Monday, 2 April 2012

American and China Task

I found an article on The Times online which can be found here:

This article analyses the declining relationship between the two countries claiming that the Chinese believe that this frayed relationship is largely down to the former president George Bush and current president Barack Obama in the way they have conducted themselves with the Chinese. China will eventually overtake America as a possible new "superpower" and so this relationship is often labelled as China Vs America. I found many articles looking at this dynamic and found a good pie chart which compares the two countries;

Sunday, 1 April 2012

China and The United States of America

The website I have found is called This is a website that explains the current relationship between these two countries and its current situation. At the moment, the biggest problem between the two is the economy.

The website states that February 2012 represented the 40th anniversary of Shanghai Communique. This was the event that normalised the relationship between the US and the people republic of China.

Even though the relationship between the US and China is at its calmest right now, their is still some trust issues that hover over them:
The US government said that although it welcomes China’s peaceful rise, with China’s new pre-eminence in the world comes new responsibilities.
The website states that the United States is the largest economy in the world and China behind them in second place, so the is definitely going to be some conflict.

They say that, China’s export economy relies on selling Chinese goods to the U.S. and the U.S. relies on China financing its national debt. So their relationship is important in this part of life but it can also get a bit rough at times.

The whole website makes continuous reference to the relationship between the two, especially saying how America is so large yet its very 'young:'
The U.S. is one of the youngest countries in history but it is the longest running constitutional democratic republic in modern world history.

America is very hot on politics and this year, as the website says, is the year of the elections. Political candidates have already raised some of the touchy political and economic issues that exist between the U.S. and China.

In reference to the economy America's relationship with China is incredibly tense overall. Further through the article it reads that:
The relationship between China and the U.S. is under increasing tension as the global economy continues to slow down. China has an almost inexhaustible need for resources and job creation. The drag on the US recovery has been an enormous fiscal deficit and a gargantuan national debt.

Overall the biggest debate in the relationship of the two countries is, as I said, the economy. They will be the two countries. Both countries cannot afford to continue “business as usual”, especially since both now have great disparities of income between the rich and everyone else. Neither China nor the U.S. can afford to continue ignoring the voice of the ordinary citizen for long. Meaning that the citizens of both countries need to be heard and taken into account before too long.

Friday, 30 March 2012

America in Decline: America and China Relations.

RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a government-funded global news network based in Russia, and has news outlets all over the world including America, Britain and France. It was set up to provide an unbiased portrait of Russia, and the same can be seen amongst the other countries in which they have news outlets. The clip I found is from 2010 and discusses the military relations between China and America with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, who according to is one of Canada’s “nuttiest professors”, so some his comments should be taken in context.

The opening introduction to the segment highlights the relationship between China and America, comparing it to that of a relationship between brothers. The presenter opens with: “Remember that kid brother of yours that you always used to beat up?” This opening shows that America used to be the dominant country, as seen in the Cold War, their advancement of technology and their military might, and that they used to have the power to control countries. The presenter then goes on to say: “Then all of a sudden that kid brother hit a growth spurt and developed a longer reach so daily doses of knuckle sandwiches had to stop”, implying that America’s dominance was threatened because China developed as an NIC, developed their own nuclear weapons during the Cold War, and grew in terms of their technology and military power. The presenter ends with: “And as much as you wanted to cave it in his face, at times, you knew he was still your brother”, this being the epitome of the relationship between China and America today because America is reliant on China for financial support as well as industry (in terms of making toys and gadgets like iPods) and trade.

Chossudovsky claims that there are tensions between China and America that have been around for at least ten years and that China has been threatened since at least 1999 through a geo-political agenda, as opposed to the claim that tensions between China and America have recently started. This shows that neither nation wanted the world to know about their frictions. It could also be argued that America did not want to appear to have lost control of China, as it would have shown that America’s power in the world was declining, especially since the 9/11 attacks seemed to prove this. However, Chossudovsky has been criticized for his “wild-eyed theories”, so his claim that tensions have been there since 1999 could be doubted.

