Albanian Federation versus New Yugoslavia
[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] T [/yt_dropcap]he Serbian Project for a New Yugoslavia, and Albania, must receive the response of Albanian political doctrine that should be understood as a defensive trench towards defending national interests.
On every network of crises in the European Continent and beyond, Southern Slavs, especially the Serbs, although they may have partially carried the blame of starting a war (as it was the case in World War I or in the recent conflicts that turned Yugoslavia into a closed chapter of the World’s history), they have proved to be among the main beneficiaries of these bloody conflicts.
Slovenia and Croatia have currently emerged as the most beneficiaries from the Former Yugoslav republics, during the disintegration process of Yugoslavia. Under the Yugoslav Federation, these two recently independent coutries have played a key role during the Cold War, however with the idea for a New Yugoslavia, including the Albanian question, Belgrade aspires to secure its lion’s share.
Ideas for a Balkanic Federation have appeared together with communism in the previous century “that originated from the Cold Weather” (Jean Paul Sartre), more specifically with Leninism in the beginning of the XX century. Meanwhile the idea for a Balkanic Federation appeared time after time under the denomination of a Greater Bulgaria or a Greater Serbia and always without including Albanians!?
However, the current initiative led by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner in charge of Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, with the aim of creating a common Balcanic market, based on the EU example, had its inception in the Paris Initiative. Parties through this agenda expressed their willingness to cooperate closely, without ignoring the creation of a new federation or a Balkanic confederation named as New Yugoslavia, which embodies pure geopolitical ambitions. Such an aspiration is dangerous, bizarre, and in its core, is an idea that has failed throughout history, as a result it seems to be a New Yugoslavia, without Slovenia and Croatia, a creation that was an offensive led by Serbian Fascism…
In one of my papers published two years ago (February 2015) I made a reference to the weight of geopolitical changes and their consequences to South East Europe. In this era of constant significant changes, I stated then, especially now when East and South East Europe are the ground of clashes between western concepts on modern statecraft and those of eastern governance that consists on a limited sovereignty (the theory of Brezhniev embraced today by President Vladimir Putin). As a result, the theory over a nation-state appears again in the platform as a structure that guarantees pertinent relations between the state and its citizens, as a result it affects freedom, peace and security.
There are many reasons, as a result such an observation that only in a nation state democracy is able to flourish in its ample meaning, it finds a breeding ground for its own genuine strengthening, at a present time when political mafia and criminal gangs have suffocated and engulfed the government of Kosovo at its worst conditions, after a biblical migration of its citizens, an act that nullifies the legitimacy of Prishtina’s current government, it even takes a greater and a more specific weight. In this current context, we may conclude that two long years are lost.
The Return of Geopolitics and Reconfigurations Inspired by Hegemony
The new wave of demonstrations that have surged from disappointed citizens, are returning in the region. In this thunderstorm created by a return of original geopolitics, open tendencies on the reconfiguration of Serbia as a hegemonic force in the region, were reflected within the failed coup that took place during the recent elections process in Montenegro.
The reaches of these tentacles are clearly seen in Macedonia and in Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina), in the case of the latter, such aspirations are even more visible.
What was happening at the brink of elections’ date in Serbia, gave you the impression of the Yalta conference results, that revived our memories of modern South Eastern European history, with the blessing of a few political centers with a special influence in the EU!
The meetings of Vučić in Berlin and Moscow, and his special gratitude addressed to President Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, only a day after the elections’ results, as if he knew the outcome of these elections, is another testimony of his close association with the two European Giants.
On March 27th, the Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, a presidential candidate in the recent elections, had visited Moscow and conducted a long meeting with President Putin. On April 2nd, he was elected as Serbia’s new President. On April 6th, he shared with the public his project for a New Yugoslavia, including Albanian territories.
It is sufficient to study such a political agenda of Vučić, to reach clear conclusions on the direction that is taken by regional geopolitics. Agreements for the Balkans and Serbia’s role in the new Geopolitics, is already an open secret, they are implemented with the consent of “the big brother.”
The opening of the Balkan’s gates towards Russia, and the agreement among several decision-making centers in Europe, connected with fierce reactions towards the creation of Kosovo’s Army, a shift from the Security Force of Kosovo, ought to be looked upon these secret agreements. Moreover, the recent actions of President Hashim Thaçi are a Déjà-vu of its own style.
Europe’s bet and Sen. John McCain III visit to the region
According to former Albanian Ambassador Shaban Murati, “under the unmotivated will of Serbia going towards the European Union and not towards Russia, some government leaders from EU member countries have placed their bet on President Vučić and they estimate that under his leadership Serbia must have a leadership role or play a key role in Western Balkans.”
In such a turmoil of polital events, on April 10th, John McCcain, one of the most influential US Senators arrived in Belgrade, meanwhile on April 13th he held a speech in the National Assembly of Kosovo and had a series of meetings with the leadership of Prishtina. Serbian main stream media made it clear that the main topics of discussions between Sen. McCain and Mr. Vučić, and their source of disagreement, was the foreign policy orientation of Serbia and its posture towards Kosovo.
