‘Wholehearted support of China’: Russia’s diplomatic evolution in the South China Sea

‘Wholehearted support of China’: Russia’s diplomatic evolution in the South China Sea

Written by China Global Television Network

The proceedings of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) about the South China Sea in Friday afternoon’s committee session yielded exhaustive debate from all sides, including an unexpected stance presented by the Russian Federation.

Historically supportive of Vietnam, Russia seems to have found itself in a tug of war between its common allies on opposing sides of the contest: Vietnam and China. In Vietnam’s absence in committee, Russia spoke extensively about China’s rights in the Sea, specifically defending the construction of artificial islands.

The Russian delegate in UNSC pointed to issues with the current definitions in debate, noting that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) guidelines do not restrict China from establishing and claiming islands as their own. The delegation argued that these conditions endorse “legitimate claims for China to expand their reach” and called for a re-defining of natural island in collaboration with China.

In addition to Russia’s apparent support of Chinese sovereignty, the country has also forged diplomatic agreements with unlikely delegates, including the United States of America. Multiple directives co-sponsored by Russia and the U.S. have repeatedly fought for neutrality by the UNSC.

Whereas the United States has advocated for international neutrality and the firm protection of the Sea as international waters, the direction of Russia’s debate has focused on both Chinese priority but also a hands-off approach from international forces. Rather than western forces arbitrating the dispute, Russia claims, the Association of Southeastern Nations (ASEAN) should take the lead for its own concerns.

Russia aligns somewhat with the Equatorial Guinea delegation in this respect, who criticized the U.S. and its allies’ assumption of a “big brother role,” but the Russian-Equatorial Guinean relationship has not been otherwise agreeable.

Fellow delegates have agreed and disagreed with both of Russia’s arguments, but China recognized Russia’s friendliness, thanking the delegate for their “wholehearted support of China.” However, as open as Russia is to recognizing Chinese interests, the nation is not proactively attempting to regulate those interests.

Russia’s traditionally strong diplomatic presence has been replaced, in this committee, by a biased but noncommittal slant. The delegation admitted, “We can’t oppose dialogue,” but has repeatedly opposed infringement by the United Nations or western countries.

China Global Television Network will keep our readers informed on the continuing debate and uncharacteristic behavior of the Russian delegation in UNSC.

Kick-off of the UNCSW

Kick-off of the UNCSW

Written by NHK World

On April 4th, as the debate in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) began, many states came forward to share their ideas on the proper approach to eliminate gender inequalities.

From the start, there were clear general ideas about how to go about implementing change. These ideas were quotas to get women into power, access to education and health care and putting successful women in the spotlight. While there was some overlap in these areas, most member states focused more heavily on promoting one of these ideas into their speeches in several moderated debates.

There was a small representation of states who advocated for the use of quotas. During a moderated debate, the delegation from Colombia spoke on their success with the implementation of quotas, and how they now have many women in positions of leadership and power.

However, even within this topic there was still opposition on where to draw the line with quotas.

Countries such as Ireland believe “quotas work for candacies only”, and “women do not have to [step] in to run.” Similarly the delegations from Guatemala and Iran echoed similar statements that quotas can work in certain situations, but the delegation from Iran declared “reserved seats” as “undemocratic.”

The majority of states, such as Turkmenistan, went in a different direction and shared their  belief that access to healthcare and education is the most important issue to address. Other states such as Brazil, Guatemala, Korea, Mongolia, Namibia and Qatar echoed these sentiments in moderated debate.

The delegation of Qatar stated in a speech that “quotas are a band-aid to the much greater problem” and “education is the greatest barrier to women’s representation.” In addition, the delegation from Guatemala voiced their concern that for countries with “limited resources” that a huge issue is the “access to health care and sexual safety”. This statement was also echoed by other, smaller developing nations.

Another idea brought forth in moderated debate was the implementation of campaigns, blogs and similar platforms to bring the successes of women to a larger audience in order to inspire and empower other girls. This was a proposition heavily supported by Mongolia, who suggested a blog or a talk show on this topic might be helpful.

Brazil and Colombia also stood behind the implementation of greater awareness of women in power. Brazil stated, “The best way to empower women is to allow them to see other women who have broken through into powerful roles in government”, a statement echoed by Colombia who hopes to see indigenous women and women in rural areas inspired by fellow women in power, as well as use some of the other devices above to gain access to these positions of power.

Chaos in Japan as banks close and protesters take to the streets

Chaos in Japan as banks close and protesters take to the streets

Written by CNBC

A new Occupy Nishi-Shinjuku Movement has people taking to the streets to show their displeasure with living standards. All deposit banks within Japan have been ordered to shut down during protest activity.

