Connect to share and comment

China Makes a Splash in 2010

GlobalPost: Why Europe’s single currency system faces a crisis. Foreign Policy: Myanmar’s democracy leader needs a plan. Telegraph: Obama cannot risk negotiating with the Taliban.

New ways to measure China’s rise in 2010

Columnist David Pilling writes in the Financial Times that there are a number of signs revealing that 2010 was an important year for China. These include its more assertive diplomacy, willingness to challenge Google and resistance to letting its currency rise.

QUOTE: China’s rise has actually caused remarkably little friction. Its success in drawing hundreds of millions out of poverty is to be celebrated.

Why Europe’s single currency system faces a crisis

Correspondent Michael Goldfarb writes in GlobalPost that the idea of having economic integration in Europe and therefore a single currency was a good one. The difficulty has been that implementing it has required the emotional and nationalistic business of politics.

QUOTE: A single currency always implied greater political union and that has never happened. There is no federal European government, and so there is no way for the EU to set a central tax policy or budget.          

Insiders threaten Chinese companies

Business Asia column editor Joseph Sternberg writes in the Wall Street Journal that Chinese companies should be concerned with Internet security. They should be particularly fearful of employees who misuse access to a company’s information. As a result of this, China will likely to see a rise in information security systems.

QUOTE: Having cheerfully pirated the seas of intellectual property for years, Chinese companies now find themselves holding considerable loot that tempts others to plunder.

Myanmar’s democracy leader needs a concrete plan

Steve Finch, a freelance correspondent covering Burma and Southeast Asia from Phnom Penh, writes in Foreign Policy that despite Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest, the Nobel laureate has not expressed a clear vision for how democracy can be achieved in Myanmar. Neither she nor the West has a plan for how to deal with the lack of unity among the international community.

QUOTE: While the West talks of sanctions and punishment to coerce the generals, China, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)continue to prefer a less confrontational approach.

Obama tries to win over America’s business community

Columnist Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post that President Obama began to implement his pro-business plan this week and is trying to show he supports capitalists.

QUOTE: If he keeps it up, this socialist president will earn himself a tickertape parade on Wall Street.

Don’t expect a war between North and South Korea anytime soon

Michael Breen, a former foreign correspondent and the chairman of Insight Communications, a public relations consulting company, writes in the Korea Times that despite all the talk and commotion, the two Koreas are not on the brink of war.

QUOTE: The South is waiting out the communist regime, and not unhappily because there is a consensus about the need to avoid the social and economic costs of unification for a decade or two. The regime in the North is simply bent on survival.

France must encourage the growth and vitality of new ideas

Patrick Mehr, founder and president of a consulting firm in Massachusetts, writes in the International Herald Tribune that the French government controls and stifles all aspects of entrepreneurial life. The government’s policies result in the country’s elite working in bureaucratic jobs rather than starting their own companies.

QUOTE: National wealth derives from the vitality of new businesses, the arts, scientific research and political action, not from ever-expanding rules and regulations the country’s highly trained officials keep generating.

Italy: the land of political paradoxes

Paolo Messa, a former spokesman of the Union of Christian and Center Democrats and communications advisor for Italy's prime minister, writes in Project Syndicate that Italian politics are paradoxical. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi continues to have strong power, yet he faces strong opposition. Going forward, the country will have to deal with not only its political crisis but also an economic one as unemployment rises.

QUOTE: Not for the first time, Italian politics are a landscape of paradoxes and oxymora.

Obama cannot risk negotiating with the Taliban

Diplomatic Editor Praveen Swami writes in London’s Daily Telegraph that President Obama should not listen to Afghanistan experts who call for dialogue and negotiation with the Taliban. He argues that the intentions of the Taliban are unclear, and they are not responsible negotiation partners.

QUOTE: It is also possible that the Taliban are just holding out the bait of talks to win respite from attack – and then make a bid for power when western troops leave.

American businesses still feel blamed for the economic crisis

Mort Zuckerman, editor in chief of US News & World Report and chairman and co-founder of Boston Properties, writes in the Financial Times that the majority of America’s business community still views President Obama’s administration as hostile to them.

QUOTE: Now the economy is in trouble, and the business community senses that it is being blamed, while politicians ignore how much havoc has been created by government itself.