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Xenophobia Raises Its Head

China Post: Asia's new economic stars. WashPost: Will China overcome its anxiety and paranoia? FT: Ukraine seeks to be part of the wider European market.

China gets serious about structural reform

Arthur Kroeber, managing director of GaveKal Dragonomics Research and editor of the China Economic Quarterly, writes in the Wall Street Journal that China’s new five-year plan shows the country is finally serious about structural reform.

QUOTE: In China, effective policy starts with clear signaling from the top. Until last week, the market could not be sure whether structural reform or growth at all costs topped Beijing's agenda. Now the signal is clear, and more convincing action should follow.

Vietnam and Indonesia: Asia’s two new stars

Hsiao-Wen Wang and Hsiang-Yi Chang write in the China Post that strong economic growth is dramatically changing the lives of people in Vietnam and Indonesia and making them more confident and independent than ever before. They argue that China’s economic restructuring and the new “Asian Way,” which focuses on domestic demand, have enabled these countries to thrive.

QUOTE: As Indonesia and Vietnam boast minimum wages merely a third of what Foxconn Technology Group (aka Hon Hai) pays its employees in China, they will be the countries that absorb the manufacturers leaving the Middle Kingdom.

Americans will vote on inadequate economic plan

Columnist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that the US Democrats will face big losses in the upcoming election because the administration’s economic policy failed to cut into the high unemployment levels and boost economic growth.

QUOTE: America needed a much stronger program than what it actually got — a modest rise in federal spending that was barely enough to offset cutbacks at the state and local level. This isn’t 20-20 hindsight: the inadequacy of the stimulus was obvious from the beginning.

More dollars will only cause more currency turmoil

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that despite the G20’s support, a plan to achieve global economic balance by having the United States print more dollars will not succeed. This will only cause further currency turmoil.

QUOTE: The real problem with the global economy is that most of the developed world, in particular the US, isn't contributing as much as it should to the current world expansion. The solution is pro-growth policies in America to create more jobs and attract more capital.

Will China overcome its anxiety and paranoia?

Columnist David Ignatius analyzes in the Washington Post whether China will be able to overcome its anxiety and fears and rise to a status as the world’s dominant power, or if its paranoia will be its downfall.

QUOTE: Can the country's opaque and autocratic political system cope with the economic forces it has unleashed, or is a time bomb ticking under the gaudy prosperity?

US-China trade dispute leaves collateral damage

Mario I. Blejer, a former governor of the Central Bank of Argentina, and Eduardo Levy Yeyati, a former chief economist of the Central Bank of Argentina, write in Project Syndicate that the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States deeply affects third party countries.

QUOTE: If the G-20 is to play a serious role, it must broker a solution to this situation. Unfortunately, the standoff on global policy coordination during the recent International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings may be a demonstration of the limits of multilateral surveillance and international coordination.

US must denounce Myanmar elections and push for direct talks

Jared Genser, president of Freedom Now and international counsel to Aung San Suu Kyi, writes in the Los Angeles Times that the United States must denounce the upcoming election in Myanmar, press for a UN commission into the junta’s human rights violations and press the UN to start direct talks with the regime.

QUOTE: There is another imposing whitewashed building that sits just half a mile west of Suu Kyi's home, on the very same street. Here too the Burmese junta keeps a close eye on who goes in and out. It is the US Embassy. The United States is, all too literally, sitting on the sidelines. It is time to get in the game.

Ukraine seeks to be part of the wider European market

Aleksander Kwasniewski, former president of Poland, writes in the Financial Times that despite initial fears, Ukraine’s new government shows an openness to democratic reforms and Western pragmatism.

QUOTE: The Ukrainian business elite that helped to put the new government in power understands that Ukraine’s future lies in being part of a wider European market. That gives the EU an opportunity to help Ukraine make the changes it needs.

Housing prices worry Hong Kongers

Journalist Stephen Minas writes in the Asia Times that Hong Kongers are increasingly worried about property values as prices have doubled since the start of 2009. The government now worries there may be a property bubble but has few options to reign in prices.

QUOTE: A burst bubble would be of most concern to Hong Kongers and speculators betting on continued price increases. But the fact of the bubble has much wider significance. It's an indicator of the central facts of today's world economy: the weak US recovery and the China growth story. And Hong Kong is caught in between, for better or worse.

During time of economic collapse, scapegoating immigrants returns

Columnist James Carroll writes in the Boston Globe that there is a rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe and the United States that threatens to overpower liberal sentiments. He argues that some American political candidates now purposefully make it clear to their constituents that Latino and Asian immigrants are not viewed as the “other” and will never be real Americans.

QUOTE: In a time of high social anxiety, attached to real problems like economic collapse and imagined ones like global jihad, the hidden mechanism of scapegoating can kick into gear.