In response to the outrage of his fellow council members over the banking crisis, the Governor of the Bank of Japan stated that he did not order the closure of the banks and has no information about who within his banking system would have had the authority or ability to order the banks closed.

There is concern that international investors will pull out of Japan’s economy due to concerns over instability within the financial sector. There has also been apprehension about how the inability to access capital within banks will affect the value of the yen, another concern to investors national and international alike.

The inflation rate is expected to go up as well. To sum up the situation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that, “Literally all of our foreign investment is about to be pulled if we don’t fix this crisis right away…our economy will come crashing to the ground.”

While many prominent figures within the Japanese government cited the banking crisis as a more pressing issue than the social unrest, the Chairperson of the Social Democratic Federation said, “What we should be addressing is the occupy movement…[of] concerned citizens…speaking out about what they’re concerned about [and] what they want from the government.”

Officer Narrato of the Tokyo Police Force reported that there is chaos on the streets, as protestors violently clash with police. He was distraught to report that apples had been thrown at him. He cites the increased chaos as a result of the emergence of a sect connected to the mysterious figure of Light Yagami. This nameless sect has joined forces with the Occupy Nishi-Shinjuku Movement.

The movement is responsible for the banking crisis and is composed of concerned citizens voicing their dissatisfaction with government policies and their impacts. Protesters have taken to the streets of the financial district, Nishi-Shinjuku, to voice their displeasure. The Japanese government has not been able to trace the origins of the movement at this time.

The Occupy Nishi-Shinjuku Movement has seen increased funding in recent weeks, though the identity of the donor is unclear. The protestors are armed with fiery spirit, the traditional mob weapons of old vegetables and fists, as well as with batons, which are believed to have been purchased with funding from the unknown donor.

Because the Japanese government holds firm anti-gun beliefs, the police aren’t armed. With the addition of the batons, the protesters now effectively out arm the police who are struggling to maintain control.

In addition to teaming up with an anonymous donor and an unknown sect, the Occupy Nishi-Sinjuku Movement has also joined forces with the Japanese Socialist Party, who have offered resources and their full support. The combined forces of these once fringe movements have become powerful.

The Occupy movement comes as a new feminist movement is also sweeping Japanese college campuses. Young women have become deeply interested in feminist media, particularly the book  “A Brief History on Why Men Ain’t Shit,” and have taken its message that men really ain’t shit to heart.

More to follow on the impact of these movements in widespread Japanese society.

Amazon passes “Boom Goes the Bezos” after devastating accident kills five employees

Amazon passes “Boom Goes the Bezos” after devastating accident kills five employees

Written by BBC

Following a devastating warehouse explosion in Vermont last weekend, the Amazon Board of Directors has passed a directive entitled “Boom Goes the Bezos” in order to address the concerns of shareholders, politicians, and the public as a whole. At the moment, no one knows for certain who or what caused the explosion, but board members speculate that worker satisfaction and tight warehouse budgets may have been part of the problem.

The resolution includes provisions for a 15-day per year leave policy, alternating weekend assignments to ensure no employees work two consecutive weekends, and a welfare task force. Additionally, the board agreed to fund a memorial service for the employees killed in the blast. Senior Vice President and CFO Brian T. Oslavsky, the author of the aforementioned employee clauses and a supporter of the memorial service, stated, “This is a comprehensive multifaceted solution to the problem at hand. [...] This directive will enable us to improve the lives of our workers, who are the backbone of our company.”

The directive hardly passed without conflict, however. Multiple members of the board raised concerns over the expenses associated with increasing employee benefits. Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary David A. Zapolsky spoke against the directive

saying, “We are under threat every single day from so many different companies. We simply cannot afford this.” He cited the slim margins Amazon is already running under. According to our sources, the board decided to strike out all clauses relating to raising the minimum wage at Amazon as a result of such pressures. Additionally, some question how much of the directive actually will improve the lives of workers.

Though the directive was championed as a worker safety and fulfillment solution, less than one-third of the final document actually pertained to employees. The rest of the directive outlined procedures for forensic analysis of the incident, lobbying authorities for a comprehensive criminal investigation, funding an increased security detail, and increasing investments in automation technology in order to phase out human workers. According to CTO Warner Vogels, “If they are robots then we can’t violate their human rights.”

The warehouse explosion comes on the heels of multiple other similar incidents, such as a plane crash in February alleged to be due to limited funding and support from Amazon. Human rights abuse allegations have been common for the shipping behemoth, and incidents over union relations have recently been in the news as well. Some on the board have raised concern over the ethics of the body in dealing with these matters. According to an anonymous source, the focus of the committee has been on minimizing the damage to the public image, not improving the lives of employees.

