A new year always allows for looking back and this could not be more true for Myanmar and 2012. Lots of things have been going on in the country formerly known as Burma. In March the government elected in 2010 in the first elections in 20 years, took office. On 1 April the so-called by-elections took place: in 48 constituencies new representatives were chosen to fill the places of those that had found a place in government and, as a consequence, had to give up their place in parliament. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) competed this time and won 44 of the 45 seats they contested. Sounds like quite a victory, but keep in mind that the (two) houses of national and the 14 sub-national parliaments count over 1000 seats, 25% of these are automatically reserved for the military.
When it comes to China, many institutions predict the country has a golden future. The OECD predicted in 2007 that China will overtake the US as the biggest economy by 2015. Goldman Sachs predicted that in 2025 the Chinese economy will be as big as the US and in 2050 the largest economy in the world, twice the size of America. A more recent report (2010) by the World Bank stressed that this point will be reached in 2030. People say numbers don’t lie, but I say that China will not fulfil to all those predictions. Those reports often don’t include many social and political factors, which are hard to predict. China will face many challenges the upcoming years.
Sanne van Oosten
The world order is changing, the power of the world is shifting from West to East, a shift that will make the world look very different over time. But what will the West look like when the East comes to power? Let’s try it out with a thought experiment.
People say the number of skyscrapers in a city’s skyline is a sign of development. The more skyscrapers a region has, the more developed it is. Is it true? I spent almost all of my life in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I lived in the outskirts of Jakarta. The highest building I see the most is the tip of the mosque in neighborhood, if we put the tower of base transceiver stations aside. Being in my neighborhood is bliss for me. Why? Because we “stay” on the ground, me and my neighbors are equal, we stand on the same ground.