Exit Musharraf: Demokratiets pyrrhus-sejr?

Exit Musharraf.

Når pakistanernes jubel over Musharrafs afgang har lagt sig, er spørgsmålet, om prisen for demokratiets sejr har været for høj.Taleban står stærkere end længe, tvivlsomme politikere regerer, og de demokratiske institutioner har slagside.

Demokratiets pyrrhus-sejr?


Af Jeppe Matzen NR. 34, 22. – 28. august 2008

Den amerikanske administration havde længe anset Pervez Musharraf for at være politisk irrelevant. Pakistans militær havde for længst givet ham den kolde skulder, og nu truede landets nye politiske lederskab med en rigsretssag og anklager om højforræderi. Og da Musharraf i sidste weekend prøvede at ringe til sin sidste betydende ven i den politiske verden, George W. Bush, tog denne ikke telefonen.

Signalet var entydigt: Gå af, mens du endnu kan få en aftale om et fremtidigt liv i eksil eller i en beskyttet bolig i Pakistan under skarpt opsyn af sikkerhedsfolk.

Dermed er ringen sluttet. Knap ni år efter, at Musharraf kuppede sig til magten i Pakistan, har den selvsamme premierminister, som han dengang afsatte, Nawas Sharif, fået revanche. Spørgsmålet er imidlertid, om det samme gælder for landets demokrati, som generalen dengang satte en stopper for.

Umiddelbart er svaret nej, hvis man spørger Christine Fair fra tænketanken Rand Corporation i Washington.

»Hans afgang bringer ikke landet nogen stabilitet og betyder ikke noget for løsningen af de virkelige problemer, nemlig den afsatte højesteretsdommers skæbne, den økonomiske krise og talebanernes fremmarch. Landets nye civile ledere er inkompetente, men på sigt er hans afgang måske godt for demokratiet, fordi det afskrækker andre militærfolk fra at forsøge at tage magten i landet.«

Men set i et større perspektiv må man anerkende, at Musharrafs exit var endnu et skridt på vejen i den overgang til demokrati, som Pakistan for øjeblikket er midt i. Spørgsmålet er så, om skridtet kommer for sent, og om omkostningerne ved pakistanernes mangeårige kamp for demokratiets genindførelse har været for store? Landet har mistet sin største politiske lederskikkelse, Benazir Bhutto; dets politiske institutioner, herunder især Højesteret, ligger i ruiner; og presset fra de militante stiger. Det til trods er der optimisme at spore i Islamabad.

Hæren ud af politik

»På sin vis har den overgang til demokrati, vi er inde i, bedre vilkår nu end før, fordi de politiske kræfter er mere enige om grundlæggende emner. De civile ledere behøver ikke at bruge kræfter på at kæmpe med militæret denne gang, fordi hærchefen, Kiyani, i høj grad er indstillet på at holde hæren ude af den politiske proces,« siger Zahid Hussein, der er forfatter, journalist og en af landets fremmeste politiske analytikere.

At hærchefen, Kiyani, har tænkt sig at lade politikerne køre deres eget, ofte noget kaotiske ræs, er måske det allermest positive tegn på, at demokratiet på sigt kan slå rod i Pakistan. Men længere går den demokratiske succes heller ikke. Da de civile ledere i sidste måned forsøgte at få mere kontrol med landets egenrådige efterretningstjeneste, var beskeden, at det kunne de godt glemme alt om.

»De civile har ingen kontrol over efterretningstjenesten, ISI, eller militæret. De kan for eksempel ikke dirigere hærens kamp mod de militante,« siger Fair.

Hun mener, at der er en slags aftale mellem det politiske lederskab og hæren om, at man ikke blander sig i hinandens sager, henholdsvis den indenrigspolitiske palaver og den sikkerhedspolitiske og militære situation.

Asif Ali Zardari, det Pakistanske Folkepartis leder og Pakistans reelle politiske beslutningstager, har derfor forholdsvist fri tøjler til at få styr på spørgsmålet om udnævnelsen af en ny præsident, den eventuelle genindsættelse af højesteretsdommer Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry og Musharrafs videre skæbne.

Den største hindring for, at demokratiet kommer på ret kurs, er uenighederne mellem Zardari og hans fremfusende politiske rival og koalitionspartner, Nawas Sharif. Ifølge Muneer Malik, der er tæt på højesteretsdommer Chaudry, er Zardari ikke meget for at se højesteretsdommeren genindsat og domstolens uafhængighed genskabt.

»Zardari er bange for højesteretsdommer Chaudhrys juridiske aktivisme og frygter, at han vil ophæve den nationale forsoningsforordning, der lige nu beskytter ham selv mod korruptionsanklager.«

Det forhold har Nawas Sharifs politiske næse lugtet. Derfor er han en stærk tilhænger af højesteretsdommerens genindsættelse, da det på sigt kan blive den gamle playboy Zardaris endestation.

En løsning på den sag kunne være, at Zardari selv påtager sig præsidentposten, hvilket topfigurerne i det Pakistanske Folkeparti har opfordret ham til. Men det forekommer ifølge Muneer Malik usandsynligt.

»Jeg tvivler på, at han vil acceptere det, da den næste præsident blot vil blive en kransekagefigur, idet de politiske ledere har svoret, at de vil rippe embedet for alle dets magtbeføjelser og overføre dem til premierministeren. Det er mere sandsynligt, at han finder en anden kandidat fra hans eget parti.«

Ifølge Muneer Malik vil advokatbevægelsen gøre alt for at få Musharraf dømt for højforræderi. Men han indrømmer, at det kan blive svært. Dels vil hæren ikke tillade det, og dels er der juridiske forhold i vejen. En sådan anklage skal nemlig rejses af det nationale parlament, og her kan der ikke skaffes flertal, fordi Zardari har indgået en aftale med Musharraf om ikke at pille i hinandens problemer.

Militante på march

Alt imens dette politiske show står på i regeringsbyen Islamabad, udnytter Pakistans talebanere muligheden for at sprede sig ud i landet og befæste positionerne i landets stammeområder og den Nordvestlige Grænseprovins.

Ikke langt fra Islamabad, i distriktet Swat, som militæret sidste efterår erklærede renset for militante, er de i fuld gang med at sprede deres ekstremistiske budskaber og fremme den uvidenhed, som de trives bedst med.

De militante har ødelagt 131 ud af 566 pigeskoler i distriktet og dermed frataget 17.000 piger deres skolegang. Som et helt nyt initiativ har de militante også besøgt flere drengeskoler, hvor de har leveret længere foredrag om vigtigheden af hellig krig. Resultatet er, at mange ynglinge i løbet af de seneste par måneder har forladt Swat til fordel for stammeområderne og et liv som militant.

Spørgsmålet er, hvor længe overgangen til demokratiet kan tage, før situationen bliver uhåndterbar. Den nye regerings højtbesungne fredsforhandlingspolitik ser ud til at være slået fejl. Den udvikling kan USA, der ellers har holdt sig ude af intern pakistansk politik på det seneste, ikke acceptere i længden.

Selv om det ifølge Zahid Hussein er hæren, der bestemmer, hvad der skal ske militært i stammeområderne og den nordvestlige grænseprovins, har den nye civile ledelse også lidt at skulle have sagt, når det kommer til politiske løsninger og fredsaftaler med de militante. Derfor vil amerikanerne i længden ikke lade landets politiske lederskab i fred. Med Musharrafs exit er Pakistan befriet for en dødvægt, og det er nu tid at tage fat på de virkelige problemer.Af Jeppe Matzen NR. 34, 22. – 28. august 2008

Den amerikanske administration havde længe anset Pervez Musharraf for at være politisk irrelevant, Pakistans militær havde for længst givet ham den kolde skulder, og nu truede landets nye politiske lederskab med en rigsretssag og anklager om højforræderi. Og da Musharraf i sidste weekend prøvede at ringe til sin sidste betydende ven i den politiske verden, George W. Bush, tog denne ikke telefonen.

Signalet var entydigt: Gå af, mens du endnu kan få en aftale om et fremtidigt liv i eksil eller i en beskyttet bolig i Pakistan under skarpt opsyn af sikkerhedsfolk.

Dermed er ringen sluttet. Knap ni år efter, at Musharraf kuppede sig til magten i Pakistan, har den selvsamme premierminister, som han dengang afsatte, Nawas Sharif, fået revanche. Spørgsmålet er imidlertid, om det samme gælder for landets demokrati, som generalen dengang satte en stopper for.

Umiddelbart er svaret nej, hvis man spørger Christine Fair fra tænketanken Rand Corporation i Washington.

»Hans afgang bringer ikke landet nogen stabilitet og betyder ikke noget for løsningen af de virkelige problemer, nemlig den afsatte højesteretsdommers skæbne, den økonomiske krise og talebanernes fremmarch. Landets nye civile ledere er inkompetente, men på sigt er hans afgang måske godt for demokratiet, fordi det afskrækker andre militærfolk fra at forsøge at tage magten i landet.«

Men set i et større perspektiv må man anerkende, at Musharrafs exit var endnu et skridt på vejen i den overgang til demokrati, som Pakistan for øjeblikket er midt i. Spørgsmålet er så, om skridtet kommer for sent, og om omkostningerne ved pakistanernes mangeårige kamp for demokratiets genindførelse har været for store? Landet har mistet sin største politiske lederskikkelse, Benazir Bhutto; dets politiske institutioner, herunder især Højesteret, ligger i ruiner; og presset fra de militante stiger. Det til trods er der optimisme at spore i Islamabad.

Hæren ud af politik

»På sin vis har den overgang til demokrati, vi er inde i, bedre vilkår nu end før, fordi de politiske kræfter er mere enige om grundlæggende emner. De civile ledere behøver ikke at bruge kræfter på at kæmpe med militæret denne gang, fordi hærchefen, Kiyani, i høj grad er indstillet på at holde hæren ude af den politiske proces,« siger Zahid Hussein, der er forfatter, journalist og en af landets fremmeste politiske analytikere.

