2012年04月27日

世界で最も影響力のある100人


The 100 Most Influential People in the World
( TIME )

Xi Jinping

The past 20 years have been a golden age for China, a time when it
built shining cities, lifted millions out of poverty and strutted its
stuff as the new century's anointed superpower.

But the China that Xi Jinping, 58, will lead when -- if all goes to plan
-- he becomes China's President in the fall is also a fretful place.
In coming years, its economy will probably not grow at the pace that
Chinese have come to expect. And the extraordinary fall of Bo Xilai,
the Chongqing party secretary, has shattered the carapace of political
stability that the Communist Party has been at such pains to polish
since 1989.

Can Xi steer his nation to be less defensive abroad and less dependent
on a creaking economic model at home, all while maintaining party rule
and a confined political life? Some doubt it. Xi is the modern Chinese
establishment personified, the son of a colleague of Mao Zedong's and
the husband of Peng Liyuan, one of China's best- known singers. But
perhaps it is those who know China's structure best who will be able to
find the flexibility to cope with the changes that are surely coming.

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2012年04月24日

薄熙来の転落と成長する中国の将来


The Fall of Bo Xilai and the Future of Chinese Growth
( TIME )

The fall of Bo Xilai, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party
in the sprawling mid-Western city of Chongqing, is the stuff of
movies. A member of the party elite and supposed corruption fighter
who was seen to have brought order to a Blade Runner-esque sprawl with
a population the size of Belgium, Bo was not only poised to enter the
top rungs of the Politburo this year, he was the first Chinese
celebrity politician since Deng and Mao. In a country where the Party
likes to speak with one voice, and tall poppies are often cut down, he
stood out. He dressed well; he cultivated the media; he had his own
one page Comment and Analysis piece in the Financial Times.

But in March, he was abruptly dismissed as the Party head of Chongqing,
after his police chief, Wang Lijun, sought asylum in the U.S. consulate
in Chengdu, a city several hours northwest of Chongqing. Wang had
provided evidence of crimes allegedly involving Bo, according to
reports in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, including
murders carried out on his order. Wang also claimed that a dead British
businessman, Neil Heywood, who was said to be close to Bo’s wife Gu
Kailai, had been in a business dispute with her, and had been poisoned.
Rather than being a tough-but-honest politician fighting corruption in
China’s Wild West, a very different picture of Bo began to emerge --
one of a man who his critics say was an entitled “princeling” (his
father was Bo Yibo, a revolutionary general who had fought alongside
Chairman Mao), and who was corrupt himself; someone willing to torture,
frame, and even murder anyone who got in his way.

The story is titillating just as a thriller (indeed, a satirical email
circulating over the last few days in China laid out a movie treatment
of the story to be filmed by Miramax). But it’s even more compelling
when you begin to parse what it means politically and economically for
the Middle Kingdom, and for the world. Bo Xilai represented a very
particular kind of Chinese power, and a specific notion of how China
should grow. The “Chongqing model” was built on hyper-development,
particularly around real estate, and economic power was largely held by
the “state-owned enterprises” or SOEs. The city was growing at over
16% a year, but it was old-style growth, rife with vested interests of
the sort laid out in Ken Miller’s China Bubble cover story for TIME
last year, and with little regard for the environment, or, it seems,
rule of law.

It was exactly the kind of growth that Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has
said time and time again is “unsustainable.” Both he and president Hu
Jintao have led the reformist camp that wants to move China from a
capital intensive, growth at all costs model, to one that’s based on
slower and more inclusive growth and a more developed local market. The
problem is, as Miller laid out in his cover, that China’s development
machine has too many vested interests -- people like Bo and his
associates make a lot of money developing real estate (in China, it’s
often taken by force from peasants who get little for it). One high
level American businessman I spoke with in China last night remembers
Bo’s son, Bo Guagua, having “an endless supply of cash and lots of
fancy cars.” He also recalls Chinese acquaintances trying to do real
estate deals in Chongqing being threatened with their lives when terms
couldn’t be agreed upon.

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2012年04月20日

北朝鮮のロケットは落ちたが、さらに花火は続くのか


North Korea’s Rocket Fails, But More Fireworks Could Follow
( TIME )

North Korea’s satellite launch, planned as a celebration of the
centenary of the birth of its founding President, Kim Il Sung, failed
sometime shortly after 7:40 a.m. Friday when the first stage of the
Unha-3 rocket dropped to the Yellow Sea about 165 km west of Seoul.
After weeks of antagonism between North Korea and the U.S., South Korea
and Japan, who said the launch was the equivalent of a ballistic
missile test, the failure offered a moment of respite. “At no time
were the missile or the resultant debris a threat,” noted a statement
from the North American Aerospace Defense Command. In a rare admission,
North Korea’s state-run news service acknowledged the satellite
“failed to enter its preset orbit.” It said technicians were
investigating the cause.

