Latest update March 27th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 28, 2023 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
Kaieteur News – American billionaire, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame recently gave his take on China’s presence in the world. Speaking in Australia recently, he said China’ rise is good for the world and China must play a greater role in the global governance.
It is not good for the world and the world will always be unpredictable when one or two or three countries dominate the globe. No other example drives home this point than what President Obama did in Kenya.
I will continue to write on this unbelievable insensitivity in international relations because it highlights the need for the global system to have major powers that dialogue with each other to ensure the stability of the international system. When world order is left to one nation, then that nation becomes the globe’s policeman and when that policeman becomes rogue then the world becomes a boiling cauldron and a play ground of immense, Kafkaesque inequalities.
I will return to what Obama said but just one example of the global policeman needs to be mentioned. The US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, territory that does not belong to Israel and that the consensus of countries around the world in a UN resolution is that Israel is illegally occupying it.
Israel has done to Lebanon what Russia is doing to Ukraine but the US wants Russia to face war crimes for its invasion of Ukraine but opposes war crime investigations of Israel. In fact, under President Trump, the head of the international war tribunal was visited with visa sanction for investigating Israel for war crimes.
It is against this background, the statement by Bill Gates becomes an important lesson for students of international relations. Now for the Kenya contretemps of President Obama. On a visit to Kenya, he told the president about the need to recognize gay rights.
An indignant Kenyan president retaliated by telling Obama that there are many exigencies in Kenya that need attention like modern facilities and when those are achieved Kenya can look at gay rights. Here was a case of the policeman offering what he wants other countries to do rather than respecting the priorities of other nations.
Countries like India, China and Brazil have to make their presence more obvious on global governance. It is an incredible situation that is beyond imagination that the major power in Latin America is the US when Brazil is the largest countries in South America that has borders with every South American nation and Brazil is the biggest economy in Latin America.
The story of India in the world is an enigma. A top global power whose population, military hardware, industries, medical achievements, technological resources are on par with any other country is hardly noticeable in the area of global governance.
The uni-polar world that emerged after the disintegration of European communist governments and the USSR in 1989 is defunct. China and the expansion of the European Union has allowed for serious competition in the international system. Adding to the consolidation of the multi-polar configuration is the increasing global activism of strong middle powers like Türkiye (new name for Turkey).
Here in Guyana, the presence of the missions of the US, UK, EU and Canada far outstrips those of India, China, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Guyanese do not know that Mexico and Argentina have embassies here.
There needs to be a far greater presence in Guyana of China, Brazil and India. For God’s sake, Brazil is our giant neighbor. What China, India and Brazil must do in Guyana is to expand their visibility through formidable aid programmes and related activities.
India has a cultural centre in New Haven but how many Guyanese know about it? India should have a centre in Berbice and one in Essequibo. Brazil should fund a department of Portuguese at UG and offer scholarships to Guyanese. After 56 years of Independence, most Guyanese should have been able to speak Portuguese. But when UG was started, it offered degrees in French. Can you imagine that? We never had a French embassy here. France chose to put one in Surinam and one in Trinidad. Yet for decades, UG offered a degree in French. How do you say in French, ‘that is asininity”?
Finally, the role in Guyana of the other superpower in the world. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo came to Guyana and then the President last year visited the US for high-level discussions. China was the main topic in both encounters. Guyana needs the US and the EU. But Guyana also needs China. China has a huge role to play in the economic development of Guyana. Let it happen ASAP.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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