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The quintessence of globalisation, writes Samuel Huntingdon, is Davos Man. [in The Clash of Civilizations and remaking of World Order] Every year in the last weekend of January there is an extraordinary tribal gathering in the Swiss Alps of the high priests of globalisation. They have their own thought system, shared rituals and even their own dress code - complete with large Armani spectacles. Davos has become a temple to the verites of free markets, inward investment, democracy and privatisation peopled by men and women in very expensive suits.
Yet it can't be mocked too much. Along with the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Conference, this is one of the key meetings of the year. No policy is made here; it is all talk, some of it banal and platitudinous. But the consensus established is the backdrop against which policy is made worldwide - and this is why Chancellor Gordon Brown should have come, rather than cancelling at short notice. The Left should not allow the international conversation to be dominated wholly by the Right; if there is to be any regime change worldwide - whether on the sustainability and necessity of the welfare state or the need to act over destabilising capital flows - it will only emerge if meetings like this accept that such issues are on the agenda and have powerful backers. The voices of even the pragmatic Left that Brown represents are not strong here. It was an important missed opportunity.
That is not to say that Davos ideology is uniformly conservative. The meetings became important in the second half of the 1980s when it became clear that the system in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was breaking down - and when the Asian economies joined the hunt for inward investment. Davos, founded in the early 1970s, found itself propelled to prominence - it was where political leaders, especially those from Eastern Europe, desperate for inward investment and a platform to show their attachment to the credo of economic liberalisation, could parade before international businessmen and financiers.
But the events in Asia over the last six months have shaken the Davos view to its core. Nobody foresaw that those apparent paragons of the world it sought to build, the Asian tigers, would prove to have such clay feet. But like priests of any religion, Davos is suffering only a temporary loss of faith - and in ways which show its better side. Asia went wrong because too many of its governments were non-democratic, corrupt and authoritarian, running a system of crony capitalism; in Britain only writers such as Paul Foot match the contempt in which Davos holds, for example, Indonesia's President Suharto.
Davos's globalisers want democratic government, the rule of law, transparent rules, fair play for all and, in Asia, extraordinarily strong social-security nets. Nor does their prescription stop there. For example, Davos deplores the US trade embargo of Cuba, declaring it absurd; it believes Cuba should be opened up to the world system and to the liberalising impact of inward investment. And even the welfare state attracts defenders. As the South Korean delegation has repeatedly explained, the price that must be paid for labour-market flexibility and volatile exchange rates is a powerful safety net underwriting the fall-out from such economic rigour and large-scale industrial restructuring. They intend to build a European-style social security system.
But in the round, Davos is unflaggingly committed to capitalism, yet not that is paralleled by its commitment to democracy and human rights. Some businessmen can surprise you by their liberalism and social concern. They are developing a new value system around their capitalist beliefs that is much more attractive than the slash-and-burn, short-termist approach of the Anglo American Right, and you can see how intriguingly it connects with New Labour. Blair and Brown are onto something.
Closer to home even critics of the personal journalism inquiring into the dynamics of relationships should be aware that Davos has never laid on so many sessions about the personal. Like Western culture generally, it is being de-masculinised. There is also the beginning of a new argument about how to refashion the international financial system, although on Friday the organisers laid it on two miles from the conference centre. It's still not quite pukka.
But the core of Davos remains its attachment to what it sees as hard economics. It is axiomatic, for example, that privatisation is always good, and stories abound of newly privatised companies that have increased output with a fraction of their old workforce. A group of French and German business leaders argued the European economic and social system has broken down. The French want a more 'flexible' labour market; the Germans more investor activism to shake up sleepy companies. But New Labour should note, it is not so much a strong social security system that is criticised but its interaction with sclerotic companies and powerful unions. This has Thatcherite overtones, but is not quite Thatcherism. Social values count, even for self-styled business 'revolutionaries'; the aim is to create more employment in Europe.
In sum, Davos is groping towards championing a more humane capitalism -a development it knows it must make if the market system it believes in is not to be de-legitimised by violent international oscillation and sudden, unnecessary, brutal economic restructuring. Globalisation is moving on, and Davos with it.
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He is a presidential adviser without title or salary.
He is a lawyer who rarely steps into a courtroom, who seldom writes a brief or motion.
He is a lobbyist who does not lobby, at least not in the official sense of the term.
He is a civil rights leader who some say has forsaken his early ideals in a successful quest for a place at the seat of national power. He is a black man who has achieved an unprecedented, unparalleled stature as a Washington power broker, reaching the pinnacle of one of the most obstinately white workplaces in the nation, the K Street megafirm. He is an apparently devoted husband whose reputation as a ladies' man crosses generational, racial and social boundaries.
Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr., grandson of a sharecropper, is a multimillionaire who lives in a Washington mansion and hobnobs with Cabinet members, CEOs of the world's largest corporations, and TV anchors.
Once, he risked shouts of wrath and even bodily harm to help make a revolution against racism. Then, following a decade running the National Urban League, he joined one of Washington's most powerful law firms. Now, he sits on the boards of 11 major companies and spurns an opportunity to become the first black attorney general of the United States because he says he'd rather not open his accounts to public view and because being the first black is "no reason for me to take a job."
But Jordan, 62, needs no title to wield the same kind of influence in the public sector that he has in corporate America. Jordan is, by all accounts, not only a master fixer, but President Clinton's closest confidant, a man with whom the leader of the Free World spends time on the links, on vacation on Martha's Vineyard, in workaday conversation, at Christmas Eve dinners with just the two men and their wives, and most of all, at moments of crisis. While Clinton is, as president, the visible leader in the relationship, the two men's friendship is as close to equal as can be in a bond involving the chief executive, friends of both men say. After all, it was Jordan who first introduced then-Gov. Clinton to world leaders at their annual Bilderberg gathering in Germany in 1991. Plenty of governors try to make that scene; only Clinton got taken seriously at that meeting, because Vernon Jordan said he was okay.
Now, the two friends face the gravest crisis they have met together. Yet just when Clinton would seem to need Jordan most, they are in touch, aides say, only by phone, and it is not even clear whether that much contact has happened. Appearing together in public would only aggravate the popular suspicion that Clinton and Jordan have done something untoward to hide the president's alleged relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
And so both men must appear to be conducting business as usual. The president, largely staying out of public view until tonight's State of the Union address, has made only brief, if forceful, statements about the storm raging around him. And but for a clipped statement to the press last week in which he denied any wrongdoing, Jordan has been seen only as a smiling, carefree pedestrian, entering or leaving work as if nothing had happened. That is Jordan's strength. His cool, his command of himself and his surroundings even under the most relentless pressure, is one of the primary sources of his authority.
Even in a fateful hour, Jordan need not speak out. He has people who will do that for him -- or who will remain silent, whatever he wishes. More than 20 of Jordan's closest friends and associates declined to speak for this story. "Vernon would not want me to add to the noise on this," says one of the city's most prominent lawyers. Even Dick Morris -- once a presidential confidant, now a radio commentator willing to discuss virtually anything -- offers only apologies this time.
What Jordan possesses most of all, as he has often said, is his connections. His job, more than anything else, is to know people, and to know just what it takes to motivate them, whether to do a favor, complete a task or simply be there for a client or friend.
"Vernon attracts clients and he handles their business with integrity and effectiveness," says Robert Strauss, the longtime Washington power broker who brought Jordan to Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in 1982. "He offers judgment and integrity and confidence in himself. He has a manner about him that is warm and attentive."
"Vernon might ask a friend to see someone, and if that person says no, so be it," says Carolyn Peachey, a Washington event planner who frequently socializes with Vernon and Ann Jordan. "There's no pressure, just a warm friendliness."
When Jordan explained his attempt to find a job for Lewinsky at two New York corporations by saying that "I believe to whom much is given, much is required," the remark was ridiculed as a smoke screen for a coverup. Whatever the facts in the Lewinsky mess, the remark is a perfect statement of what it is Jordan does.
