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India to Outpace China?

Economist: Britain should go forward with tough spending cuts. NYT: North Korea tries to create brand awareness. Asia Times: Obama’s ‘return to Asia’ policy causes regional disputes.

China must steer clear of its own lost decade

Ethan Devine, a partner and portfolio manager at Indus Capital Partners, an investment firm specializing in Asian markets, writes in Foreign Policy that China followed Japan’s development model, and if it is not careful it may also experience an economic slump. He argues that China will only succeed if it understands where Japan went wrong.

QUOTE: Sure, Japan's export boom funded stellar growth for four decades. But its undervalued currency eventually helped blow one of the largest bubbles in history, the bursting of which still hobbles Japan today. Japan's famously dismal demographics didn't help, but China's aren't much better.

Despite the potholes and collapsing bridge, India will outpace China

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that despite what looks like a disaster over the Commonwealth Games, India is doing well as a growing economic power. It argues that India will soon start to outpace China because of its young population and democracy.

QUOTE: India’s state may be weak, but its private companies are strong. Indian capitalism is driven by millions of entrepreneurs all furiously doing their own thing.

Japan’s budget debate will test prime minister’s leadership skills

Tobias Harris, a former aide to a DPJ lawmaker and a doctoral candidate in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the debate over Japan’s new budget and stimulus package will test Prime Minister Naoto Kan. He will have to forge deals with other parties to push forward his efforts to boost the economy.

QUOTE: It would be possible for Mr. Kan to assemble a majority behind important economic measures, if he can muster the leadership skills. However, Mr. Kan has thus far looked uninspiring when it comes to taking command of the policy agenda.

A revolution is brewing in America

Columnist Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times that there is so much disgust and disappointment in the United States with the Democrats and the Republicans that a strong third party will emerge for the next presidential election. He argues that this third party is needed to reform the country without worrying about offending unions and lobbyists.

QUOTE: There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center.

Britain should go forward with tough spending cuts

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that the British government’s plans for steep public spending cuts may have gone too far. The plans have sparked fears that Britain could experience a double-dip recession. However, it argues that the cuts should still go forward.

QUOTE: Spending cuts work better than tax rises when cutting deficits, if only because they tend to stick. The government has won credibility not just among voters but also in the markets for its tough plan. It cannot afford to lose that now.

North Korea tries to create brand awareness with photographs

Journalist David Sanger writes in the New York Times that North Korea’s release of photographs from its recent Korean Workers’ Party conference shows that the government is trying to create brand awareness. The regime has a very short time to convince the public to accept Kim Jong-Il’s son as their next leader.

QUOTE: “These are pictures about one united party, one enduring bloodline,” said Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute, “and an obstinate refusal to change direction.”

Obama’s ‘return to Asia’ policy causes regional disputes

Journalist Peter Lee writes in the Asia Times that the United States deserves much blame for the recent political tensions over the South China Sea and the East China Sea. He argues that President Obama’s announcement that the United States would get more involved in Asia’s affairs led to China’s assertiveness as well as greater courage on the part of America’s allies in the region.

QUOTE: Certainly, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam have been more willing than before to yank the whiskers of the Chinese dragon.

Asian nations form a new strategic partnership

Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, writes in Project Syndicate that across Asia a new “security architecture” is being created. This comes as China shows its assertiveness, and nations fall back on the United States to ensure stability and security.

QUOTE: China’s overly assertive policies have proven a diplomatic boon for the US in strengthening and expanding American security arrangements in Asia.

China watches Myanmar’s election with concern

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, North East Asia project director at the International Crisis Group, writes in GlobalPost that China is closely watching Myanmar’s upcoming election because it worries that clashes between the army and ethnic minorities could destabilize the region.

QUOTE: Beijing has just cause for concern after the Myanmar military’s August 2009 offensive into the Kokang region shattered a 20-year cease-fire and sent more than 30,000 refugees into China’s Yunnan province

Growing income inequality makes Americans anxious about their wealth

Columnist Gillian Tett writes in the Financial Times that Americans now view their own wealth and prosperity with a sense of angst. This change in the national psyche is a result of a fierce debate over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the financial crisis and a growing acknowledgment that income inequality is growing in the country.

QUOTE: These days there is a growing recognition that resources are not always bottomless. There is also rising doubt about whether the economic pie will keep growing, given America’s structural woes.