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Archive for August, 2008

BBC NEWS | Business | World poverty ‘more widespread’

I doubt we will hear much about this from either the Democrats in Denver or the Republicans in the Twin Cities.

The World Bank has warned that world poverty is much greater than previously thought.

It has revised its previous estimate and now says that 1.4
billion people live in poverty, based on a new poverty line of $1.25
per day.

This is substantially more than its earlier estimate of 985 million people living in poverty in 2004.

The Bank concludes that poverty is more persistent and has fallen less sharply than we had thought. It will not surprise many that the Bank finds that Africa and South Asia are the regions of the world with the most pressing poverty problems. African poverty has dropped less than in other parts of the world, while South Asia has the greatest absolute numbers of people in poverty.

Paul Collier, who makes an interesting case about why rich countries should care about extreme poverty and what policy changes would be most effective may have to come up with a new title for the second edition of his book:

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Getting Started

German Marshall Fund Blog » Blog Archive » On China policy, the game has moved on

The author here argues that western countries will not feature human rights concerns prominently in their relations with China despite objection about Darfur, Tibet, etc., etc.

On most of the ‘soft’ issues, while there is a fair volume of noise,
the Chinese government now faces little targeted international pressure
and can move pretty much to its own timetable.

China’s growing weight in international relations is pretty much indisputable. For confirmation look no further than the number of trips President Bush has made to China, something like 14 in all, more than he has made anywhere else during his presidency. Some of the reasons are obvious: China has both more hard and soft power than it did when it began its regional and global emergence, issues requiring Chinese cooperation–from nuclear proliferation to trade and climate change–occupy increasingly important spots on the international agenda. And, possibly, the U.S. after years of renditions and waterboarding and Gitmo and Abu Ghraib no longer holds a sufficient high moral ground to keep human rights in a prominent position.

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