"I have seen Vernon -- too many times to count -- help not just young people, but any people," Strauss says. "There are individuals in this country leading corporations and financial institutions, and laboring in the vineyards because Vernon has been there to help and to make a few phone calls for them.
That's why people respect him." Executives at companies Jordan serves as a director say he routinely calls looking for work for recent graduates of Howard University, where Jordan attended law school, or for young interns he's come across at the firm, in the government or elsewhere around town.
"It would not surprise me at all that a young intern would be referred to Vernon for some help in a very innocent way, and that that may have resulted in him making some calls for that person," Peachey says. "I've heard about that hundreds of times."
Boardrooms and Back Rooms Jordan's playing field is extraordinarily broad -- from the NFL, which once considered him for commissioner; to IBM, which turned to him for advice on picking a new CEO; to the president, who used Jordan to probe whether Colin Powell would accept an appointment as secretary of state. Jordan ran Clinton's 1992 transition team, just as he had handled then-D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly's entrance into office two years earlier (even if Jordan hadn't voted in several District elections). Jordan plays a role nearly every president has found necessary in one form or another. Some presidents turned to party sages for a blueprint to the capital; others just want a pal who will keep confidences and keep them sane.
For decades, Clark Clifford and Robert Strauss served Democratic presidents, just as Eisenhower adviser Bryce Harlow and Nixon playmate Bebe Rebozo have helped Republicans. "Presidents need to have somebody they can relax with," says former White House counsel Lloyd Cutler. "He is a good, loyal friend."
Presidents also need friends with whom they can escape from the formalities of office and just be themselves. Jordan, friends say, fulfills that role. Like the president, Jordan is given to eyebrow-raising remarks on the looks of pretty women. At a 1995 state dinner, Clinton joked to Jordan that he ought to keep his hands off the comely blonde seated next to the president. "I saw her first, Vernon," the president said, according to an account in Washington Monthly.
"Nothing wrong with a little locker room talk," Jordan once told a reporter.
One woman in a mid-level federal position describes Jordan as the man who made her career. He picked her, enticed her into standing for the position, and paved her path through confirmation, the woman has told friends. It all happened as smoothly as cognac slipping into a glass, she says -- but for one thing.
"When you're a woman, an attractive woman, and Vernon Jordan does something for you, there is an expectation that there will be some extracurricular activities," the woman says, adding that those activities could be as simple as attending a party with him.
"He's flirtatious; that's just his style," says a Washington woman who has known him for years. "I don't remember anybody hostilely saying, `Vernon hit on me.' I just can't think of a time people were angry about it. People roll their eyes and say, `Oh, that's Vernon.' "
Jordan's eye for women is a regular topic of conversation among reporters, lawyers and others who have been on the receiving end of his comments. Over the years, Jordan has declined to address the subject, saying only that "I like people."
His second wife, Ann -- first wife Shirley died in 1985 after a battle with multiple sclerosis -- told The Post in 1992 that "I'm sure women find him attractive. I do." (Ann Jordan, an active partner in the couple's busy social and political life, was co-chairman of the 1996 Clinton inauguration.) In 1980, Vernon Jordan was shot in the back by a white supremacist who said he was out to kill "race-mixers." The Jordan shooting occurred at 2 a.m. as he was returning to his motel with a white woman. The shooter was acquitted at trial but later admitted the act.
Although Jordan is not talking these days, his response to criticisms of his personal or professional behavior -- whether his attitude toward women, his work on behalf of black America, or questions about how hard he works on behalf of companies he serves as a director -- has always been direct and concise: "I am the custodian of my morality and ethics," he told The Post a few years ago.
If such tactics might seem arrogant in another man, Jordan easily gets away with them, in good measure, friends and critics agree, because of his charm. The components of that charm are supremely simple, friends say: A huge handshake that stays with you just long enough to show that you are something beyond the ordinary acquaintance, yet not too long to make you suspect artifice. A startling and immediate informality of the kind that might cause you to hang up on a telemarketer, but gives even powerful lawyers a sense of being in a circle so inside, most folks don't even know it exists. There's his height (6 feet 4), his glowing smile, his smooth voice and the way he can make it soar, particularly when he is citing Scripture, or the way he can lower it to a confidential stage-whisper, particularly when he is passing comment on the physical assets of a young woman.
Friends -- and especially his longtime black friends -- say Jordan has another asset as well: his race. They say Jordan's business acumen and negotiating skills propelled him up the ladder and over the hurdles of race, but they add that Jordan has proven masterly at using his race to add a certain mystique to his work.
Some say Jordan's chocolaty skin, and particularly its juxtaposition with his white Turnbull & Asser shirts, gives white executives a feeling of achievement, an unspoken sense that they, too, have overcome the nation's racial hangups to become friends with an accomplished black man. And friends say Jordan judiciously uses tools his white colleagues lack -- a comfort with quoting the Bible in business discussions, a rich oratory, and an easy back-and-forth between boardroom formality and back-room back-slapping. Jordan is the ultimate symbol of black privilege, says Randall Robinson, president of TransAfrica, an advocacy group for African issues and a veteran of the civil rights era. In a new book, Robinson calls the pinnacle of Washington power a place he names "Privilege." He says successful blacks in the capital "fear Vernon Jordan disease, a degenerative condition among blacks in Privilege that results in a loss of any memory of what they came to Privilege to accomplish. . . . It afflicts only those blacks who both wish feverishly and after careful screening are allowed to be close to the president socially."
Jordan refuses to discuss such criticism. His friends say he toils constantly on behalf of young black job-seekers. And Jordan has his own way of making statements on race: The first time he dined at the formerly all-white Century Club in New York City, Jordan made a point of ordering watermelon. No Silver Spoons
Jordan, who has rebuffed all interview requests since the Lewinsky matter became public last week, has often cited his mother as his primary influence. In a 1993 interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Jordan's brother, Windsor, quoted his mother, Mary, saying that color was never the driving force in her world. "It was about money," the brother said. "It was about business and money. She'd say, `If you got some money, you can do most anything you want.' "
Jordan's early career was not about money, but about the ability of blacks to gain access to it and every other good thing in American society. After attending segregated schools in Atlanta, he spent the 1960s at the NAACP and other civil rights groups, working to open the electoral process to blacks, and build bridges between the black and white institutions of a segregated nation. If some blacks who spent that decade getting themselves thrown in jail later resented Jordan's quieter approach, others say the street revolts would have been futile without the legal and political work of the likes of Jordan.
And his role was not without danger: In 1961, as a 25-year-old law clerk, he launched his civil rights work by leading a young black student named Charlayne Hunter through a screaming white mob that was out to halt her from integrating the University of Georgia.
It was his mother's work as a caterer -- his father was a mail clerk for the Army -- that gave the young Jordan a peek into the world of wealthy white power. He was smitten with the notion that he, too, could travel in such circles, and he honed the personal skills that would take him there. Peering in at the lawyers dining at an all-white Atlanta club, Jordan once said, "I admired their bearing, the way they articulated the issues, if not the substance of their positions."
"There's very little I've ever seen that would make Vernon Jordan ill at ease," says Peachey. "He knows who he is, and what he set out a long time ago to make into his role in life. This is someone who is supremely comfortable with himself."
That comfort -- and the ease powerful people feel around Jordan -- is an important factor in his appointment to more corporate boards than all but a handful of Americans.
But his posts as director of companies such as American Express, Xerox, J.C. Penney, Dow Jones and Sara Lee have led to criticism from the Teamsters and other large institutional investors that Jordan misses too many meetings and faces a potential conflict because his law firm also represents six companies on whose boards he sits.
Corporations want Jordan on their boards because he is the ultimate Washington insider, because he is wise, because "having an African American on your board may also prove helpful," and because "Jordan is so busy that having him on your board suggests that at least one director will not be in a position to cause you any trouble," says Graef Crystal, a business school professor and frequent critic of overpaid corporate executives and directors.
Crystal has written that Jordan "cannot dodge at least some of the blame" for the poor performance of some CEOs who run companies he serves as a director.
