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From US to Myanmar, Election Season

Project Syndicate: Asian nations must accept existing boundaries. Japan Times: China becomes a leader in clean energy. Foreign Policy: The Afghan war is no longer necessary.

Asian nations must accept existing boundaries

Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, writes in Project Syndicate that Asian nations must come to accept existing boundaries in order to avoid future regional conflicts.

QUOTE: By picking territorial fights with its neighbors, China is not only reinforcing old rivalries, but is also threatening Asia’s continued economic renaissance – showing that it is not a credible candidate to lead Asia.

China becomes a leader in clean energy

Michael Richardson, a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore, writes in the Japan Times that Asian countries like China, India and South Korea are becoming the leaders in manufacturing of clean energy.

QUOTE: Part of China's clean energy success is due to the same factors that have made it the manufacturing workshop of the world: low labor and construction costs, expanding universities that churn out lots of engineers and technicians, and improving telecommunication and transport systems.

America needs another dose of quantitative easing

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that the US Federal Reserve policy of quantitative easing helped avoid a global economic disaster in 2008. It supports the Fed's planned second round of quantitative easing, but argues that this policy alone will not fix the US economy.

QUOTE: Deflation is a bigger worry than inflation right now. Deflation would make it much harder for Americans to shake off their debts; and a combination of deflation and stagnation in America would be devastating for the world.

Don’t give in to corporate tax relief

Daniel Gross, economics editor at Yahoo Finance, writes in Newsweek that multinational American companies often send their money abroad to avoid US taxes. He argues that despite this, the United States should not create a tax holiday for them. Loopholes already reduce corporate taxes, and taxes are “the price of citizenship.”

QUOTE: How is it that the loudest yelps for corporate tax relief come from those who aren’t paying much in the first place?

Indonesia balances secularism with Islam

Wendy Kristianasen writes in Le Monde Diplomatique that Indonesia grabs the headlines when natural disasters strike. Less noticed is that the country’s democratic elections reveal the successful balance of secularism with Islam.

QUOTE: Indonesia is now the world’s third biggest democracy. “That’s something the West always overlooks,” said Anies Baswedan, rector of Jakarta’s Paramadina University.

America promotes open markets, then becomes weary of them

Columnist Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times that the United States pushed other countries like India to embrace open markets and free trade. Now that they have, many American politicians have changed their tune and promote protectionism.

QUOTE: If America turns away from these values … the socialist/protectionists among India’s bureaucrats will use it to slow down any further opening of the Indian markets to US exporters.

Myanmar’s election: same people, new outfits

Venerable Ashin Issariya, a founding member of the All Burma Monks Alliance, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the same local authorities who attacked Burmese monks during the 2007 Saffron Revolution are running for office. He argues that the international community should not legitimize this election.

QUOTE: International leaders should think more deeply. Supporting these elections is not supporting gradual progress to democracy; rather it is a message to the suffering people of Burma that international support is given to the military regime and their friends to continue to do what they will.

Obama’s liberal base deserves some blame

Columnist Clive Crook writes in the Financial Times that the Democrats are likely to do poorly in Tuesday’s elections because the liberal base has been busy “sulking” for much of the campaign season. They forced President Obama to focus on trying to appease them rather than on securing centrist voters.

QUOTE: Sure of the loyalty of the base, [Obama] could have addressed himself to the anxious middle, defended his policies as centrist compromises (which they were), and told the country (as he did in 2008) that its concerns were his concerns.

Washington seeks to deepen its relationship with East Asia

Yang Danzhi, a researcher with the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, writes in the China Post that the United States’ relationship with East Asia is changing as the superpower has recently taken various steps to deepen its alliances with different countries in the region.

QUOTE: Washington has also shown great enthusiasm toward participating in East Asian cooperation in a wider and deeper manner.

The Afghan war is no longer a necessary battle

James Traub, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, writes in Foreign Policy that the US military presence in Afghanistan is not necessary to combat global terrorism as President Obama claims. In fact, the US presence may fuel the insurgency.

QUOTE: University of Chicago scholar Robert Pape ... has concluded after a study of 2,200 suicide terrorism attacks that foreign military presence itself is the chief trigger of terrorist attacks.