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Preventing a Euro Collapse

TNR: China’s influence over North Korea is limited. Economist: The US and China do not need to be enemies. WashPost: Loss of empires poses threat to global order.

The US and South Korea sign trade deal – finally

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal welcomes the signing of a trade deal between the United States and South Korea, but argues that it should not have taken three years. The US Democrats should not have allowed a domestic lobby to hold up the negotiations.

QUOTE: US public support for freer trade has eroded amid the recession and the lack of Presidential leadership. It is crucial for US competitiveness in particular, and the world economy more broadly, that Mr. Obama and his allies make a strong and unapologetic case that trade is in the best interests of American businesses and workers.

China’s influence over North Korea is limited

Special correspondent Joshua Kurlantzick writes in the New Republic that despite the calls on China to put pressure on North Korea, Beijing has less power than it appears. For example, Beijing’s efforts to persuade North Korea to follow its path and modernize and open up its economy without giving up political power have failed.

QUOTE: Like nearly everyone else, China is getting played by the wily North, while taking fire from the world for its failures.

Calm Europe’s markets by giving investors incentives

Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, writes in Project Syndicate that in order to save the eurozone and create calmer financial markets, investors should be given incentives to not exit.

QUOTE: Patient investors should be rewarded. In particular, they should be able to expect to be better off than those rushing to the exit.

The US and China do not need to be enemies

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that China and the United States can both be economic powerhouses without being enemies. This could happen if China’s military buildup is allowed without the United States feeling threatened. The nations need to build trust.

QUOTE: If America wants to bind China into the rules-based liberal order it promotes, it needs to stick to the rules itself. Every time America breaks them—by, for instance, protectionism—it feeds China’s suspicions and undermines the very order it seeks.

Republicans hold Obama captive

Columnist Frank Rich writes in the New York Times that the US Republicans are practically holding President Obama hostage. He has stopped thinking or acting on his own and instead only attempts to please them.

QUOTE: A chief executive who repeatedly presents himself as a conciliator, forever searching for the “good side” of all adversaries and convening summits, in the end comes across as weightless, if not AWOL.

China must work on cross-Strait relations

Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, writes in the Wall Street Journal that the recent elections in Taiwan were a win for the ruling party, the opposition and democracy. But they also showed that China must do more to win over Taiwanese voters.

QUOTE: The Taiwanese public mood toward Beijing will be much more severely tested in March 2012 when Taiwan's presidential elections take place. Although Taiwan's economy is booming at 9% per annum, Mr. Ma undoubtedly will face a tough re-election challenge.

A collapsed euro would be very costly

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that European leaders should not let the euro collapse because it would cause massive political and economic costs.

QUOTE: Breaking up the euro is not unthinkable, just very costly. Because they refuse to face up to the possibility that it might happen, Europe’s leaders are failing to take the measures necessary to avert it.

Loss of empires poses threat to global order

Robert Kaplan, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a correspondent for the Atlantic, writes in the Washington Post that the absence of a single world power that has an imperial mentality has been traumatic for global affairs. The Soviet Union and the United States, when they were all-powerful, maintained order in the world.

QUOTE: If the Cold War was an epoch of relative stability, guaranteed by a tacit understanding among empires, we now have one waning empire, that of the United States, trying to bring order amid a world of rising and sometimes hostile powers.

Europe must address debt problems

Edward Hugh, an independent macroeconomist based in Barcelona, Spain, writes in Foreign Policy that countries like Spain must address their present-day debt problems to ensure long-term survival of the euro.

QUOTE: Remedies are there, and they can be applied when the will to do so can be found. Until then, let's just hope the ropes hold.

Israel’s fire might spark closer ties with Turkey

Zvi Bar'el writes in Jerusalem’s Haaretz that Israel should use the opportunity of receiving Turkey’s help in controlling its massive fire to improve diplomatic relations between the countries.

QUOTE: It is to be regretted that we needed a terrible catastrophe for a window of opportunity to open, but it would be a major diplomatic blunder if Israel squandered this opportunity.