Thursday, July 25, 2024 | 23:51 WIB

Chinese spy balloon in US airspace

J. Soedradjad Djiwandono
J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, and Adjunct Professor of International Economics, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

For other countries, they could only hope that the incident will not impede either side in their effort at rapprochement, encouraging them to sit down and negotiate on what is necessary for improved relations between the two superpowers, avoiding any increase in global tensions; even better, they might augment stability and upgrade relations for each country, in their effort to concentrate on enhancing the economy and social wellbeing of their citizens. 

Am I dreaming? Well, dreaming a beautiful dream is better than doing nothing, right? Remember Dr Martin Luther King: his “I have a dream” could move millions of people to fight peacefully against racism, and secure voting rights for everybody in the US, which ultimately happened. 

Meanwhile, other countries must also work hard to maintain their respective domestic stability. The UK Government, under PM Rishi Sunak, must face waves of strikes by teachers, nurses and drivers of public transportation for better pay. France President Macron must calm down labor union protesters, rising up against the Government plan to extend the pension age by 2 years, from 62 to 64. I must admit that I am not very clear as to what the argument from each side was. It is just a bit strange, if indeed the issue is only for lengthening pension age by two years. But I do not know for sure, what are the real issues. 

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, in the US aside from the fight between Republican and Democrat Congressman and women for Committee assignments, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has succeeded in voting out Congresswoman Ilham Omar from Minnesota from her seat on the powerful Committee of Foreign Relations. She is a refugee from Somalia who successfully reached that level, to become a member of Congress representing the state of Minnesota. Speaker McCarthy refused to admit that he made that move as revenge for what the Democrats did before, when they held a majority in Congress: they had denied seats to Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia on an important Committee, as well as Congressman Paul Anthony Gosar from Arizona. 

Read: China is not free from economic problems

More importantly, all will focus their efforts on the 2024 Presidential Election. So far, only former President Donald Trump has made an official announcement about running. The other Republican Candidate is supposed to be Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida; however, he has not yet made any announcement. And on the Democrats’ side, all continue to await President Biden’s decision as to whether to run or not. Of course, former President Donald Trump has a full plate of legal problems related to his tax fraud, election denial, and his request to secure for votes in Georgia, in a communication to Georgia State Secretary Raffensperger, plus the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building. President Biden seems hesitant, perhaps due to the revelations in the secret documents discovered in his house and former offices in Delaware and Washington DC. In short, it is not yet clear, but a decision must be made in the near future.