Michel Chossudovsky also claims that China has been threatened by America because of the Iran Sanctions Washington proposed that China did not want to go along with; stating that the regime was based on “double standards, fake data, and the presumption that Iran is a threat to global security”. This shows that the reasons behind the tensions between China and America are because of other countries, not necessarily between each other. Chossudovsky claims that China is threatened if Iran is threatened because they have agreements with each other, as well as China also having agreements with Russia; implying that America could be nervous about China’s relations with other countries and how it might affect it [America] in the future. Somewhat ironically, the Sino-Soviet Pact of the 1950’s did not work out, so it is interesting that China and Russia have relations with each other. In addition, the relationship between Russia and China was described as one of brothers, so again it is also interesting that the presenter at the beginning of the clip described China and America as brothers.

When asked how the Chinese are being threatened, Chossudovsky says that their diplomacy is polite and not an obvious or verbal threatened. Instead, America has set up military bases around the country as well as supporting insurgencies within the Chinese territory. He claims that from a strategic military perspective, China is considered a threat to America, despite officials like Premier Wen Jiabao stating that tensions are easing. This links back to Chossudovsky’s claims that tensions have been around for at least a decade, because it shows that the nations are putting on a positive portrayal of relations, or as Chossudovsky puts it “a gilded surface”, in spite of the supposed covert techniques for America to try and gain power of China. Chossudovsky believes that the fundamental issue is for the Obama administration to take a step back in military strategy in relation to China, in order for tensions between the two nations to properly cool. However, Chossudovsky fails to mention other ways in which tension would still remain, for example in terms of the economy.

America in Decline - American-Chinese Conflict

The web item I have chosen to analyse in reference to American-Chinese relations is article focuses primarily on the political side of the America-Chinese relations, and identifies this area as the main cause of conflict and disagreement between the two rival nations. This is evident as early as the title, which reads 'Politics Complicates China-US Relations'. The article is not completely one dimensional however. Within the area of Politics, the writer explores the complexities of the international relation in question. She talks about how, within the political conflict, areas such as finance and society are also analysed and explored. This is significant as it shows the depth of the issues surrounding the conflict.

One of the main focuses of Stephanie Ho is the issue of the potential change in power which might take place for both countries. She reveals her anxiousness regarding the possible election of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. His words regarding the American-Chinese relations state that “On day one, I will file, or I will, through an executive order, label China as a currency manipulator allowing us to put tariffs on Chinese goods that are coming into our country and killing American jobs in an unfair way”. This shows how, in the eyes of Ho, the situation is at danger of becoming worse as a result of new, Republican leadership. The fact that, earlier in the article, Ho identifies the problems with the way Obama leads in relation to the American relationship with China shows the extent of caution and worry that is being caused.

The words of Mitt Romney which have been used by Ho also link closely to the economy, which is something she identifies as important in this subject when she comments, 'Another area of friction between the two countries involves economic issues, and American political candidates have found that China bashing can win voter support'. This explains that, although economic issues do exist between the two countries, particularly in relation to the manufacturing and selling of new technological products, the political representation of these issues in America is the biggest problem. This shows how, in the eyes of Ho, the primary cause of American-Chinese conflict is the way Politics fabricates and over-emphasises problems that stem socially and economically.

Despite many of the ideas that are being expressed here seem sensible and understandable, we must take into consideration the fact that Stephanie Ho is, herself, Chinese. And although the overall publication is entitled 'Voice of America', it has been written by someone in Beijing. Through this we can't help but think that an element of bias is being exercised, in the same way that if an article with the same name was being written by an American journalist in New York, we would have to question its reliability. In summary, however, it is clear that there is a distinct conflict between China and America; an issue stemming from two nations constantly trying to better each other economically and politically. This is particularly identifiable with America, a nation which thrives on conflict and is determined to be the most powerful nation in the world. Judging from this article, and others of its kind, it is clear that the American-Chinese problem is only going to get worse.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

America Online

We now live in the digital age and the country who has led in the expansion of this is America. Without wanting to repeat what other people have said too much they have bought us the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc..... These digital creations have allowed the current generations of Americans to express themselves on so many different forms and instantly connect with each other. Before the internet worldwide communications were limited to letters or phone calls now you can instantaneously know and like and comment on where someone is (via social networks). Among the overwhelming positives there are some negatives to the online identity, it allows many to hide behind their computers and can create a thing known as "trolling" as you can see described at the bottom of the page on this link:

"yet, this social diversification and connection can be hampered by internet "trolls" who seek to degrade other users, depending on the genre of digital writing. Specifically targeted genres of digital writing are blogs, question forums, and discussions. Trolls are a genre of user unique to digital writing. Because of the ease of access, anonymity, and publicity that digital writing provides, as opposed to other forms of writing, trolls exist. Trolls are a growing sub-culture of digital media, which tend to breach accepted ideas of idioms of practice. They have gained notoriety as the delinquents of many online communities, and appear to be the "roadblock" of social expansion and self-identity expression that digital writing rhetorically enables."