It appears that the European bet on the US Senator was not as trustworthy as expected. Such a visit took place at a time when protests against Belgrade’s dictatorship, promoted by President-elect Vučić and his reactionary allies, were going on for weeks. The symptoms of a political awakening, respectively the events of a Velvet Revolution, almost similar to Ukraine, are venerated.
More specifically to avoid the attention of western diplomacy from these inner sub layers, the ideological apprentice of Slobodan Milošević, the one who is behaving as a J. B. Tito junior, is aiming to reestablish the old Yugoslavia, while this time including Albania, with aims to even surpass Tito’s model.
Such an attempt was made public on April 6th, in his first interview given to Politico, as Serbia’s President Elect. While at first site, it appears that it is nothing new, since similar ideas have been articulated on this part of the continent since the beginning of XX century, initially with progressive premises of national and social equality, and later they were always tailored to serve the Serbian hegemonic aspirations.
The idea of a Balkan Federation came all together with a slavic communism that “emerged from the Cold Weather” (Jean Paul Sartre). After the Second World War reappeared again as a greater Bulgaria and at times as a greater Serbia. At other times, it emerged as an idea that would include in it all orthodox communities of the Balkans in the concept of greater Bulgaria or greater Serbia. At a time when Bulgaria was ruled by Georgi Dimitrov, a communist leader, who included also Albanian issue on his plans.
Such an idea was avoided only with the break up of Yugoslavia from Stalin’s circle of influence and its descent towards western influences. But, the current initiative supported publicly by the EU commissioner Johannes Hahn and other EU leaders under a total secrecy, with the idea that the region must evolve into a common Balkanic market, to sort of imitate the EU example, regardless of the fact that the Balkan integration idea is fully based on the communist concepts for a Balkan Federation that had three options.
1.Greater Yugoslavia, the former Yugoslavia Republics respectively plus Albania; 2. Balkan Federation – Greater Yugoslavia with Bulgaria; 3. Expanded Balkan Federation – a Federation with Romania and Greece, and even a few versions of it that include Turkey, is acquiring support all the way to Brussels! Such circumstances are making it even more dangerous, not to say that they are shaped by a Byzantine mindset.
While being very naive and politically irrational, Serbian Prime Minister expressed these ideas in the US Newspaper (Politico), with exact terms as it really is, a New Yugoslavia, a restructured concept, without Slovenia and Croatia, but with the two Albanian Independent Republics, Albania and Kosovo that will replace the two Yugoslav original republics (Slovenia and Croatia), while making the two Albanian countries become vassals within a Serbian Hegemony.
From the Strategy of Brussels towards Albania, and especially after the War of Kosovo Liberation Army to secure the territorial liberation and independence of Kosovo, there can be identified two venues of European political action, that are erupting as a result of a domestic crisis within EU Institutions and from a clear absence of a political perspective within Brussels and European Commission: the first line is a project that would move with two speeds, while creating the European Core (Germany, France), that would be highly rigid, and would aim to consider its periphery as an addendum or a security belt and; the Second Europe, as an upcoming Federation of equal nations regardless of their population number, a product that derives from a liberal concept and a breath of liberal democracy that has proved to be very positive and been cultivated by Modern Europe.
The first scenario of Europe has a need for real alibis that would archive ongoing membership aspirations of South East European Nations into the books of ancient history. An example of this attitude is the atypical attitude of Brussels placed against the EU visa liberalization process of Kosovo that depends and consists in the solution of border demarcation line between Montenegro and Kosovo, and the latter continue to be held hostage as a result of these policies; indeed there is no other explanation.
There are voices articulating that this kind of Europe is tied with the boundaries that separate civilizations (according to the theory of Samuel P. Huntington on the Clash of Civilizations) East – West. Eurocentrists, as supporters of the first version of Europe, are consequently receiving a growing support from powerful waves of popularity, but also from Russian Federation that is significantly different from the XX Century, but doesn’t hide its aspirations to be installed in the Balkans through its injected influence in Macedonia and Serbia.
About this issue, we ought to review the project of New Yugoslavia plus Albania, it is an awakening of unique associations, considered as such especially among those who are experts of the political history of South East Europe.
Such a project would seriously ruin the Balkans and especially the future of Albanian nation, as it will aim to establish unnatural alliances, connected to Turkey and directed towards Asia! While situated under the pressures of such a crystal clear aim, a new geopolitical realignment, Albanians on both nations, known to be leaning towards the West, will never give up from their centuries old westward leaning civilization aspirations, they will not give up only because of the Eurocentrists’ typical frustration, wrapped by racism, that are viewing South East Europe from several vilified angles as being part of the ancient Ottoman Empire.
On the contrary, these two nations, Albanians, will continue to insist to be part of a political project focused on Eurointegration – EU – and naturally become a member of Euroatlantic Family. Moreover, if the project of New Yugoslavia is successful, Albanian nation will be stuck at the cross roads of this nature, a scenario that would make them similar to the Jewish model in the Middle East, making the two Albanian countries as the equivalent of Israel in South East Europe.
