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A New Asia Greets Obama

LAT: India doesn’t deserve a UN permanent seat. IHT: Corruption and weak government might threaten Indonesia’s democracy. WashPost: Tea Party likely to impact US foreign policy.

Global governance will never be enough to keep the economy stable

Dani Rodrik, professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, writes in Project Syndicate that despite global commitments and institutions, countries will continue to prioritize their domestic policy needs over their global responsibilities. Therefore, global governance will never be enough to keep the economy stable, and countries should moderate the “side-effects” of globalization.

QUOTE: This strategy entails throwing some sand in the wheels of the global economy in order to expand room for domestic policy and limit the impact of adverse spillovers from other countries’ actions. This option may seem protectionist, but it could ultimately ensure a more durable globalization.

A new and empowered Asia greets Obama

Indian author Pankaj Mishra writes in the Guardian that President Obama’s four-nation trip comes at a time when the United States has lost its ability to dictate events in Asia. America’s influence has shrunk as the nation has been weakened by the recession and two wars, and Asian countries have grown emboldened.

QUOTE: The oft-repeated story of China's rise is only part of the explanation for this. More importantly, mass politicization and economic regionalism have emboldened many Asian countries that previously followed America's lead or cowered in its long shadow.

America will be the future’s innovation hub

Columnist David Brooks writes in the New York Times that America’s coming economic identity remains a mystery. But he notes that the country is well situated to being a hub of innovation and creativity, which will be the drivers of growth in the 21st century.

QUOTE: [The United States] is well situated to be the center of global networks and to nurture the right kinds of networks. Building that America means doing everything possible to thicken connections.

India doesn’t deserve a UN permanent seat

An editorial in the Los Angeles Times argues that India does not yet deserve a permanent seat on the UN Security Council because it has not shown it can act as a great power. India has not acted in the interests of humanity and the international community when its own economic interests are affected, most notably with its neighbor, Myanmar.

QUOTE: India's trade ties with this brutal regime, and its silence on human rights abuses there and elsewhere around the world, don't recommend it for greater influence in the United Nations.

Don’t give up on the G20

Kemal Dervis, vice-president of the Brookings Institution and former minister of economic affairs and the Treasury of Turkey, writes in the Financial Times that despite setbacks and skepticism, the G20 is gradually becoming an important global body that can address international trade and currency concerns.

QUOTE: Behind the fanfare and excessive theatrics of the summits, a global network is growing that could become the backbone of international economic co-operation in this age of accelerating change and interdependence. We should give it a chance to work.

Corruption and weak government might threaten Indonesia’s democracy

Contributor Philip Bowring writes in the International Herald Tribune that Indonesia is more than just a Muslim-majority nation. It is a middle-income country with a democratically elected, decentralized government. But he argues the country risks falling to the dangers of corruption and a weak government if it does not sustain its secularism and economic progress.

QUOTE: If democracy leads to incompetent government that undermines the economy, or to serious tensions between religious or ethnic groups, it will likely be replaced by an authoritarian system.

Tea Party likely to impact US foreign policy

Columnist Michael Gerson writes in the Washington Post that despite the lack of much foreign policy discussion during America’s midterm elections, the vote will have a big impact on the country’s interactions with the world. The Tea Party influence is likely to shift America’s foreign policy towards support of a stronger military to defend the country in an “irredeemably hostile world.”

QUOTE: They are skeptical of international law and international institutions, which are viewed as threats to American sovereignty and freedom of action.

Cameron must push for multilateral action to address global imbalances

Yvette Cooper, British shadow foreign secretary, writes in the Financial Times that British Prime Minister David Cameron should use his visit to China to promote multilateral action. The international community – including China – must come together like it did in 2009 and address the global imbalances undermining the economy. 

QUOTE: International diplomacy, as well as economic argument, is vital to prevent a collapse in co-ordination, restrictions on trade and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach to growth.

Obama must show support for religious freedom in Indonesia

Paul Wolfowitz, a former US ambassador to Indonesia and deputy secretary of defense, writes in the Wall Street Journal that President Obama will use his visit to Indonesia to forge a closer relationship with the country in his fight against Islamist extremism. He must show his support for religious freedom in the country.

QUOTE: By expressing support for Indonesia's traditions of openness, tolerance and the rights of women, [President Obama] can embolden Indonesians who fight for those values.

The US should stand ready to cooperate with Myanmar if it makes reforms

John F. Kerry, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, writes in GlobalPost that condemning Myanmar’s election as a “sham” is not enough. He argues that if the government makes concrete steps in the coming months, such as releasing Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners and relaxing media restrictions, the United States should be ready to cooperate with the government.

QUOTE: A one-sided, “sanctions only” policy will only serve to diminish US influence inside Burma and with its immediate neighbors.