At hærchefen, Kiyani, har tænkt sig at lade politikerne køre deres eget, ofte noget kaotiske ræs, er måske det allermest positive tegn på, at demokratiet på sigt kan slå rod i Pakistan. Men længere går den demokratiske succes heller ikke. Da de civile ledere i sidste måned forsøgte at få mere kontrol med landets egenrådige efterretningstjeneste, var beskeden, at det kunne de godt glemme alt om.

»De civile har ingen kontrol over efterretningstjenesten, ISI, eller militæret. De kan for eksempel ikke dirigere hærens kamp mod de militante,« siger Fair.

Hun mener, at der er en slags aftale mellem det politiske lederskab og hæren om, at man ikke blander sig i hinandens sager, henholdsvis den indenrigspolitiske palaver og den sikkerhedspolitiske og militære situation.

Asif Ali Zardari, det Pakistanske Folkepartis leder og Pakistans reelle politiske beslutningstager, har derfor forholdsvist fri tøjler til at få styr på spørgsmålet om udnævnelsen af en ny præsident, den eventuelle genindsættelse af højesteretsdommer Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry og Musharrafs videre skæbne.

Den største hindring for, at demokratiet kommer på ret kurs, er uenighederne mellem Zardari og hans fremfusende politiske rival og koalitionspartner, Nawas Sharif. Ifølge Muneer Malik, der er tæt på højesteretsdommer Chaudry, er Zardari ikke meget for at se højesteretsdommeren genindsat og domstolens uafhængighed genskabt.

»Zardari er bange for højesteretsdommer Chaudhrys juridiske aktivisme og frygter, at han vil ophæve den nationale forsoningsforordning, der lige nu beskytter ham selv mod korruptionsanklager.«

Det forhold har Nawas Sharifs politiske næse lugtet. Derfor er han en stærk tilhænger af højesteretsdommerens genindsættelse, da det på sigt kan blive den gamle playboy Zardaris endestation.

En løsning på den sag kunne være, at Zardari selv påtager sig præsidentposten, hvilket topfigurerne i det Pakistanske Folkeparti har opfordret ham til. Men det forekommer ifølge Muneer Malik usandsynligt.

»Jeg tvivler på, at han vil acceptere det, da den næste præsident blot vil blive en kransekagefigur, idet de politiske ledere har svoret, at de vil rippe embedet for alle dets magtbeføjelser og overføre dem til premierministeren. Det er mere sandsynligt, at han finder en anden kandidat fra hans eget parti.«

Ifølge Muneer Malik vil advokatbevægelsen gøre alt for at få Musharraf dømt for højforræderi. Men han indrømmer, at det kan blive svært. Dels vil hæren ikke tillade det, og dels er der juridiske forhold i vejen. En sådan anklage skal nemlig rejses af det nationale parlament, og her kan der ikke skaffes flertal, fordi Zardari har indgået en aftale med Musharraf om ikke at pille i hinandens problemer.

Militante på march

Alt imens dette politiske show står på i regeringsbyen Islamabad, udnytter Pakistans talebanere muligheden for at sprede sig ud i landet og befæste positionerne i landets stammeområder og den Nordvestlige Grænseprovins.

Ikke langt fra Islamabad, i distriktet Swat, som militæret sidste efterår erklærede renset for militante, er de i fuld gang med at sprede deres ekstremistiske budskaber og fremme den uvidenhed, som de trives bedst med.

De militante har ødelagt 131 ud af 566 pigeskoler i distriktet og dermed frataget 17.000 piger deres skolegang. Som et helt nyt initiativ har de militante også besøgt flere drengeskoler, hvor de har leveret længere foredrag om vigtigheden af hellig krig. Resultatet er, at mange ynglinge i løbet af de seneste par måneder har forladt Swat til fordel for stammeområderne og et liv som militant.

Spørgsmålet er, hvor længe overgangen til demokratiet kan tage, før situationen bliver uhåndterbar. Den nye regerings højtbesungne fredsforhandlingspolitik ser ud til at være slået fejl. Den udvikling kan USA, der ellers har holdt sig ude af intern pakistansk politik på det seneste, ikke acceptere i længden.

Selv om det ifølge Zahid Hussein er hæren, der bestemmer, hvad der skal ske militært i stammeområderne og den nordvestlige grænseprovins, har den nye civile ledelse også lidt at skulle have sagt, når det kommer til politiske løsninger og fredsaftaler med de militante. Derfor vil amerikanerne i længden ikke lade landets politiske lederskab i fred. Med Musharrafs exit er Pakistan befriet for en dødvægt, og det er nu tid at tage fat på de virkelige problemer.Af Jeppe Matzen NR. 34, 22. – 28. august 2008

Den amerikanske administration havde længe anset Pervez Musharraf for at være politisk irrelevant, Pakistans militær havde for længst givet ham den kolde skulder, og nu truede landets nye politiske lederskab med en rigsretssag og anklager om højforræderi. Og da Musharraf i sidste weekend prøvede at ringe til sin sidste betydende ven i den politiske verden, George W. Bush, tog den
ne ikke telefonen.

Signalet var entydigt: Gå af, mens du endnu kan få en aftale om et fremtidigt liv i eksil eller i en beskyttet bolig i Pakistan under skarpt opsyn af sikkerhedsfolk.

Dermed er ringen sluttet. Knap ni år efter, at Musharraf kuppede sig til magten i Pakistan, har den selvsamme premierminister, som han dengang afsatte, Nawas Sharif, fået revanche. Spørgsmålet er imidlertid, om det samme gælder for landets demokrati, som generalen dengang satte en stopper for.

Umiddelbart er svaret nej, hvis man spørger Christine Fair fra tænketanken Rand Corporation i Washington.

»Hans afgang bringer ikke landet nogen stabilitet og betyder ikke noget for løsningen af de virkelige problemer, nemlig den afsatte højesteretsdommers skæbne, den økonomiske krise og talebanernes fremmarch. Landets nye civile ledere er inkompetente, men på sigt er hans afgang måske godt for demokratiet, fordi det afskrækker andre militærfolk fra at forsøge at tage magten i landet.«

Men set i et større perspektiv må man anerkende, at Musharrafs exit var endnu et skridt på vejen i den overgang til demokrati, som Pakistan for øjeblikket er midt i. Spørgsmålet er så, om skridtet kommer for sent, og om omkostningerne ved pakistanernes mangeårige kamp for demokratiets genindførelse har været for store? Landet har mistet sin største politiske lederskikkelse, Benazir Bhutto; dets politiske institutioner, herunder især Højesteret, ligger i ruiner; og presset fra de militante stiger. Det til trods er der optimisme at spore i Islamabad.

Hæren ud af politik

»På sin vis har den overgang til demokrati, vi er inde i, bedre vilkår nu end før, fordi de politiske kræfter er mere enige om grundlæggende emner. De civile ledere behøver ikke at bruge kræfter på at kæmpe med militæret denne gang, fordi hærchefen, Kiyani, i høj grad er indstillet på at holde hæren ude af den politiske proces,« siger Zahid Hussein, der er forfatter, journalist og en af landets fremmeste politiske analytikere.

At hærchefen, Kiyani, har tænkt sig at lade politikerne køre deres eget, ofte noget kaotiske ræs, er måske det allermest positive tegn på, at demokratiet på sigt kan slå rod i Pakistan. Men længere går den demokratiske succes heller ikke. Da de civile ledere i sidste måned forsøgte at få mere kontrol med landets egenrådige efterretningstjeneste, var beskeden, at det kunne de godt glemme alt om.

»De civile har ingen kontrol over efterretningstjenesten, ISI, eller militæret. De kan for eksempel ikke dirigere hærens kamp mod de militante,« siger Fair.

Hun mener, at der er en slags aftale mellem det politiske lederskab og hæren om, at man ikke blander sig i hinandens sager, henholdsvis den indenrigspolitiske palaver og den sikkerhedspolitiske og militære situation.

Asif Ali Zardari, det Pakistanske Folkepartis leder og Pakistans reelle politiske beslutningstager, har derfor forholdsvist fri tøjler til at få styr på spørgsmålet om udnævnelsen af en ny præsident, den eventuelle genindsættelse af højesteretsdommer Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry og Musharrafs videre skæbne.

Den største hindring for, at demokratiet kommer på ret kurs, er uenighederne mellem Zardari og hans fremfusende politiske rival og koalitionspartner, Nawas Sharif. Ifølge Muneer Malik, der er tæt på højesteretsdommer Chaudry, er Zardari ikke meget for at se højesteretsdommeren genindsat og domstolens uafhængighed genskabt.

»Zardari er bange for højesteretsdommer Chaudhrys juridiske aktivisme og frygter, at han vil ophæve den nationale forsoningsforordning, der lige nu beskytter ham selv mod korruptionsanklager.«

Det forhold har Nawas Sharifs politiske næse lugtet. Derfor er han en stærk tilhænger af højesteretsdommerens genindsættelse, da det på sigt kan blive den gamle playboy Zardaris endestation.

En løsning på den sag kunne være, at Zardari selv påtager sig præsidentposten, hvilket topfigurerne i det Pakistanske Folkeparti har opfordret ham til. Men det forekommer ifølge Muneer Malik usandsynligt.

»Jeg tvivler på, at han vil acceptere det, da den næste præsident blot vil blive en kransekagefigur, idet de politiske ledere har svoret, at de vil rippe embedet for alle dets magtbeføjelser og overføre dem til premierministeren. Det er mere sandsynligt, at han finder en anden kandidat fra hans eget parti.«

Ifølge Muneer Malik vil advokatbevægelsen gøre alt for at få Musharraf dømt for højforræderi. Men han indrømmer, at det kan blive svært. Dels vil hæren ikke tillade det, og dels er der juridiske forhold i vejen. En sådan anklage skal nemlig rejses af det nationale parlament, og her kan der ikke skaffes flertal, fordi Zardari har indgået en aftale med Musharraf om ikke at pille i hinandens problemer.