This online identity is not however limited to Americans, with instances such as the Arab Spring using social networks to rise up against and criticize dictatorships. Something they would never have been able to do before.

I think the online identity in America will be a good thing for the future of identity in America as it allows people the freedom to express and share their experiences with the world.

Digital America - Social Networking

For the growing digital age in America it comes as no surprise that social networking is at the forefront of America. With sights such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Tumblr it makes it almost impossible to not keep up to date with what people are doing.

In finding this article it states that ‘Half of America is using Social Networking.’ This is such a large number of people for such a relatively new concept. The article begings by saying “For the first time, half of all adults in the United States said they used a social networking site” this statement is backed up by Pew Research Centre which found that “65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago.” As this survey took place in 2011 we can only assume that the number has once again risen.

The article raises some interesting points in which to justify the growth in adult uses on social networking sites. “Parents use Facebook to vet nannies, carmakers to introduce new models, police to keep tabs on suspects. Federal government authorities are preparing this weekend to use social networking sites for hurricane preparation on the East Coast.” Social networking sites are no longer purely to keep in contact anymore. They allow privacy barriers to be broken as people use it as a way to check up and judge a person on what they post or do on these sites. In many aspects this seems like a reasonable thing if like the article you wanted to “vet nannies” but in reality not everything that goes online is a true reflection of a person good or bad. Online sites such as these allow people to control what they post and often allow them to take on a different persona or identity that they don’t have in the real world. The idea of advertising on these platforms has transformed social networking in to a money making forum for adverts. People are met with no doubt at least one advert whilst on social networking sites and by encouraging people to ‘Like’ certain things and products the sales people have successfully promoted there product to millions of people that will then ‘Share’ or ‘like’ them too. The media within social networking sites have become big on such sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The news no longer has to be watched or read from a newspaper, current events are constantly being updated through ‘Tweets’ and all articles can be read online through Facebook apps. By doing so people are more update and aware of what is going on and even ‘Trending’ on Twitter can bring any event to the attention of millions of people.

With every positive aspect of social networking there is however a negative and the article states that “One in five respondents, however, sounded less upbeat. They used words including “boring,” “time-consuming” and “overrated.”” With people spending so much time on social networking sites for more than just the casual check, it has lead the way for people to be ‘bored’ with something that it such a new concept. It is the boredom of people that leads the way to however new features of these sites so they are no longer just for contacting people, but an arena for endless possibilities of new updates and further time consuming ideas.

Digital Identity

With regards to such things as avatar icons on video games or social sites. people can create a very different personality to who they really are. This can be easily done by simply using a picture of either our favourite celebrity, our pet or even just some other random person.

This can be actually very dangerous as it can lead to stalkers or hackers. Social networking sites were created in the United States so its important to put the correct information online. Nowadays there are younger people joining sites like Facebook and even video game forums. Video game forums are highly dangerous too because there can be more information put online including conversations between each other.

The most popular social networking sites are MySpace created in 2003 and the Facebook in 2005. As soon as Facebook was created MySpace soon faded away, both sites were made my regular people one being a college student who decided to make Facebook a world known site. he said that,

Everyone has an identity that they want to express and friends and family that they wanna stay connected with. And it has grown from that original six-thousand-person student body to more than and friends and family that they wanna stay connected with. And it has grown from that original six-thousand-person student body to more than 250 million people across the world.” Online media like Facebook, with some 500 million active users, is an unprecedented opportunity for marketers. They help you engage with people in ways that was never thought possible before.
Going back to certain images and info placed on these sites, having a 'Fake account' on Facebook can be seen as unsafe and welcoming to unwanted people who can prey on younger users.

Facebook however can be useful and OK to use as long as it is used wisely and sensibly. Sites such as Facebook can be a great way of socialising for teenagers as long as they understand the dangers some of these sites hold. As far as American identity goes, this country is constantly changing its inventions and also how its used so maybe in the future places like Facebook find ways to become safer.