The Washington Post's thoughtful editorial over the weekend observes that Western business and commerce with China is not leading to political liberalization. That has been the great hope of Washington's policy of engagement with China, which Richard Nixon began decades ago. Indeed, China has not only has crushed political dissent, it has now embarked on a campaign of rolling back economic liberty.
These are daunting times for those pursuing megaregional trade deals. Although the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) lie at the heart of both commercial and foreign policy, each has encountered troubling obstacles this week.
As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late September, in the wake of Chinese President Xi Jinping's grand tour of South Asia, the world will be watching for clues about the future strategic triangle between its three biggest nations.
"There's a bit of a sense of desperation about coming up with ways to break the logjams, on the nuclear talks and the larger relationship" a participant in the talks told the New York Times recently.
Representatives of Latin America and the Caribbean have chosen the troubled government of Venezuela to represent them in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member whose term begins next January. When the U.N. General Assembly elects new UNSC members in mid-October, Latin America's nominee to debate matters of "peace and security" will be a country that is among the least peaceful and most insecure in the Americas. Although the region's image may suffer as a result, at least President Nicolás Maduro's regime will be conspicuous as its economic mismanagement collapses Venezuela's oil-rich economy and as its repression intensifies in a desperate bid to hold to power.