Director Jonathan J. Rubenstein has gone on record stating, “I was quite shocked to hear that my colleagues would be willing to resort to some measures.” According to Rubenstein, the committee proposed to force the Washington Post (a newspaper owned by Bezos) to run scandalous stories about politicians like Trump and Senator Oscasio-Cortez in order to shift the focus away from the failings of the company. Asked about the motivations of the board, Rubenstein said, “Instead of focusing on the fact that we lost 5 of our workers, they are focusing on ways to replace our workers.”

Opinion: Should we be scared for Amazon's future?

Opinion: Should we be scared for Amazon's future?

Written by NHK World

With Japan contributing 12 billion of the 178 billion USD of Amazon’s revenue, there is hope for Amazon to continue servicing the citizens of our nation for years to come. However, with the growth and previous successes of competitors, there are now barriers Amazon will have to navigate.

Amazon holds the position of the largest e-commerce platform in the world. This fast growing company has totally dominated the field for the past years, and has expanded internationally. A prime example is how Amazon Prime Video is about to become available in Japan.

In addition, last year Amazon announced their plan to build a new headquarters. An abundance of cities offered large incentives to draw Amazon to them. Amazon decided to split between two cities, Queens, New York and Crystal City, Virginia. However, the company was unfortunately met with opposition. Many advocacy groups and politicians opposed to this expansion; eventually the tension in Queens was so great that Amazon was pushed out.

In Crystal City there is still outcry from residents that their incentive is too large, there would be potential money loss to the city, and fears of negative impacts on locals, despite the fact that having Amazon there would bring in many job opportunities to their community.

However, push back from consumers is not Amazon’s only worry. Competition from other internet companies are a constant threat as well. As far as the e-commerce business, Alibaba in China is a continually growing company and has proven a large obstacle for Amazon.

Flipkart, and Indian company, also shows a potential threat to the company. Furthermore, with Amazon's expansion into artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cutting-edge technology, JD.com based in China is the current standing competitor to beat.

We hope to see Amazon prevail through these competitive times, and be able to expand their abilities and resources in Japan.

Opinion: Amazon, Inc. is becoming too big to fail

Opinion: Amazon, Inc. is becoming too big to fail

Written by CNN

Like the banks of the late 2000s, Amazon, Inc. is now too big to fail. There are two important aspects to note with this phrase - the first is a worrying reflection on the importance of Amazon to the US economy, and the second is an analysis of the staggering diversity of products and services the company currently operates.

Ten years before Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in his garage, Congressman Stewart McKinney first coined the term “too big to fail” to refer to businesses (often banks) that were so vital to the American economy that should they falter, the government should bail them out for the good of the nation. A brief stint in January as the world’s most valuable company undersells Amazon’s size and contribution to the economy.

Amazon, not Google, is the first place consumers go to find products, and represents almost 50% of all online sales. Though today it seems unlikely, should Amazon follow the banks of the late 2000s, it might be best for the Americans to have the government support Amazon through potential rough times.

The above conjecture about an Amazon collapse, however, seems so incredibly unlikely because Amazon has become a leader in so many industries. Rather than just be a monolith in the online shopping industry, Amazon has diversified to become a major player in smart homes, tablets, streaming services, and cloud computing.

Such diversity allows Amazon to take risks in product lines without endangering the bottom line, and insulates the company from even its worst mistakes. Amazon Web Services, which now provides the back end for many companies across the globe, is so well ingrained in each company’s workflow and so necessary to client operations that Amazon can rely on AWS to support their bottom line even during recessions.

This diversity also means that while Amazon may be too big to fail, it’s also too diverse for failure to be realistic. As the government considers regulating the tech industry, it must also consider how much American businesses industries across rely on these services for smooth operation.

Disputes in the South China Sea

Disputes in the South China Sea

Written by NHK World

China still continues to lay claim to the majority of the South China Sea, causing turmoil and disputes amongst other states bordering these waters. China’s boundaries encompass the economic zones of many other states, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. There is still no clear solution to the dispute over claims to the South China Sea. China has continually pushed for control over the vaguely marked https nine-dash-line, also referred to as the ten-dash-line.

