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Moving past diplomacy?

FT: The West shows it's wary of Chinese businesses. WSJ: Could war break out between the US and China? The Hindu: India must deliver justice to Kashmir.

The West shows it’s wary of Chinese investments

Columnist David Pilling writes in the Financial Times that Chinese companies that try to invest in the United States and elsewhere repeatedly face bias and are accused of pursuing a political, nationalistic agenda. If the United States is too cautious about the investments, it risks losing Chinese capital.

QUOTE: [The United States] must decide whether Chinese companies are making commercial decisions or whether they are part of some grand plan fashioned at Communist party HQ. If it suspects the latter, as it has at least occasional cause to, it must determine whether accepting such investments poses either a strategic or a security threat.

The state meddles more in business

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that across the West the state is getting more and more involved in the business world as it attempts to create jobs. Emerging nations like China and India, where the state has a large role in business, have also influenced Western politicians.

QUOTE: Straightforward steps to improve the environment for business—less red tape, more flexible labor markets, simpler tax and bankruptcy regimes—will be more effective than handouts to favored firms or sectors.

Fearing conflict between the US and China

John Lee, a foreign-policy fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, writes in the Wall Street Journal that there is a real possibility that war could break out between China and the United State over conflicting strategic goals. He argues that future Chinese leaders are likely to be even more assertive and aggressive.

QUOTE: The danger is that, just as Germany did in Europe a century ago, China's overestimation of its own capabilities, and underestimation of American strengths and resolve—combined with strategic dissatisfaction and impatience—is the fast way toward disastrous miscalculation and error.

Australians should stop worrying about the deficit

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University professor and a Nobel laureate in economics, writes in Project Syndicate that Australians should stop worrying about the fiscal deficit created by the recession and government’s response. He argues that the debt is too low to cut back on important investments like education.

QUOTE: Some of the same Australians who have criticized the deficits have also criticized proposals to increase taxes on mines. Australia is lucky to have a rich endowment of natural resources, including iron ore. These resources are part of the country’s patrimony. They belong to all the people. Yet in all countries, mining companies try to get these resources for free – or for as little as possible.

Obama must show he understands the limits of government

Jacob Weisberg, chairman of the Slate Group, writes in the Financial Times that President Obama must demonstrate to American voters that he understands the limits of government power. Americans fear an overreaching government and Obama has failed to prove that he does not support such a scenario.

QUOTE: Obama needs to explain why his policies will not result in a more intrusive state or a less flexible economy. It is here that he has fallen short – whether because he lacks a clear view of Washington’s role or because he feels that articulating it would be a political mistake.

The days of China’s ‘artful diplomacy’ are over

Christian Caryl, a contributing editor, writes in Foreign Policy that China is now expressing aggression over the South China Sea when just a few years ago policy experts praised China’s diplomatic and nuanced style.

QUOTE: China’s artful diplomacy appears to have taken a back-seat to good old-fashioned power politics. China’s military has been modernizing itself with stunning speed.

India must recognize its failure to deliver justice to Kashmir

Siddharth Varadarajan writes in the Hindu that the Indian government has been trying to argue that the protests in Kashmir are being manipulated by outside forces and are only confined to certain areas and groups. He argues that the government must recognize the “authenticity of mass sentiment.”

QUOTE: [Prime Minister] Manmohan Singh must take bold steps to demonstrate his willingness to address the grievances of ordinary Kashmiris. He should not insult their sentiments by talking of economic packages, roundtable conferences and all-party talks … He should admit, in frankness and humility, the Indian state's failure to deliver justice all these years.  

Obama talks of engaging Iran as analysts fear military confrontation

Columnist David Ignatius writes in the Washington Post that as many American security experts debate the growing chance of a military confrontation with Iran, President Obama has expressed interest in restarting discussions with the country.

QUOTE: Obama's sense that the time is right for diplomacy is shaped in part by what he called "rumblings" from Tehran that the sanctions are having a greater effect than the Iranians expected.

Britain must maintain quality health care for all its people

An editorial in the New York Times argues that Britain has been wise to shield its health care system from its austerity measures that have hit other public services. As the government proposes new health sector reforms, it must be careful to not create a system that leaves the poor with worse health care than the wealthy.

QUOTE: Decentralized decision-making must not become an excuse for diverting the public health care system’s limited resources into boutique treatments for the affluent at the expense of more basic procedures like childhood immunization.

Italy needs new leadership

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that Italy needs to see a change in leadership as the country has lost its competitiveness and has not seen the necessary reforms needed to push its economy forward. It argues that Gianfranco Fini may prove a welcome challenge to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

QUOTE: [Fini] has skillfully plotted and schemed his way to the top, using power to win power. But if, as is now likely, the fag-end of Mr Berlusconi’s premiership soon burns out and the president calls an election, Mr Fini will need to start using power to get something done for the good of Italians, not Gianfranco Fini.