Monday, 17 September 2012

Riots in China

Amazing news! Riots in China,where the public is usually held under such tight control! But these are not protests over the widening gulf between rich and poor or the denial of free expression; they are expressions of nationalist fervour directed against Japan. It is all because of a dispute over some uninhabitable lumps of rock claimed by both sides, and more exactly about the division of possible oil fields. With Japan closing down the nuclear power stations on which it has relied so heavily, access to petroleum is potentially a vital interest. The simple answer to this, as to all territorial quarrels, is international law. But in our crazy world hardly any government wants the simple solution. Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter in 1941, pledging their countries to peaceful resolution of disputes, Yet America turns a blind eye to Israel's illegal settlement of Palestinian land acquired by war, and Britain refuses to go to the International Court over the Falklands. Are we just hopelessly tribal animals?

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