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Tempering Hopes After Suu Kyi Release

WSJ: Global leaders rebuff the US at G20 summit. Economist: China goes on a buying spree. Daily Beast: Iraq stands back while Christians face persecution.

China shows lighter touch at home

Columnist Jim Hoagland writes in the Washington Post that China’s insecurities have caused its recent outwardly aggressive behavior. But he argues that within the country, Beijing uses a much lighter touch.

QUOTE: "The rulers have made an amazing [for them] discovery. They don't have to crack down for the place to run efficiently. Our freedoms pose no threat to them," says one intellectual.

Global leaders rebuff the US at G20 summit

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that President Obama and his treasury secretary faced an embarrassing rejection at last week’s G20 summit. One of the biggest failures was the inability of the United States to sign a fair-trade agreement with South Korea.

QUOTE: The Koreans aren't pushovers, and they want new concessions from America in return. They also see a less urgent need for a trade pact with the U.S. because, while Mr. Obama has fiddled, the Koreans have been negotiating other trade deals with all.

Don’t expect much after Suu Kyi’s release

An editorial in London’s Observer argues that Myanmar’s release of Aung San Suu Kyi should not be seen as a watershed moment. The ruling junta has not decided to give up its control, but it rather continues to consolidate its power.

QUOTE: The generals are playing a tactical game, making a symbolic gesture of Suu Kyi's release as cover for maneuvers to consolidate their control over Burma. They should not be allowed any credit for such a cynical ploy.

China’s buying spree will boost global economy

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that China’s state-owned firms will increase their purchase of companies around the world in years to come. The piece argues that this should be allowed because the flow of capital is needed to boost economies.

QUOTE: Chinese firms can bring new energy and capital to flagging companies around the world; but influence will not just flow one way. To succeed abroad, Chinese companies will have to adapt.

Obama should announce he will not run in 2012

Author Douglas E. Schoen and political commentator Patrick H. Caddell write in the Washington Post that President Obama should announce he will not seek reelection in 2012 and will now focus exclusively on the country’s current problems. If he does not, America will face political gridlock over the next two years.

QUOTE: By explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose.

China’s over-reactions worry its neighbors

Rajan Menon, a professor of political science at City College of New York/City University of New York, writes in the Los Angeles Times that China has “lost its finesse” and no longer has a calm diplomatic manner. Beijing’s recent over-reactions have concerned its neighbors, who fear how China will react when something more serious happens.

QUOTE: Treating China as if it were a potential enemy could turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, leaving everyone worse off. But if this denouement is to be avoided, it's not enough for other states to eschew worst-case thinking. China needs to regain its composure and revert to its "peaceful rise" playbook.

Iraq stands back while Christians face persecution

Author Reza Aslan writes in the Daily Beast that neither the Iraqi nor US government is trying to stop what he calls genocide against Iraq’s Christian population. He argues that the Iraqi government only issues statements.

QUOTE: But without a concerted effort to protect the Christian population, the Iraqi government will be complicit in what is fast becoming a catastrophic act of ethnic cleansing.

The interests of the US and China do not match up

Author Gordon Chang writes in the New York Daily News that the G20 summit failed to make progress on rebalancing the global economy largely because the interests of the United States and China are diametrically opposed.

QUOTE: It is time to begin facing economic fact: What is good for America is bad for China - and vice versa. China is a seller, and America is a buyer. America is a debtor, and China is a creditor.

Can America afford the rise of the "superrich?"

Columnist Frank Rich questions in the New York Times whether America can afford the deep changes affecting the country as the income gap increases dramatically. He argues that policies like tax cuts have helped create a “superrich” class and make America less equitable.

QUOTE: Nor are the superrich helping to further the traditional American business culture that inspires and encourages those with big ideas and drive to believe they can climb to the top.

How to make welfare reform work

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that Britain’s new welfare reform will be most successful if it makes life on benefits uncomfortable and makes work attractive.

QUOTE: Tough conditions tend to succeed when they are combined with generous help with getting back into work. For example, Denmark offers extensive training, big employment subsidies and guaranteed jobs. Benefits are generous, but those who fail to take up the offer risk losing them.