New Yugoslavia – a miniature empire of Tito
At the end of World War II Yugoslavia was serving for Tito as the core of a union between Trieste, Istria, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece. This was the reason why Tito was supporting the Greek Partisans in its Civil War. For as long as Stalin was satisfied with the fact that his influence was stretched throughout South East Europe. J. B. Tito was not satisfied with this accomplishment. He was laying the grounds of a Balkanic Federation, that would be as big as Great Britain and France altogether.
But this Project would experience its first cracks from the place where it was even less expected. Specifically, from Moscow after the approval of the Resolution of Inform Bureau, in 1948, when Tito was expelled from the rest of Eastern Block.
Joseph Stalin had its legitimate doubts on Tito, while establishing the political seat of Balkanic Federation in Belgrade, Tito would impose a full hegemony to the other half of the Balkans. Stalin was afraid that Tito would exert his complete influence not only in Albania and Greece but also in Bulgaria, while creating this way a powerful communist block in South East Europe, away from Moscow’s close control.
The dreams of slavic nationalists for an all slavic union “from Trieste to Varna” was appearing to be fading away from its implementation. However, Stalin was aspiring to have only Satellite States in Eastern Europe, and not a second communist center in Europe, as it begun to take shape under the guidance of Tito and Dimitrov. The greatest schism within the Communist World was taking shape. Yugoslavia was gradually leaving the Soviet sphere of influence. At that time, it was unclear on what were the motives of such a schism that was taking place. Rumors had it that there was a clash between the “Great Russian Imperialism” and the “Yugoslav nationalism.” It appears that among these two concepts that are shaped by modern geopolitics, Brussels has chosen a concept that keeps Russia away from the Balkans, even by paying the price of promoting Serbian Hegemony in such a New Yugoslavia!
It appears that some European officials that are supporting this project, have learned little from the political history of Europe. How integration and disintegration has worked within Slavic nations of South East Europe during the XIX and XX Centuries; it is simply a matter that is directly connected to the lack of tolerance. The dissolution process of Tito’s Yugoslavia and the Serbian Genocides in Bosnia (1991-1995) and in Kosovo (1995-1999) are a perfect testimony of such a brutal attitude.
Albanian political doctrine as a defense shield
Tirana and Prishtina, should respond, in a coordinated fashion and unequivocally to the geostrategic regional projects of Belgrade that are sponsored by Russia and even France; where the terminology of Western Balkans took its inception in 2000. Tirana and Prishtina must embrace proactive actions to swiftly shape reforms that benefit both independent countries that are fully inhabited by ethnic Albanians.
Some of the steps that must be taken right away are the following:
- Elimination of customs, the creation of a common Albanian market;
- Full integration of education and health policies;
- Begin the use of Albanian currency (Lek), as a second currency in Kosovo;
- Draft a common and mutual defense strategy.
However, while containing new measures, and in full coordination among Tirana and Prishtina, the Albanian Political Parties in Macedonia must also get appropriately involved.
These are some of the urgent steps, that would naturally shape the Albanian Federation. For those familiar with Albanian Political environment, demands of this nature appear to be simply a futuristic political move, overall idealistic. Obviously for a reason, especially knowing the quality of a political network that is dominating Albania’s and Kosovo’s governing landscape. Nonetheless, the positive pressure of intellectual opinion and a stimulus coming from healthy political factors, would generate a series of proactive energies for this aspiration to be on the launching pad.
For as long as in Northern Albania (the territory above Drini River) the Secret Services of Serbia and Russia, while coordinated with their regional traditional allies, were successful to install their trusted puppets at the helm of Kosovo’s Government, meanwhile they were somewhat successful to hold hostage General Ramush Haradinaj in France, and also continue to orchestrate all sorts of disinformation campaigns against the Self Movement Party (Levizja VeteVendosja), a political force that is rightfully viewed as the sole hope in Prishtina, without leaving aside the subversive and the anti-constitutional actions against the sovereignty of Kosovo, in other parts of Albania, there are plans to organize a Coup Detat or return back to the dark days of 1997!
The ties of foreign secret service agencies, through a resistance of corrupt politicians and with the support of regional mafia, are fighting to hinder from implementation a strategic project destined to strengthen the rule of law and the state of law, that would go through the Rubicon of the so-called Vetting, and as a result Albania would have a true governing set of institutions. If there is a crowd of people gathered on any of Tirana’s blocks, at a tent or outside of a tent, it is gathering without principles, however, it is a legitimate right and moral obligation towards the fatherland, to mobilize even the so called idealists wherever they are.
Idealists that continue to be worried in their own right, are convinced that Albanian political environment needs the development of a new way of thinking, respectively for a political doctrine as a source of defensive and containment shield, to enable the knowledge of global political tendencies, while retaining these tactics to the benefit of national interest.
