"China has long maintained a no-strings-attached approach to doing business in Africa, with little involvement in conflict resolution. But the friction in recent years between Sudan and South Sudan, and now within South Sudan, has resulted in a marked change because of China's interest in maintaining its oil supply."
"Sadly, [President] Yanukovych's ouster won't solve Ukraine's larger problem: Its Russian-dominated past exerts a powerful pull and Europe is nowhere near ready to help the country build a more peaceful and prosperous future."
Authors: Geoff Dyer, Demetri Sevastopulo, and Simon Mundy
"The U.S. has been particularly frustrated at the deterioration in relations between Tokyo and Seoul, as it believes that relationship is important to help check the rise of China in the region, which is one reason that some high-profile Asia experts in the US have been urging Mr Obama to visit South Korea."
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Scot Marciel, testified onDecember 18, 2013 about the economic aspects of the Obama Administration's rebalance to Asia, before theSenate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon argues why it is in U.S. interests to create an American development bank that invests in small- and medium-sized businesses, including those owned by women, in the world's least-developed and newly emerging economies.
"If Japan's government can overcome a demand setback after the tax increase takes effect – leaving the economy functioning smoothly and initiating a recovery in government revenue – Abe will be able to declare Abenomics an unequivocal success."
"Xi has indicated very clearly from the time that he became General Secretary of the Party that he was obsessed, as maybe other Chinese leaders are also, with the Gorbachev syndrome. Xi Jinping realizes, like Li Keqiang, that there is a need for deep economic reforms—really very important and very difficult economic reforms. But what I think they worry about is that they don't know which reforms could be the ones which unleash a Gorbachev-type situation, where one thing follows another and before you know it the whole country and the whole party system has collapsed."
"Greece's reform job is not even half finished. The government hasn't done enough to root out the vested interests that strangle the economy. Nor has it cracked down fully on tax evasion or pushed hard enough to privatise state-owned properties."
"For the first time in a very long time, people here have hope," says Liban Mahdi, one of scores of diaspora Somalis who have returned to Mogadishu since al-Shabaab were routed from the city by African Union and Somali forces in August 2011. Parts of the battle-scarred capital are experiencing a construction boom, with hospitals, homes, schools, shops and hotels rising from once rubbled neighbourhoods. Streets hum with cars and hawkers. "We have traffic jams in Mogadishu now," says Ismail, who works in construction. "I never imagined I would see that here."
Michael Spence writes that slowing growth puts Chinese authorities in the tricky position of shifting their economy from a growth model based heavily on public investment-led growth to a growth model that mixes more domestic consumption with higher-yielding forms of investment.
There is a strong economic case for investing in women. Encouraging female workforce participation and entrepreneurship helps lift women and their families out of poverty, generates innovation, and grows economies.