Africa

There’s big trouble underway in Egypt, the latest in a series of people protest movements in the Arab world against longtime leaders, and this one is so major it’s causing consternation in two major world powers- the US and China. Unlike Tunisia, Jordan and Yemen, the other nations where protests have broken out recently against leaders, Egypt is a regional giant and a noted ally of the US, given the volatility of the region and its relations with Israel (see Thomas Friedman‘s recent column on the ramifications for Israel). Under Mubarak, Egypt has fostered and maintained solid ties with the US and if he is gone, it is not guaranteed that the new Egyptian ruler or regime will be as friendly. While far-off China doesn’t have any such connection or involvement with the current unrest, it has also been spooked by it, so much that it has blocked online access to news or search results on “Egypt.” Naturally, some people are speculating that Egypt’s current crisis may lead to something similar in China. This is highly unlikely for various reasons, including the large disparity between the two nations’ respective past, ongoing and future economic performance.

 

 

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