But Jordan has said attendance records at board meetings do not fairly reflect a director's contribution to a company.
Between Jordan and his wife, 17 directorships give the couple an annual income of more than $800,000, in addition to the reported $1 million he makes at his law firm.
Money, he knows, is a double-edged sword for a successful veteran of the civil rights movement. It is a sign of success that can also be thrown back at him as a symbol of selling out.
The late Ron Brown, who felt the brunt of similar accusations, once said that successful black businessmen are "expected to limit our horizons, to be pigeonholed . . . and not break out and accept responsibility and leadership beyond the traditional civil rights movement." Brown defended his friend Jordan as "an incredible achiever."
Jordan's approach is simpler: "I know who I am," he has said in speeches.
Others may criticize, but Vernon Jordan is, he says, "answerable to myself." And he says it with such charm.
Staff writer Ann Gerhart contributed to this report.
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STRAITS TIMES (SE Asia) 30/6/96, extract of paper submitted to Bilderberg 1996 conference
China has risen from slumber, so help it find a place in the world, argues former American Assistant Secretary of Defence Chas W. Freeman Jr. Outlining the economic, political and military challenges of China, he warns that if it is excluded from the global order, it will not adhere to global norms. Edited extracts of his paper begin here:
The Chinese believe that, for most of recorded history, China was not just the most populous but also the most prosperous, technologically most advanced, most powerful, and arguably the best governed of all human societies.
The Chinese regard their eclipse by the West in what they call "the recent past" as an anomaly that time and hard work will correct.
Most Chinese now believe that, in the century to come, their nation is destined to resume its natural place as the pre-eminent society on the planet. They may be right. Even if they are wrong, their cocky self-confidence that time is on their side has major international implications.
China's rise to wealth and power is the leading factor in the Asia-Pacific region's progressive displacement of the Atlantic community at the centre of world economic affairs.
The challenge of fitting China into the existing world order does not, however, stop with economics. China's rise also has enormous political and military implications. The Chinese economy is the engine that is accelerating the global shift of wealth and power to East Asia. Events in the region or between China and its trading partners may alter the rate of growth but are unlikely to reverse it.
But its growing economic weight and central position have yet to be reflected in its inclusion in global institutions and regulatory regimes.
China is excluded from the Group of Seven nations, the World Trade Organisation, the New Forum (successor to CoCom, the Co-ordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls), the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and other global institutions.
No one has even thought about how to work toward the ultimate admission of China to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The effort by the United States and others in the early '70s to incorporate China into the world order, shaped by the Atlantic community over the past half century, has faltered.
Yet, it is hard to imagine that the institutions that constitute this order can retain their leading position if an economy that is soon to become the world's largest is not fully integrated with them.
Meanwhile, a rapidly-expanding list of global and regional economic and politico-economic issues cannot be successfully managed without Chinese cooperation.
For example, China will soon overtake the US as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Clearly, no effort to moderate the damage to the global environment can hope to succeed unless China is fully a part of it.
China's rapidly-growing exports and internal market continue to develop to a considerable extent outside the norms of the global trading system. This is creating vested interests in patterns of Chinese economic behaviour that disrupt and damage trade and investment with the industrial democracies.
The fact that China is not a member of most multilateral regulatory regimes leaves Beijing free to ignore complaints from its trading partners until they escalate into bilateral confrontation. In such raw tests of power, only a major trading partner like the US has much chance of prevailing.
As China's economic prowess grows, Beijing's bargaining power will also grow, making bilateral solutions to problems with China that are of wider international concern even more problematic.
Yet, the West has no apparent strategy for achieving China's integration into the multilateral institutions it hopes will regulate the post-Cold War international economic order. Almost without exception, institutions formed since the end of the Cold War have excluded China.
The country is already an exporter of high technology goods, many of them with military applications. Clearly, no effort to regulate trade with "rogue states" or in technologies relevant to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems can hope to succeed if China remains outside it.
The limits of what can be accomplished by bilateralism are already apparent. Consider, for example, the decidedly mixed record of unilateral American attempts to regulate exports of Chinese nuclear and missile technology to Pakistan.
As China grows, the bilateral leverage of the United States and other countries over it can only diminish. Yet there is no effort being made to bring China into membership in the multilateral regimes that attempt to regulate the international transfer of sensitive technologies.
Finally, China's opening to the outside world and the concomitant collapse of Chinese totalitarianism have allowed the emergence of transnational Chinese criminal gangs. Such gangs are now involved in the drug trade and the smuggling of Chinese emigrants under conditions approximating those of the 18th century African slave trade.
They are developing linkages to organised crime in Russia, Europe and the Americas. The full cooperation of the authorities in Beijing with multilateral institutions like InterPol is essential to deal with these problems.
The Asia-Europe Meeting, held in Bangkok earlier this year, has created a multilateral forum joining European and Asian Customs officials in discussion of them. Yet the principal market for drugs and destination of illegal migrants are the US and Canada, which are not part of this forum.
A persistent problem in dealing with China is the inability of the central government in Beijing to obtain the compliance of provincial and local authorities with the agreements it concludes with foreign governments.
The current difficulties over intellectual property rights are a case in point. China lacks the legal system, including the courts, trained judges, and legal enforcement mechanisms that more developed countries can rely upon to implement effective controls over commercial behaviour.
Everyone knows this to be the case. Even the Chinese will admit it when embarrassed into doing so. Yet there is no concerted international effort underway to aid China in law and administrative reform or in public administration and judicial training.
The absence of an international strategy by which to promote China's adherence to the norms fostered by global institutions is especially striking given the successful efforts to integrate China into the world order registered in the '70s and '80s.
The country can, of course, be counted upon to bargain for privileged status and exemption from the rules applied to other countries. Nevertheless, once admitted to a club, the record shows, China works hard to learn, adopt and apply the group rules.
China's socio-economic transformation over the past two decades owes much to its admission to institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, and the UN specialised agencies, and to its subsequent adoption of the modes of analysis and policies they favour.
The lack of a Euro-American (and Japanese) strategy for speeding China's integration into global institutions and Chinese effective application of global norms is potentially very serious, given the high stakes involved.
It cannot be in the world's interest to wait to begin managing the consequences for the international state system of China's rise to wealth and power. Problems are accumulating, not diminishing. The country's bargaining position is strengthening, not weakening.
As China's wealth grows, both its military power and political influence are also growing. The implications of this for the Asia-Pacific region are well understood by China's neighbours.
Without exception, they seek economic benefits from closer ties with China, while keeping a wary eye on Beijing as they move to accommodate it politically.
China now enjoys its most cooperative relations with South-east Asia in 500 years. Its relations with Russia are the most mutually respectful in over 300 years. Its relations with Europe, including Europe's great powers, are the most satisfactory in nearly two centuries.
Beijing's relations with New Delhi are the least strained since the 1962 Sino-Indian border war. Its relations with Islamabad and Dhaka are as sound as ever.
Despite an audible undercurrent of Japanese concern about China, Sino-Japanese relations are as good as they have been in a hundred years.
Yet two centuries of weakness have left China with many points of dissatisfaction.
It is now the only great power to have had major portions of its historical territory and population detached from it by the military intervention of other great powers - European powers in the cases of Macau and Hongkong, Japan and the United States in the case of Taiwan.
Beijing is determined to reunite these disparate Chinese societies under a single sovereignty, if not single politico-economic system. China will accomplish such reunification through negotiations, if possible (as it has proven to be for Hongkong and Macau), or by force, if necessary (as India did with Goa and Indonesia with Irian Jaya and East Timor).
China is also the only great power to lack secure and recognised borders with most of its neighbours. China has now settled all of its inner Asian frontiers through negotiations with Russia and the newly independent Central Asia states.
The list of Chinese border disputes remains, however, the longest in the world. China has unsettled economic zone (seabed) boundaries with both North and South Korea. It disputes the Senkaku (or Diaoyutai) archipelago with Japan.