If Anglo-Saxons after WWII were focused to shape such a method of political thinking, while taking into consideration aspects and geostrategic interests, meanwhile the French aside from their focus towards ascertaining their space of influence, have cultivated, through social and political sciences, philosophical and ideological components, Albanians in order to shape up their Albanian Federation project and expand their influence in the region, need an approach that combines the two ways of thought mentioned above, while adding to this the military concept of reasoning. Such a concept of Albanian Federation would bring more weight and raise its leverage as presented in the eyes of Albania’s geostrategic allies, especially the United States.
In this case, instead of sending refugees and citizens who migrate for economic reasons to Albania’s geopolitical alliance (NATO) and Western European nations, because the current Government of Tirana has failed to bring a sustainable growth of its micro-economic levels, we would be giving them well equipped soldiers and generals.
At the present, Albanian Federation must be viewed, after the publication of the project of President Elect Aleksandar Vučić, as an urgent measure and as a viable option versus New Yugoslavia. Albanian Federation will and should be implemented by Albanians, united together with idealists, these are the final words of our founding fathers and the desire of those who will cherish Albanian lands in the upcoming centuries.
Translated from Albanian language: Peter M. Tase
Building bridges between Ukrainian and EU researchers
With its eye on the eventual reconstruction of Ukraine, Europe is helping academics from the country get their lives back on track.
By Andrew Dunne
Regis Nibaruta remembers the night of 24 February 2022 like no other. After months of speculation about rising tensions with Russia, at 3am his phone rang. It was a fellow electrical engineer also based at the Dnipro National University of Railway Transport in Ukraine and part of the same EU training programme.
‘Have you seen the news?’ the colleague asked. ‘We’re under attack.’
Rush to safety
Before long, with the industrial city of Dnipro a target of heavy Russian bombardment, reality dawned.
‘We were terrified,’ Nibaruta said. ‘I didn’t know what to do or where to go, but I knew I had to get away.’
The war started on a Thursday. By Saturday, with just his passport and laptop as luggage, he was at the Dnipro railway station along with thousands of others hoping to board a train to reach the border.
Roll forward 12 months and 35-year-old Nibaruta, originally from Burundi, is safe, settled and reunited with European colleagues at the University of Twente in the Netherlands that helped to orchestrate his escape. There he’s conducting research that could improve future net-zero transport systems and one day be instrumental in rebuilding Ukraine’s own infrastructure too.
The EU-funded project that he is a part of is called the European Training network in collaboration with Ukraine for electrical Transport, or ETUT. The initiative brings together three universities: Twente, Dnipro and Nottingham in the UK. Led by Professors Frank Leferink and Gert Rietveld, both electrical-engineering specialists, it aims to harness expertise in power electronics and electromagnetic compatibility.
‘The main engineering challenge in the development of a more sustainable, greener electrical transport system lies in the development of compact, highly-efficient and safe electrical power systems that deliver the necessary energy to charge electric vehicles or supply trains,’ said Rietveld.
Through ETUT, which is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme, the team is developing new ways to meet these power demands.
One is through the development of electronics that allow energy to flow in both directions, a feature that could become a key component in electric trains.
When a train brakes, it creates heat and ordinarily this energy is lost. With this new ‘‘bi-directional’’ approach, braking energy can be recovered and fed back into the power grid, increasing capacity. Some of the first bi-directional railway supply systems are currently being installed and tested in Europe.
In other ways too ETUT is enabling new collaborations.
Nibaruta shares an office with 31-year-old Ivan Struzho, who is originally from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol now occupied by Russia but who was already in the Netherlands when the war broke out.
Whereas Nibaruta’s research focuses on improving battery technologies, Struzho’s looks at electromagnetic interference. Together, the two are exploring how to help reduce the electrical ‘‘disturbances’’ that can be caused by power systems and lead to equipment failure or accidents.
The project’s main goal, however, is to train and inspire the next generation of electronic engineers to develop the transport technologies needed for a zero-carbon world. Even though some of the team including Nibaruta have left Ukraine, the Dnipro National University of Railway Transport is still an active partner in ETUT.
Professor Vladimir Havryliuk, head of department at the university, supervises the project’s work remotely. For him, ETUT has provided a lifeline during these past 12 months in enabling research to continue.
‘The project allows me to maintain my activity in the field and has been a powerful motivational incentive for all university staff and students as it opens up new horizons in study and further work,’ he said.
Awards and returns
Another major initiative improving links between the Ukrainian and EU research communities is the MSCA4Ukraine project to help displaced researchers from Ukraine.
On the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the European Commission announced that MSCA4Ukraine – with a budget of €25 million – would help more than 120 Ukrainian academics pursue their work in safety over the next two years.
The researchers, whose fields include life sciences, chemistry, engineering and humanities, are hosted by organisations across Europe and supported in their research until they can return home.
The project is being implemented by Scholars at Risk Europe (SAR Europe), based at Maynooth University in Ireland, in partnership with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany and the European University Association. SAR Europe Director Sinead O’Gorman says it will have a significant impact in building bridges among researchers and bring long-term benefits for the EU and Ukraine.
Focus is also on helping the Ukrainian researchers maintain connections with colleagues and institutions in Ukraine. In particular, researchers will have the option to undertake a secondment to an institution in Ukraine when it is safe to do so.
