Good Reads: China faces unrest as economy slows
The rest of the world was hoping China's booming economy would pull everyone else out of economic slowdown, but now even China appears to be slowing down.
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“We do not rule out the possibility of [a] legally binding” agreement, China’s lead climate negotiator, Su Wei, said in a news conference Saturday. “It is possible for us, but it depends on the negotiations.”
But some African and Latin American countries see the new European plan as a sleight of hand, an effort for richer countries to wiggle out of their Kyoto responsibilities, and to create a new plan that does less to handle the problem of global carbon emissions. This is not idle finger-pointing. Emerging countries such as India, South Africa, and Brazil worry that richer countries are shirking the economic burden of cleaning up their industries onto poorer countries, write John Vidal and Fiona Harvey in today's Guardian. And with less and less stuff in Walmart labeled “Made in USA,” it will be the newer factories in China, India, Brazil, and so on who will have to pay enormous sums to clean up their act, according to the new rules. Is that fair? they ask.
And then there are the Tibetan protests
As for social unrest, Beijing faces having to deal with not only hundreds of thousands of angry workers and Western-recognized protesters, such as artist Ai Weiwei, but also the tiny fraction of its population who are Tibetan Buddhists. Many Tibetans still reject China’s control of what they view as an independent Tibet, and there appears to be a new phenomenon of Tibetan Buddhist nuns and monks setting themselves aflame in protest over the Chinese “occupation.” It's like Occupy Wall Street, but with a few subtle differences.
Today’s People’s Daily includes a helpful article explaining that self-immolation runs counter to Buddhist philosophy. A religion that is opposed to killing, the Communist Party-owned newspaper argues, would never allow a believer to kill himself. (Note: the Chinese government is officially atheist, so presumably it is speaking primarily from a disinterested academic point of view.)
Some people with ulterior motives have claimed that self immolation is not against Buddhist doctrines, because it is free of selfish motives.
They are willing to distort Buddhist doctrines for their own purpose and they extol the sin of self-immolation as "the greatest goodness" and "noble behavior". They even claim self-immolation is a religious activity offering tribute to the Buddha.
Point taken. It probably doesn't help that self-immolation of an unemployed Tunisian fruit-seller was the event that kicked off the Tunisian rebellion that overthrew the government of former President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
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