China contests sovereignty over islets and reefs throughout the South China Sea with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. Its claims to economic zones in the South China Sea generate a seabed dispute with Indonesia.
The Sino-Indian border has been established de facto but not de jure. China is determined to define secure and recognised borders with all these neighbours by negotiated territorial adjustments as in the case of its inner Asian frontiers, if possible, or by military action to defend its sovereignty, if necessary.
Unlike unification with Taiwan, none of these border issues requires major territorial or politico-military adjustments for its resolution.
Sino-Korean differences must in practice await Korean reunification for their resolution. Neither China nor Japan has so far seen any pressing reason to address the question of sovereignty over the Senkakus.
A Sino-Indian border settlement is implicit in the status quo and could be formalised whenever the two sides are politically inclined to formalise it.
China's full acceptance of the Law of the Sea Treaty (expected to be ratified by the National People's Congress later this year) will provide a legal framework for negotiation of claims in the South China Sea.
China's neighbours have few concerns about its actions in the short term. They are all concerned, however, that China's military power relative to them is steadily growing.
The re-emergence of military tensions, including Sino-American naval confrontations, in the Taiwan Strait has changed this situation. Until the last two years, Chinese leaders (like most politicians in Taiwan) believed that Taiwan had only two conceivable futures: the status quo (as it might be amended by cross-Strait interaction) or reunification. In these circumstances, Beijing felt no sense of urgency about the Taiwan issue.
By 1995, however, it had become deeply concerned that Taiwan's democratic politics were centring on the quest for an identity separate from China.
Responding to popular opinion on the island, the leadership in Taiwan began to provide inducements to Third World capitals to allow the establishment of Taipei embassies alongside Beijing's diplomatic representation.
Taipei redoubled its effort to upgrade its representation in the capitals of great powers. It vociferously sought a separate seat in the United Nations General Assembly. The Taiwan leadership launched a campaign of nominally private but very political travel abroad to raise Taiwan's international profile.
Beijing concluded that Taipei was bent on acquiring the attributes of independent statehood on the diplomatic instalment plan.
Notwithstanding Taipei's protestations of fidelity to the principle of "one China", Beijing saw Taipei's effort as crafting a basis for long-term separation from China.
This conclusion was buttressed by the main opposition party in Taiwan's open espousal of independence. From Beijing's perspective, Taipei's actions threatened to alter the status quo in such a way as to preclude peaceful reunification.
Taipei's effort to expand its options gave Beijing a sense of urgency about the Taiwan question it had previously lacked.
When political warning failed to deter Taipei, Beijing resorted to intimidation through military measures short of war, such as exercises and missile tests that underscored Beijing's ability to strangle Taiwan's economy.
These measures were intended to force Taipei to reverse course or to come to the negotiating table. Chinese posturing, however, belatedly evoked counterveiling shows of force by the US, neutralising Beijing's pressure on Taipei to negotiate.
American naval deployments were undertaken to underscore the long-standing interest of the US in a peaceful, rather than violent, settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.
They were not intended to signal support for Taiwan independence. Ironically, however, by making it clear that the US would counter and offset Beijing's use of measures short of war to force Taipei to the negotiating table, American actions have greatly diminished the prospects for peaceful reunification.
If Beijing cannot force Taipei to the table, and the US will not, it is highly unlikely that Taipei will ever negotiate.
From Beijing's point of view, China now has only two options: doing nothing while Taipei works towards a "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" outcome, or going to war for reunification, despite the danger that the US might be dragged into the conflict. Revising this calculus is now an urgent task for American diplomacy.
Beijing is on the verge of embarking on the long-term military build-up necessary to acquire the ability to overrun Taiwan even against US opposition.
China's recent embrace of Russian positions on various international issues provides a basis for expanded military cooperation with Russia while calming China's northern flank.
As Beijing increases its military capabilities against Taiwan, it will not abandon its efforts to achieve reunification by peaceful means. It will continue to attempt to intimidate Taiwan into negotiations while seeking to minimise the resulting strain in its relations with the US.
At the same time, it will wish to limit collateral damage to its relationships with its Asian neighbours from tension and possible conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
As a result, China is likely to pursue compromise on South China Sea territorial issues (and perhaps even the Senkaku dispute) as it did with Russia and the newly-independent Central Asian states.
By eliminating potential sources of conflict with the members of ASEAN and Japan, China can hope to provide reassurance that its aggressive stance on the Taiwan issue is sui generis and without wider implications for the region.
These ominous trends might, of course, be reversed were Taiwan to be persuaded that it should enter into active negotiations on reunification with Beijing or otherwise provide convincing reassurance that it does not seek a future distinct from association with China.
Taipei is, however, unlikely to be willing or able effectively to press it to do so. Taiwan will continue to attract Western and Japanese sympathy as a democratic underdog menaced by the communist dictatorship on the Chinese mainland. This will stimulate widening concern about the implications of rising Chinese military power - no matter what Beijing does to allay such concerns.
Chinese defence expenditure has heretofore been relatively low in relation to its gross national product. The relatively low priority assigned to military modernisation over the past decade and more reflected Beijing's judgement that the short-term risk of a major conflict on China's border was slight and that a resolution of the Taiwan issue could be peacefully achieved.
Recent events in the Taiwan Strait have clearly altered these judgements. The Chinese defence budget is likely to rise accordingly, though the focus of PLA modernisation will shift largely to building the eventual capability to conquer Taiwan.
Strategic nuclear forces and other weapons systems with the capacity to deter US intervention in any battle for Taiwan are similarly likely to receive much greater emphasis in People's Liberation Army modernisation.
The prospect of a more powerfully assertive China inevitably awakens memories of the recent Euro-American struggle with the former Soviet Union. It leads to speculation that China, like the USSR, may disintegrate. It is, however, a mistake to draw many analogies between the two.
The Soviet Union was a multinational empire, established by czarist and communist conquest from Moscow. Its dominant Russian nationality was a bare majority within its imperial structure. The Soviet Union was driven by the impulse to spread its ideology wherever opportunities presented themselves.
To that end, it maintained a huge military presence in satellite states along its borders. Moscow's strategic ambitions led it to provide expensive military and economic assistance to like-minded states as far away as Cuba and southern Africa. Rigid central planning ultimately produced a declining economy unable to bear the very high level of military spending the Soviet state demanded. Until its final days, Moscow sought to overthrow the international status quo.
By contrast, China grew to its present borders over the course of millennia of gradual expansion and assimilation of minority peoples. The 94 per cent of the Chinese population who consider themselves Han share a nationalist passion for unity, order and international respect for their country's historical borders.
They have no sympathy and even less tolerance for efforts by Tibetans or other minority peoples within these borders to exercise self-determination. They do not seek to bring additional non-Han peoples into their polity.
Contemporary China has no ideology it can explain to its own people, still less one it seeks to export to others. It has no satellites and maintains no forces beyond its borders. China's increasingly decentralised economy is the fastest growing in the world. Its defence budget could be greatly increased without putting much strain on its economy. China seeks to join the existing international order, not to overthrow it.
Nor is China likely to disintegrate as the Soviet Union did. Economic growth has indeed altered the relationship between the central and provincial authorities. As acquisitive individualism succeeded austere communitarianism as the national ethos, the Chinese Communist Party lost much of its discipline, along with its ideology.
In the absence of government institutions to replace it, the provinces, to some extent, went their own way. In the early stages of economic reform, new challenges to government posed by the requirement to manage a market economy were met, if at all, largely at the provincial, rather than the national level.
Beijing is, however, now well along in its efforts to create the central institutions necessary to manage an increasingly dynamic and integrated national economy.
Resistance to this re-centralisation by the provinces has not led to separatist sentiment. On the contrary, the spirit of nationalism is on the rise throughout China.
Finally, the Soviet Union was a horrifying violator of the human rights of all whom it controlled. For all the Western pressure on Moscow on human rights issues, it took the collapse of the regime to bring about significant improvement.
Unlike the former Soviet Union, however, China is carrying out far-reaching economic and social reforms. These may or may not lead in time to political reforms, as happened, for example, in the formerly Leninist Chinese society in Taiwan.
