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North Korea Is Not Crazy

WSJ: The US should intervene as China strengthens its military. Economist: How to deal with WikiLeaks. FT: China’s paranoia gets in its way.

The world economy looks to be even more divided in 2011

An opinion piece in the Economist argues the United States, eurozone and emerging markets are all headed in different directions concerning growth prospects and policy choices. New divisions may lead to more frictions ahead.

QUOTE: A more divided world economy could make 2011 a year of damaging shocks.

The EU must show its commitment to further enlargement

Carl Bildt, Franco Frattini, William Hague and Alexander Stubb, the foreign ministers, respectively, of Sweden, Italy, Britain and Finland, write in the International Herald Tribune that the European Union must return to its old ideals. In order to support more growth, stability and democratic institutions across the continent, it must open its doors to membership.

QUOTE: At its coming General Affairs Council, the EU should restate its strong commitment to further enlargement.

The US should intervene as China strengthens its military

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal states that with the help of Russia, China is dramatically improving its military capabilities. The piece argues that the United States must follow these changes closely and get more involved in order to maintain the balance of power Asia.

QUOTE: The American friend that has most to fear from this is Taiwan. Even now, the People's Liberation Army could probably assert air superiority over the island. That means the risk of escalation and miscalculation across the Taiwan Strait is growing.

North Korea’s leaders are not crazy

Victor D. Cha, a professor at Georgetown University and a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writes in the Washington Post that there are many myths surrounding the secretive North Korean regime. Contrary to popular belief, the regime is not crazy, negotiations won’t improve the situation, and China cannot be counted on to bring about change.

QUOTE: In truth, the country's diplomats are savvy and well-educated about the United States, and have an epicurean taste for California's red wines. In my negotiations with them as an official in President George W. Bush's administration, I always found them to be rational.

Small emerging nations should be represented at the G20

Mauricio Cardenas, Luis Carranzaand Andres Velasco, former ministers, respectively, in Colombai, Peru and Chile, write in Project Syndicate that if the G20 wants to be more effective and play a bigger role in establishing a balanced global economy, small emerging nations should have a rotating seat at the table.

QUOTE: If countries are not adequately represented, international economic coordination will return by default to the multilateral institutions where it made little progress in the years that led up to the crisis.

How to deal with WikiLeaks

An opinion piece in the Economist argues that the United States is right to be angry with WikiLeaks, but it must follow its laws when dealing with the founder. If America deviates from its laws, it will damage its alliances and credibility and look impotent.

QUOTE: The best lessons to bear in mind are those learned in such costly fashion during the past decade of the “war on terror”. Deal with the source of the problem, not just its symptoms. Keep the moral high ground. And pick fights you can win.

China is not foreign to diversity of thought and opinion

Columnist Doug Saunders writes in Toronto’s Globe and Mail that the Chinese government is wrong when it tries to argue that basic human rights like the freedom to criticize authorities is a Western import.

QUOTE: Chinese economic historian Roy Bin Wong has shown us that China has independent traditions of markets and public roles as robust and well-rooted as those in Europe.

Obama’s tax move will help him in 2012

Columnist Doyle McManus writes in the Los Angeles Times that President Obama’s decision to extend the Bush tax cuts infuriated his liberal base. However, the deal is likely to be warmly accepted by independents, whose support the president needs to win reelection in 2012.

QUOTE: Most [American] campaigns are won in the center, among independent and swing voters who are neither reliably liberal nor deeply conservative.

China’s paranoia gets in its way

Beijing bureau chief Geoff Dyer writes in the Financial Times that the refusal to allow Liu Xiaobo to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is only one example of how China has made more and more illiberal decisions. It has been unclear what has provoked this “illiberal lurch.”

QUOTE: China’s leadership has an enviable technocratic capacity to get things done – think of all those high-speed trains – but also a deep-seated paranoia about domestic political opponents that has been on full display this week.

Base North Korean policy on fact, not rumor

An editorial in the Korea Times argues that policy regarding North Korea must be made based on known facts and not rumors. It argues that South Korea already seems to be planning for reunification when it is only wishful thinking at this point that North Korea will collapse.

QUOTE: The government should bear in mind that confirmed facts should be the only criteria in formulating North Korea policy. The administrations both in the U.S. and South Korea have failed in this thus far.