‘Our hope is that, by including these kinds of measures and linkages, the scheme will help researchers re-establish themselves more easily in Ukraine when the time comes,’ said O’Gorman. ‘This will contribute to the scheme’s wider goal of sustaining the Ukrainian academic and research sector in the face of the Russian Federation’s invasion and preventing permanent ‘‘brain drain’’.’
For both MSCA4Ukraine and ETUT, the idea is that supporting Ukrainian researchers now will ensure academic work advances and enable many to return to Ukraine one day to put their skills to use in rebuilding the war-torn country.
Struzho, who is still in regular contact with family that has remained in Mariupol, expresses hope.
‘My city has been destroyed,’ he said. ‘If this project could help in the rebuilding of Ukraine’s infrastructure in the future, that would be very good. I really hope I can use my knowledge to contribute in some part.’
Taiwan and the Czech Republic are not David, but Don Quixote
In January, Czech Republic President-elect Petr Pavel, spoke on the phone with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. In Europe, this is an unprecedented political risk, as it is bound to anger China. Soon after, Markéta Pekarová Adamová ，the speaker of Czech’s chamber of deputies who publicly stated that she will lead a large business delegation to Taiwan and South Korea, and may meet with Taiwanese dignitaries from 3/25-3/28, and follow the example of Czech president of the senate Miloš Vystrčil’s visit to Taiwan in 2020 to address the Taiwanese Legislature.
The new Czech President and the speaker of Czech’s chamber of deputies have both expressed a very different foreign policy from the previous administration by strengthening their engagement with Taiwan, leaving behind realist diplomacy and replacing it with value-based diplomacy. A similar European case was Lithuania.
Pavel said he “hope to have the opportunity to meet President Tsai in person in the future”(1), Adamová said the chamber of deputies “systematic support of partners who respect human rights and the principles of liberal democracy belongs among priorities of our parliamentary diplomacy”(2).In response to China’s protests, Adamová blatantly stated that “We don’t want anyone to tell us where to go. Be it China or other people”(3).
Former Czech prime minister Mirek Topolánek also published a tweet ,even more bluntly saying that “We believe Taiwan will never be China’s.”(4)
Some public opinion interpreted this as an opportunity for the Czech Republic and Taiwan to show their defiance for China , and some public opinion said that “China is losing Europe’s east to Taiwan“, Some public opinion even quoted a biblical story describing this as a prototype of “democratic David against autocratic Goliath archetype”.
Well,the people of Taiwan have heard too many similar Aria in recent years, but the truth is , beautiful diplomatic rhetoric is always been accompanied by the haze of war , and Taiwan’s diplomatic position has never advanced a step forward. No country that claims to “support Taiwan” is willing to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan or give Taiwan official recognition of a sovereign and independent state.
Talk is cheap.
Using the story of David and Goliath to position themselves as the righteous underdog is a Western-style religious sentiment,The truth is, the people of Taiwan have never felt oppressed and bullied by China, On the contrary, China is more than willing to share the development dividends with the Taiwanese and promote Taiwan’s economic development.
Although Taiwan’s ruling party regards such sharing as “improper buying with bad intentions” ,it has not blocked economic and trade exchanges between Taiwan and mainland China, It is clear that actions do not match words.
The evidence is that Taiwan’s exports to China account for more than 40 percent of total exports, that trade dependence is increasing every year, And even though the current administration is accustomed to fomenting anti-Chinese sentiment, it has never stopped asking for economic and trade favors from China.
It is true that the Chinese military has never stopped its exercises around Taiwan, but the people of Taiwan have never felt the pressure of security since 1996.It was only when U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, stimulating an unprecedented military response from China, and when the U.S. aggressively armed Taiwan, causing the Taiwanese to realize the imminence of war.
President Tsai Ing-wen is to blame for Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, she was wrong when she assessed that inviting Pelosi to Taiwan was not a provocation to China. The evidence is that the new U.S. House Speaker McCarthy has hinted that he will visit Taiwan this year, but Tsai did not dare to invite him. Instead, the compromise is that Tsai Ing-wen stops in the United States, visits California and meets with McCarthy(5) to avoid affecting Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election.
In the Bible, it is not David who provokes Goliath, but the opposite.so it is a false analogy to use this story to describe the relationship between Taiwan and China, or the relationship between the Czech Republic and China.
A more similar story is that of Don Quixote and the Windmill, Taiwan and the Czech Republic fighting against an enemy they fabricated themselves.
Has distant China ever oppressed the Czech Republic? Please give one example, one is fine.
We have heard some news from Eastern Europe that the Czech Republic is complaining that China is not fulfilling its commitment to invest heavily in the Czech Republic, this can only be described as a breach of trust, not oppression.
Adamová claims that Taiwan’s investment in the Czech Republic is 14 to 16 times higher than China’s(6), However, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan, as of May 2022, Taiwan’s investment in the Czech Republic was US$160 million(7), according to the Ministry of Commerce of China, Chinese investment in the Czech Republic had reached US$1.2 billion by the end of 2020.(8)
The opposite is true, isn’t it? For what reason does Adamová see the windmills as giants and the sheep as an army?