Nevertheless, it is arguable that the course of events elsewhere in East Asia will prove to be a better predictor of China's future than that in the Soviet Union.
In short, Beijing does not think or behave like Moscow when it was the capital of the USSR. China is not an implacable foe of the West or the world order the West has created. It is unlikely to follow the Soviet Union into disintegration and collapse. The challenge to the world posed by the rise of China is different. In some ways, it may prove more daunting.
Nearly two centuries ago, Napoleon advised his fellow Europeans, "Let China sleep. When it wakens, it will shake the world". There is now no prospect that China will return to the slumber of past centuries.
The 21st century will see China resume its traditional pride of place among the world's societies. The question before Europeans and North Americans is not how to prevent what cannot be prevented. It is how to ensure that the rise of China in the new millennium buttresses rather than erodes the international system we have constructed with such difficulty in this century.
To that end, we must urgently consider how to speed China's integration into existing institutions on acceptable terms.
Equally important, we must decide how best to ensure that China's determination to rectify the borders imposed upon by the ages of imperialism, fascism and the Cold War does not lead to long-term confrontation and strategic realignments adverse to Western interests.
ACCORD: Between the US and China on strengthening safeguards against piracy of intellectual property. However, the central government has problems getting local authorities to comply with agreements it has with foreign governments as it does not have the legal system to enforce controls over commercial behaviour.
BUILD-UP: Of the military by Beijing. It sees a long-term plan in this area as necessary, so it can overrun Taiwan if it needs to, even against US opposition.
The writer, Chas W. Freeman Jr., is now chairman of Projects International Associates, a Washington-based business development corporation. His paper was submitted to the Bilderberg Conference in Toronto, Canada, held from May 29-June 2.
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By Russell Blinch TORONTO, May 30 (Reuter) - Queens, prime ministers, industrialists and journalists were among more than 100 delegates who gathered at a guarded retreat near Canada's largest city on Thursday to secretly mull the world's ills.
As is the tradition since the first Bilderberg Meeting was held in the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek, Holland in 1954, no news conferences will be held or statements issued after the annual meeting. But frank talk will be encouraged among the delegates from Europe, the United States and Canada who are meeting for nearly three days at a $40 million ranch north of Toronto.
"There are no massive indiscretions, but the exchanges can be quite heated," Conrad Black, the Canadian press baron hosting this year's conference, told reporters on Wednesday. Conference organizers said of the 120 participants, one third are from government and the remainder from fields such as finance, industry, labor, education and the media.
The meeting will be chaired by Lord Carrington, former NATO secretary general. He will be joined by a phalanx of leaders in power -- Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Finland's President Martti Ahtisaari, U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind. The queens of the Netherlands and Spain and princes from the Netherlands and Belgium make up the royalty contingent.
Other luminaries include Henry Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state; Lloyd Bentsen, former U.S. Treasury secretary; Jack Matlock, former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, and Francisco Pinto Balsemao, former Portugese prime minister. Blue chip representatives include the heads of Ford Motor Co., Sarah Lee, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Xerox Corp, Barclays Bank Plc and Reuters Holdings Plc.
Discussions in the former luxury spa now owned by a Canadian bank are expected to range from the enlargement of the European Union to China, Russia and the former Yugoslavia.
DATE OF ISSUE: 24/05/96
VISIT OF PRESIDENT SANTER - RELEASE OF JOHN PAUL MOKUOLO - FOREIGN SECRETARY TO VISIT UNITED STATES, CANADA AND ICELAND - 28 MAY - 2 JUNE 1996 - VISIT OF PRESIDENT SANTER.
FOREIGN SECRETARY TO VISIT UNITED STATES, CANADA AND ICELAND: 28 MAY - 2 JUNE 1996 Spokesman issued the following press release: "Malcolm Rifkind, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, will visit the US (28-30 May), Canada (30 May-1 June) and Iceland (1-2 June).
In Washington Mr Rifkind will meet Vice President Gore, Mr Warren Christopher and other senior members of the Administration and Congress, and will speak on the transatlantic relationship at the National Press Club.
In Ottawa Mr Rifkind will meet Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Mr Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs. He will also attend the Bilderberg Conference in Toronto. The final leg of the Foreign Secretary's trip will be to Reykjavik, where he will meet the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. He will also formally open the new British Embassy.
Notes to Editors
Mr Rifkind last visited Washington 18-19 July 1995. He is visiting Canada for the first time as Foreign Secretary. The Bilderberg Group is a well established and highly prestigious discussion forum, which has been meeting since the 1950s. The participants are invited by a steering committee and include high level representatives from the worlds of politics, economics and commerce. This will be his first visit to Reykjavik. Mr David Heathcoat-Amory, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was the last British Minister to visit Iceland in June 1994."
FCO Newsroom contact: tel 0171-270 3100 fax 0171-270 3094.
HERMES - UK GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASES 24/5/96
David Packard, businessman and former United States Deputy Secretary of Defence in the Nixon Administration, died on March 26 aged 83. He was born on September 7, 1912.
In the cut-throat environment of modern American industry, with its massive worker lay-offs and remote senior executives, David Packard was a remarkable example of a very different management philosophy. By keeping in constant touch with his employees and giving full rein to their creativity, sharing profits and providing security, he built the Hewlett-Packard Company into one of the largest and most innovative electronics companies in the world.
Together with his partner, William Hewlett, Packard founded the concern in 1938 with a capital of $538 and a workshop housed in his garage. Today it has 100,000 employees, and annual revenues of $31billion, with factories across the world.
Packard and Hewlett had been friends as electrical engineering students at Stanford University, where the 6ft 4in Packard had also been an outstanding athlete and football player.
Both enjoyed tinkering with electronics, and in short order they had invented a weight-reducing machine, an electronic harmonica tuner, and a foul-line indicator for bowling alleys. Their first commercial sale, however, was to Walt Disney, who ordered eight audio-oscillators for use on the sound-track of Fantasia at $71.50 each. The Hewlett-Packard partnership turned a profit of $1,653 in its first year, reinvested it in the business, and never looked back. The garage, recognised as the birthplace of Silicon Valley, is now a California state landmark.
As the corporation grew, Packard strove to maintain its small company atmosphere by creating numerous divisions and giving each a high degree of autonomy which extended to the shop floor. Managers were encouraged to set objectives and to let the workers get on with the job. Combined with a technique known as "management by walking around," which had senior executives making themselves visible and accessible on the shop floor, it proved extremely effective. Packard himself, who had a horror of executive pomposity, insisted on being called "Dave" by his workers.
A lifelong liberal Republican, who had made substantial financial contributions to the party, Packard found himself the centre of controversy in 1969 when he was selected by President Nixon to become deputy to Melvin Laird as Secretary of Defence. The reason was a potential conflict of interest: Hewlett-Packard was a major defence contractor, selling an annual $100million worth of electronic instruments to the Pentagon, and Packard owned about 30 per cent of the stock, worth $289million.
He resolved the issue by leaving the company, exchanging his $1million income for a government salary of $30,000, and putting his shares into a charitable trust. Although some, including Senator Albert Gore, were unconvinced, calling the move a book-keeping exercise, Packard won Senate confirmation easily and served with considerable success for the next three years before returning to Hewlett-Packard as chairman.
Packard was later appointed by President Reagan as chairman of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Defence Management, recommending changes in the system of weapons procurement, and served as a member of the Trilateral Commission from 1973 to 1981.
During the 1980s Packard went into semi-retirement, though maintaining his official position with Hewlett-Packard. But, when the company got into financial difficulties in 1991, he returned to full-time work, and inspired the reorganisation which restored its fortunes.
David Packard is survived by one son and three daughters. His wife Lucile died in 1987.
Every conspiracy theorist in the United States seems to be backing Pat Buchanan, along with one or two in Britain as well. One of my occasional correspondents is Mr Peter Johnston; I suspect that he also corresponds with quite a number of other people. He has taken up the cudgels on behalf of Pat Buchanan and objects to my reference to Buchanan as "too fascist". He has sent me an open letter and copied it to Norris McWhirter and others.
