DipNote: The Week in Review

October 30, 2011
Diwali Fireworks in India October 26, 2011

Last week, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined World Food Program USA in honoring Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates for their contributions to reducing global hunger. Today, we starkly see the challenges of famine and malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, where 13.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. To raise awareness of this crisis, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched public awareness videos featuring Dr. Jill Biden, Uma Thurman, Josh Hartnett, Geena Davis, and Chanel Iman.

The United States is committed to advancing food security and finding sustainable, long-term solutions to global hunger through the Feed the Future Initiative. Food security, the availability of and access to food, contributes to national security and stability. As Vice President Biden explained, "Investments made to ward off food insecurity and prevent its recurrence can prevent the vicious cycles of rising extremism, armed conflict, and state failure that can require far larger commitments of resources down the road."

In other news, Secretary Clinton joined President Barack Obama in congratulating the people of Tunisia on their first-ever democratic elections, held on October 23, 2011. Secretary Clinton said that the vote was “a historic milestone on Tunisia's path from autocratic dictatorship to a government that respects the will of the people. We encourage the Constituent Assembly to operate in a transparent and inclusive manner as they undertake this new democratic responsibility and fulfill the Tunisian people's aspirations for accountability, wider economic opportunity and respect for universal human rights."

In Washington, Secretary Clinton spoke about Afghanistan and Pakistan before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and met with Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lambrinidis discussed a variety of bilateral and multilateral issues, including the European economic crisis.

Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer held a broad-ranging discussion with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker last week at the Department of State. Their conversation followed the UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris, where two U.S. representatives worked with 245 youths from over 100 countries to identify opportunities to empower young people.

Meanwhile, UN Disarmament Fellows -- young diplomats from member states -- completed their final workshop in New York, where they observed the United Nations General Assembly address the issue of nuclear disarmament. These were fitting activities for the week the world observes UN Day, celebrated every October 24 to mark the date the UN Charter entered into force in 1945.

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles A. Ray spotlighted the importance of reaching out to young people while also demonstrating that social networking isn't just reserved for them. Ambassador Ray -- who has served in the U.S. government for nearly five decades -- engages in daily chats with young Zimbabweans on his Facebook page.

Ambassador Raul Yzaguirre is building relationships between the people of the United States and the Dominican Republic through the Global Diaspora Initiative, while Ambassador Nicole Avant is connecting Americans and Bahamians through The Bahamas' vibrant art scene.

"Vibrant" is an adjective one might use to describe the fireworks of Diwali, the festival of lights. This year, Diwali fell on October 26, and our colleagues at U.S. Embassy New Delhi joined with their Indian coworkers to celebrate the holiday and promote friendship.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the United States and China continued to strengthen people-to-people ties and sub-national economic cooperation through the Governors Forum. In Japan, Deputy Secretary William Burns reaffirmed the enduring value of the U.S.-Japan alliance and underscored the truly global partnership shared by our two countries.

On behalf of everyone here at DipNote, I thank our readers for their comments and feedback. We look forward to hearing from you in the week ahead!

Comments

Comments

Arun J.
|
Nepal
November 1, 2011

Arun J. in Nepal writes:

each and every cracling sound was irritating and completely waste of money. i wonder why that kind of act is so much entertaining. just thinking how it likes to be if it was war. amount spent on such stuff can provide food for many many hungry people. Anyway it is how people likes, free will. people must change there way of celebrating the festival.

carried67
November 1, 2011

W.W. writes:

Happy Gagaween

forex s.
November 1, 2011

F.S. writes:

Such informative web site! Large thanks! Thanks for a good time visiting your site. It is really a pleasure understanding a web site like this filled with nice information. Thanks!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 1, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Hannah Johnson,

If there's any gap in Dipnote's reporting what went on last week, I would have to call your attention to this as a significant policy statement that didn't get nearly the attention it deserved.

"http://video.state.gov/en/top-stories/video/1242159513001/us-policy-towa..."

-aired on October 26, 2011

Best,

EJ

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
November 4, 2011

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Date of Incident April 2001

Republic of China (PRC) involved a collision over the South China Sea between a U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane and a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) naval F-8 fighter that crashed. After surviving the near-fatal accident, the U.S. crew made an emergency landing of their damaged plane onto the PLA’s Lingshui airfield on Hainan Island, and the PRC detained the 24 crew members for 11 days. Washington and Beijing disagreed over the cause of the accident, the release of the crew and plane, whether Washington would “apologize,” and the PRC’s right to inspect the EP-3. In the longer term, the incident has implications for the right of U.S. and othernations’ aircraft to fly in international airspace near China. (This CRS Report, first issued on April 20, 2001, includes an update on the later EP-3 recovery.)

The incident prompted assessments about PRC leaders, their hardline position,and their claims. While some speculated about PLA dominance, President and Central Military Commission Chairman Jiang Zemin and his diplomats were in the lead, while PLA leaders followed in stance with no more inflammatory rhetoric. Still, the PLA is likely to benefit from this incident. Despite PRC claims that the EP-3 plane caused the accident, it appears that the PLA pilot, executing a close pass in an apparent attempt to impress or intimidate the EP-3 crew, made a fatal error in judgment. International law is clear that all aircraft have a right of overflight with respect to ocean areas beyond the territorial sea (past 12 miles out).

There are implications for U.S. policy toward the PRC and Taiwan, and defense policy. This incident of April 2001 is the third in a series of major troubling difficulties since the mid-1990s that could have serious implications for U.S.-PRC
relations. The standoff raised questions about whether the issues of the incident and arms sales to Taiwan should be linked and whether to change the process of annual arms sales talks with Taipei. A further worsening of political ties could negatively affect the business climate in China for U.S. firms and disrupt negotiations over China’s WTO accession. Airborne reconnaissance remains a vital component of intelligence collection for military and other national security purposes. Observers speculate that the chief benefit to the PRC from inspecting the EP-3 would be to gather information about U.S. targets and degree of success that could enable them to prepare countermeasures to hinder future U.S. surveillance efforts. The incident has potential implications for U.S. military surveillance operations in at least fourareas: operational strain on the EP-3 fleet, conditions for conducting airborne surveillance missions in the future, the need for escorts or other protective forces, and using unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for airborne surveillance missions.

"Here is my theory, after the Peoples Republic of China was embarrassed from this ordeal. There close relationship with Pakistan/Osama bin laden back then may have made the plot against our Nation using foreign Nations. Shortly after in September, 11th, 2001 we had one of the biggest terrorist attack on our soil. April - September only 5 months after this happened. While your thinking China is your friend, just look at the close relationship they have with the Pakistan Intelligence!" I think smarter people than myself can investigate this possiblity. Its not that difficult to connect the dots. China would stand to make big profits of arms sales if we went to war!

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