We know that Adamová cares about human rights issues, but isn’t it a form of oppression to force Western values into the East when there is such a gap between Western and Eastern cultures? Has China ever criticized the West with its own values? Please give one example, one is fine.
Second, does Adamová know that liberal democracy in Taiwan is a formality? What’s more, the current Taiwan government has been in power for nearly seven years and it has caused Taiwan’s democracy to regress?
Will the Czech government forcibly shut down a TV news outlet? Will the Czech government buy most of the media as an official mouthpiece? Will the Czech government spend public funds to support cyber soldier to suppress dissent? Is the Czech judiciary like a servant of the government? Is the Czech president not subject to parliamentary oversight at all? Is the Czech judiciary a servant of the government? Is the Czech president completely exempt from parliamentary oversight? Did the Czech president refuse media interviews for two years? Does the majority party in the Czech parliament only taking orders from the President?
The above are the “political achievements” of Taiwan’s current government, of which Adamová may not be aware, or may be aware but tacitly acknowledges . For the people of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen’s government is far from a democratic government in the strict sense.
If Adamová knows the current Taiwan government well, is this trip value diplomacy or realism diplomacy? We have to suspect that this trip is just a political statement to please the United States.
After the formation of the new governmen, Czech public opinion is lambasting former President Milos Zeman for dividing Czech society. If a divided society represents a regression in democracy and populist rule of the country, then Tsai Ing-wen is a political leader who has divided Taiwan society, and her party, the DPP, is a populist party. Tsai Ing-wen’s government is a government with poor internal governance and brings the haze of war to the people.
Can anyone imagine a democratic government would do everything possible to refuse to introduce internationally recognized vaccines in order to support immature local vaccines, regardless of the lives of its people? This is one of the main reasons why the DPP lost the 2022 local elections.
Blaming “Goliath” for everything cannot cover up the failure of governance.
Taiwan welcomes all economic and trade cooperation, which is beneficial to both peoples, but please do not use economic and trade cooperation as a shortcut to smuggle in anti-Chinese political performances, which will only harm the interests of both peoples.
The Czech Republic may have its own reasons to alienate and despise China, but if they dare not establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, or even recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty officially, then Czech should not use Taiwan to irritate China. Although there is a sovereignty dispute between Beijing and Taipei, most people in Taiwan want to put the dispute aside and maintain a friendly relationship with Beijing.
There is no David, only Don Quixote. In East Asia, there is no “Goliath”, China is just a windmill.
Governing The Digital Optimism
“Diplomacy does not exist in a vacuum. It is both shaped by and shapes the broader societal context” (Kurbalija, 2023).
In February 2023, the summit of Swiss University University experts, students and staff assembled in awe and wander. The theme digital diplomacy is broad, especially in the marvellous surroundings of a 14-century old castle on the riverbank Rhone, where our university is located, mind can wander. Under the concept and moderation of prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic, we experienced a great lecture of Jovan Kurbalija, Ph.D, who is the founding director of DiploFoundation and the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. As former diplomat, he has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. We opened many interesting topics, starting to understand the role of diplomatic environment and context in digital axial age.
Context, socio-cultural, economic, and political backgrounds of historical intercorrelations, sounds as a password for Enigma decryption.
Whilst each epoch has its defining technology determining economic, social, and political success, in today’s times we witness the omnipotent reality of cyber digital realms.
They are full of wonder, puzzle, and unknowingness.
This is precisely the reason why historical, philosophical, and cultural contexts are important for the future diplomacy in digital age. The environment in which diplomacy is ingrained is the heir of history, philosophy, culture, and technology intertwined developments. Latest have burst into digital transformation, triggering new questions on “social contract” and common sese of the world.
In the wake of pandemic, we were faced to reshape, rethink, and readjust the old patterns and immerging new cyber paradigms. Daily challenged with new versions of old paradigms, new shifts in defining what we take as universal fact, is a token of unimaginable mutations. We live in the flux world, liquid facts, and quantum realities; now is yesterday and tomorrow is a moment before.
“We live in a time where we need to confront new paradigms, ask challenging questions and view issues from multiple perspectives” (Kurbalija, 2023).
If the context is altered daily, social landscape is requesting new deal. This is the reason why we have no other choice than to step back and reflect on the future of humanity. We need to ask ourselves what defines us as human race? What defines AI as a tool for progress and a tool for growth? Where are common ethical algorithms and standards we ought to manage our actions and lives accordingly?
A new social deal, social contract, and the right to choose
Social contracts as societal answers to core dilemmas are negotiated and transmitted. Essential question in society is dyad between individual and societal, between choosing and accepting etc. The right to choose is essential for well-being, opening potentials and balanced social development.
“Even when choices are limited by circumstances, the very possibility of having a choice is vital for human dignity, freedom, and societal progress” (Kurbalija, 2023).