I do not think his open letter will attract much attention, because his views will be regarded as outside the boundaries of reasonable discourse in Britain, though they would be common enough on the Internet or talk shows in America. However, they interest me precisely because they do fall outside the boundaries of what is discussed on the BBC or in most of the broadsheet press. His views are worth considering, if only because he and quite a few people like him hold them passionately. Certainly, many of Pat Buchanan's voters do, and, up to a point, Mr Buchanan does himself.
Let me quote from Mr Johnston's letter on Pat Buchanan:
"A merchant of fear", "A merchant of anger" might have been better more honest! but then, I suppose your readers would have expected an explanation of why Americans are so angry; that just wouldn't do, would it!
Pat Buchanan is the only Republican candidate who has spurned the blandishments of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, and denounced the New World Order a conspiracy to establish "World Government". Pat Buchanan is the only Republican candidate committed to reform of the Federal Reserve "system" the biggest and most far-reaching fraud ever perpetrated on a free nation, except for the Maastricht Treaty!... Even if Pat Buchanan is "stopped" in his bid for the presidency, already he has swept away the hollow shams of Press and Money Power, and demonstrated by personal example what one man, armed only with integrity and the courage to act upon it can achieve . . . P.S. To denigrate Mr Buchanan is to denigrate his millions of supporters too.
This is punchy stuff, and I enjoy receiving Mr Johnston's letters, even though I disagree with most of what he has to say. They show what the world looks like from a completely different point of view. I do not know whether Mr Johnston has an American connection himself, but his belief that America has been taken over by Establishment conspirators is very widely held in the United States.
In 1984, the year of President Reagan's second election, I was given a lecture on the world conspiracy by a black taxi driver in Atlanta, Georgia. He explained that in 1917, General Motors, US, and General Motors, Russia, had agreed to divide the world between them. Since then they had been in control of their respective countries, employing such characters as Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin as convenient figureheads. They had organised the Second World War in order to sell arms, and, because they had surplus arms factories after 1945, they had arranged the Cold War. In effect, Reagan and Gorbachev were senior employees of the same company.
At this level of myth, conspiracy theories become completely grotesque, though that does not mean they can be disregarded, as Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing showed. At Mr Johnston's level, the theories may be equally erroneous, but the fact that so many people believe them shows that they possess psychological attraction. To these conspiracy-mongers, as to Pat Buchanan, the world is a place manipulated by the Establishment of which columnists like myself form a part to the disadvantage of outsiders, of ordinary Americans, ordinary Britons or ordinary Russians. There is indeed one American propagandist who has broadcast the view that I am the head of the British Secret Service, and that I have conspired with the Dalai Lama to put the Queen on the throne of Mexico. That would be news to MI6, the Dalai Lama and the Queen.
How can one be sure that one's own perception of reality is more reliable? Last time I went to a Bilderberg conference, it was held in Athens, about three years ago. Tony Blair was there, not yet leader of the Labour Party [and now, of course, prime minister], Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel were there, the Queen of The Netherlands was there. It was all pleasantly grand. Yet it is hard to think of any subject on which we would be likely to conspire. The Queen of The Netherlands is as Euro-fanatic as Ted Heath, Tony Blair is a modest good European, I have been an anti-Maastricht campaigner and Mr Black is a Canadian neo-realist who owns 500 newspapers. The idea that we all join hands on some witches' Sabbath to manipulate the world is almost as absurd as the belief that I am trying to make the Queen of England the crowned head of Mexico. Yet Mr Johnston is not alone in turning shadows into bogeys. Mr Buchanan himself is threatening to take the United States out of the World Trade Organisation, which he regards as another sinister international body, conspiring against American interests.
Such popular fears of a conspiracy of power are nothing new; even John of Gaunt suffered from the belief that he controlled a sinister Establishment, which included Geoffrey Chaucer. My American grandfather was an active local Democrat who worked on Wall Street; indeed, my mother was kissed as a baby by Grover Cleveland during the campaign of 1892. In 1896, my grandfather could hardly bring himself to vote for William Jennings Bryan because of Bryan's populist attacks on the Wall Street conspiracy. My grandfather did not believe that "mankind is crucified upon a Cross of Gold". He thought gold was a very useful monetary commodity, as I do myself.
Mr Johnston is probably right to say that Mr Buchanan is "a merchant of anger", though I still think he is also a merchant of fear. There is an anger running through modern society, a terrible anger in Russia, a gallic anger in France, a mild anger in Britain, an anger that could conceivably elect Buchanan in America. It is not a reasonable anger; many of its targets are hard-working people doing useful jobs which hold the world together. Yet anger and fear go hand in hand. Our late-20th-century fear is the natural product of accelerating economic change.
In my last article on Pat Buchanan, I referred to the opposition he faces from the so-called "cognitive elite", the people who are the beneficiaries of the information age. The phrase comes from The Bell Curve, by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray. These are the people with high IQs and good education, who get the highly skilled jobs that pay the best; they often marry other high-earners. They are a pivotal group in the modern world economy, but they are a minority, and people are jealous of their success.
An identifiable privileged minority, like Wall Street financiers in the 1890s, Jewish businessmen in Weimar Germany or the brightest and the best in America of the 1990s are always likely to attract suspicion, fear, anger and hatred. These are dangerous emotions which arise naturally from the resentment of those who believe that they stand outside the windows of the clubhouse of power and cannot quite hear what is being said inside. Mr Buchanan both shares these emotions and plays on them; he is the hero of the disempowered, and they help him to split the Republican vote.
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BURGENSTOCK, Switzerland (NEW ITEM) - Environment and Nuclear Safety Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard and Commissioner for Relations with east Europe and CIS Hans van den Broek take part in Bilderberg Conference.
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"Getting foreign businesses to set up here cannot be achieved by a small peripheral nation like ours by simply sitting at home and waiting for the world to knock on our door. I make no apology for pursuing this strategy and I intend continuing to do so in the national interest," the Taoiseach, Mr Reynolds, told the House when he strongly defended his extensive foreign travel.
He disclosed that since last October, when he had replied to a similar question, the Tanaiste Mr Spring, and himself were out of the State simultaneously on Government business on 12 occasions. These included three meetings in London with the British Prime Minister, three European Council meetings in Brussels and one in Corfu.
"Throughout these periods, both the Tanaiste and I remained in charge of, and in direct contact with, our Departments at all times. In accordance with longstanding practice, it was not necessary to assign our duties and functions during our absence to other members of the Government," he added. Later, Mr Reynolds defended the use of the Government jet to fly the Minister of State for Social Welfare, Ms Joan Burton, her husband and a presidential party home from Zurich last month.
The leader of Democratic Left Mr Proinsias De Rossa, pressed Mr Reynolds to confirm that the trip had cost about £30,000, as estimated by sections of the media. He also asked if it was a fair cost, given that a woman in Cork had to thumb her way to a hospital with a young child because she would not get funding from the health board. Mr Reynolds insisted that questions relating to the cost should be addressed to the Minister for Defence, Mr Andrews. He asked Mr De Rossa: "What about the trips to Moscow? Who paid for them?"
During exchanges with opposition deputies on the use of the jet, Mr Reynolds said that he might, if he was tempted and driven to it, look up how it was used by Ministers in the past.
Warning that "people might get red faces" if he started to open the files, he added: "Maybe you are as well to stay a little quiet."
He said that a former Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, had travelled abroad for two weeks, mostly in a private capacity, to the Bilderberg conference, and then went to see Cardinal O'Connor in New York and Governor Dukakis.
"If that represents a good fortnight's work on behalf of this country, I wouldn't even compare it with the sort of work that I do when I go abroad," he added.
Outlining the circumstances in which the Government jet was flown to Zurich, Mr Reynolds said that Ms Burton and her husband had travelled, at the request of the Government, with the President and Mr Robinson on the State visit to Tanzania. It was customary for spouses to accompany Ministers on State visits, if possible.