China has pushed against opposition to their claims from smaller nations bordering the South China Sea. Now larger global powers such as the US and Russia are taking a stance in the matter. In 2016 the Philippines brought a case to an arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which ruled that China has no legal claim to the nine-dash-line region of the sea. Although this seemed like a significant achievement, China has refused to acknowledge this matter, and remains in a domination role over the South China Sea. Early in 2018 Viet Nam suspended their work in an oil drilling project due to Chinese pressure. Since then Russia and Viet Nam have been working together on gas development projects in attempts to reduce their dependence on China.

Although Russia has been working alongside Viet Nam, they have had to be careful about vocalizing their involvement to put as little strain on their relationship with China as possible. However, like the US, Russia would benefit to see these waters as an area of international cooperation or collaboration, because it would allow for the expansion of their oil refining expeditions.

The main attractions for countries bordering the South China Sea are the oil and natural gas reserves. However the more economically invested member states of the non-East Asian Bloc would prefer to see the body of water as an international Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or at least see international cooperation between nations when dealing with trade, research and more.

These states have had many disputes over the ocean territory, while other nations, such as Japan and South Korea, have had to defend areas encompassed in their territorial zones. Despite the many disputes that have accumulated over time, international cooperation and definitive solutions are still lacking.

Potentially as the focus is aimed more towards the Arctic, these disputes will be met with new ones; see that many of the Northern nations are currently increasing attention towards the profitability of the arctic region.

Latest bonfire of the vanities may signal end of Medici rule

Latest bonfire of the vanities may signal end of Medici rule

Written by CNN

Last night, February 7 1494, Girolamo Savonarola, the controversial Dominican friar, held his latest and most incendiary Bonfire of the Vanities at Piazza della Signoria. In addition to the typical offerings, the Savonarola and his “Piagnoni” supporters  decided to set the Medici bank, the iconic symbol of the powerful Medici family, aflame.

This latest Bonfire marks a continuation of Savonarola’s apocryphal teachings and yet another occasion where the group burned art, books, and clothing. These items are called vanities because their existence and the cultural values they represent oppose the Catholic piety expected of the Florentines.

The Bonfire, like the many before this, featured the Piagnoni dressed in white with red crosses accenting the outfits. In the middle of the Piazza della Signoria, under a Satanic effigy, a great wooden structure was built to house the vanities being offered.

The sheer volume of the items collected by Savonarola’s followers reflect his growing power and the waning influence of the Medicis’. Art featuring female Biblical characters was among the works considered ‘heretical’ by Savonarola, as well as pieces that depicted luxury and leading political figures like the Medici.

Savonarola’s influence has even extended to Sandro Botticelli, one of the most respected artists in contemporary art circles. Botticelli has commissioned some of his works to the bonfire, though he has shown some restraint with his more popular paintings, like the Birth of Venus. Not even Dante’s poems have escaped the wrath of the Piagnoni, since they feature themes considered heretical to Savonarola.

There is much speculation that this latest bonfire is a signal of a greater change in the Florentine balance of power. With the burning of the Medici bank, it’s clear that the Florentians have lost respect for the Medicis and are ready for a new form of governance. Whether Savonarola plays a part in this new leadership hierarchy is still to be determined, but he certainly has a firm grip over the mind of the populace. He has recently began to walk with a security detail.

Since 1490, Savonarola has been working his way through the piazzas of the city preaching a world cataclysm nearing in 1500. His sermons began attracting quite a crowd, despite a lack of formal support from the diocese.

Various other bonfires have been held throughout Italy and France, but none have gained the same level of support as Savonarola and the Florentine fires.

Opinion: The Soviet Union’s Future is in the hands of the Central Committee of the Communist Party

Opinion: The Soviet Union’s Future is in the hands of the Central Committee of the Communist Party

Written by Reuters

As the Central Committee debates how to respond to the death of Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, it is vital for the Soviet Union that the Central Committee moves past the death of Stalin and rapidly establish new leadership and stability.

Since the Central Committee began debate on Thursday, April 4th, many delegates seem divided on what actions should be taken. Some delegates want to focus action on investigating Stalin’s death and honoring him, while other delegates focus on finding new leadership and constitutional reform. Delegates within each ideology even seem divided on what either of those should look like.

As the Central Committee’s debate continues, everyday people continue to face everyday hardships and the Soviet Union’s problems remain unresolved and unaddressed. It is of paramount importance that the Central Committee leave the death of Stalin in the past. They must move forward to adopt proposed constitutional changes to establish a parliamentary governmental structure, including a Prime Minister as the nation’s leader that would be able to provide the country with stable leadership, government, and future.

However, if the Central Committee fails to take such action, the Soviet Union, like Stalin, will fade away into the archives of history.

The death of Stalin

The death of Stalin

Written by Africanews

The Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, passed away last night, in what is already shaping up to be a controversial death. The aged leader was 74 at the time of his passing, and there is no clear heir to his political power.

