Passport for January 2020

This is an online version of the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). You may click here to see other online issues or click here to reach the archive of recent issues in PDF format. 

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WACMB coordinates two ongoing discussion groups that address a new current topic each month. The sessions are are free and open to the public.

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Program Report: Covell Meyskens

At our November luncheon, Professor Covell Meyskens of the Naval Postgraduate School spoke on “The Rise of China: Past, Present, and Future.” Covell covered the basic formula for China’s rise to prominence – economic development but without concomitant democratic development – and how its rise and muscular foreign policy have impacted its neighbors. On average, China experienced 10 percent annual growth from 1990 to 2010. But Covell also argued that today, China’s ambitions are rivaled by its challenges. While China remains committed to its Belt and Road Initiative to connect it to Europe across Asia, and has a growing high tech sector, it also has a massive government debt born of its extensive infrastructural projects. It also has debt from increasing its defense expenditures 10-fold over the past 20 years.

Through its economic growth, China has created a middle class nearly as large as the entire population of the United States. It is an open question whether this middle class will begin to demand democratic rights, particularly as the economy slows. There is already evidence that China’s middle class is demanding action to ease choking pollution in Beijing and other cities.

China remains dependent on foreign trade, on which 20 percent of its GDP depends, which is a high level for a large country. It is keen to limit the ongoing trade war, if possible.

Members’ Luncheon Price to Increase in the New Year

Wedgewood Catering, the food-service provider at Palo Corona Park HQ, has increased its luncheon prices for 2020. Unfortunately, in order to avoid losing money on our luncheons, WACMB must pass that increase along to our members. Therefore, the members’ rate for the luncheon has been increased to $33, effective immediately. The rate for guests will remain at $40. We hope you will agree that the value of our luncheon programs is more than worth the price increase!

This is the monthly newsletter of the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area (WACMB). Founded in 1951, the council is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization established to promote the presentation, discussion, and study of international affairs. WACMB is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, EIN-770301206. Contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. WACMB sponsors monthly luncheons, discussion groups, and student scholarships.

Corporate and institutional support for the World Affairs Council of the Monterey Bay Area is provided by:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Defense Language Institute
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Postgraduate School
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
  • Rancho Canada
  • Horan & Lloyd Law Firm