Militante på march

Alt imens dette politiske show står på i regeringsbyen Islamabad, udnytter Pakistans talebanere muligheden for at sprede sig ud i landet og befæste positionerne i landets stammeområder og den Nordvestlige Grænseprovins.

Ikke langt fra Islamabad, i distriktet Swat, som militæret sidste efterår erklærede renset for militante, er de i fuld gang med at sprede deres ekstremistiske budskaber og fremme den uvidenhed, som de trives bedst med.

De militante har ødelagt 131 ud af 566 pigeskoler i distriktet og dermed frataget 17.000 piger deres skolegang. Som et helt nyt initiativ har de militante også besøgt flere drengeskoler, hvor de har leveret længere foredrag om vigtigheden af hellig krig. Resultatet er, at mange ynglinge i løbet af de seneste par måneder har forladt Swat til fordel for stammeområderne og et liv som militant.

Spørgsmålet er, hvor længe overgangen til demokratiet kan tage, før situationen bliver uhåndterbar. Den nye regerings højtbesungne fredsforhandlingspolitik ser ud til at være slået fejl. Den udvikling kan USA, der ellers har holdt sig ude af intern pakistansk politik på det seneste, ikke acceptere i længden.

Selv om det ifølge Zahid Hussein er hæren, der bestemmer, hvad der skal ske militært i stammeområderne og den nordvestlige grænseprovins, har den nye civile ledelse også lidt at skulle have sagt, når det kommer til politiske løsninger og fredsaftaler med de militante. Derfor vil amerikanerne i længden ikke lade landets politiske lederskab i fred. Med Musharrafs exit er Pakistan befriet for en dødvægt, og det er nu tid at tage fat på de virkelige problemer.Af Jeppe Matzen NR. 34, 22. – 28. august 2008

Den amerikanske administration havde længe anset Pervez Musharraf for at være politisk irrelevant, Pakistans militær havde for længst givet ham den kolde skulder, og nu truede landets nye politiske lederskab med en rigsretssag og anklager om højforræderi. Og da Musharraf i sidste weekend prøvede at ringe til sin sidste betydende ven i den politiske verden, George W. Bush, tog denne ikke telefonen.

Signalet var entydigt: Gå af, mens du endnu kan få en aftale om et fremtidigt liv i eksil eller i en beskyttet bolig i Pakistan under skarpt opsyn af sikkerhedsfolk.

Dermed er ringen sluttet. Knap ni år efter, at Musharraf kuppede sig til magten i Pakistan, har den selvsamme premierminister, som han dengang afsatte, Nawas Sharif, fået revanche. Spørgsmålet er imidlertid, om det samme gælder for landets demokrati, som generalen dengang satte en stopper for.

Umiddelbart er svaret nej, hvis man spørger Christine Fair fra tænketanken Rand Corporation i Washington.

»Hans afgang bringer ikke landet nogen stabilitet og betyder ikke noget for løsningen af de virkelige problemer, nemlig den afsatte højesteretsdommers skæbne, den økonomiske krise og talebanernes fremmarch. Landets nye civile ledere er inkompetente, men på sigt er hans afgang måske godt for demokratiet, fordi det afskrækker andre militærfolk fra at forsøge at tage magten i landet.«

Men set i et større perspektiv må man anerkende, at Musharrafs exit var endnu et skridt på vejen i den overgang til demokrati, som Pakistan for øjeblikket er midt i. Spørgsmålet er så, om skridtet kommer for sent, og om omkostningerne ved pakistanernes mangeårige kamp for demokratiets genindførelse har været for store? Landet har mistet sin største politiske lederskikkelse, Benazir Bhutto; dets politiske institutioner, herunder især Højesteret, ligger i ruiner; og presset fra de militante stiger. Det til trods er der optimisme at spore i Islamabad.

Hæren ud af politik

»På sin vis har den overgang til demokrati, vi er inde i, bedre vilkår nu end før, fordi de politiske kræfter er mere enige om grundlæggende emner. De civile ledere behøver ikke at bruge kræfter på at kæmpe med militæret denne gang, fordi hærchefen, Kiyani, i høj grad er indstillet på at holde hæren ude af den politiske proces,« siger Zahid Hussein, der er forfatter, journalist og en af landets fremmeste politiske analytikere.

At hærchefen, Kiyani, har tænkt sig at lade politikerne køre deres eget, ofte noget kaotiske ræs, er måske det allermest positive tegn på, at demokratiet på sigt kan slå rod i Pakistan. Men længere går den demokratiske succes heller ikke. Da de civile ledere i sidste måned forsøgte at få mere kontrol med landets egenrådige efterretningstjeneste, var beskeden, at det kunne de godt glemme alt om.

»De civile har ingen kontrol over efterretningstjenesten, ISI, eller militæret. De kan for eksempel ikke dirigere hærens kamp mod de militante,« siger Fair.

Hun mener, at der er en slags aftale mellem det politiske lederskab og hæren om, at man ikke blander sig i hinandens sager, henholdsvis den indenrigspolitiske palaver og den sikkerhedspolitiske og militære situation.

Asif Ali Zardari, det Pakistanske Folkepartis leder og Pakistans reelle politiske beslutningstager, har derfor forholdsvist fri tøjler til at få styr på spørgsmålet om udnævnelsen af en ny præsident, den eventuelle genindsættelse af højesteretsdommer Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry og Musharrafs videre skæbne.

Den største hindring for, at demokratiet kommer på ret kurs, er uenighederne mellem Zardari og hans fremfusende politiske rival og koalitionspartner, Nawas Sharif. Ifølge Muneer Malik, der er tæt på højesteretsdommer Chaudry, er Zardari ikke meget for at se højesteretsdommeren genindsat og domstolens uafhængighed genskabt.

»Zardari er bange for højesteretsdommer Chaudhrys juridiske aktivisme og frygter, at han vil ophæve den nationale forsoningsforordning, der lige nu beskytter ham selv mod korruptionsanklager.«

Det forhold har Nawas Sharifs politiske næse lugtet. Derfor er han en stærk tilhænger af højesteretsdommerens genindsættelse, da det på sigt kan blive den gamle playboy Zardaris endestation.

En løsning på den sag kunne være, at Zardari selv påtager sig præsidentposten, hvilket topfigurerne i det Pakistanske Folkeparti har opfordret ham til. Men det forekommer ifølge Muneer Malik usandsynligt.

»Jeg tvivler på, at han vil acceptere det, da den næste præsident blot vil blive en kransekagefigur, idet de politiske ledere har svoret, at de vil rippe embedet for alle dets magtbeføjelser og overføre dem til premierministeren. Det er mere sandsynligt, at han finder en anden kandidat fra hans eget parti.«

Ifølge Muneer Malik vil advokatbevægelsen gøre alt for at få Musharraf dømt for højforræderi. Men han indrømmer, at det kan blive svært. Dels vil hæren ikke tillade det, og dels er der juridiske forhold i vejen. En sådan anklage skal nemlig rejses af det nationale parlament, og her kan der ikke skaffes flertal, fordi Zardari har indgået en aftale med Musharraf om ikke at pille i hinandens problemer.

Militante på march

Alt imens dette politiske show står på i regeringsbyen Islamabad, udnytter Pakistans talebanere muligheden for at sprede sig ud i landet og befæste positionerne i landets stammeområder og den Nordvestlige Grænseprovins.

Ikke langt fra Islamabad, i distriktet Swat, som militæret sidste efterår erklærede renset for militante, er de i fuld gang med at sprede deres ekstremistiske budskaber og fremme den uvidenhed, som de trives bedst med.

De militante har ødelagt 131 ud af 566 pigeskoler i distriktet og dermed frataget 17.000 piger deres skolegang. Som et helt nyt initiativ har de militante også besøgt flere drengeskoler, hvor de har leveret længere foredrag om vigtigheden af hellig krig. Resultatet er, at mange ynglinge i løbet af de seneste par måneder har forladt Swat til fordel for stammeområderne og et liv som militant.

Spørgsmålet er, hvor længe overgangen til demokratiet kan tage, før situationen bliver uhåndterbar. Den nye regerings højtbesungne fredsforhandlingspolitik ser ud til at være slået fejl. Den udvikling kan USA, der ellers har holdt sig ude af intern pakistansk politik på det seneste, ikke acceptere i længden.

Selv om det ifølge Zahid Hussein er hæren, der bestemmer, hvad der skal ske militært i stammeområderne og den nordvestlige grænseprovins, har den nye civile ledelse også lidt at skulle have sagt, når det kommer til politiske løsninger og fredsaftaler med de militante. Derfor vil amerikanerne i længden ikke lade landets politiske lederskab i fred. Med Musharrafs exit er Pakistan befriet for en dødvægt, og det er nu tid at tage fat på de virkelige problemer.Af Jeppe Matzen NR. 34, 22. – 28. august 2008

Den amerikanske administration havde længe anset Pervez Musharraf for at være politisk irrelevant, Pakistans militær havde for længst givet ham den kolde skulder, og nu truede landets nye politiske lederskab med en rigsretssag og anklager om højforræderi. Og da Musharraf i sidste weekend prøvede at ringe til sin sidste betydende ven i den politiske verden, George W. Bush, tog denne ikke telefonen.

Signalet var entydigt: Gå af, mens du endnu kan få en aftale om et fremtidigt liv i eksil eller i en beskyttet bolig i Pakistan under skarpt opsyn af sikkerhedsfolk.

Dermed er ringen sluttet. Knap ni år efter, at Musharraf kuppede sig til magten i Pakistan, har den selvsamme premierminister, som han dengang afsatte, Nawas Sharif, fået revanche. Spørgsmålet er imidlertid, om det samme gælder for landets demokrati, som generalen dengang satte en stopper for.

Umiddelbart er svaret nej, hvis man spørger Christine Fair fra tænketanken Rand Corporation i Washington.