With his passing the Central Committee will be forced into session in order to seek a way to go forward for the Russian people. Stalin had held office for over thirty years before his passing and had consolidated much of the executive power in the USSR.

He had started as one of the members of the Russian Social Democratic Party in which he was a divisive member and left to join the Bolshevik party shortly after. He was skilled in organizing strikes and movements during the first decade of the 1900’s. It was during this time that he became one of the disciples of Vladimir Lenin, kickstarting a rise to power that would culminate in his attaining the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1922.

During his years of power, Stalin oversaw the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union, in which the cities saw greatly expanded industry. This focus on modernizing the workforce came during the years of the Great Depression, when the world was militarizing, particularly Nazi controlled Germany.

Because of this era of heightened tensions, the government that Stalin oversaw agreed to a non-aggression pact with Germany, which is infamous for becoming null when Germany invaded in the summer of 1941. The German machine pushed deep into Soviet land, however the winter brought heavy casualties for the Germans and they were pushed backwards for the rest of the war in the Western Front.

In the recent year after World War II, the stoic leader of the Soviet Union oversaw his country become a nuclear power and entered into the most dangerous arms race in humanity’s existence. This race began when the Soviet Union successfully tested nuclear weapons, becoming the second state in the world to have such nuclear capabilities.

As the USSR scrambles to find its next leader, the Communist party is too without a leader for the first time in nearly thirty years. Some speculation appears to indicate that the party may appoint a more moderate politician. Georgy Malenkov and Nikita Khrushchev seem to be favorites for the position, however the Central Committee will likely take their time to nominate a successor as the decision will likely have decades-long consequences.

Opinion: Is the South China Sea the next powder keg?

Opinion: Is the South China Sea the next powder keg?

Written by Euronews

China has started to build man-made islands in South China Sea, a large maritime area shared by Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. These nations are claiming parts of South China Sea as their own, even as China slowly encroaches on their territory.

This has led to the increase of US air and sea patrols to reassure their allies in Asia and to contain the expanding of Chinese influence. These patrols have resulted in near-misses between Chinese and American ships, such as in 2013 when USS Cowpen nearly collided with Chinese warships.

Experts are claiming that the chance of war between China and the US has increased dramatically. Some, such as Graham Allison, even say it’s inevitable.

We believe this is a flawed view. The US and China have cooperated many times in the past couple of years to combat terrorism, piracy, and environmental degradation. The UN, as flawed as it may seem, can help to resolve conflicts without war.

When the International Court of Arbitration found that the Chinese had no claim on the nine-dash line and sided with the Philippines on South China Sea maritime claim, the Chinese ignored the rulings and continued their island building exercise. However, the Philippines, the US, and the rest of the international community has used the ruling as a legal basis to criticize the Chinese actions. That led President Xi in 2017 to meet with the Philippines President and compromised to share resources in the South China Sea and allow Philippine’s fishing boats into the area.

This is a good example of how China, despite its power and influence, had to give into UN’s ruling. They had to compromise because of international pressure and they did it without resorting to violence. Those who are shouting that war is inevitable are blind to an alternative perspective on how international bodies resolves conflicts.

Yes, China and the US are playing games in South China Sea, but that doesn’t mean the world is more or less dangerous.

Editorial: The terrible Medici

Editorial: The terrible Medici

Written by Africanews

The Borgia and Medici are the main powers of Italy. This is apparent to everyone who lives in the papal states. While the Medici are known for their sponsorship of the arts, they are in fact just as despicable and murderous as the Borgia.

The Borgia are well known for their propensity for bribery and overall lack of character, especially for a family well known for its priestly associations. This is in sharp contrast to the perception of the Medici as givers to their state.

The power that a single family can wield in a Republic of all places comes through nothing but the power to control public perception. It is through their sponsorship of the arts that the Medici are capable of endearing themselves to the public while profiting off of their misery. The power wielded through the Florentine Republic by the Medici is only through the bludgeoning of the peasants.

The gilded iron fist of the Medici is only seen as righteous by those who subscribe to the power of florins (the money coined by the Florentine Republic). The wealth of Lorenzo Medici is nearly unrivaled in Europe and has influence throughout the Italian peninsula. It is no wonder then that other currencies are measured by their relative value to the florin.

It is the responsibility of all states in Europe to undermine the power of this corrupt and nepotistic family. The corruption of a single state must not be allowed to spread to others. Stop buying into the Florentine banking scheme.

