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An Empty Seat in Oslo

FT: Lacking its own creativity, China co-opts others’ ideas. Project Syndicate: European countries must restructure their debt. Korea Times: Inertia dominates China’s North Korea policy.

Lacking its own creativity, China co-opts others’ ideas

Columnist John Gapper writes in the Financial Times that China is transforming its economy by co-opting others’ technological ideas. He argues that this demonstrates China’s insecurity over its own ability to innovate.

QUOTE: If China kids itself that “micro-innovation” and “re-innovation” are as good as the real thing, it risks getting stuck halfway to being an advanced economy.

Stimulus programs don’t work

John Cogan, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and John Taylor, an economics professor at Stanford and a Hoover senior fellow, write in the Wall Street Journal that recent data proves that temporary, targeted stimulus programs simply have not worked at boosting the economy.

QUOTE: The lesson is to beware of politicians proposing public works and other government purchases as a means to stimulate the economy.

An empty chair highlights the need for reform in China

Renee Xia, international director of the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, writes in the Los Angeles Times that China’s decision to prevent writer Liu Xiaobo from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and cracking down on his family, supporters and other dissidents reveals the dire need for political reform in China.

QUOTE: Keeping Liu in prison provides a platform for international mobilization to end rights abuses in China, and will continue to shame the government for its failures to honor its international treaty obligations to respect human rights.

European countries must restructure their debt

Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley, writes in Project Syndicate that in order for the eurozone to survive this economic crisis, nations must restructure their debt. He argues that it is “unreasonable and illogical” for governments to deny this.

QUOTE: Making this work requires European countries to move together. And, with banks’ balance sheets having been strengthened, it will be possible to restructure mortgage debts, bank debts, and other private-sector debts without destabilizing financial systems.

Australia bets on Asia’s rise

Columnist David Pilling writes in the Financial Times that Australia has tied its economy to Asia’s rise. More than 70 percent of Australia’s exports now go to different Asian nations.

QUOTE: Many seem convinced they have another 10-15 years of boom to go, as not only China and India but, behind them, Indonesia, Vietnam and others ramp up their economies.

Don’t worry, the euro is here to stay

Commentator Adrian Hamilton writes in London’s Independent that despite economists’ predictions, the euro is unlikely to collapse. This is because the public and politicians continue to support it.

QUOTE: There is growing anger against the cuts. But so far the anger has been directed against [the public’s] own governments, not the EU.

China wages global war against human rights

Jamie Metzl, the executive vice president of Asia Society, writes in the Wall Street Journal that China’s rise has challenged adopted and accepted international norms on human rights. China helps brutal regimes around the world survive.

QUOTE: Because China helps protect these regimes—and often benefits commercially, in the form of deals for natural resources—international efforts to protect human rights generally have no net effect on the abusing regime's actions.

The US should invest in education to boost its economy

Columnist Matt Miller writes in the Washington Post that while students in Shanghai are outscoring those in other countries, US lawmakers are only focused on the 2012 elections. Rather than extend the Bush tax cuts, lawmakers should be putting that money into the nation’s education system. Only that will produce long-term growth.

QUOTE: Math (and science) achievement today predicts technological leadership and economic strength tomorrow.

Inertia dominates China’s North Korea policy

Zhu Feng, deputy director of the Center for International & Strategic Studies, Peking University, writes in the Korea Times that North Korea’s rogue behavior brings significant political problems for China. And yet, China’s emotional ties to the North and preference for the status quo prevent it from overhauling its policy.

QUOTE: China’s North Korea policy is dominated by inertia rather than sensitivity to its own national interests.

We must go forward with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

Senior Fellow Robert Danin writes in that the United States was right to end its insistence that Israel stop settlement building as a precondition for peace talks. While in-direct talks will be more challenging, they are not hopeless.

QUOTE: The United States was expending too much energy and political capital haggling with Israel over settlements, rather than addressing fundamental issues dividing Israel and the Palestinians.