Remember, there was a strong assumption that the Internet provides more choices in social, political, and economic decisions, what has been soon increasingly challenged. All depend on the social and overall life skills of users and their goals and interests.
Choice is essential for economic development as well for free market economy. In theory, it enables the talent, creativity, energy and supports potentials of active agents, playing rational roles underlined with pragmatic dictions. All “choice theories” do focus on overall estimation what is essential to achieve optimum standard in life. The term “choice theory” is the work of William Glasser, author of the book so named, and is the culmination of some 50 years of theory and practice in psychology and counselling. His innovations for individual counselling, work environments and school, highlight personal choice, personal responsibility, and personal transformation. Glasser positioned himself in opposition to conventional mainstream psychiatrists, who focus instead on classifying psychiatric syndromes as “illnesses” and prescribe psychotropic medications to treat mental disorders. Choice theory posits behaviours we choose as central to our existence. Our behaviours (choices) are driven by five genetically driven needs in hierarchical order: survival and love, power, freedom, and fun. The most basic human needs are survival (physical component) and love (mental component). Without physical (nurturing) and emotional (love), an infant will not survive to attain power, freedom, and fun.
Hence, tyranny of choice is a reality encapsulated in postmodern and digital era. Choice involves risk. Thus, a possibility of choice may turn into a nightmare of choosing: we often need help, as observed in thriving businesses, from life coaches to fortune tellers of all kinds. Regardless to whom we delegate our right to choose, we are not free from choosing neither from consequences of our picks.
And, with choices we encounter dilemma of pro or contra digital. Progress, technology, and modernity are intertwined concepts. Most digitalisation narratives are centred around techno-optimism and techno-pessimism. Techno-optimism usually focuses on the power and capabilities of digital technologies. These ‘blue sky’ narratives focus on how digital technologies help individuals and society. Often, techno-optimism narratives focus on medical uses. Techno-pessimism focuses on technology which can ‘extinguish’ the Enlightenment flame. Techno-pessimism has gained momentum with the risks that AI creates for human agency and freedom. This narrative builds on a dystopian tradition in literature that includes books such as ‘Brave New World’ (Huxley) and ‘1984’ (Orwell).
“The Gartner hype cycle substantiates techno optimism vs. pessimism dynamics by following the different phases of a technology’s lifecycle: from the technology trigger, via its peak of inflated expectations, to disillusionment and, ultimately, the plateau of productivity. New technologies can easily trigger hype and even some ‘magic’. While this ‘irrational’ aspect of technology can inspire, it can also be used for manipulation. Blockchain technology is one example of the hype cycle. A few years ago, blockchain was considered a silver bullet to many societal problems. In the naivest views, blockchain was supposed to ‘automate’ human trust. With time distance, blockchain cannot deliver on initially inflated expectations” (Kurbalija, 2023).
Clear judgement and healthy realism should not kill the enthusiasm and the magic around technology. A bit of magic and utopia could be inspirational. Still, this is also a very fertile ground for manipulation.
“Progress is about the continuous advancement of human conditions. Progress is powered by science and technology. For a long time, the idea of progress has been ‘given’” (Kurbalija, 2023).
But progress excludes the idea of growth, which is non-linear, with no specific forms but simple premises: growth includes downfalls, deepness one’s estimations and reflects obvious and scarce events we are witnessing. However, over the last few decades, especially after 9/11, the rosy glasses on the future of humanity became unknown. And yes, we are constantly news doom-scrolling, doubting on shinny furniture outlook realities, questioning benevolent forecasts as wishful thinking.
We have acknowledged that digital policy deeply matters. The root of digital age is axial age, were first transcendence was made; now we live in digital axial age. Major religions today, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism can trace their origins in axial age. Through the Enlightenment when rationality became the key pillar of societal thinking and with ‘Vienna thinkers’ who gave the last touches (so far) to modern thinking, we can more openly understand our modus operandi and cognitive pillars of humanity in contemporary digital axial age.
Who is on the winning side?
“Blue banana geopolitics” was developed by a French geopolitician to explain the core economic and political axis of European geopolitics. The banana may shorten after Brexit. As the map shows, digital follows a traditional blue banana geopolitics. Most of the key communication channels go from northern Italy via Switzerland to Germany (Basel/Zurich – Frankfurt digital axis) and after that to the Netherlands and UK.
“In the last few centuries, modernity and humanity have been reinforcing each other. Advances in science and technology have helped to the emancipation of millions worldwide “(Kurbalija, 2023).
Certainly today we are witnessing one underlying tension of our era, that is partition of modernity (digital world) and humanity (new social contract). ‘Ultra’ modernity via AI reduces the space for human agency and, ultimately, our natural rights to make personal, political, and economic choices.
If Ai is studying us, through social scooring, social media, apps, and other biotech tools, provides us with desires and states and decisions, what is there to remain uninhabited by AI?
“Tech companies do not charge users for the use of internet services; rather, they generate their income from selling information about users to advertisers, or in the words of Zysman and Kenney (2014) by ‘delivering its users to advertisers’. In this new business model, user data is the core economic resource. When searching for information and while interacting on the internet, users generate significant amounts of data, including personal data. This is their electronic footprint” (Kurbalija, 2023).
