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No End to Currency Wars

IHT: Myanmar’s release of Suu Kyi is not a “Mandela moment." Foreign Affairs: Don't forget China's long history of aggression. Project Syndicate: Germany’s loose talk threatens debt crisis.

China does not need “containment”

Columnist Fareed Zakaria writes in the Washington Post that Asian countries are not looking to the United States to begin a process of “containment” against China. Rather, they want America to balance China’s power and moderate Beijing’s actions.

QUOTE: The United States should maintain a close and productive relationship with China, hoping that this will ensure a peaceful and prosperous Asia. If, however, China's rise becomes threatening and destabilizing, America should also have in place strong alliances with other Asian powers.

Currency wars are not over

Kati Suominen, a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, writes in Foreign Policy that despite the G20’s best efforts, the currency battle will continue. The only solution is global growth.

QUOTE: The world economic pie is not growing fast enough, and contests over the slices are increasingly vicious. They are exacerbated by sheer hubris.

Myanmar’s release of Suu Kyi is not a “Mandela moment”

Journalist Bertil Lintner writes in the International Herald Tribune that the international community should not view the release of Aung San Suu Kyi as a “Mandela moment.” Myanmar’s junta has not made any steps to open up the country for reform, and this latest move will not lead to democratic changes.

QUOTE: In Myanmar there is no such reform process, and no willingness by those in power to engage in any real dialogue with the opposition.

Obama must focus on substance not process

Columnist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that President Obama has failed to sufficiently boost the American economy because he thinks the nation’s biggest problem has been its political culture. Krugman argues that negotiating with Republicans is not enough; Obama must fight for better policies.

QUOTE: In retrospect, the roots of current Democratic despond go all the way back to the way Mr. Obama ran for president. Again and again, he defined America’s problem as one of process, not substance.

The euro crisis has not passed

Chief political commentator Peter Oborne writes in London’s Daily Telegraph that despite denials by various governments, the euro will not survive. He argues that Ireland and Greece should return to their national currencies.

QUOTE: For Greece and Ireland, there is an absurdly easy way back to economic growth: return to the drachma and the punt. Such a move would enable national currencies to fall back to levels where they can be internationally competitive.

China has a long history of aggression

Raul Pedrozo, a retired Captain in the US Navy, writes in Foreign Affairs that China’s aggression towards its regional rivals is nothing new. He argues that the country has never been reluctant to use force or coercion as it pursues its interests.

QUOTE: This long history of aggression suggests that the United States will have to be firm and proactive in countering China's expanding self-proclaimed zone of influence if it hopes to keep Beijing from dominating the coastal seas of the western Pacific.

Do not approve arms-control treaty without specific commitments

James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the US Senate should not approve the New Start arms-control treaty between the US and Russia until the Obama administration commits to modernization plans for America’s nuclear weapons and improvements to missile defense.

QUOTE: With adequate attention to the country's strategic needs and written guarantees thereof, the administration may be able to secure Senate approval of New Start. But it will be unlikely to succeed if it denigrates or ignores legitimate Senate concerns and continues on the path it has taken so far.

The West should keep pressure on Myanmar and engage selectively

Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan, writes in the Financial Times  that Myanmar’s release of Aung San Suu Kyi and holding of an election – even a sham one – signals that the junta cares what Western governments do and say. The West should use this leverage to “engage selectively” in the regime on humanitarian and capacity-building projects, while maintaining political pressure and targeted sanctions.

QUOTE: But helping Burma to escape from its long nightmare entails going beyond punitive actions and capitalizing on the inadvertent consequences of fledgling political reforms.

Germany’s loose talk threatens debt crisis

Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the IMF, and Peter Boone, chairman of Effective Intervention at the London School of Economics' Center for Economic Performance, write in Project Syndicate that Europe’s current debt problems can be blamed on Germany’s “loose talk.” Government statements have pushed European countries closer to defaulting.

QUOTE: [The Germans] are sensibly calling for mechanisms to permit “wider burden sharing” – meaning losses for creditors. Yet their new proposals, which bizarrely imply that defaults can happen only after mid-2013, defy the basic economics of debt defaults.

South Korea demonstrates its power at the G20

Oh Kong-dan, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, writes in the Korea Times that South Korea demonstrated at the G20 summit that it is no longer a small player. It must now think and act like a strategic power.

QUOTE: The path that Korea has taken from being an underdeveloped country to a leading economic nation significantly adds to its credit. Developing countries will find Korea a more appropriate economic and social model than the model provided by older economic powers because Koreans still remember the agony of poverty and the importance of hard work.