Daily Archives: May 23, 2011

Gideon Rachman

There has been quite a lot of cynical yapping about President Obama’s visit to Ireland today. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that there may be an element of electoral calculation in a trip to Europe that takes in both Ireland and Poland.

Whatever the real truth, there is no doubt that Irish-Americans have shot to prominence in recent months in the White House. Following the reshuffle of top positions, many of the key positions are now occupied by people with ancestral links to the Emerald Isle. 

Gideon Rachman

The story in the FT this morning that China has been asked by Pakistan to build a naval base at its south-western port of Gwadar has raised a few eyebrows in foreign ministries in Asia, the US and Europe. If the Chinese were to accept the invitation and to go ahead, it would be a huge departure for Chinese foreign policy – their first overseas naval base. As one western official notes drily – “That’s not what you would call hiding your capabilities and biding your time.” (A reference to Deng Xiaoping’s famous advice to Chinese policymakers).