappings, working with drug traffickers, and sometimes murdering innocent people? There is no doubt that the FARC is correct in accusing the government, and especially the military, of corruption and excessive violence, but does that justify equally abhorrent actions? Engaging in such actions has almost turned the FARC into that which it was created to fight.

These movements must be peaceful in nature, or else they will never garner the popular support they seek. The Colombian government must rein in its military and paramilitary groups if it hopes to legitimately bring the FARC to the negotiating table. The truth is, the Colombian government holds the power in this conflict, and if they indeed want a peaceful settlement, they must be the first to extend the olive branch. Obviously this is much easier said than done, but no one ever said seeking peace was easy.

Do not expect Cano’s death to be the destruction of the FARC, at least not in the near future. Cano may have been the leader of the organization, but due to an incessant pursuit by the Colombian military he was forced to abandon much of his day-to-day command. The FARC may have lost its ideological and strategic mastermind, but this should not affect the infrastructure of the organization. Expect some infighting amongst the Secretariat regarding succession, but do not be surprised to see the FARC eventually settle on a new commander and continue its armed fight against the Colombian government. We can only hope that President Santos and the FARC’s future leader will find a way to finally end this conflict in a peaceful way.

 

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

Pearce Gone, But It’s Not Water Under The Bridge Yet

November 14, 2011 in México, The World Today, United States

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt York

By Francisco Lara

The stunning recall of Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce on Wednesday was a positive development in local politics, but it is unclear what effects his ouster will have on bilateral relations on the border.

Pearce, the bombastic Arizona politician, gained national attention and international notoriety after spearheading efforts to pass Senate Bill 1070, which would have granted Arizona law enforcement unprecedented discretion to question and detain anyone they suspected of being an undocumented immigrant. The measure, which ultimately did pass in April of 2010, drew an impassioned response from the Mexican government, going as far as to issue a travel warning to Mexicans like myself, who live or are traveling in Arizona.  At present, the most contentious sections of the bill are blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals pending a possible appeal to the Supreme Court. Before being recalled, Pearce had vowed to keep on fighting the injunction.

Pearce’s magnum opus was not intended to be SB1070. Earlier this year he introduced a set of cruel immigration laws that would have made 1070 seem meek in comparison. These proposals, among them some that would have denied state birth certificates to the children of migrants and forced schools to report undocumented migrants in their classrooms, were overwhelmingly rebuffed by the Arizona legislature after business leaders had expressed concern over the additional commercial repercussions an approval could cause. The Center for American Progress has released a report that boycotts as a result of SB1070 have already cost the state $140 million in spending. 

News of Pearce’s recall was received with elation. Columnist Ruben Navarrete Jr. joyously wrote: “Evil has left the building.” When asked about the recall election result, Congressman Raúl Grijalva said that Pearce’s loss “is a game changer for Arizona and a game changer for politicians who have used the immigration issue to divide people.”  Even a staunch republican ally of Pearce’s, John Kavanagh, seemed to concede that his recall would slow things down on immigration.

But none of us should be getting ahead of ourselves. Pearce’s recall, although a victory for a more common sense immigration policy, could have had as much to do with Pearce’s unsavory character as his politics. Pearce has seen himself implicated in a slew of corruption allegations as of late, including revelations that he illegally accepted thousands of dollars’ worth of Fiesta Bowl tickets, penned a McCarthyesque blacklist banning people from the legislature and created a sham candidate to siphon off votes from his opponent Jerry Lewis.  As a politician with a huge Mormon base, questions to his character irreparably damaged his chances to fend off his challenger.  Both Ben Smith of Politico and the Arizona Republic seem to agree.

There are still plenty of politicians in Arizona that have the will and resources to continue Pearce’s hateful crusade against civil liberties, immigrants and Mexicans. Remember that individuals like Jan Brewer, Tom Horne and Joe Arpaio still have vibrant political careers and SB1070 still stands a chance on appeal to the Supreme Court. The lack of news coverage of the Pearce recall by Mexican media outlets may be symptomatic of the actual prospect for change in Arizona politics.

The battle may have been won, but the war is far from over. Before Arizonans start declaring xenophobia and racism a thing of the past, more work needs to be done. In a sense, Navarrete is right, evil has left the building; But it’s still in our cities and around our homes. It’ll be water under the bridge once our guests, invited or not, can walk around without feeling threatened by its presence. 

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.

China, Censorship and Culture

November 14, 2011 in Asia, The World Today

By Hugo Polanco

China has an image problem. As the inheritor of a sophisticated culture and as a rising power, China would like its culture to be appreciated as widely as it once was. Instead of being known for cultural innovations, public perceptions are dominated by China as an authoritarian power. This negative public perception is not only detrimental to Chinese self- image, it can also affect China’s interactions with the outside world. Joseph Nye, an America political scientist, developed this concept; basically stating that the culture, values, and domestic institutions of a country can influence others. An example would be the United States promotion of democracy and  its tremendous cultural output,  as a tool to positively influence other countries to act in a similar matter. China sorely lacks this capacity and it is unlikely to develop one even with continued economic growth.

The primary reason why China lacks or at least hampers the development of globally acceptable cultural products is its strict control of media. In China film, books, and newspapers all must pass government censorship. From my own personal experience, watching Chinese television the result is bland entertainment that  no one outside China would willingly watch. To be certain there are exceptions. Zhang Yimou , director of Hero, House of Flying Daggers etc, has created widely popular films that have international following.  But, these films are exceptions to the rule, and when compared with the thriving film industries in Hong Kong and Taiwan show that the problem isn’t Chinese culture, but Chinese government.

One result has been that China’s values are unknown to the world. The casual citizen of another country will most likely not know what the Chinese populace cares about or what they want. On the other hand, most people in the world can see what Americans value and do know they want, for better or for worse.  Japan is another case in point. Japanese cultural products have flooded into the United States and the world. Who as child doesn’t remember growing up watching Dragon Ball Z or Pokemon? Despite the fact that Japan ravaged half of Asia and attacked the United States in the past, it would be difficult to convince an American that the Japanese are threatening or aggressive.

Cultural penetration is not a cure all for a country’s foreign policy problems and there are instances where it clearly hasn’t completely alleviated tensions. South Korea and Japan’s relationship is an example. Despite Japan’s pop cultural hegemony in East Asia, the relationship is still fraught with tension.  However in China’s case, having these cultural assets would be enormously beneficial. Many of China’s foreign policy headaches come from  apprehension of China’s military development by neighboring nations. A freer, more open, and culturally marketable China would reduce the distrust and legitimize the Chinese position that their rise is completely peaceful.

While it may be too hopeful to expect the Chinese government to relax its hold on media in the near future, it would benefit not only China but the whole world.  The world is a victim  when it is denied China’s true cultural potential. Imagine the amazing art, literature, and films a wealthy nation with 1.3 billion citizens could produce if its artist were not limited by threats of incarceration for simply expressing themselves.

 

 

This post reflects the author’s personal opinions, not the opinions of Arizona Model United Nations.