»Hans afgang bringer ikke landet nogen stabilitet og betyder ikke noget for løsningen af de virkelige problemer, nemlig den afsatte højesteretsdommers skæbne, den økonomiske krise og talebanernes fremmarch. Landets nye civile ledere er inkompetente, men på sigt er hans afgang måske godt for demokratiet, fordi det afskrækker andre militærfolk fra at forsøge at tage magten i landet.«

Men set i et større perspektiv må man anerkende, at Musharrafs exit var endnu et skridt på vejen i den overgang til demokrati, som Pakistan for øjeblikket er midt i. Spørgsmålet er så, om skridtet kommer for sent, og om om
kostningerne ved pakistanernes mangeårige kamp for demokratiets genindførelse har været for store? Landet har mistet sin største politiske lederskikkelse, Benazir Bhutto; dets politiske institutioner, herunder især Højesteret, ligger i ruiner; og presset fra de militante stiger. Det til trods er der optimisme at spore i Islamabad.

Hæren ud af politik

»På sin vis har den overgang til demokrati, vi er inde i, bedre vilkår nu end før, fordi de politiske kræfter er mere enige om grundlæggende emner. De civile ledere behøver ikke at bruge kræfter på at kæmpe med militæret denne gang, fordi hærchefen, Kiyani, i høj grad er indstillet på at holde hæren ude af den politiske proces,« siger Zahid Hussein, der er forfatter, journalist og en af landets fremmeste politiske analytikere.

At hærchefen, Kiyani, har tænkt sig at lade politikerne køre deres eget, ofte noget kaotiske ræs, er måske det allermest positive tegn på, at demokratiet på sigt kan slå rod i Pakistan. Men længere går den demokratiske succes heller ikke. Da de civile ledere i sidste måned forsøgte at få mere kontrol med landets egenrådige efterretningstjeneste, var beskeden, at det kunne de godt glemme alt om.

»De civile har ingen kontrol over efterretningstjenesten, ISI, eller militæret. De kan for eksempel ikke dirigere hærens kamp mod de militante,« siger Fair.

Hun mener, at der er en slags aftale mellem det politiske lederskab og hæren om, at man ikke blander sig i hinandens sager, henholdsvis den indenrigspolitiske palaver og den sikkerhedspolitiske og militære situation.

Asif Ali Zardari, det Pakistanske Folkepartis leder og Pakistans reelle politiske beslutningstager, har derfor forholdsvist fri tøjler til at få styr på spørgsmålet om udnævnelsen af en ny præsident, den eventuelle genindsættelse af højesteretsdommer Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry og Musharrafs videre skæbne.

Den største hindring for, at demokratiet kommer på ret kurs, er uenighederne mellem Zardari og hans fremfusende politiske rival og koalitionspartner, Nawas Sharif. Ifølge Muneer Malik, der er tæt på højesteretsdommer Chaudry, er Zardari ikke meget for at se højesteretsdommeren genindsat og domstolens uafhængighed genskabt.

»Zardari er bange for højesteretsdommer Chaudhrys juridiske aktivisme og frygter, at han vil ophæve den nationale forsoningsforordning, der lige nu beskytter ham selv mod korruptionsanklager.«

Det forhold har Nawas Sharifs politiske næse lugtet. Derfor er han en stærk tilhænger af højesteretsdommerens genindsættelse, da det på sigt kan blive den gamle playboy Zardaris endestation.

En løsning på den sag kunne være, at Zardari selv påtager sig præsidentposten, hvilket topfigurerne i det Pakistanske Folkeparti har opfordret ham til. Men det forekommer ifølge Muneer Malik usandsynligt.

»Jeg tvivler på, at han vil acceptere det, da den næste præsident blot vil blive en kransekagefigur, idet de politiske ledere har svoret, at de vil rippe embedet for alle dets magtbeføjelser og overføre dem til premierministeren. Det er mere sandsynligt, at han finder en anden kandidat fra hans eget parti.«

Ifølge Muneer Malik vil advokatbevægelsen gøre alt for at få Musharraf dømt for højforræderi. Men han indrømmer, at det kan blive svært. Dels vil hæren ikke tillade det, og dels er der juridiske forhold i vejen. En sådan anklage skal nemlig rejses af det nationale parlament, og her kan der ikke skaffes flertal, fordi Zardari har indgået en aftale med Musharraf om ikke at pille i hinandens problemer.

Militante på march

Alt imens dette politiske show står på i regeringsbyen Islamabad, udnytter Pakistans talebanere muligheden for at sprede sig ud i landet og befæste positionerne i landets stammeområder og den Nordvestlige Grænseprovins.

Ikke langt fra Islamabad, i distriktet Swat, som militæret sidste efterår erklærede renset for militante, er de i fuld gang med at sprede deres ekstremistiske budskaber og fremme den uvidenhed, som de trives bedst med.

De militante har ødelagt 131 ud af 566 pigeskoler i distriktet og dermed frataget 17.000 piger deres skolegang. Som et helt nyt initiativ har de militante også besøgt flere drengeskoler, hvor de har leveret længere foredrag om vigtigheden af hellig krig. Resultatet er, at mange ynglinge i løbet af de seneste par måneder har forladt Swat til fordel for stammeområderne og et liv som militant.

Spørgsmålet er, hvor længe overgangen til demokratiet kan tage, før situationen bliver uhåndterbar. Den nye regerings højtbesungne fredsforhandlingspolitik ser ud til at være slået fejl. Den udvikling kan USA, der ellers har holdt sig ude af intern pakistansk politik på det seneste, ikke acceptere i længden.

Selv om det ifølge Zahid Hussein er hæren, der bestemmer, hvad der skal ske militært i stammeområderne og den nordvestlige grænseprovins, har den nye civile ledelse også lidt at skulle have sagt, når det kommer til politiske løsninger og fredsaftaler med de militante. Derfor vil amerikanerne i længden ikke lade landets politiske lederskab i fred. Med Musharrafs exit er Pakistan befriet for en dødvægt, og det er nu tid at tage fat på de virkelige problemer.



China – an important component in the global economy

Christer Ljungwall Assistant Professor Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics and guest researcher, China Center for Economic Research (CCER) (chrlju@ccer.edu.cn)

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China’s development suggest that the global economy no longer can ignore China’s internal development. The country is most likely to affect the international development for a long period. This is irrespective of whether the direction of development is positive or heads-off in a more turbulent manner.

An adventure

Almost five years have passed since I was invited to conduct my research on China’s economy at the prestigious China Center for Economic Research at Peking University. I had finished my dissertation in economics a year earlier and the timing was perfect. Since then, my work has been a combination of academic challenges and a private adventure. I have met hundreds of people from all over China and from the most different backgrounds. I have the privilege to work with some of China’s best economists, while teaching and supervising students provides new perspectives on the younger generation of Chinese citizens. New impressions comes in plenty!

My personal view on the Chinese development have been gradually changed during my stay in the country. My analysis is now based on a combination of economic theory and empirical studies mixed with knowledge of internal processes and experiences from the Chinese society. In my view, the Olympic Games is not in any way conclusive for the Chinese economic development. The ‘risk factors’ remains regardless of the games and what can cause serious trouble will not simply go away by itself.

Overtime, I am cautiously positive with respect to China’s future. It would, however, be a big mistake to view the current relative stability as a guarantee that the Chinese economy – and the Chinese society in general – is immune to severe crises.

A fascinating development

China’s radical change has fascinated the world for 30 years[1]. Although a number of changes took place already a few years earlier, the reforms formally begun in late 1978. At that time, the Chinese economic structure was plagued by a strictly planned economy and confronted by huge problems; productivity levels were extremely low and the allocation of resources were mismatched – by it self largely as a result of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. In order to maintain stability the Chinese leadership took a decisive decision to reform the economy and improve the standard of living for its citizens. It is worth noting that reforms, by definition, did not come as a result of immediate political or economic crises.

The early reforms

Domestically, early reforms was a combination of improved incentive structures in the agricultural sector, the well-known household responsibility system, and changes in the monetary and fiscal systems. Principally, control of the means of production and incomes was transferred from the central government to provincial governments. As a result households and newly established private enterprises experienced rapidly increasing incomes[2].

Initially, the deregulation of prices within the industry took the form of a dual price system, that is a system in which a number of goods were given an artificial (i.e., lower) price, while other goods – mainly processed goods – were priced according to the market. This means that those parts of the country who was rich in natural resources, mainly Central and Western regions, subsidies industries and hence the economic development in coastal provinces. The price of input goods were set at artificially low levels, while the processed goods were sold at prevailing market prices.

Internationally the reforms lead China into a completely new era, at least in modern times, as domestic reforms were matched by increased openness to the global economy. The most pronounced reforms to open-up China to the global economy can be summarized as:

– decentralizing of trade including geographic prioritization, symbolized by the special economic zones and cities with less restrictions towards international trade and investments.

– prioritization of key industries.

– membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Generally speaking, there has been a rapid shift away from a relatively closed economy with state control of the means of production and allocation of resources towards a situation with increased focus on the individual. Market based allocation of resources, privatization and market based pricing constitute major elements in the economy. The pace of change has been very high and involved structural changes as well as increased levels of production.

Increased aggregated production volumes has also led to a decisive shift in the composition of GDP away from agriculture towards industry and services; consumption patterns and the distribution of the economic surplus has changed. Although the statistics tell the story, there is more to it: Xu and Ljungwall (2008) show that China’s service industry is underestimated and point out that its share of GDP is in the interval 45 percent to 55 percent in 2006 (compared to 39 percent reported by the official statistics). The exercise shows that China’s GDP is 9 percent to 32 percent larger than given by official calculations.

The opportunities created by economic reforms has attracted investors from all over the world to China, which has made the country the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI). International trade has reached impressive levels and the aggregated economy – with a few exceptions – has developed with relative stability. China’s GDP increased by 11,9 percent to RMB 24,66 trillion (USD 3,46 trillion) in 2007. The highest GDP growth in 13 years. Measured in USD, the Chinese economy is now the fourth largest in the world only after the USA, Japan, and Germany[3].

At the same time, China’s economy is currently confronted by rapidly increasing general price levels. Population growth, however, is less than one percent per year. Huge differences in term of standard of living and per capita incomes are also evident, in particular between urban and rural areas. However, these differences aside, there is no doubt that the absolute majority of the Chinese population has benefited from the economic expansion. In the 17 years between 1978 and 1995 more than 200 million people were lifted out of absolute poverty. Definitely, most people in China is better off today than 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.

