I just discovered that Thomas P.M. Barnett (author of "The Pentagons New Map") is a blogger. Read a few pages into it, I think youll find some interesting points and unusual insights. Note especially (a few pages down) his thoughts on how Russia and China are connecting: "Russia’s president Vladimir Putin floats the notion that many in the Core are waiting anxiously to hear first and foremost from China: the push to make the currency truly tradable with the rest of the world’s convertible currencies. This is a huge form of connectivity, because by linking your currency to the world outside, you let that world start determining the real power of your money beyond your borders—pushing up or driving down the value according to its fluctuating desire to buy, hold, or sell you money. At once you give up a lot of control over your economy while gaining a lot of help in keeping your currency logically priced according global market conditions.
Going convertible is a key step to joining the Core big-time. Once the rest of the Core can hold your money, companies become more comfortable in dealing with your economy, because now they have additional mechanisms by which to manage the risk of entering in and doing business within your economy."