But the ballistic bust does not mean that North Korean threat has
lessened significantly. The isolated authoritarian state still
possesses significant conventional artillery with which it could attack
Seoul, just 55 km south of the demilitarized zone that separates North
and South Korea. “I don’t think we should be taking great sigh of
relief that the test failed,” says Rory Medcalf, director of the
Sydney-based Lowy Institute’s international-security program. “I
don’t think the fundamental issue is about North Korea’s ability to
reach the U.S. From a regional perspective the fact is that North Korea
can wreak havoc on South Korea and do a lot harm to Japan. There the
insecurity is very much alive.”

The collapse of the leap-day deal and North Korea’s launch are a
political liability for President Obama, who entered office as an
advocate of talks with Pyongyang. Mitt Romney, the likely Republican
challenger in this fall’s presidential race, called the leap-day deal
“as naive as it was short-lived,” adding, “This incompetence from
the Obama Administration has emboldened the North Korean regime and
undermined the security of the United States and our allies.”

China helped steward the leap-day deal, and following North Korea’s
decision to pursue a satellite launch, it has urged calm on all sides
but avoids condemning the move. On Wednesday Chinese President Hu
Jintao congratulated Kim after he was named head of North Korea’s
ruling Workers’ Party, a sign that Beijing’s traditional alliance
with Pyongyang is a primary concern. China didn’t abandon North Korea
after its 2009 satellite launch, and it’s unlikely to do so now.

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2012年04月17日

オバマ対ロムニー 厳しい調子で始まる


Obama-Romney Starts with a Harsh Tone
( TIME )

The 2012 presidential general election has begun. It won't be pretty.

Tuesday marked Day One, in essence, of the contest between the two
virtually certain nominees, Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack
Obama. Rick Santorum's departure removed the last meaningful bump from
Romney's path to the GOP nomination. Romney and Obama wasted no time in
portraying the voters' choice in dire, sometimes starkly personal terms.

With Obama saddled with a still-ailing economy and a divisive health
care law, and Romney riding a wave of blistering TV ads, the fall
election is unlikely to dwell on "hope," "change" and other uplifting
themes from four years ago. Much of the nation's ire then was aimed at
departing President George W. Bush, and Obama had no extensive record
to defend.

The landscape is much different now. Americans face nearly seven months
of hard-hitting jabs and counterpunches between the two parties'
standard-bearers.

Obama, campaigning in Florida, said the choice this fall will be as
stark as in the 1964 contest between Lyndon Johnson and Barry
Goldwater, which resulted in one of the biggest Democratic landslides
ever. That election included dramatic and controversial moments, such
as Goldwater's defense of "extremism in the defense of liberty" and a
devastating TV ad suggesting a Goldwater presidency would lead to
nuclear war.

Obama didn't mention Romney by name. His top aides have shown less
restraint, however.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement after Santorum's
withdrawal: "It's no surprise that Mitt Romney finally was able to
grind down his opponents under an avalanche of negative ads. But
neither he nor his special interest allies will be able to buy the
presidency with their negative attacks. The more the American people
see of Mitt Romney, the less they like him."

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2012年04月13日

DNA解読 あなたが思うほど有益ではなく


Decoding Your DNA: Not as Useful as You’d Think
( TIME )

Gene scans for everyone? Not so fast. New research suggests that for
the average person, decoding your own DNA may not turn out to be a
really useful crystal ball for future health.

Today, scientists map entire genomes mostly for research, as they study
which genetic mutations play a role in different diseases. Or they use
it to try to diagnose mystery illnesses that plague families. It’s
different from getting a genetic test to see if you carry, say, a
particular cancer-causing gene.

But as genome mapping gets faster and cheaper, scientists and consumers
have wondered about possible broader use: Would finding all the
glitches hidden in your DNA predict which diseases you’ll face decades
later?

But a negative test for most of the rest of the diseases doesn’t mean
you won’t get them. It just means that you’re at no more risk than
the general population. Those are the findings Vogelstein’s team
reported Monday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Why?
Cancer, for example, typically doesn’t result from inherited genes but
from mutations that can form anytime, Vogelstein explained. Many other
common diseases are influenced by lifestyle and environment -- so
you’d still have to eat well, exercise and take the other usual
precautions.

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