China has entered the international scene and has gained a considerable influence outside its borders. The country has become a global concern and its domestic development – turbulent or not – is an important component of the global economy.

China’s future

China’s fut
ure development, however, is not only discussed in positive terms. It is clear that the opinions concerning the contents and speed of reform as well as its general results differ widely among politicians, researchers and the general public – both inside China and internationally. The costs of reform, for example in terms of environmental degradation are gigantic, and the problem of huge differences in the standard of living and per capita incomes is hard to solve in the short run. The financial system lacks thorough reforms and rests upon fragile foundations; state-owned companies (SOEs) are loaded with hidden problems of enormous proportions; and the society in general is facing severe corruption and is soiled by vested interests.

The opinions stretches over a wide area from unreserved pessimism via an arbitrary view on the development to a fear of a rising superpower with unclear ambitions in international politics.

To answer the questions what China will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years may seem relevant from a number of perspectives such as how the European Union (EU) should relate to China. Such an analysis, however, is heavily burdened by unsure assumptions.

One argument in favor of a continued positive development is that the Chinese economic development follows a pattern with distinct resemblance in modern development -and trade theory: structural changes, catching-up, and factor price equalization. China fits well these three criteria, which in this context points at similarities with the early developments of Japan, South-Korea, and Taiwan. There are, of course, differences – not the least in terms of the national and international conditions prevailing in respective countries at different times. At the same time, nothing indicates that these differences should be systematic with respect to their affect on economic growth in China. Corresponding pattern of development may very well be applied to China in the future.

It should be pointed out, however, that these three factors not only are dependent on one another, but also stand in close relation the prevailing domestic and international conditions. A pattern of development similar to that of other Asian countries is applicable also to China but, perhaps with the major difference that China develops at an unprecedented pace and that the absolute size of the Chinese economy to a larger extent affects the global economy than does its predecessors.

No guarantees for continued high economic growth

The prerequisites for China’s economy to grow and develop in the previously mentioned direction rests upon a number of important assumptions such that existing problems are solved without hindrance and that coming problems are properly dealt with as they appear. Examples of obvious areas that need immediate attention is China’s inefficient financial system and its link to loss-making SOEs, corruption, capital leakage (for example from state-owned pension funds), differences in income levels and the standard of living between urban and rural areas, environmental degradation, and a rapidly changing political environment.

Without doubt, it must be clear to anyone of us that China’s rapid economic expansion and overall structural change cannot be guaranteed. The gradual reform strategy that so far has proven successful is now increasingly questioned from the perspective of sustainability – this is, not the least, evident by the insufficient reforms of China’s financial system.

Weaknesses in China’s financial system

The financial system plays a decisive role in a dynamic economy and, hence are further reforms and widening absolutely necessary. A failure in this area will, by definition, put a halt to China’s economic development. This, in turn, will bring serious consequences to the global economy.

There are two major argument in favor of such a development. The first rests upon previous experiences in other countries that financial systems from time to time undergo different stages of instability and turbulence – such as the sub-prime crisis in the US, the world’s most dynamic and transparent economy. The second rests upon the fact that China’s financial system generally is known to be fragile, filled with vested interests and political interference.

The financial system is, next to the legislating sector, the part of a country’s economy in which political interference and foot-dragging of political decisions have the highest affect. Despite sweeping reforms of China’s financial system there remains huge problems, in particular within the state-owned banks.

Government interventions in the capital market, such as capital injections to restructure state-owned banks, a deliberate strategy to keep insolvent financial institutions afloat, maintaining state monopolies etc., has created a skewed incentive structure among Chinese banks and other financial institutions. The same procedures prevail among SOEs as well as in the relationship between SOEs and state-owned banks.

The number of new loans has expanded rapidly in the past five yeas, thus increasing the probability of a new wave of bad loans and – perhaps more importantly an increasing number of bankruptcies[4]. In 2006, the share of fixed-asset investment in GDP reached above 50 percent – a historically high level – in connection to the banks financing a large number of investments in the real estate sector and increased industrial production capacity. We can already observe an increasing number of ‘bad-loans’ reports from the banks – often originating in the real estate sector – while at the same time excess capacity within certain industries indicate that a potential slowdown in economic activities, or increasing interest rates, will put severe financial pressure on firms. The latter is most evident among SOEs, which for a long time have enjoyed subsidized credits by the government.

Despite tough measures by the China Banking Regulating Committee, the average capital-ratio among Chinese state-owned banks is a mere 8 percent – significantly lower than in other Asian economies, while at the same time Chinese state-owned banks report significantly lower profits. To this can be added that investments in China generally is relatively inefficient as compared to, for example, India.

High inflation – a real threat

The high inflation rate in the Chinese economy depends on a combination of factors: high rates of fixed investment, an increasing number of new loans, a large trade surplus, increasing cost of production due to higher world prices for raw material and other input goods, increasing nominal wages, and of course higher prices on food. Behind these factors, however, is one major economic event – the rapidly increasing money supply.

As a matter of fact – and despite repeated actions such as increased interest rates and reserve-ratios – the Chinese central bank has not succeeded in slowing down the rapidly growing money supply in the last 18 months. The reserve-ratio was raised 10 times in 2007 while at the same time the interest rate was upward adjusted six times, all with the purpose of limiting overall liquidity in the economy. As it turns out, the Chinese economy has experienced a lowering of the real interest rate despite increasing nominal interest rates – indeed an interesting paradox.

According to official statistics released by the central bank, M2 reached RMB 42,1 trillion by the end of February 2008 – a growth rate equal to 17,5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Simple facts like this point at a continued strong liquidity in the Chinese economy. It is difficult to escape rapid price increases under such circumstances! At the same time, it is difficult for the central bank to efficiently sterilize the rapidly increasing inflow of foreign currenc
y. Interventions in the exchange market by the central bank, i.e., the purchase of USD and selling of RMB with the purpose to control the rate of appreciation of RMB, has also supported an increasing money supply leading to higher rates of inflation. Contributing to the inflationary pressure is also the natural inflow of foreign capital to China – largely due to interest rate differentials between China and rest of the world. China will definitely experience further price increases! It is also the case that the current macro-economic situation with high economic growth rates and inflationary pressure in the Chinese domestic economy, and a US and Europe on the edge of recession places the Chinese central bank and thus the central government in a difficult situation.

Lessons learnt from the late 1980s and early 1990s tells us that high rates of inflation in the Chinese economy leads to lower rates of real economic growth. Today, the situation is much more complex than in the 1980s or 1990s. A continued austere monetary policy and restrictive credit policies strikes hard against SOEs and sectors of the economy with a high level of private entrepreneurs, such as real estate developers. This can lead to devastating effects for Chinese banks. This would most certainly bring out the ‘dust under the carpet’ and, hence lead to even higher levels of money supply[5]. The result is rapidly increasing rates of inflation which, in turn, would have an immediate and negative effect on the average Chinese household through lowered purchase power and decreasing wealth. This may very well lead to social unrest.

One measure to prevent non-performing loans from reaching uncontrollable levels and lowering the costs in case of financial crisis is to widen and deepen the financial system, among other things, by establishing private banks on a large scale. A conclusive step in this direction was taken on May 11 this year.

In summary, my view of the Chinese economic development is cautiously positive. It would, however, be a big mistake to view the current relative stability as a guarantee that the Chinese economy – and the Chinese society in general – is immune to severe crises

References

Lin, Y., F. Cai. And Z. Li (2003). The China miracle: Development strategy and economic reform. The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong.

Nanto, D.K. and R. Shina (2001). ‘China: a major economic power’. Post-Communist Economies, Vol.13, No. 3.

Qian, Y. (2000). ‘The process of China’s market transition (1978-1998): The evolutionary, Historical and comparative perspectives’. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Vol. 156.

State Statistical Bureau (2007). China Statistical Yearbook. China Statistical Publishing House.

Xu, D-q. and C. Ljungwall (2008). ‘What is the real size of China’s economy?’ China Economic Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, Februray.

Xu, G. and C. Ljungwall (2008). ‘Business cycle accounting in China and India’. Forthcoming CCER working paper.

Xu, D-q. and C. Ljungwall (2008). ‘Dust Under the Carpet’. CCER report.


[1] This article is a brief overview of China’s economic development since 1978, including a discussion of the country’s near future. For a detailed overview of the most important segment of China’s reform, please see, for example: Lin et al., 2003; Qian, 2000.[2] The central government still controls means of production and incomes from a number of sectors in the economy.[3]According to calculations by CIA (2008).[4] Ernst & Young, 2005, estimated bad loans in the Chinese banking system to be in the range of USD 900 – 920 billion.[5] See ‘Dust under the carpet’, Xu och Ljungwall (2008).


China’s foreign policy towards US-appointed ‘rogue states’: interest and principles?

Clemens Stubbe Østergaard Associate Professor Department of Political Science, Aarhus University (CLEMENS@ps.au.dk)

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The period of the Olympic Games will no doubt see more attempts from lobby-groups and foreign governments to pressure China in the field of foreign policy, be it Darfur and Zimbabwe (and China-Africa relations) or Burma and Taiwan (or Iran). To support these efforts, usually an oversimplified picture of the local situation is disseminated through the Western press, and also an exaggerated image of China’s possibilities to influence and change the picture – if only it would get in line with US-EU policy. Researchers in privately or government financed thinktanks do their bit.

This is easy to do, partly because the issues are very complicated and it is tempting to resort to “good guy-bad guy” imagery, and partly because there is generally not much coverage of Chinese diplomatic activity and diplomacy in many multilateral contexts as well as summit meetings. As we know most of the mediaspace alotted to China is taken up by ‘wow-articles’ on the economy or ‘fie-articles’ on lack of human rights and democracy, i.e the need for regime change. This latter in a manner often resembling the 19th century European missionary activity to bring salvation to the “heathen Chinee”. Then as now, ignorance about China was an important factor. And we are still preaching.