Debate on climate refugees stalled in UNHCR

Debate on climate refugees stalled in UNHCR

Written by Euronews

As soon as Fiji, a small Pacific Island nation, spoke about urging developed nations to open up their country for climate refugees, delegates from several developing nations snapped their fingers in the air as a sign of approval.

But not every developing nation is on board with it.  

“Defining climate refugee doesn’t solve the problem,” exclaimed the Thailand delegate during a heated floor debate. “We need to tackle the root cause. We need to tackle climate change.”

The status of climate refugees is one of the topics being discussed in the committee and they are divided on the definition of the term “climate refugee”. Under international law, “refugee” describes people fleeing war or persecution and who have crossed an international border. Nowhere in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees does it define climate refugee.

However, countries like Fiji, a pacific island nation in danger of being underwater in the next hundred years, are calling for a change.

“We recently had to move a village uphill, away from rising water,” said the Fiji delegate. The delegate then implored nations to focus more on quality of ideas instead of quantity.

Delegate from Congo joined in Fiji’s call for better ideas, since many countries were throwing out their own proposals, instead of trying to find unity. “Reality is, certain nation will experience climate change differently,” said Fiji. “But it will affect everyone!”

Nations such as Fiji, Congo and Spain are calling for the committee to defining the term “climate refugee” amend the 1951 Refugee Convention document. That would dramatically impact how international law governs people displaced by climate change.

The committee is split. On the one side, they don’t want to amend their national laws to accommodate potential millions of climate refugees from developing nations. The other side, their livelihood is at stake.

Fiji delegate ended his speech with a stark warning to the committee and to the international community. “Our very existence is at stake!”

Opinion: UNSC response to territorial controversies of the South China Sea - what to do next?

Opinion: UNSC response to territorial controversies of the South China Sea - what to do next?

Written by RT News

Since 2015, the South China Sea crisis and territorial controversies have escalated due to the increase in expansionist behaviours by multiple Western and Asian countries such as the United States, China, Japan, and Vietnam. Their hidden intentions of dominating the previously uninhabited islands in the South China Sea area and raising tensions between nations directly challenged global peace and security, which made it more difficult for the United Nations Security Council to maintain its peacekeeping structure within the international community.

RT News editorial board firmly believes that in order to have a more effective solution to South China Sea Crisis, countries represented in the UN Security Council need to consider the national sovereignty of each nation involved in the territorial disputes and have open conversations about the code of conduct within this international waterway before implementing economic and military sanctions.

RT News editorial board supports the delegations of Russia and China and strongly suggests that the goal of UNSC should not only be about how to manage the international tensions, but more importantly, to resolve the territorial conflicts in the South China Sea region by highlighting the UN stance of neutrality on this specific issue.

Each country deserves to defend its own sovereignty and come up with their response to the military aggression within the region. Through efficient communication, countries represented in UNSC should cooperate with each other in order to prevent further protracted crises and damaging consequences for the credibility of the UN itself and countries and regions involved in the conflicts.

Opinion: The Galactic Senate should rethink a larger military

Opinion: The Galactic Senate should rethink a larger military

Written by BBC

In the wake of the Clone Wars, many senators are now calling for a larger military to prevent such tragedies from repeating themselves and to bring stability to the galaxy. In reality, the limited size of our military is the only thing preventing an even greater tragedy: the fall of democracy in the galaxy.

The power of the executive branch is often tied closely to the military might of a political entity, especially in a democracy. It simply makes more sense to have a single person making military decisions. Armed conflict necessitates fast choices, a certain level of secrecy, and unified purpose. As a consequence, the authority of the executive branch is frequently bolstered in times of war.

The story, unfortunately, is no different for our galactic government. The turmoil brought forth by the Clone Wars has allowed Chancellor Palpatine to seize power and declare the Galactic Empire. Not all hope is lost for democracy yet, however. Chancellor Palpatine’s emperorship has not yet granted him unlimited power. He now is emperor for life and has total control of the armed forces (among many of the wartime privileges he has made permanent.) The Senate, however, still controls many aspects of the galactic government. Among them, the ability to set the military budget.

Though many senators have voiced their support for a larger standing army in the wake of this most recent conflict, we urge the public to reject their ill-fated rhetoric. The power of the emperor and thus the power to end democracy in the galaxy lies in his ability to command the military. Though it may seem unfathomable now, that our much beloved Palpatine could become a despot, we must not allow him the chance.

Some will argue that a larger galactic military will ensure future stability, or that it will provide much needed jobs in this era of reconstruction. To these arguments and any others, we must insist that no benefits now are worth the risk that our Senate could fall, and with it our freedom. Please, consider calling your senator, and adding your voice to the many that oppose the expansion of the galactic military.