Generally, there are three main shapers of digitalisation and society: economics, ethics, and governance. States have a limited capacity to influence online internet activities in their territory. The intangible nature of internet services makes it difficult for states, among other functions, to coordinate economic policy, collect taxes, or impose customs controls. Many communities worldwide have been effectively digitally marginalised – the wisdom of ‘forgotten’ cultures and communities is in danger.
More, global geopolitics and geoeconomics are being shaped by the fast-growing economic power of tech companies. As an illustration of this shift, the market capitalisation of Apple is higher than the annual GDP of the entire African continent.
“This growing economic power of tech companies is impacting and will continue to impact digital governance and policy processes. Apple Market capitalisation at the end of 2021 US$ 3.1 trillion Africa GDP of the entire African continent in 2019 US$ 2.4 trillion” (Kurbalija, 2023).
Consequential, ethical questions are battling the scopeof academic and policy debates. Not just carbon, electronic footprint, moral and ethical are in the core of our concerns, not just regarding ethics, fairness, justice, transparency, and accountability. One of a great peril is a risk of discrimination and bias decisions made by AI systems. Researchers are carefully exploring mentioned ethical challenges posed by AI.
Over the past few years, there has been significant progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), (from intelligent digital personal assistants and smart home devices to autonomous vehicles, smart buildings, and medical robots), entering all the pores of intimate and inherent human experience. Implications on economic, societal, educative, political, and overall anthropological, is unimaginable.
Microsoft has crossed this Rubicon in global digital politics by proposing a Digital Geneva Convention which should ‘commit governments to avoid cyber-attacks that target the private sector or critical infrastructure or, the use of hacking to steal intellectual property’.
The unthinkable has become almost inevitable (Kurbalija, 2023).
In the search for a more secure and stable Internet, global Internet companies need to work with governments. Any major fragmentation and disruption of the Internet would affect the core business model of Internet companies, based on global access to data. Governments are gaining more cyber-power, ranging from security to censorship and taxation.
 The Axial Age, coined by German philosopher Karl Jaspers, is a period from roughly the 8th to 3rd century BCE that signified a cultural shift in the major Eurasian civilizations of China, India, Persia and the Mediterranean toward the modern era. Notable philosophers and prophets such as Socrates, Confucius, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Pythagoras, Lao Tse, and the Hebrew prophets all arose in this period, according to “The Great Transformation: The beginning of our religious traditions,” by Karen Armstrong.
 The Blue Banana (also known as the European Megalopolis or the Liverpool–Milan Axis) is a discontinuous corridor of urbanization in Western and Central Europe, with a population of around 100 million. The conceptualisation of the area as a “Blue Banana” was developed in 1989 by RECLUS, a group of French geographers managed by Roger Brunet. It stretches approximately from North West England through the English Midlands across Greater London to the European Metropolis of Lille, the Benelux states with the Dutch Randstad and Brussels and along the German Rhineland, Southern Germany, Alsace-Moselle in France in the west and Switzerland (Basel and Zürich) to Northern Italy (Milan, Turin, and Genoa) in the south.
Is the Western Moral Triumph still possible? Of Jeffrey Sachs and Edges of Globalization
“It feels like I imagine 1912 to feel” stated US Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs during an extraordinary zoom conference on...
Cell death, a life-giving event, can also trigger severe disease
When the body machinery that kills off hundreds of millions of cells a day fails, inflammation and sickness are often...
The American Thinker: “A prestige and perceptions of US power have dramatically crashed”
The shocking announcement that China had brought together bitter rivals Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic relations...
Israeli-Palestinian tensions resemble ‘Intifada’ on the brink of a ‘color revolution’ in Israel
Bill Burns says his meetings with leaders during last week’s trip to the region left him more concerned about prospect...
U.S. paranoid about Russia-China summit
The arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Vladimir Putin can only be seen as a publicity stunt...
Bloomberg: The consequences of yuan’s internationalization
The conventional wisdom on financial markets holds that as long as China declines to make the yuan fully convertible, it...
Air Balloon and U.S.-China Relations
The story of the Chinese Automatic Drifting Balloon (ADB) violating the U.S. airspace in late January–early February 2023 will be...
Finance3 days ago
NYP: The US dollar has become an at-risk currency
Energy3 days ago
The Maneuvering Of Gas Commodities As Securitization Of Russia’s Geopolitical Position
Africa4 days ago
How Russia’s Sputnik Disappears from Africa’s Radar
East Asia4 days ago
China’s “Two Sessions” and the return of one-man rule
Southeast Asia3 days ago
Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship 2023 plays a pivotal roles on ASEAN Power Grid repercussions
Economy4 days ago
Building Bridges for Economic Integration: Pakistan’s Regional Cooperation Agenda
Middle East4 days ago
Saudi Iranian détente potentially sparks paradigm shifts
Defense3 days ago
Indian Conventional and Strategic Arms Buildup: Implications for Pakistan