Chinese arguments in relation to the issues mentioned, are usually dismissed as mere window-dressing, scantily covering narrow economic and geostrategic interests. Not so our own arguments of course. And no doubt national interests in the shape of investment, oil, trade, etc do count for a country as focused on economic development as China. However, global stability and free trade are also of the first importance for a country as dependent on world trade as China. Some of China’s arguments or ‘principles’ should perhaps be looked at more closely, from the point of view of furthering stability and the avoidance of military means and war.

A common factor in the cases mentioned is the attempt by Western countries, led by the US, to use the UN Security Council to ‘bully’ the country in question into submission. The Chinese argue that it is not the purpose of the SC to interfere in other UN members internal affairs, at least not without the accept of the country involved. The UN Charter supports this view, and demands a threat to the peace before the SC is involved. China (and Russia) do not normally veto these attempts, but argue against them in the prolonged closed negotiations of the SC, which go on in a smaller meeting room adjacent to the offical SC chamber. Anyone who remembers Colin Powell’s speech to the Security Council, laying out ‘evidence’ against Iraq, will be skeptical of grandstanding in the SC.

The Chinese view is that it is first of all the responsibility of a troubled country’s neighbours and the regional organisations concerned that must be activated. They are directly involved and affected, understand the issues and can take the lead in finding a brokered solution. Therefore they should be given a chance, and bringing in the Security Council too early – based on Western impatience – can hurt the proceedings more than benefit them. So in Africa the OAU and other multilaterals are key to succesful settlements in Darfur and Zimbabwe, just as ASEAN or the ASEAN Regional Forum and its offspring are the key to solving the Burma issue, the 6-party talks to the North Korean problems, and perhaps the SCO for Central Asia issues. It is dysfunctional to ‘go global’ at once, the Permanent 5 members of the SC should let regional powers handle it. (Linked to this is of course a certain distrust about the effectiveness of having the US be the world policeman, a policeman with a marked preference for the gun. )

There is a second step, however. In the case of Sudan, China has helped pressure pres. Bashir to accept a UN security presence and has contributed its full contingent of peacekeepers. A number of important actors, like UN’s Jan Eliasson, the British Foreign Minister and the US’ Special Rapporteur on Darfur have praised China for this consistent pressure since the autumn of 2006. (China has participated in all UN Peacekeeping Operations in Africa).

Just as China opposes what it regards as abuse of the Security Council, it also is skeptical of the utility of imposition of sanctions. I believe it sincerely regards them as ineffectual, can find very few examples of sanctions having worked, and see them as disproportionately hitting the already sick and impoverished, while profiting elites and black marketeers. Sanctions do also tend to cut off the dialogue necessary for coming up with negotiated settlements. In Sudan’s case, how would sanctions help the desperate situation in Darfur? Would they solve the severe problems related to historical hate and prejudice, climate-induced agricultural crisis and starvation, a fragmented country, lack of opportunities for young men, etc. etc.? (see the work of Alex de Waal). Sanctions will mostly contribute a “feel-good” factor in the countries imposing them, and in the Chinese view it is at best naïve to expect them to do more.

This does not mean that China is passive in this and the other contexts. It is very active diplomatically, ‘behind the scenes’, using whatever limited leverage it may have with those governments. But it does so in a covert way that allows them not to lose face from giving in to international pressure, and so furthers negotiations with the opposition (Zimbabwe, Sudan), constitutional reform (Burma), accept of UN forces (Sudan), a solution to the nuclear problem (North Korea -and hopefully Iran). This may involve strong arm-twisting, but the basic approach is to give priority to stability (in the country and the region), to economic development as the only factor which will bring real change to troubled countries, and not least to the problem-solving capacity and views of the countries and organisations of the relevant region itself. Not forgetting promoting China’s own interests too, of course – though stability and the avoidance of military means are themselves part of these.

In their preference for stability, the Chinese sometimes end up supporting dictatorships. (This is of course not unknown for the Western side too. Still, we are much better at managing image-formation and public relations than they are. The world hardly noticed when Thailand became a military dictatorship). They also tend to take a much longer view than western governments permit themselves, dogged as those are by almost permanent election-campaigning. Finally, they go to great pains to limit further militarisation and the resort to war, because of the cost, and because of the damage it may exert on the international system itself. They have reached a point where they benefit greatly from the “status quo”, the international system and the globalisation created and still dominated by the West.

Added to this immediate interest in preserving a system which confers advantages on it, China has -partly for historical reasons – a different emphasis from the West in a number of questions. Sovereignty is still important, as it is
for most countries that have tried losing it. The United Nations and the body of international law is important, as it is for most of the world’s weaker or smaller nations. Sanctions rarely work and instead solutions must come from the people itself, as most of the countries involved in anti-colonial struggle have experienced. And finally, multilateral and diplomatic solutions to conflicts are preferable, as countries with long experience of the horrors of war also tend to feel. Add to this the marked pragmatism, which clashes with for instance the strong ideological bent of neo-conservatives and the fundamentalist Christian right, which encompasses more than 30% of Americans. The Chinese ‘model’, is that there is no model, no “one size fits all”, you look around globally and learn from what you find useful and combine it with local conditions.

Do these differences in emphasis make it impossible to “get the Chinese on board” ? First of all, there is no choice. None of the world’s larger problems can be solved without China, be they non-traditional security threats, conflict resolution, or regulation of the international economy. Secondly, there is a certain consistency in the application of principles, which is sometimes lacking in the foreign policies of the US or EU. This makes China more predictable and also implies that the principles are not just fig-leaves applied in embarrassing situations. Predictability makes it easier to cooperate. Thirdly, China has proved receptive to diplomatic pressure, for instance from the neighbours in ASEAN which have drawn it into regional multilateralism. It has adapted to, though perhaps not yet adopted, a number of international norms, i.e. real international norms, not just those claimed to be that by individual countries. China is in a learning phase, it is a new situation for it to be a great power. While the Chinese want to be a “responsible great power”, and have shown it by revising some of their policies, this phase is also one in which it is crucial that their experience be positive. That they are treated as equal, that being bound by international norms and regimes is reciprocal, that the West accepts relinquishing some influence, in order that China may gain some. There are many ‘win-win’ situations, but there are also some zero-sum games.

Europe has a special role in this connection. Our hands are not tied by the budgetary requirements of a very large defence industry, at least not yet, and we are much closer to China in preferring diplomatic and multilateral solutions. We don’t have geostrategic conflicts or visions of superpower rivalry with China either. Our faith in “regime change” through military intervention or state sponsoring of ‘colour revolutions’ is limited. Though we culturally are very different there is a chance, not of convergence, but of constructive cooperation based on common interests on the world scene. Alternatively, some are talking of a future Chinese-American strategic alliance, giving the two a joint global hegemony, and easing the power transition involved in integrating a China which will by then be a bigger economy than the USA. Given a freer rein, i.e. with a reduced foreign policy role for the Pentagon, skilful American diplomacy could work towards this idea.

Clemens Stubbe Østergaard


The 2008 Beijing Olympics – implications for Chinese foreign and security policy?

Camilla T. N. Soerensen PhD Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen (cs@ifs.ku.dk)

. .

The 2008 Beijing Olympics has intensified the difficult dilemma confronting the Chinese leaders in conducting foreign and security policy and has furthermore highlighted how closely connected Chinese domestic politics and Chinese foreign and security policy have become. However, whether the 2008 Beijing Olympics has had or will have direct implications for the development in Chinese foreign and security policy remains questionable.

Following China’s strengthened international economic, political and military position, the Chinese leaders have increasingly come to confront a difficult dilemma in conducting foreign and security policy. Narrow national interests in ensuring the necessary inputs in order to maintain a high economic growth and safeguarding the traditional principles of sovereignty and non-intervention increasingly conflict with broader national interests in promoting the image of China as a responsible and constructive great power and ensuring pragmatic and stable relations with the other great powers, especially the U.S. In relation to the broader national interests in promoting the image of China as a responsible and constructive great power and ensuring pragmatic and stable relations with the other great powers, the Chinese leaders are increasingly confronted with stronger international attention and strengthened external demands on how China must act in relation to different international questions and conflicts. Such international attention and external demands are difficult to handle for the Chinese leaders also in relation to the domestic context, where the Chinese society is characterised by growing popular nationalist pride and expectations. In such a domestic context, the Chinese leaders cannot risk appearing too soft and as bowing to external pressures and demands, but must seek to uphold the image of the Communist Party as the foremost defender of Chinas national interests and pride and thus meet the popular nationalist expectations growing in the Chinese society.

In the period leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the international attention and external demands confronting the Chinese leaders have further increased. Many Western governments and NGOs have generally regarded the period leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a kind of window of opportunity, where the Chinese leaders are more vulnerable to external criticism and demands. The developments seen in Chinese foreign and security policy in this period, however, suggest that Western governments and NGOs have overestimated the ‘size’ of this window of opportunity. Clearly, there have been important developments in Chinese foreign and security policy that support that China is developing into a more ‘responsible stakeholder’ that seeks to play an active and constructive role in reaching peaceful solutions to international questions and conflicts. Such developments have especially been apparent in the developments in China’s policy towards the conflict in Darfur and the situation in Burma following the uprising in the autumn of 2007. The question is, however, whether such developments have any strong relation to the increased international attention and external demands confronting the Chinese leaders leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics or whether such developments rather must been seen in the context of the overall development in Chinese foreign and security policy since the end of the Cold War.

