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Friday, January 14, 2011

Splintering off states

This instability is the cartographic expression of an underlying geopolitical phenomenon afflicting much of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia: post-colonial entropy. Except for a few, rare cases, many of the colonies that gained their independence a half-century ago have since experienced unmanageable population growth, predatory and corrupt dictatorship, crumbling infrastructure and institutions, and ethnic or sectarian polarization.

Such a legitimate process has given cover to China to reorient its policy as well, balancing its staunch support for the regime of Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum with upgraded relations with the Southern government in Juba, which has in return promised to honor the China National Petroleum Corp.'s contracts. (Sixty percent of Sudan's oil exports currently go to China.)
A Palestinian woman holds aloft her national flag as she walks past Israeli soldiers during a protest against Israel's controversial separation barrier in the village of Bilin, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Dec. 31, 2010. Palestinian leaders have said they will seek U.N. recognition of their country within its 1967 borders, despite Israel's disputed claim to some of that territory.,6

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