Thursday, February 14, 2008

Peaceful Coexistence

Film-maker Stephen Spielberg has severed diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China [BBC News, Feb 13th 2008]. He wants China to put more pressure on the regime in Dafur.

I am struck by two features of this story.

The first is the power of celebrity in international relations (discussed by the Duck of Minerva blog: The Glitterati Strikes Again). Or at least the illusion of power.

The second is the notion that it would be a good thing for China to interfere in the internal affairs of African countries. This is a fairly recent notion. Previous generations of diplomats - both in the West and in the Non-Aligned Movement - have put enormous emphasis on the exact opposite, and have been wary of China's aspirations to promote revolutionary change around the world.

Sometimes politicians are accused of taking a short-term view, but they are mostly far-sighted indeed compared to the average celebrity.

Note 1: The Power of Celebrity

Note 2: Sino-African Relations

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