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Obama Must Reset US-India Ties

LATimes: Russia’s young politicians will provide the key to its future. FT: US, UK take divergent paths to address fiscal problems. Project Syndicate: Economic growth isn’t enough to help South Asia’s poverty pockets.

Changes in US-China economic relations will keep trade tensions a reality

Evan A. Feigenbaum, head of the Asia practice group at the Eurasia Group and adjunct senior fellow for Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in Foreign Policy that despite the taunts from both sides, a full-fledged trade war between the United States and China is highly unlikely. But he argues that changes in US-China economic relations will ensure that the trade tensions continue.

QUOTE: US and Chinese firms increasingly compete head-to-head because China is moving up the value chain far more quickly and across a wider array of sectors -- from electric vehicles to solar energy to high-speed rail -- than many in the United States once expected.

Obama’s trip will be a chance to reset US-India ties

An editorial in the Times of India argues that President Obama’s upcoming trip to India must include concrete measures that give a boost to the US-India relationship. The trip should focus on strengthening economic ties between the countries and addressing barriers to trade.

QUOTE: IT industry leaders' and New Delhi's wariness of Obama's stance on outsourcing follows the double whammy of raising H1-B and L1 visa fees for foreign companies potentially costing the IT industry $200 million annually and Obama's push to end tax breaks to companies that outsource.

US, UK take divergent paths to address fiscal problems

Columnist Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times that the United States and Britain have responded very differently to their respective financial system struggles. He argues that both the extreme fiscal tightening of Britain and the lack of any plan for such tightening in the United States is irresponsible.

QUOTE: The UK has launched a remarkable policy experiment. The contrast with the US should at least be instructive. We will never know whether disaster was indeed imminent. But the British are going to learn much – and so will the rest of the world.

Russia’s young politicians will provide the key to its future

Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Russian oil company Yukos, writes in the Los Angeles Times that a new generation of politicians in Russia will not accept the current system of corruption and inefficiency. They will push for the political, social and economic reforms that Russia needs to join the global community.

QUOTE: In my youth, the leaders of the USSR had no desire whatsoever to leave power. But history obliged them to do so just the same. Today's Russian theoreticians and practitioners of "vertically corrupt management" have no intention of going anywhere. But they will have to. I know. I've seen it before.

China’s dominance of rare earths raises fears

Research and membership programs editor David Case writes in GlobalPost that rare earths are “essential to global commerce” and are used in modern electronics like mobile phones and hard drives as well as weapons systems. He argues that there has been a media frenzy over them recently because China has monopolized their production and created a shortage.

QUOTE: For several years, a small group of experts have been clamoring about the dangers of China’s rare earth dominance. Now, it appears their predictions have come true.

Economic growth isn’t enough to help South Asia’s poverty pockets

Ejaz Ghani, economic adviser on South Asia poverty reduction and economic management at the World Bank, writes in Project Syndicate that despite exceptionally high growth rates in South Asia, much of the region still faces deep pockets of poverty. He argues that the gap between “Shining Asia” and “Suffering Asia” continues to widen.

QUOTE: While economic growth is critical for poverty reduction, reviving growth in lagging regions will take time. Rather than wait for a rising tide to lift all boats, policymakers should consider direct policy interventions to reduce poverty.

Desperate US Democrats play dirty

Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz writes in the Daily Beast that US Democrats have gotten so desperate ahead of the November elections that they are resorting to highly personal attacks on Republicans.

QUOTE: The unmistakable theme of this eleventh-hour blitz by Democratic Party committees is that the Republican contenders are unethical and untrustworthy business types.

Will the EU replace the US with Turkey and Russia?

Columnist Simon Tisdall writes in the Guardian that the United States’ influence over Europe has lessened, and the European Union might build closer ties with Turkey and Russia as it develops a new security agenda.

QUOTE: Mark Leonard, co-author of a new European council on foreign relations report entitled "The spectre of a multipolar Europe,” suggests enhanced co-operation between the EU, Turkey and Russia is both unavoidable and desirable.

Americans’ confidence turns to doubt

Editor-in-chief Mort Zuckerman writes in US News and World Report that Americans’ sense of confidence has been replaced by a mood of doubt and worry over the nation’s economic future and ability to produce the next generation of great leaders.

QUOTE: We are haunted that the world is catching up with America; the sense of uniqueness and self-esteem that has been a part of our national character since our founding—and has been amplified since World War II—is steadily eroding.

Don’t expect big reforms in North Korea

Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center, writes in the Asia Times that the United States and South Korea should not expect Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-eun, to enact needed political and economic reforms once he takes power.

QUOTE: The United States and South Korea should continue their shared two-track policy of applying pressure and highly conditional engagement. They should reject any advice to return to the failed policy of providing concessions in return for illusory progress in six-party talks.