History of the Second World War - Russia Blunts the by Barrie Pitt

By Barrie Pitt

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Herbst, Jeffrey. 2004. ” Journal of Peace Research, 41(3): 357–69. Human Rights Watch. 2003. Colombia’s Checkbook Impunity: A Briefing Paper. September 22. htm#P58_8319 (accessed January 10, 2006). Human Rights Watch. 2005. World Report 2005. htm (accessed January 9, 2006). Humphreys, Macartan. 2005. ” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 49(4): 508–37. Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). 2005. ” November 22. ReportID=44254 (accessed November 20, 2006). International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Beginning in 221 BCE, the country was united under a highly | 27 28 | ASIAN CONFLICTS centralized dynastic system. During the 2,000 years that followed, China experienced nine feudal dynasties. When the last dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, was established in 1644, China was one of the most powerful states in the world. China began to fall behind, however, when the Industrial Revolution spread across the West. In 1840, Great Britain defeated the Central Kingdom in a war over the opium trade. China agreed to cede Hong Kong to Britain, to pay large reparations, and to open its ports for trade.

There have been fears that conflict in Iraq might escalate into civil war. Fears have especially grown over the relationship between Shiites and Sunnis. Shiites constitute 60 percent of the population. Sunni Arabs make up some 15 to 20 percent of the population, but they dominated the government and economy throughout the twentieth century. Sunni Kurds, the other major population group, represent some 18 percent and were repressed under Saddam Hussein. Although there has been intermarriage between Shiites and Sunnis among the urban middle class, and some Iraqi tribes have both Sunni and Shiite branches, tensions are evident (Council on Foreign Affairs 2003).

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