Regarding the closer connection between Chinese domestic politics and Chinese foreign and security policy, the domestic legitimacy of the Communist Party has in the post-Mao era increasingly come to rely on a kind of performance legitimacy. The Communist Party has succeeded in presenting its continued monopoly on power as a guarantee for continued domestic stability and high economic growth as well as for increased international respect and influence. As noted above, this, however, links Chinese domestic politics and foreign and security policy in ways that also pose a dilemma for the Chinese leaders. On the one hand, the Chinese leaders must conduct a foreign and security policy that meets the popular nationalist aspirations and expectations growing in the Chinese society. On the other hand, however, the Chinese leaders must do this in a way that does not risk high tensions with the other great powers, whose negative reactions could jeopardise the integration of China in the international economic system, a process that, since the late 1980s, has become essential for the ability of the Chinese leaders to continue to provide growing domestic prosperity. This difficult dilemma confronting the Chinese leaders was recently seen following the foreign criticism – in particular the Western criticism – of the Chinese management of the uprising in Tibet in March 2008 and the linking of Tibet with threats of not participating in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The reactions in China were anger and massive demonstrations, which the Chinese leaders could neither control nor ignore. It is revealing, however, to see how the Chinese leaders handled these Chinese reactions, particularly how after a few days of ‘letting off stream’, the Chinese leaders started to emphasise and encourage the Chinese people to express their patriotism ‘rationally’. This suggests that the Chinese leaders increasingly are trying to ‘guide’ the popular nationalist sentiment in the Chinese society in a direction, where it becomes more supportive in relation to the official “peaceful development” strategy promoted by the Chinese leaders since the mid-1990s.

The Chinese leaders today confront many internal and external concerns and demands, which are often in conflict presenting difficult dilemmas for the Chinese leaders. Generally speaking, being confronted by strong international attention and conflicting demands in relation to Chinese foreign and security policy is a new situation for the Chinese leaders, who are still in a kind of ‘learning process’ as regards learning how to handle this high level of international attention and conflicting demands. Thus far, however, the Chinese leaders have generally been handling this new situation in a typical Chinese manner, which has also been characteristic of China’s economic reform process, i.e. a very pragmatic approach, where the Chinese leaders to use Deng Xiaoping’s phrase “cross the river by feeling for the stones”. This means that there is a tendency to take a more flexible stand on the traditional principles of sovereignty and non-intervention and deal with foreign and security issues on a more case-by-case basis, in each instance taking account of the costs and benefits for the Chinese security position and interests in Asia and for the domestic authority and legitimacy of the Communist Party. This is also a consequence of how domestic political concerns and developments have an increasing impact on Chinese foreign and security policy. Seen in this context it remains questionable whether the 2008 Beijing Olympics has had or will have direct implications for the development in Chinese foreign and security policy.


Uyghurs in Xinjiang: Causes of resistance and perspectives for future unrest (updated version)

Henriette Kristensen MA Student, Institute of Political Science, Aarhus university and NIAS research assistant (henriettemeldgaard@hotmail.com)

. .

 

September 19, 2000

 

Since the beginning of the 1990s riots and unrest staged by Uyghurs, the largest Muslim minority in China’s far northwestern province, Xinjiang, to protest against Chinese rule have gained increased attention. In 1997 the unrest even spread to the capital Beijing, where a bus explosion staged by Uyghurs killed two and injured at least a handful people, andless than a week before the Olympics the police in Kashgar, a historical centre of Uyghur resistance in Xinjiang, was attacked. Following 9/11 China started to refer to the Uyghurs as “terrorists”, and when preparing for the Olympics Beijing identified “separatists” pushing for independence of Xinjiang as the main threat to the Games. The question is however why Uyghurs in Xinjiang oppose Chinese rule, and what their capacity for taking actions against the Chinese authorities in the future is?

1) Causes of resistance: Culture, economy and politics

The Uyghurs today account for almost half of Xinjiang’s population. Despite of this, Han Chinese or Uyghurs loyal to Beijing largely control Xinjiang, and Uyghurs perceive themselves as culturally, economically and politically marginalized. This seems to be the primary sources of the Uyghur’s dissatisfaction with Chinese rule.

The Chinese authorities have taken measures to assimilate Uyghur culture in Xinjiang, most notably Uyghur religious traditions and language. Uyghurs are Sunni Muslims and they have strong traditions for the mystical branch of Islam, Sufism. Generally, the Uyghurs do not adhere to a strict interpretation of Islam, but since the 1980s Xinjang has experienced an Islamic revival. This revival has collided with an intensified crackdown from the Chinese authorities on Muslims in Xinjiang, as they have strengthened official control over the Islamic clergy (for example through training and reeducation campaigns), enforced registration of religious institutions, closed down mosques, banned certain religious practices and arrested religious leaders accused of being “unpatriotic” and “subversive”. A vital part of this crackdown has been the “Strike Hard” campaign (yanda) launched nation-wide from 1996, and in Xinjiang directed against “the three forces” (separatists, terrorists, and religious extremists). To counter the influence of Uyghur cultural traditions in Xinjiang, Beijing has among others promoted a state-controlled version of Islam in the province, e.g. by requiring that the Islamic clergy in major mosques are state-employees and controlling Islamic education. Linguistically the Uyghurs also differ significantly from the Han Chinese, as the Uyghur language belongs to the Turkic family and is closely related to Uzbek. At first glance Beijing takes a conciliatory stance towards the Uyghur language – for example it is adopted as an official language in Xinjiang, and publication of nationality books, nationality broadcasting etc. is supported by law. In reality however, the Chinese authorities have strived to promote Mandarin (Putonghua). An example of this is the education system, where universities in Xinjiang since 2002 have been required to teach all courses except language and culture classes exclusively in Putonghua. In 2004 measures were taken to introduce similar polices in elementary and middle schools. Beijing has also through frequent language reforms impacted sentiments of a common Turkic identity among the Uyghurs. On the one hand, the revival of an Arabic-based script in Xinjiang in the 1980s strengthened feelings of a common Uyghur identity. On the other hand, the frequent language reforms have introduced divisions between different generations of Uyghurs, and linguistically alienated the Uyghurs from the Central Asian states, where a Latin-based script has generally replaced the modified Cyrillic alphabet after independence.

Uyghurs in Xinjiang are also generally less well-off than Han in the province. Traditionally, Xinjiang has been one of the least developed regions in China, but since the 1990s massive investments have been channeled into the province – a trend that accelerated in 2000 when the campaign to “Open Up the West” (xibu da kaifa) was launched. The investments have however, mainly benefited the Han population in Xinjiang, not the Uyghurs, as the investment strategy has focused on extracting Xinjiang’s large reserves of natural- and mineral resources, promoting Xinjiang as a key producer of cotton and improving the region’s poor transportation network. This economic strategy has not only resulted in an influx of Han Chinese into Xinjiang (in 1949 approximately 6% of Xinjiang’s population was Han Chinese, today the number is around 40%), but has also proved disadvantageous for the Uyghurs. Firstly, economic disparities between Han Chinese and Uyghurs in Xinjiang are significant, as Han Chinese populate the urbanized relatively well-off northern Xinjiang, whereas the rural southern Xinjiang where most of the Uyghurs live is less well-off. One explanation for this is that investments are primarily allocated to e.g. the oil and gas industry owned by Han Chinese and mainly employing Han Chinese. Secondly, the Uyghurs feel “exploited” by Beijing, as the state gets most of the revenues from Xinjiang’s vast energy reserves, and its oil and gas is consumed by China’s coastal cities. Thirdly, Beijing has a tight control of Xinjiang’s economy through e.g. the energy sector and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) – a Han structure formally established in 1954 to absorb demobilized members of Guomindang and People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Today many Han Chinese in the province are members of XPCC, and the institution – which is directly under control of the State Council – has substantial influence over Xinjiang’s economy.

Finally, Uyghurs perceive themselves as being politically marginalized. Beijing has given preferences to minorities when filling state leadership positions in Xinjiang. The Uyghurs in these positions (for example the current Xinjiang chairman Nur Bekri and his predecessor Ismail Tiliwaldi) are however often trained in Han Chinese institutions, and their success depends on support from prominent Han leaders. In addition, the power center in Chinese politics – the Chinese Communist Party – has not introduced preferential policies for minorities, and even though the situation has improved, Uyghurs are underrepresented in the Communist Party. This is illustrated by the fact that the de facto leader of Xinjiang, the 1st Secretary of the Xinjiang Communist Party, has since the end of the 1970s continuously been a Han.

 

2) The potential for future Uyghur unrest in Xinjiang?

Turning to the question of perspectives for future unrest staged by Uyghurs, it is clear that tensions in Xinjiang are deep-rooted. The Chinese leadership has taken steps to address grievances experienced by Uyghurs by introducing economic reforms, affirmative action programs etc., but the results have been mixed – and in some respect polices such as the Campaign to Open Up the West and the Strike Hard Ca
mpaign have actually exacerbated – not alleviated – the Uyghur’s grievances. Another factor encouraging protests among Uyghurs is that they have a historical tradition for resisting Chinese rule – China did not get genuine control over Xinjiang until the 18th century, and the Uyghurs established short-lived independent rules in the 1860s and again twice in the 1930s and 1940s. A third factor facilitating collective action by Uyghurs is Islam. Even though the Uyghurs do not adhere to a strict interpretation of Islam, Islam plays a unifying role for the Uyghurs, and Sufism which has strong roots in Xinjiang seems to be particularly well-suited for underground Islam. Finally, external events have inspired the Uyghurs to resist Chinese rule. Especially the break-up of the USSR was important, as the Uyghurs were suddenly the only major Turkic nationality without its own state with the new-found independence of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Also, Islamic movements with whom the Uyghurs have close historical, cultural and linguistic ties have emerged in Central Asia (for example Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), serving as a source of inspiration for the Uyghurs and (at least according to the Chinese authorities) providing support to them.

At the same time however, a number of factors significantly impede the Uyghur’s capacity to oppose Chinese rule. First and foremost, the Uyghurs have historically never been united – instead of identifying as Uyghurs, they have traditionally identified with the oasis town from which their family traces its origin. In addition, Islam’s role as a unifying vehicle for Uyghur resistance is hampered by the fact that the Uyghurs traditionally adhered to a relative moderate version of Islam. This also puts into question the extent to which the Uyghurs identify with other Islamic movements in the region. Finally, even though China’s policy in Xinjiang has produced mixed results, it has in some respects reduced the capacity for Uyghur resistance – for example, the economic policy has eroded social ties among the Uyghurs, and pan-Turkism has been reduced by language reforms.

