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Brutality in Belarus

IHT: The West must try to manage the rise of the East. Foreign Policy: Why did North Korea not retaliate? NYPost: Let the European Union save itself.

The West must try to manage the rise of the East

Ian Morris, professor of classics and history at Stanford University, writes in the International Herald Tribune that the world is seeing the biggest shift in wealth and power in 200 years as the East rises up. He argues that the West should try to manage the rise of the East by taking action such as paying off debts and becoming less dependent on oil and gas.

QUOTE: Using America’s military might to guarantee the international order is equally important. This is an expensive burden, but US arms have kept the peace over Taiwan and Korea for nearly 60 years, and it will be US arms that keep China’s rise peaceful in the 21st century — if anything does.

China’s lack of innovation will damage its future

Columnist Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal that China risks its own future by stifling freedom of expression and not encouraging innovation. He argues that it won’t be enough for China to reengineer others’ technologies.

QUOTE: You cannot plagiarize your way to pre- eminence. People start to notice, and to care. Neither can you innovate successfully if the prevailing political ethos is to insist on conformity of thought or a direction for development.

American business leaders show optimism

Columnist Clive Crook writes in the Financial Times that there is a growing sense of optimism among American business leaders about the economy. This is a result of the recent tax deal, which will provide a modest stimulus and avoids fiscal tightening.

QUOTE: The deal averted the possibility – and at one point, it seemed, the likelihood – that the US Congress would become deadlocked over tax policy, and let all the tax cuts passed by the Bush administration in 2001 and 2003 expire.

Britain should make its banking sector more competitive

David G. Green, director of Civitas, writes in London’s Daily Telegraph that Britain’s Coalition government should make its banking sector more competitive. It should look to Germany’s savings banks as a model for a type of bank to introduce.

QUOTE: Germany’s big banks made the same mistakes as ours, but their local municipal banks did not. They have no bonus culture, and while the big commercial banks were reducing business loans, the savings banks were increasing theirs.

Why did North Korea not retaliate?

Daniel W. Drezner, professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, writes in Foreign Policy that North Korea’s decision to not retaliate after South Korea conducted military drills could be attributed to a number of different reasons. Perhaps North Korea got caught bluffing, domestic divisions led to a veto of military escalation or Beijing pressured the North to show restraint.

QUOTE: The past month of tensions got everyone's attention, and North Korea is only happy when everyone else is paying attention to them.

Ireland must take control of its economic future

David Lynch, a senior writer at Bloomberg News, writes in the Financial Times that Ireland must reclaim its sovereignty to get the country on the path to prosperity. It must finally decide its future and if it wants an American or European economic system.

QUOTE: That makes it imperative for the Irish finally to tackle the internal impediments of a malformed politics and uncompetitive economy blocking the road to mature prosperity.

Obama’s arms control treaty won’t end nuclear proliferation

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal argues that President Obama’s arms control treaty with Russia will do little to address the problems of nuclear programs in rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran.

QUOTE: This is a dangerous world that will require new, hard-headed antiproliferation strategies, not the irrelevancies of New Start. That no doubt will require a new generation of policy makers in Washington.

China is likely to see tensions between leaders

Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, writes in the Asia Times that it is likely that when Vice President Xi Jinping succeeds Hu Jintao as party general secretary, there will be tension between the two leaders. They have different political orientations that are likely to conflict.

QUOTE: The big question is whether Xi can afford running afoul of President Hu, who seems determined to ensure the predominance of his CYL Faction beyond the 18th Party Congress.

The West’s influence declines in eastern Europe

Columnist Anne Applebaum writes in the Washington Post that the unpopular dictator in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, used abusive and inhumane tactics to claim an election win. The West can do little to change the situation because its offers of free markets ultimately cannot compete with Russia’s support.

QUOTE: The United States and Europe, out of money and out of ideas, scarcely fund the Belarusan opposition. Russia, flush with oil money once again, has agreed to back Lukashenko and fund his regime.

Let the European Union save itself

John Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN, writes in the New York Post that the United States should resist the temptation to help the European Union as it faces a currency crisis. Businesses and countries must face the consequences of their actions and solve their own problems.

QUOTE: We must avoid propping it up directly through loans or financial assistance or indirectly through the International Monetary Fund.

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