"[China is] determined to move away from the quantity dimension of growth to a new focus on the quality of economic development. This is not only about a downshift in GDP growth: it is also a critical shift toward the long dormant Chinese consumer, opening up one of the largest consumer markets in the world to anemically growing Western countries," writes Stephen S. Roach for Foreign Policy.
"Simplistic ideas of demanding that the Chinese curtail the full array of their obnoxious and offensive [cyber] behavior will raise the temperature but will also fall far short of producing constructive outcomes, especially given that the U.S. government would not itself accept many of the restrictions on conduct that many feel we should require of Beijing," writes Kenneth G. Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution.
Egyptian prosecutors issued arrest warrants (Ahram) Wednesday for the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, Mohamed Badei, and nine other Islamist leaders, accusing them of inciting the violence that left fifty-one Brotherhood supporters dead Monday at Republican Guard headquarters. Prosecutors ordered another two hundred to jail pending investigations.
Russia Posthumously Convicts Magnitsky for Tax Evasion
Late Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was found guilty of tax evasion (FT) on Thursday. Magnitsky's client, U.S.-born William Browder, was also convicted in absentia; he launched an anticorruption campaign after accusing Russian officials of malfeasance in Magnitsky's detention-center death.
CZECH REPUBLIC: President Milos Zeman appointed a caretaker government (AFP) led by leftist economist Jiri Rusnok on Wednesday. The cabinet must win a vote of confidence within thirty days in the parliament, where the center-right coalition, recently ousted amid the country's longest recession, commands a slight majority.
House Republicans Oppose Comprehensive Immigration Reform
The House Republican caucus overwhelmingly rejected the overhaul of immigration laws (AP) favored by both President Obama and a bipartisan Senate coalition. The Senate bill would give undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship while strengthening border security.
In this CFR report, Bryan Roberts, Senior Fellow Edward Alden, and John Whitley argue that better data is needed on the role of law enforcement in deterring illegal border crossings.
LATIN AMERICA: U.S. alliesMexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile demanded answers from the United States on allegations of spying (BBC) raised by recent NSA leaks.