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Beware of global trade war

NYT: How will China use its wealth? WSJ: Australians vote against spending hikes. GlobalPost: China must do more than just pass Japan.

How will China use its wealth?

Piers Brendon, a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, analyzes in the New York Times how China might use its new-found wealth. He writes that China is aggressively expanding its influence around the world, but it must also struggle to handle domestic challenges like labor relations and urban overcrowding.

QUOTE: China may well keep its promise, for the moment at least, to follow the path of peaceful development. We can’t know, of course. But doom-merchants predicting that China will topple America from its pre-eminence should recognize that history is not necessarily on their side.

Nations must act to avoid a global trade war

Michael Pettis, a finance professor at Peking University and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, writes in the Financial Times that the United States is likely to enter a protectionist phase and this may spark a global trade war.

QUOTE: But global trade must balance. The rest of the world will have to absorb, with rising trade deficits, the combination of rising surpluses among surplus champions and declining deficits in trade-deficit Europe.

Relations between China and India may dominate the 21st century

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that relations between China and India are likely to define the global order for decades to come. In order to ensure that conflict between the nations is avoided, India and China must work on a border settlement and regional institutions must be created that can foster discussion and diffuse conflicts.

QUOTE: China and India should be playing a bigger role in shaping the rules that will govern the 21st century. That requires concessions from the West. But it also requires commitment to a rules-based international order from China and India. A serious effort to solve their own disagreements is a good place to start.

Obama’s policies have failed to stimulate the economy

Douglas Schoen writes in the Daily Beast that some of the Obama administration’s policies to stimulate the economy have had the reverse effect. Many of the administration’s efforts have only succeeded at building more national debt.

QUOTE: We need a bold new focus from the President and his party. Put simply, they must abandon their failed policies and adopt a bold new commitment to fiscal discipline and targeted fiscal stimulus of the private sector and entrepreneurship.

Japan outgrows growth

Norihiro Kato, a professor of Japanese literature at Waseda University, writes in the New York Times that many people in Japan feel a sense of relief that they no longer need to worry about the country maintaining its status as number two economy in the world. The Japanese can now focus on more important things.

QUOTE: Freshly overtaken by China, Japan now seems to stand at the vanguard of a new downsizing movement, leading the way for countries bound sooner or later to follow in its wake. In a world whose limits are increasingly apparent, Japan and its youths, old beyond their years, may well reveal what it is like to outgrow growth.

Australians vote against spending and tax hikes

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that Australia’s Labor Party lost its majority in the recent election because the party responded to the nation’s financial problems by increasing spending and debt.

QUOTE: Three months ago, Britain's Labour Party was drummed out of office. This weekend, Australians woke up to a hung parliament as their Labor government lost its majority. America's ruling Democrats may detect a pattern here.

China must do more than just pass Japan

Managing Editor Thomas Mucha writes in GlobalPost that while China did pass Japan as the world’s second largest economy, its model might not be sustainable. Factory worker strikes have demonstrated the unease and weaknesses in the economy.

QUOTE: Developing a stable, consumption-led economic model is the whole game in China right now. That's how it is likely to become a true economic superpower in coming years. But the country is still a long way from that, and passing Japan in GDP this week isn't going to change that fact.

Obama fails to show leadership over mosque controversy

Columnist Clive Crook writes in the Financial Times that the controversy over the proposal to create a mosque near the Ground Zero site represents a missed opportunity for President Obama. Crook argues that Obama should have come out loud and clear in favor of religious freedom.

QUOTE: Whether or not he made the case for the project to go ahead – as, on balance, I think he should – he could have reminded the country of its common purposes, he could have sought to unify, he could have insisted on tolerance and understanding on both sides. That was the Barack Obama the country elected. Where did he go?

Look at Chinese history to understand its military buildup

An editorial in the China Post argues that China’s military buildup should be viewed in the context of its history. Thousands of years of nationalism have led to a situation in which China feels it must exert its influence over cross-strait relations.

QUOTE: For fear that the recent improvements in cross-strait relations might lead to underestimation of its resolve to prevent the island from breaking away, China is making a loud statement by increasing its military presence.

French feel disgusted by Sarkozy

Author Dominique Moisi writes in Project Syndicate that the French are likely to reject President Nicolas Sarkozy because he has failed to be an honorable leader. He argues that the French feel “ethical disgust” as Sarkozy for how he has handled social issues.

QUOTE: At a time of rising unemployment, with France dominated by fears about the future, the French need a reassuring father or mother figure, not a jittery and manipulative leader ready to compromise ethics and France’s proud tradition that every citizen is entitled to equal treatment under the law.