The scheduled return date was October 13th. But the arrangements for the President changed at a very late date and she went to Rwanda.
The rest of the party of nine returned to Europe as arranged. The ministerial air transport service was used to bring Ms Burton and the other member of the presidential party home from Zurich on the evening of October 13th as previously arranged.
Mr De Rossa suggested that it would have been more appropriate for the party to return to Dublin by scheduled flight.
On the use of the Government jet, Mr Reynolds said that 195 missions were flown in 1992, 281 in 1991 and 341 in 1990. These compared favourably with 193 missions last year and 114 to date this year. The opposition parties, he added, were trying to exploit the issue because of the Cork by ectleions.
Mr De Rossa said that the purpose of his question was to solicit whether or not a cost effective use was being made of the jet, and whether a Minister of State and her spouse should be able to summon the jet to Zurich to return at her convenience.
Mr Reynolds said that Ms Burton had not summoned the jet to Zurich.
Mr Paul Bradford (FG, Cork East) queried the use of the jet to fly Mr Reynolds to the recent Cork County final, which he claimed also allowed him to attend his pay'rts selection convention for the by elections.
The Ceann Comhairle, Mr Sean Treacy, said that this was a separate matter.
The Hague, June 3:
Until next Saturday, Queen Beatrix will be in the Finnish capitol of Helsinki. She will be participating in the 42th Bildenberg Conference.
Together with 115 international prominents from politics, science, the businessworld and social elite, she will, as a private person, confidentally exchange points of view about international problems.
Other guests with whom the queen will exchange ideas are: stock-guru and billionaire George Soros, Brent Scowcroft, former security-advisor for the American President, the German Minister of Defence Volker Ruhe, banker David Rockerfeller, the Norwegian former minister Stoltenberg, Peter Sutherland, director of GATT, the highest boss from Daimler-Benz Air and Spacecraft and Queen Sofia of Spain.
This year the "off the record discussions" which will take place behind closed doors and for which, following tradition, no public announcements are to be made concerning content, will deal with: long term changes in the USA, the European Union, the world-economy, the creation of jobs, and the political challenge involved with the Islam, Russia, China and GATT.
The Bildenberg Conference was founded in 1954 by Prince Bernhard (the Queen's father). Until 1976 he also was chairman. It was started because of a threatened rift between Western Europe and the USA which had to be countered.
HELSINKI, June 2 (Reuter) - Over 100 Western opinion-makers including government ministers, royalty and intellectuals are scheduled to begin three days of talks on world issues behind closed doors at a secluded Helsinki hotel on Friday. "The guests are arriving. They will begin their three days of talks tomorrow," a conference official said on Thursday.
Guests for the Bilderberg Meeting include Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski, German Defence Minister Volker Ruhe and the Queens of the Netherlands and Spain. Others on the list of participants are GATT chief Peter Sutherland and business leaders including Fiat chairman Giovanni Agnelli and international investor George Soros. Also to attend the meeting, which is chaired by Britain's Lord Carrington, are Finland's President Martti Ahtisaari and Prime Minister Esko Aho.
Topics of discussion would include long term changes in the United States, the European Union, the world economy, employment creation, the political challenge of Islam, Russia, China and GATT, organisers said.
The 42nd Bilderberg Meeting is the latest in a series that began in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands as a forum for frank off-the-record talks among leading figures in North America and Western Europe.
More than 100 politicians and specialists opened a meeting of the so-called Bilderberg Forum Thursday for talks focusing on long-term political and economic change in the European Union, the United States and Russia. The meeting was being chaired by Lord Carrington, the former British foreign secretary and NATO secretary general.
Other participants include Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, German Defence Minister Volker Ruehe, Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes, the queens of Spain and Holland and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger. Finland's President Martti Ahtisaari and Prime Minister Esko Aho were also attending.
The 42nd session of the forum, which first met in May 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Oosterbeek, Holland, was being held behind closed doors at a well-guarded seaside hotel here. The meetings discuss international issues but adopt no resolutions and issue no policy statements. The 115 participants, two-thirds of whom come from Europe and the remainder from the United States and Canada, include government officials and experts from the fields of finance, industry, labour, education and the media.
ATHENS, April 22, (Reuter) - More than 100 Western leaders, including heads of state, politicians and intellectuals, began four days of private talks on global problems at a secluded seaside resort outside Athens on Thursday.
The guest list included Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner, Turkish Central Bank Governor Rusdu Saracoglu, the European Community's mediator on ex-Yugoslavia, Lord Owen, and Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.
The meeting, held strictly behind closed doors, is the latest of a series which began in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands as a forum for frank discussions among leading figures in North America and Western Europe.
A news release said topics of discussion would include U.S.-European relations, the former Soviet Union, U.S. domestic problems, Japan's economy and prospects for global trade.
REUTER NEWS SERVICE
NOTHING satisfies the appetite for power-mingling quite like a Group of Seven summit: it is the convention promoter's dream. The one in London next week will include photo-calls at the Tower of London, dinner and music with the queen, and a packed programme for the leaders' wives. The climax will be the appearance of special guest-star Mikhail Gorbachev - an entry unmatched in symbolism since Vercingetorix came to Rome. Best of all for leaders jaded by hard times at home, it offers the easy prospect of Bilderberg or the Bohemian Grove: fancy company, fascinating chat, no ghastly decisions.
The sherpas, who prepare the G7 summits, talk of 'full, frank and informal discussions' on a broad agenda, after which 'no executive decisions are intended'. In other words they have redefined indecision as normality, the better to declare any decision as an unexpected bonus. The first of these G7 summits, the one at Rambouillet in 1975, epitomised that dodge when careful preparation allowed a 'fireside chat' to deliver a complex agreement on exchange-rate management, as well as a push to a round of GATT talks that was bogged down over - plus ca change - farm trade.
Yet people should expect more out of this London summit than pomp, useful discussions and a pre-cooked communique. What was, in the mid-1970s, an economic club of capitalist countries wrestling with what an oil shock had done to their GNPs and their currency system has become the world's mightiest political gathering. Until recently that title belonged to the occasional superpower summits between America and Russia. Stand-offs were to be expected then - welcomed, indeed, because where good values meet bad a stand-off is better than a compromise.
The G7 need not be so inhibited. The summiteers share values that have won the cold war, and that most other countries now aspire to. This is the time to build the winning values into the world's institutions, before mankind reasserts its urge to find a new argument to replace a familiar one. However much the summiteers may be seduced by the razzmatazz in London, they have a real job to do. They are the world's executive committee, its steering group.
So the theme chosen by the British hosts for this summit - 'strengthening the international order' - is the right one. The danger is that a combination of photo-calls, a bloated agenda and the Gorbachev effect will limit its outcome to platitudes. It is not wrong that Mr Gorbachev has been invited to join the western leaders for a special session after the summit is officially over. His visit may prompt him publicly to go for a programme of economic reform that could help him up his precipice. Or he may concede that the cliff-face is unclimbable, aid or no aid, until the republics of the Soviet Union have decided what sort of union they want (see pages 19-24). But before he sees the western leaders next Wednesday, they have much order-strengthening work to do - not least so they can enthuse him about the results.
Take the old need and new hope of controlling international sales of conventional arms. There have been few more telling glimpses of what is now becoming possible than the suggestion two years ago, by the then Soviet foreign minister, Edward Shevardnadze, that international sales of arms should be centrally recorded. A register would track which country had bought what arms, and from whom. Even on its own, openness would help. It would make certain stockpiles that much more worrying, certain arms deals that much more shaming. The G7 should agree to push this idea within the United Nations.
