Category Archives: Diplomacy

Audi apologises to Japan following incident in China

The German car manufacturer Audi has apologised to Japan after staff in one of its dealerships in China called for the killing of Japanese as part of the disturbances over the contested islands of Diaoyu, or Senkaku as they are called in Japanese.

Anti-Japanese protests at Audi dealership in China

The 6 meter (20 foot) banner held up by the staff at Audi reads:

“Japanese must all be killed even if it means China is covered in graves. Diaoyu must be reclaimed even if China becomes barren land.”

Audi has not taken any actions against the staff of the dealership apart from telling them not to protest in this manner. It’s a sure reflection of how important the Chinese market is to the luxury car manufacturer.

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Transatlantic Trends releases 2012 survey of US and EU opinions

Transatlantic Trends is an annual survey released by the American public policy institute German Marshall Fund with the help of  Compagnia di San Paolo, Fundação Luso-Americana, the BBVA Foundation, the Communitas Foundation, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the Open Society Foundations. The survey polls opinion on a range of issues in the United States, Turkey, Russia and 12 European Union member states.

Some of the key findings in relation to Asia-Pacific are interesting. When surveying European nations on the question of which region is more important for national interests, the US or Asia, 61% of Europeans thought the US was more important, which is up 9% since last year. The opinion ranged widely with respondents in Russia, Turkey and Sweden most likely to look to Asia. Germans, French and British respondents thought the US to be more important by a wide margin.

US or Asia most important to European national interests?

On the question whether China is a threat or an opportunity, nearly two-thirds of U.S. respondents (59%) thought that China is more of an economic threat and the French were even more likely to view China as a threat. No doubt mirroring some of the fear the French have of globalisation. The successful exporting nations of northern Europe like Sweden, Netherlands and Germany saw an opportunity over a threat.

China, an opportunity or a threat?

The survey also reported on the opinions on military intervention in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and it gave some surprising results. Of all countries surveyed, Sweden was the most in favour of military intervention, more so than the US. The majority of Swedes are in favour of intervention in all three countries. Russia and Turkey were the most skeptic to military intervention.

Which country most supportive of military interventions in the Middle East?

Syrian rebels desecrate churches in Syria

Churches being destroyed by rebels in Syria

Christian churches are being desecrated and looted in the Syrian city of Homs. The raids are being carried out by the Free Syrian Army, which is backed by a large number of international players, the US, Britain, France, Turkey, al-Qaida, and the Muslim Brotherhood among them.

That (nominally) Christian Europe lets this go on without even condemning it is a disgrace. The Russian TV channel reports:

Thousands of Christians have fled certain areas of Homs that fell into rebel hands in February.

Meanwhile, US intelligence operatives and diplomats continue to step up their contacts with Syrian rebels to help organize their growing military operations against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

According to senior US officials, the CIA and the State Department are helping the Free Syrian Army develop logistical routes for moving supplies into Syria and providing training in communications.

Reportedly, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been paying salaries to the Syrian rebels for several months now. Meanwhile, Turkey, which hosts some units of the Free Syrian Army, ensures material and technical support, according to sources.

And many believe that as long as the US and its allies continue to blindly support the radical rebels, stability in Syria will remain unattainable.

It’s time that Germany steps up and in the strongest terms condemn the US and its Islamist allies!