Assessing the likelihood of Uyghur resistance against the Chinese authorities in the future is thus complex. Tensions in Xinjiang are indeed deep-rooted, and actions by Uyghurs directed against Chinese rule can be expected to continue in the years to come. However, disunity is a historical problem among the Uyghurs, and even though their protests pose challenges to the Chinese leadership it does not put the future rule of the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang into question.

Recommended reading:

Bovingdon, Gardner (2002), Strangers in Their Own Land: The Politics of Uyghur Identity in

            Chinese Central Asia, Ph.d. dissertation Cornell University

Dillon, Michael (2004), Xinjiang – China’s Muslim Far Northwest, Routhledge

Rudelson, Justin Jon (1997), Oasis Identities – Uyghur Nationalism Along China’s Silk Road,

Columbia University Press

Starr, S. Frederick (2004), Xinjiang – China’s Muslim Borderland, M.E. Sharpe


China’s involvement in climate change mitigation

Inga Fritzen Buan Researcher, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway (ifb@fni.noo)

. . . .

Gørild M. Heggelund Senior Research Fellow, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Norway (goerild.heggelund@fni.no)

. . .

Introduction

The last years there has been great focus in Western media on the many environmental and climate change-related challenges facing China and the country’s efforts, or lack thereof, to deal with them. What China does to mitigate climate change, the responsibilities it acknowledges and the possible future emissions reduction commitments it takes on are of crucial importance well beyond its own national borders. Reportedly becoming the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in 2007 by surpassing the US,[1] China is sometimes portrayed as an environmental and climate change ‘bad guy’ in the mainstream media. Here we focus on climate change, and attempt to show that the picture is more nuanced, as China is involved in several bi- and multi-lateral initiatives. Environmental problems are less politically sensitive than only ten years ago and, perhaps in an effort to be taken seriously on world political, diplomatic and business arenas, the Chinese are very much involved in international climate change mitigation. After first looking briefly at China’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change, the following is an introduction to some of these efforts.

China‘s vulnerability to climate change

China is a country of particular vulnerability to climate change. Even though the government showed considerable crisis response capacity after this spring’s earth quakes, the necessary infrastructures are not everywhere in place to handle major disasters. With a huge coastal population in the areas which contribute most of the country’s wealth creation, even a smaller sea level rise will prove devastating. Further, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that China will experience impacts such as extreme weather, heat waves, flooding of rivers and mega-deltas, decrease in frost and earlier springs, loss of ice cover and glacial melting, drying up of wetlands, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss.[2] Climate change will impact heavily on water supply and food production. Having acknowledged these threats, the Chinese leadership is now showing increasing will and eagerness to participate in international efforts.[3]

The UN track and the Clean Development Mechanism

China currently seeks to participate in mitigation through efforts such as the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), rather than emissions reduction commitments.[4] CDM allows Annex I countries (i.e. developed countries with emissions reduction commitments) to invest in projects that reduce GHG emissions in Non-Annex I countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions at home, thus supposedly benefiting both parties. The first objective of CDM is to enable Annex I countries to claim ‘Certified Emissions Reductions’ (CERs) which can assist them in complying with their binding Kyoto commitments. The second objective is that Annex I countries assist developing countries in achieving sustainable development. CDM is meant to keep GHG emissions at a status quo, and is not an emissions reduction mechanism. The ‘additionality clause’ is therefore an important element meant to avoid issuing CERs to projects that would or could have been realized also in the absence of the mechanism, in the business-as-usual scenario, thus contributing to increased emissions. By for example demonstrating the existence of serious financial or technological barriers, host country project developers can argue that their projects would not have happened without the foreign funding it gets through the CDM, and that this makes them additional.

While the positive effects of the CDM are contested, especially in terms challenges of additionality,[5] even its critics agree that it has largely been a success in China. Energy security and climate change challenges together with the potential for technology transfer have contributed to a positive Chinese attitude towards CDM. It has developed a state apparatus for identifying, approving and implementing CDM projects. Priority areas for CDM in China reflect the country’s political priorities which are to ensure continued economic development for poverty alleviation.[6] These areas are therefore energy efficiency improvement, new and renewable energies, and methane recovery and utilisation. Projects also exist in the fields of HFC-23 chemical reduction, N2O decomposition, afforestation and reforestation, fuel substitution, castoff disposal, cement production, and landfills.

As of July 2008, there were 1388 Chinese CDM projects, with more being added every month.[7] China thus has more projects than any other host country, with India and Brazil and runners-up. While renewable energy projects make up more than 70% of the Chinese projects, the small number of large HFC-23 projects has the greatest GHG reduction potential. China is currently also the world leader in terms of CERs, with 32.83% of all CERs issued in the world, representing 38 486 131 tonnes of CO2 equivalent reduced per year. Out of the 61 projects with CERs, 89.76% of the emissions reductions come from only nine HFC-23 projects. The 42 renewable energy projects with CERs make up only 7.35% of the CERs. Currently, two to five new Chinese projects are getting CER issuances every month.

Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate

The less known Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) is a public-private partnership which was set up by Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the US in 2005, representing
half of the world’s economy, population and energy use.[8] The APP’s main goal is to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies to its member countries. For China, this is preferable to taking on commitments it believes negative to its economic development.[9] Moreover, technology transfer through the Kyoto Protocol, though not an explicit goal of the CDM, has been slower than what the developing countries expected.

After three years, the APP’s project roster includes 118 projects belonging to eight task forces in aluminium, buildings and appliances, cement, cleaner use of fossil energy, coal mining, power generation and transmission, renewable energy, and steel. China is involved in all of them, but is co-chair of the Cleaner Fossil Energy Task Force and the Power Generation and Transmission Task Force, quite in line with its energy priorities and general national development priorities. Examples of the projects of the latter task force include e.g., exhibitions, conferences and missions on the relevant topics, as well as best practice plans, transmission and distribution activities, risk evaluation, modernization and life extension and remaining life assessment of power plants. In general, the project descriptions are much less detailed than those of the CDM. They lack data on expected emissions reductions, and after three years there exits little material on their progress and results. Even though both involve public-private partnership and reductions of increased GHG emissions, the APP appears to a complimentary rather than competitive track to the Kyoto Protocol.

Other mitigating efforts

According to Chinese sources, growth in Chinese GHG emissions has been slowed to almost half the economic growth rate over the past two decades through various measures.[10] Population control, over the past three decades responsible for a 300 million ‘reduction’ in births is one which has helped reduce pressure on social and economic development. Next, the 60% decline in energy intensity between 1977 and 1997 achieved through economic restructuring, energy price reform, and technological progress beyond the status quo is estimated to have resulted in 100 million tons of carbon mitigation a year. Changes in the energy mix involving less use of coal and more natural gas and renewables have also contributed. Last, forestry protection being China’s largest ecological investment program, the country’s sparse forest endowments have increased from 13% of the country in 1986 to 17% today, thus contributing to China’s carbon sinks.

There are also other international fora in which efforts are taking place, several of which China participates in. One example is the agreement between California and the municipality of Beijing to support local climate change mitigation efforts in China which is also a co-operation with UNDP.[11] Second, in 2008 China and Japan signed climate change ‘documents’ calling for the promotion of a mutually beneficial strategic relationship between the two countries and on cooperation on climate change. China pledged to work with other countries to study measures to realize the ultimate goals of the UNFCCC. It also expressed support of Japan’s target to halve global GHG emissions by 2050. Next, the so-called China Utility-Based Energy Efficiency Finance Program (CHUEE) supports marketing, development and equipment financing services to implement energy efficiency projects in China, with great importance for both climate change mitigation and national development goals. The program is expected to, among other things, have a significant developmental impact in promoting energy efficiency, and reducing pollution and GHG emissions. Funded by the Global Environmental Facility as well as Finish and Norwegian money, CHUEE operates under the International Finance Corporation’s Private Enterprise Partnership for China. Last, an MoU on environmental cooperation, including climate change issues, has recently been signed by the Norwegian and Chinese Ministers of Environmental Protection.

Conclusion

There is good reason to be concerned about the impact China’s economic growth and steadily rising GHG emissions will have on both the Chinese environment and the global climate. Here we have sought to show, however, that counter-measures are being made and that China is heavily involved not only in the most well-known efforts, but also in multiple smaller ones. China will no doubt continue its relentless drives for economic and energy security, its equally persistent emphasis on countries’ differentiated responsibilities, and calls for technology transfer. Its involvement in both bi- and multilateral climate change mitigation efforts should not be ignored, however.

Contact information

Inga Fritzen Buan, researcher

ifb@fni.no

Fridtjof Nansen Institute

P.O. Box 326

1326 Lysaker, Norway

www.fni.no

+47 67111900



[1] According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Institute MER[2] IPCC. 4th Assessment Report. 2007. Available at http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

[3] Heggelund, G. China’s Climate Change Policy: Domestic and International Developments. Asian Perspective, vol 31, No 2, 2007, pp. 155-191.

[4] Heggelund, G. & I.F. Buan. China in the Asia-Pacific Partnership – Consequences for UN Climate Change Commitments? International Environmental Agreements. Forthcoming, autumn 2008.

[5] See for example: Wara, M & D.G. Victor. “A Realistic Policy on International Carbon Offsets”. Stanford University, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper, No. 74 (April 2008).

[6] Heggelund, G. & I.F. Buan. Ibid.

[7] For Chinese project information, see http://cdm.ccchina.gov.cn/english/

[8] http://www.asiapacificpartnership.org/

[9] Heggelund, G. & I.F. Buan. Ibid.

[10] Chandler, W., R. Schaeffer, D. Zhou, P.R. Shukla, F. Tudela, O. Davidson & S. Alpan-Atamer. “Climate change mitigation in developing countries. Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey.” PEW Center on Global Climate Change, available at http://www.pnl.gov/aisu/pubs/CCMitDevCo.pdf

[11] https://pointcarbon.com/article27894-472.html?a
rticleID=27894&categoryID=472&noredirect=1