A Few Diplomatic Notes

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CHINA’S AFRICA POLICY

CHICAGO, USA – Kenyan political scientist and author Peter Kagwanja published an insightful article in the September 12, 2015, issue of Kenya’s Daily Nation headlined “China using knowledge to consolidate its influence in Africa.”  He opined: “With its 1.3 billion people, the world’s second most powerful economy, a nuclear stock, a seat in the United Nations Security Council and drawing on the ethos of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, China is a superpower.”

The Chief Executive of the Africa Policy Institute and Sunday Nation columnist added: “But faced with growing accusations of extracting and siphoning African resources to fuel its rise, China is consciously shunning the supply-side economic models in redefining its relations with the continent.”

Mr. Kagwanja noted “Beijing’s scholars and foreign policy mandarins are experimenting on the “power/knowledge” model to win the hearts and minds of African thinkers and wielders of power in governments and regional groupings. To be sure,” he added, “China is treading a familiar philosophical path. Over four decades ago, the French historian and philosopher, Michel Foucault, popularized and transformed the power/knowledge concept into a growth industry. ”

I highly recommend Mr. Kagwanja’s article.

SYRIA: DIPLOMACY, PARTITION AND INTERVENTION

On September 12, 2015, Martin Chulov, Middle East editor of Guardian, offered a perspective on Syria in which he noted that, “All stakeholders recognize that the disintegration of Syria is a threat to their own interests and now has a self-sustaining momentum that is bigger than their capacity to control.” Mr. Chulov noted that, “ In recent months, many players have made a series of small, unilateral gestures. The aim has been to build trust and to draw each other back from maximalist positions which have meant that all of those involved in Syria parties have treated it as one big fire sale, taking whatever they can from the ruins, before they’re picked clean,” he wrote.  The article, headlined “Diplomacy, partition, intervention – which future is least bleak for Syria?”, is worth spending sometime reading, if you care about events in Syria.

THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL IS A MULTINATIONAL ACCORD

The Editorial Board of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune told its readers in a September 10, 2013, editorial that, “Deep divisions in Washington obscured a shared objective: preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. That goal is closer to reality thanks to Thursday’s (9/10/2013) Senate vote on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran deal.

“Too often lost in the binary domestic debate has been the fact that this is a multinational accord,” the publication opined. “Rejecting it would have risked the hard-fought global unanimity on sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place.” If you’re interested in reading more of the editorial, see “Iran deal is a victory for effective global diplomacy.”

TECHNOLOGY AND DIPLOMACY

Ido Aharoni, Israel’s Consul General in New York, offers a perspective on the convergence of diplomacy and information technology in the September 8, 2015, online issue of Time, headlined “How Technology Has Revolutionized Diplomacy.” According to Mr. Aharoni, “Three fundamental changes to the nature of diplomacy stand out above the rest.” Read the article to learn what they are.

CHINA AND PAKISTAN

According to Pakistan Today, Pakistan and China’s “decades’ old strategic partnership has entered into a new phase” with the launching of (an) “economic corridor project and construction” of what is being called Silk road.
”Top leadership have decided to bring the two countries more closer to each other through their regular economic interaction,” the publication said. “China will be playing pivotal role (in) the socio-economic development of Pakistan through the corridor project in the coming years.”  “Sino-Pakistan ties enter new phase; focus on economic diplomacy” is worth reading and is another aspect of the global economic ties China is deepening or creating globally.

WILL SAUDI DIPLOMAT GET AWAY WITH ALLEGED RAPE

Suhasini Haidar, writing in the September 11, 2015, edition of The Hindu,  revealed that, “As the diplomatic crisis over the Saudi diplomat accused of raping two Nepalese women employed by him showed no signs of easing, India has asked the Saudi government to waive the official’s diplomatic immunity and cooperate in the investigation.”

“Chief of Protocol Jaideep Mazumdar called on the Saudi Ambassador, Dr. Saud Mohammed Alsati, on Thursday (9/10/2015) and formally asked that diplomatic immunity be waived for the First Secretary, who allegedly held the women as sex-slaves at his residence in Gurgaon,” Ms. Haidar reported. “In a tweet, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup wrote that the Chief of Protocol had “conveyed the request of Haryana police for cooperation of the Embassy” to the Saudi Ambassador.” On September 9, 2015, the Press Trust of India reported that the Saudi Embassy  issued a statement in which it  “strongly stresses that these allegations are false and have not been proven.”

It’s understandable why India wants  to get to the bottom of this. the country is widely known for what some call an official tolerance, at least at the local level,  for the nation’s widely criticized rape culture. To read more on India’s efforts to bring the undisclosed Saudi diplomat to justice, see “Saudi diplomat case: Waive immunity, New Delhi tells Riyadh.” By the way, the case has been reported all over the world.

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