Amazon cancels plans to build HQ2 in New York

Amazon cancels plans to build HQ2 in New York

Written by CNBC

The tech-industry giant Amazon terminated plans to build one of two new headquarter locations in Long Island City in the borough of Queens in New York City. The deal would have brought the city new offices employing 25,000 people as well as housing for those workers.

Crystal City, a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C. was selected other headquarter location, and although that deal also faces some resistance from residents, thus far Amazon has made no changes to plans for that location.

Last year, Amazon conducted a public search to select a location for their new headquarters. During a very competitive bidding process, 238 cities across the U.S., Mexico and Canada wooed the tech giant with various incentives, including massive tax breaks and cash grants.

To attract Amazon, New York had promised tax breaks of upward of $1.525 billion and $325 million in cash. Virginia offered $573 million in tax breaks and a cash grant of $23 million. In November of last year, they were announced as the winning cities.

Amazon cited opposition from local and state leaders as the primary cause of their withdrawal from their New York plans, voicing concerns about potentially hostile cooperation moving forward. For months previously, the company faced fierce opposition from city residents and several politicians from both sides of the aisle who were concerned about the effects the headquarters would have on the city. In an interview with CNN business, New York Senator Gianaris said he was concerned that the headquarters would cause large increases in housing prices, worsening the already high rates of homelessness within the city.

There was also concern that Amazon’s presence would cause the closure of nearby small businesses. Additionally, the location of the headquarters themselves would have been in an area previously designated as the site of a future affordable housing project.

New York was criticized for the monetary incentives it had offered to attract the company. Critics said that the money could be better allocated to infrastructure or underfunded education and health systems. Concerns about giving the already enormously wealthy company arguably unneeded money were raised as well.

Objections to the overall ethics of the company were also voiced. Amazon has faced criticism for its treatment of workers, some of whom have reported that the pressure to reach quotas leaves them without time to take bathroom breaks. The company has been accused of pressuring employees into working while injured and failing to provide time off during holidays. Workers also aren’t paid a living wage.

While Amazon has stated that it will not be seeking out a new location as a replacement, the 25,000 jobs will need either to be absorbed into other existing locations or compensated for through several smaller new locations. Other cities which were previously considered would still like to see an Amazon offices established within them in the future and are hoping that Amazon will give them further consideration.

"Blue-green economy:" What does it actually mean?

"Blue-green economy:" What does it actually mean?

Written by BBC

The idea of “blue-green” economies has gained traction among nationalist leaders and UN bodies alike since the term first began to be circulated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2008, but do any of them actually agree on what it means?

“Blue-green economies”, also known as blue-green growth or simply “green economy” is a collection of loosely defined ideas that advocate for the diversification of island economies while keeping environmental concerns in mind. More broadly, however, the UNEP recommendation is a call for everything from improved technology to agriculture techniques to water tourism.

The terms “blue-green economies,” “green economy,” and their siblings (Henceforth referred to simply as green growth terms) have already been integrated into the political vernacular of island governments from Fiji to the EU, and organizations like the Pacific Island Development Forum. Some, however, have begun to question the validity of these terms to make precise policy claims or recommendations.

A recent report by a group of researchers at the Australian National University claims that the terms have taken on varied meanings across the globe, often suited to the local political climate instead of the original UNEP recommendations.

“What we find is a contested policy space, where Pacific actors deploy competing meanings of green growth terms in ways that both reflect their worldviews and support their agendas. This is most evident at the regional level, where competition between regional organisations now extends into usage of green growth terminology,” write the researchers in an article about their findings.

The researchers cite Island nations such as Fiji and Vanuatu, which have both used the terminology in a distinctly local fashion. Fiji, for instance, has adopted the “green growth” as part of its foreign as well as domestic policy.

Prime minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama has gone so far as to say, “this Green Growth Framework will be one that is truly home grown, truly Fijian. And it will benefit not only Fijians but be ready to serve as a model for our island neighbours, who look to us for leadership on this issue as they do on other things relating to their own development.”

Differences in usage outside of the Pacific are even greater, however. The researchers note that in the Pacific, the term often involves an investment in resource sovereignty and national stewardship. This directly conflicts with more international notions, which the researchers claim are completely detached from any idea of national sovereignty. Indeed, it has taken criticism for its market-centric aspects.

When the Alliance of Small Island States meets later this week, the term will likely see a great deal of use. It remains to be seen whether representatives will be able to agree on a definition, or if it will continue to be a source of ambiguity instead of a precise policy recommendation.