Another job is to address an old conundrum - the fact that the UN can come down much harder on the cross-border crimes of governments than on the suffering that governments cause within their frontiers. A couple of million Kuwaitis were rescued with massive force; several million Kurds were much harder to help; scores of millions of Africans remain impossible to reach. This problem of the right of sovereign states to inflict misery on their citizens is a diplomatic minefield. One way to tiptoe into it is to recognise that many of the humanitarian challenges faced by the UN's disaster-relief agencies have a political dimension. Unless the agencies are given matching political clout to tackle them, they will deal with symptoms rather than diseases. New man, with punch
What is needed is more powerful co-ordination of the UN agencies that deal with human tragedies, combined with armed protection for their work - a combination of the UN's humanitarian and peace-keeping forces. There is a role here for a new under-secretary-general, equivalent to the one currently responsible for peacekeeping, who would oversee the UN's disaster-relief work and decide where to seek the authority of the Security Council for more forceful forms of help.
Those who doubt that decisiveness in such matters can come from the G7 will argue that the world will be improved only by talks within the right forums -that for the G7 to concoct changes to the UN, IMF or GATT will demote and anger the other members of those broader clubs. Certainly that is one of several arguments against turning the G7 into a European-Community-like apparatus of supranational entity with a secretariat, meetings of every sort of minister and so forth (which is what the Group of Thirty, a Washington think-tank, is urging). But there is nothing wrong with western leaders sorting out their own differences over the world order, where they can, and then acting as one to persuade the rest of the world to change the bits of the order they dislike.
The strongest case in point is the GATT, whose Uruguay round is hamstrung by differences within the G7. Nothing would do more for the post-cold-war world than allowing all countries to trade their way towards the wealth which the G7 countries now enjoy. So if there is one criterion by which the outcome of the London summit should be judged, it is this: that the summiteers stop their sterile feud over farming from threatening the system that makes wealth-creating trade possible.
Alas, it is already clear that the preparations needed to ensure that outcome have not taken place. The leaders will be happy to leave the grey matter of trade to the communique writers; 'We urge an early, comprehensive agreement' or words to that effect. They said much the same in Houston last year. The least the summiteers should be allowed to get away with next week is a commitment to follow their exhortations through and intervene if the impasse remains.
The early G7 summits had a number of magic ingredients: intimacy; a clear economic task (no politics in front of the Japanese, please); and thorough preparation by sherpas more responsive to the summiteers than to civil-service hierachy. Indeed the summits were designed to override national bureaucrats. Those features faded. The economic task was discredited. Power will not stay by the fireside; there is not enough room there for television cameras. The civil servants have struck back, lining up their bosses in front of Traitors' Gate and making sure that the talks do not unsettle anything.
The leaders in London next week should remember the old days. Once again there is a clear job to do. Once again - particularly in the GATT - there is an obvious need to cut through obstacles erected by lesser ministers and officials. John Major's guests at the summit are the world's collective leadership, and they are not up there for the view.
WASHINGTON, July 9 /PRNewswire/ --
President George Bush was accused today of risking the independence of Slovenia, Croatia and the three Baltic states in pursuit of the "New World Order" he proclaimed during the Gulf War.
In a front-page editorial, the weekly Populist newspaper The Spotlight said these five countries would be the "first victims of the one-world plan" conceived by the Bilderberg and Trilateralist groups and supported by Bush.
The editorial pointed out that the paper had predicted "the word would go out from Baden-Baden," site of last month's secret meeting of the Bilderbergers reported exclusively in The Spotlight, to tell the people of the world that "one-worldism is good for them" even when it means oppressive Communist governments must be kept in power as in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.
Vincent Ryan, editor of The Spotlight, writes in a separate column in this week's edition that by denying "the freedom aspirations of the peoples of Slovenia and Croatia" the U.S. government is "continuing the foreign policy established by Woodrow Wilson and his internationalist allies" during and after World War I. (It was President Wilson who first proclaimed the "New World Order" in precisely the same words President Bush is now using.)
Both Spotlight commentaries took to task Jerry F. Hough of Duke University and the Brookings Institution for backing world government in a June 30 article published in The Los Angeles Times titled "Ethnic Self-Determination Doesn't Deserve Support." Ryan quoted Hough as calling for the "creation of a common European community that begins at Vladivostok and sweeps west to California" with "one billion of us living together in peace in a huge community with different languages and cultures."
Ryan said such a "community" would force America to "scrap our Constitution and cherished independence." He also wrote that the Bush administration is pushing on a parallel track toward world government by "moving fast on one big `free-trade' zone without boundaries from Canada and Mexico through all the rest of the Western Hemisphere." The United States, Ryan said, would be "submerged" in the world government envisioned by Bush, the Bilderberg and Trilateralist groups, and by their propagandists like Hough.
President Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III have been widely criticized in recent days for allegedly encouraging the central Communist government of Yugoslavia to send its army against Slovenia and threaten Croatia. (Baker said in Belgrade on June 21 that the United States would not recognize Slovenia and Croatia. A few days later the Communist army sent tanks and planes against Slovenia. Baker and Bush have since modified their previous stand but have offered no active support to Slovenia or Croatia.)
/CONTACT: Vince Ryan of The Spotlight, 202-546-5611/
WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire/ --
The first details of a secret meeting of the "Bilderberg Group" to put the cap on President Bush's promised "New World Order" were revealed today in the weekly Populist newspaper The Spotlight.
The Bilderbergers, parent organization of David Rockefeller's Trilateralists, laid plans for the culmination of their esoteric 37-year-old campaign to put real teeth in the United Nations at a conference held June 7-9 under tight security in the Black Forest resort of Baden-Baden, Germany.
"What the Bilderberg group intends is a global army at the disposal of the United Nations, which is to become the world government to which all nations will be subservient by the year 2000," writes Spotlight correspondent James P. Tucker Jr.
The press was barred from the Baden-Baden meeting, and a media check by Spotlight editor Vincent Ryan turned up only one newspaper, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, that reported the meeting was actually the Bilderberg group.Tucker, who has covered Bilderberg sessions from "outside the walls" for years, has developed sources within the organization, which is comprised of world leaders from finance, politics and academia.
Henry Kissinger was quoted by one of Tucker's sources as telling the Baden-Baden meeting of some 130 leaders, "A UN army must be able to act immediately, anywhere in the world, without the delays involved in each country making its own decision whether to participate, based on parochial considerations."
Kissinger and other speakers praised President Bush for his determined action in the recent Gulf War against Iraq and particularly for obtaining a UN mandate before laying the issue before Congress, The Spotlight story says. "The Persian Gulf venture has advanced the cause (of world government) by years," one speaker is quoted as saying.
However, several Bilderberg participants warned that another Saddam Hussein can rise to power in other countries and therefore plans should be made now for dealing with such a threat, possibly within the next five years, according to The Spotlight.
Significantly, Gen. Manfred Woerner, the German general secretary of NATO, flew to the Bilderberg meeting after the NATO leadership met with U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in Brussels.
In addition to planning future wars under UN auspices, the Bilderberg meeting also endorsed a Trilateralist recommendation for a UN tax of 10 cents per barrel of oil exported from the Persian Gulf to pay for future military actions, The Spotlight reports.
The Bilderbergers also, according to Tucker's sources, are opposed to the independence movements within the Soviet Union; in favor of the Mexican-U.S. free trade treaty; and supportive of creating a single currency for the whole Western Hemisphere modeled on the "ecu" which will come into being in Europe in 1993.
CONTACT: Vincent Ryan, editor of The Spotlight, 202-546-5611
A man who got through security at a conference of Western leaders last weekend and threatened to use a gun was only drunk, unarmed and looking for a short cut home, his attorney said Monday. Magistrates at Perth, Scotland, fined Martin McLaren $232 after he pleaded guilty to disorderly behavior, pretending he had a gun, threatening to shoot policemen and breach of the peace during the Bilderberg Conference.
Prosecutor John McLaughlin said McLaren, 49, ran off when he was spotted at 2 a.m. last Saturday on the grounds of the heavily guarded Gleneagles Hotel. He was tackled after he was found hiding in bushes and claimed he had a gun. Among notables at the private conference were British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Defense attorney Fergus Allan said McLaren was inebriated and had only a hazy recollection of what happened. Outside court, McLaren said, ''I realize now that I was lucky not to have been shot myself.''
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