July 2006 Archives

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called on the phantom of Mao Zedong while trying to convince the Wall Street Journal that the Redmond giant will flourish without Bill Gates at the helm:

"There have been many companies who lost their greatness post their founders. There have been many companies who went on to greater greatness after their founders.... When did China get great? China didn't get great under Mao Zedong. China got great under -- in the recent years -- probably got great under Deng Xiaoping."

Now, if Gates is Mao and Ballmer is Deng, does that make Larry Page Chen Shuibian?

Thanks to ValleyWag, Gawker Media's Silicon Valley Gossip Rag, for spotting this one.


The Wok is a Hebrew-language blog about China, Israel and everything in between. Following the current commotion in Israel's northern border, The Wok published an article that examines the relation between events in the far and middle east. A full translation is available below. The original article (in Hebrew ) is available here.

The current round of violence in the north [ of Israel, D.P.]brings with it a tidal wave of opinions and analysis from our country's various commentators. Everyone is talking about Hezbollah, Lebanon, and Hamas. Some mention Syria. The brave ones point a flabby finger towards Iran. They talk about pressure from Europe, intervention from NATO, and the creation of a Saudi-Jordanian-Egyptian front. Didn't we forget someone?

As in other fields, the Israeli media reflects the dwellers of Zion's yearning towards the west - that group of civilized nations we see ourselves as a part of. Reality, on the other hand, is quick to remind us that we are rooted in the depths of the east. To the defense of the Israeli media we should note that most western journalists, as well as leaders, all seem reluctant to mix the matters of the Far East with those of the middle one.

So where is, after all, the connection? Without drowning in conspiracy theories, let us look at a few events from the last six months. Connect the dots.

January 18th, 2006: Iran's Northern Drilling Company (NDC) signs an oil surveying agreement in the Caspian Sea with China Oilfields Services Ltd. The agreement, estimated at US33 billion, will enable Iran to expand its surveying efforts in the southern part of the Caspian Sea. Until then, Iran had no ability to survey potential oil fields deeper than 90 meters below sea level. A bit more than a year earlier, at the end of 2004, China and Iran sign a gas and oil estimated at US70 billion. As part of the agreement, Iran will supply China 250 million tonnes of liquid gas and 150,000 crude oil barrels a day for 30 years.

April 3rd, 2006 :China signs an agreement to purchase uranium from, and cooperation in nuclear development with Australia. The agreement is one of the cornerstones of the developing free trade agreement between the two countries. In the agreement, China vouches to use the supplied Uranium for peace purposes, in accord with the nonproliferation treaty for nuclear technology.

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