Tag Archives: Middle East

Chinese official: Protests will ‘never happen’ in Beijing

March 06, 2011|From Jaime FlorCruz, CNN

A Beijing official blamed attempts to spark protests in China on people “harboring
illusions,” saying citizens will not take to the streets because they want stability.

“Certain people at home and abroad are using the internet to instigate illegal
gatherings in China and play the so-called street politics,” said Wang Hui,
director of the Information Office in Beijing. Continue reading


Arab autocrats incredulous as people revolt

By David Gardner in London

Published: April 3 2011 18:18 | Last updated: April 3 2011 18:18

Bashar al-Assad’s much-trailed presidential address to Syria last week was supposed to be about reform. Instead, he repeatedly conflated the protesters who have convulsed the nation with shadowy conspirators plotting to sow sectarian strife. It was a classic of the Arab strongman genre. Continue reading

Purging the Bad Guys: A How-To Guide

Why the post-Communist transitions of Eastern European governments
hold some surprising lessons for the fledgling democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.


If anyone can understand the rush of change that revolutionaries in Egypt and Tunisia are experiencing right now, it’s their counterparts in post-communist Eastern Europe. This region gorged on change, evolving — painfully — from dictatorship to democracy. After decapitating the leadership, East Europeans know what comes next. The purge.

It’s begun in Egypt and Tunisia, with a despised target in the crosshairs: secret police. Continue reading

Syria tests internet freedom theory

John D. Sutter
By John D. Sutter, CNN
March 30, 2011 — Updated 1936 GMT (0336 HKT) | Filed under: Innovation
Syria, now in political upheaval, had been going through an internet revolution before protests began.

(CNN) — In the wake of Egypt’s “Facebook revolution,” which was fueled in part by online social networks, much has been made about the role of technology in encouraging or even creating democracy.

“If you want to liberate a society, just give them the internet,” said Wael Ghonim, one of Egypt’s tech-savvy revolutionaries.

Syria, the latest country in the region to announce reforms in the wake of protests, is a curious test of that theory. Continue reading

President Bashar Assad blames conspiracies for Syria unrest, reasserts regime’s authority

Foreign conspiracies, media distortions and the hand of Israel are to blame for uprisings
in Syria, President Bashar Assad insists in a speech to the nation. He does not offer to repeal
the emergency law that has kept his regime in power since 1963 but says reforms are necessary
while offering no specifics.
By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times

7:35 AM PDT, March 30, 2011

Reporting from Cairo Continue reading

Syria Troops Open Fire On Protesters, Witnesses Say

DAMASCUS, Syria — Troops opened fire on protesters in cities across Syria and pro- and anti-government crowds clashed in the capital’s historic old city as one of the Mideast’s most repressive regimes sought to put down demonstrations that exploded nationwide Friday demanding reform. Continue reading

Top Qaddafi Aide Reaches out to US

Libya's Foreign Minister Musa Kusa speaks during a news conference at a hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli
Libya’s Foreign Minister Musa Kusa speaks during a news
conference at a hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli

Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa initiated a telephone call to assistant
Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, a senior State Department official directly
involved with the Libyan crisis. The call took place Sunday night. The contents
were unknown. This is not the first contact a top Qaddafi official has had with the
US Government since the US-European campaign began. Continue reading

Syria protests leave 15 killed

DARAA, Syria: Human rights activists said at least 15 people were killed Wednesday in
the volatile Syrian city of Daraa, the focal point of a week of anti-regime protests.

Activists and residents said security forces opened fire on protesters outside the Omari
mosque early Wednesday, after hundreds of people had gathered overnight to prevent
police from storming it, and that shooting had continued sporadically over the course of the day. Continue reading

Is China Next?

Will the protests that have swept the Middle East inspire a similar movement
in China, or is that country’s middle class more interested in the material than the political?


[CHINA inside]
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Surveys show that a majority of Chinese feel their lives have gotten better economically in recent years. Above, a worker at a construction site in Suining, China.

Over the course of three short months, popular uprisings have toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, sparked a civil war in Libya and created unrest in other parts of the Middle East. They also have raised a question in many people’s minds: Are all authoritarian regimes now threatened by this new democratic wave? In particular, is China, a rising superpower, vulnerable to these forces? Continue reading

If Unrest Hits Saudi Arabia, Oil May Jump To $200

Saudi Arabia flagSaudi Arabia might take a different approach at protests, unlike Saudi’s neighbors.

Despite concerns that hover over the finance industry, strong markets tend to remain calm. However, when it was hinted that unrest could reach Saudi Arabia, investors became worried. It is because any possibility of unrest hitting Saudi Arabia could spell major ruin. Continue reading