The Phileas Club 107 – Not as Oppressed, Not as Free

 

On this episode we talk about:

  • Xi Jinping’s term limit lifted (and Kim Jong Un’s visit to China)
  • Former President Sarkozy detained
  • General elections in Mexico (and Dragonball Super streams!)
  • War in Yemen, crown prince trip to the US, and women driving schools open

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Comments

  1. Matthias Keller says:

    Another interesting episode of the Phileas Club. I always like to hear Eric talk about what is going on in China. But I have to correct him on something: I’m not exactly sure, how he arrived at the 24 years in power for Angela Merkel. I think you accidentally added 10 years to the real number. 😉
    She is a career politician and has therefore held various offices and posts over the years (including being a member of the Bundestag since 1990). But she has “only” been Chancellor since 2005, so it has only been 13 years (although it might very well seem like 24 years…). And to top it off, this isn’t even the longest chancellorship in German history: This “honor” goes to Helmut Kohl, who had been in office ~16 years when he lost the election in 1998. Even if you want to include Merkel’s posts as Minister for Women and Youth and Minister for the Environment in the 90s, that would only amount to around 20 (non-consecutive) years. But I hazard a guess that not a lot of people abroad know about her previous posts.

    So Eric’s comparison is a bit faulty, even though most listeners will understand what he was getting at. I would just throw in that Germany is a bit of a special case when it comes to “change”. An indicator for this might be that we only had 8 different chancellors since 1949. But as Patrick mentioned, they were all elected in free elections and can be ousted at any time (given the right circumstances).

    I also wanted to comment on what Patrick hinted at: The West™ really has problems in dealing with China. And I figure it has something to do with the fact, that democracy needs capitalism, but capitalism doesn’t need democracy. Now we are faced with the economic power and the growing influence of China on a global stage, a country that doesn’t really care about human rights. And we are in a dilemma because we have to deal (literally) with this country, while we always try to uphold human rights or try to get other countries to uphold them themselves. To an extent, we already had the same issue with Russia over the last decade, especially in Europe. But China has overtaken Russia in nearly any field and will become even more important in the future.

    I remember the huge discussions here in Germany when China hosted the Olympic games and the last time Merkel visited the country. Everyone was talking about how to deal with the issue of human rights. And up until now no one really has a good solution for this problem. If anything, foreign dignitaries have only very cautiously mentioned this topic behind closed doors over the last few years and avoided calling out China publicly as they might have done it a few decades ago. But I guess at the end of the day, it comes down to China no longer caring about these attempts, simply because it isn’t really dependent on the EU or the US anymore.

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