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IHT: East Asian multilateralism springs to life in Hanoi. GlobalPost: Myanmar’s military officers won’t give up the benefits of repression. WSJ: Tiananmen Massacre supervisor wins a “harmony” award.
East Asian multilateralism springs to life in Hanoi
Philip Bowring writes in the International Herald Tribune that the recent East Asia summit in Vietnam saw Russia and Asian nations come together and make it clear they will not stand for a world divided between US and Chinese spheres of influence. He argues, “multilateralism in East Asia came of age in Hanoi.”
QUOTE: Issues and interests are diverse, economic and strategic ones sometimes at odds. This is not a black-and-white situation. But at root is the common agenda of how to manage China’s rapid rise and America’s slow decline.
The Tea Party is here to stay
Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in the Financial Times that despite the US Democrats’ best wishes, US Republicans and independents do not view the Tea Party candidates as too extreme. She argues that the Tea Party is a powerful new force that will impact US politics for elections to come.
QUOTE: It is precisely because the Tea Party has so much in common with the politics of middle America that it will not disappear after election day.
The EU ignores pledges of multilateral cooperation
Pedro Solbes and Richard Youngs, of the Madrid-based think tank Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior, write in Project Syndicate that the European Union has failed to craft economic policies that promote the kind of multilateral cooperation and interdependence the G-20 pledged.
QUOTE: The EU may not have imposed sweeping quotas and tariffs, but powerful “behind the border” protectionism has emerged in the form of subsidies, bailouts, “buy national” injunctions, and new restrictions on foreign direct investment.
Shanghai Expo pushes China to look outward
China-based writer John Parker writes in the Asia Times that the 2010 Shanghai Expo, which recently ended, was the most expensive expo in history, but the investment in Shanghai was worth it. It served as a coming-out party for the city and a milestone in the globalization of China.
QUOTE: What the Expo ultimately represented was an opportunity to nudge Chinese culture in a slightly more outward-looking direction, by helping tens of millions of China's people to appreciate the accomplishments of the rest of the world.
Moralizers denounce all deficit spending
Columnist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that “moralizers” denounce all forms of debt and deficit spending. Their refusal to accept that the global economy needs people to spend money in order to grow is holding back economic recovery. These moralizers insist that America needs punishment and not stimulus.
QUOTE: Try to explain that when debtors spend less, the economy will be depressed unless somebody else spends more, and they call you a socialist.
Myanmar’s military officers won’t give up the benefits of repression
David Scott Mathieson, a senior researcher in the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, writes in GlobalPost that it is highly unlikely that a new generation of military officers in Myanmar will be more willing to work with the international community or make reforms. The economic incentives to repress the country’s civilians and maintain the status quo are too great to give up.
QUOTE: Military officers have used their power to get their hands on much of the country’s trade. And extraction of natural wealth, from natural gas, mining, forests and even illicit trade.
Obama must play the part of an American president
Founder and editor-in-chief Tina Brown writes in the Daily Beast that after the upcoming elections, President Obama needs to start playing the part of an American president and win back public support. He must do cheesy theatrics like dress his children in their best outfits and walk to the nearest church each Sunday.
QUOTE: Rather than look with disdain at what the Democrats seem to see as the vulgar theatrics of the Tea Party or try to capture the youth vote with an onslaught of cable comedy shows, Obama should go broad, not niche; megaphone, not dog whistle. Big gestures with a halo effect.
Should IMF chief replace Nicolas Sarkozy?
Journalists Christopher Dickey and Tracy McNicoll write in Newsweek that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has been called on repeatedly to solve global economic crises and has seen his popularity grow. They question if he should continue in his role or resign in order to run as president of France.
QUOTE: Now DSK, as he’s called, finds himself not only at the top of the international financial system, but at the top of France’s opinion polls.
Take a lesson from Germany on recession recovery
Senior editor Christopher Caldwell writes in the Weekly Standard that Germany refused to listen to American critics and insisted on not stimulating its economy the way the United States did. But now, Germany appears to be the winner as it grows at almost 9 percent a year, and it’s unemployment is down to 7.5 percent.
QUOTE: The second-biggest Western economy appears to be handling this deep recession much more effectively than the biggest—and emerging from it much earlier.
Tiananmen Massacre supervisor wins a “harmony” award
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal states that a mysterious Chinese organization gave the "World Harmony Award" to Gen. Chi Haotian, a former Chinese defense minister who supervised the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. The editorial states that the Communist Party’s use of the phrase “harmonious society” has become code for the suppression of opposition figures or dissenters.
QUOTE: Only hours after it was announced, these same online commentators came to a consensus on Gen. Chi's accolade: Much like China's renowned counterfeits of Western consumer products, this is a shanzhai, or "knockoff," peace prize.