UN Security Council response to South China Sea crisis

UN Security Council response to South China Sea crisis

Written by RT News

On Thursday afternoon, the UN Security Council discussed the issue of territorial disputes in the South China Sea, a body of water that represents one-third of global maritime traffic and $5 trillion in annual trade according to South China Morning Post. Due to the vast wealth of natural resources such as fisheries, oil and gas deposits, and islands within the region, tensions regarding the claims and occupations of the contested islands in the South China Sea between multiple nations have been front and centre and thus a matter and topic of crucial significance.

Based on the conference reports our reporter has received on April 4th, there are six major claimant nations participating in this heated debate: China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Each of these nations has claimed rights to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which spans 200 nautical miles from the coast of their territories, which protects rights for marine resources and energy production and exploration as outlined in the International Maritime Law.

During one of the unmoderated caucuses, the delegation of the People’s Republic of China exclusively told our reporter exclusively that since the start of its meeting session this morning, the UN Security Council has been in “Crisis Mode”. Delegates in support of the United States have been accusing China of potential human rights violations and political domination within the South China Sea region.

“China would like to criticize the U.S. as well as its allies for creating and spreading these false claims and accusations,” the delegates of China said. “These countries intend to undermine our interests in the area, and we have every right to protect our national sovereignty and defend our historical right to the vast majority of the South China Sea islands.”

Recently, China has built numerous defense systems and man-made islands specifically for the purpose of self-protection as well as safe maritime navigation, which made many other nations worried about the potential threat of militarization.

It remains unclear what path the UN Security Council will take, but all delegates agreed that the United Nations Security Council should provide a forum for debates and conversations so that countries are able to openly express their interests and intentions in regards to the regional conflict in the South China Sea in order to build a more effective peacekeeping structure on a global scale.

Opinion: Does China support a suspected Pakistani terrorist?

Opinion: Does China support a suspected Pakistani terrorist?

Written by ZEE News

China has vetoed sanctions for the head of a Pakistan-based terrorist organization multiple times, calling into question the country’s motives in the region.

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, who has taken responsibility for a Feb. 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, was protected by China four times in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

This act is an egregious violation to international norms by supporting a known terrorist that is responsible for the death of over 50 Indians.   

Beijing refused to sanction Azhar, the leader of one of South Asia’s most destabilizing terrorist organizations, adding legitimacy to his brutal actions.

China later flipped on the issue saying they are making “positive progress” on possible sanction negotiations, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a media briefing.  

Positive progress for India is less violence and terrorism in Kashmir and the rest of South Asia.

China is more focused on regional dominance than regional stability.

The support of the JeM leader comes weeks after Pakistan’s increased support of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI program has been criticized for taking advantage of unstable, developing nations to increase the global economic of China.

Beijing is playing economic warfare in Asia and the rest of the world. It is time for China to condemn this terrorist, and stop supporting the murder of innocent people.

New death, new rule

New death, new rule

Written by Al Jazeera

Joseph Stalin, a revolutionary Russian leader, died in his home on Thursday night due to a stroke, leaving the Soviet Union in a state of disarray. He was 74 years old.

Stalin was a man who started his career as a mere secretary of the Communist Party. Within the 29 years of his rule of Russia, he rendered the Central Committee useless, placing them in a unique position today where they have the choice of stepping up to their once-held political glory, or remain in the shadows of other political organs.

For years under his rule, the Central Committee was used heavily to further Stalin’s personal goals. In fact, in the 1930s, the majority of the Central Committee members were executed during the Great Purge, managing to symbolically liquidate the committee and their powers. In recent years many of the decisions said to passed under the committee are actually being decided upon by other organs such as the Politburo and the Secretariat.

About the Central Committee

The Central Committee of the Soviet Union has been a long-standing institution of Soviet Union politics. Originally founded by Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik faction, the party in its’ early years debated several contentious issues, including whether or not to sign a peace treaty with the Germans during World War I. However, as time went on, other political organs began to take a more pressing role, and the Central Committee’s power was greatly diminished.

Current Situation

Stalin’s death has several implications for the nation, as his system of authoritarian government became a deeply embedded institution within the Soviet Union. Currently, the nation is facing a myriad of problems, from the censorship of arts & propaganda to the pressing famine and housing crisis, and now with no established leader in place to handle them. Without someone there to take immediate action and control, the Soviet might as well fall into complete disarray.

Because of these issues, the Central Committee is put in an incredibly unique position where they have the possibility to act within their formerly established jurisdiction to solve these problems. Regardless of how they choose to act when they convene this upcoming weekend, their actions could potentially change the course of the Soviet Union forever.