Weekend Roundup: America’s Top Strategic Priority Should Be ‘Reopening’ to China


Nathan Gardels is the editor-in-chief of Noema Magazine.

Writing from Vladivostok, Artyom Lukin sketches a scenario for The WorldPost of where we might end up 20 years from now — World War III-lite — if we continue on the present track.

As often in history, seemingly unrelated events on opposite sides of the globe can converge to determine the long course of destiny. As Lukin outlines, such an inadvertent convergence is taking place before our eyes. Long before the Ukraine crisis erupted and Putin took off the Russian gloves, the Obama administration announced a “pivot” to Asia that China sees as an effort to contain its rise, leading in turn to a more assertive nationalism under President Xi Jinping. This, combined with tough new Western sanctions against the Putin regime, however justified, is pushing China and Russia together into a new anti-Western bloc. To make the world safe for interdependence, the top strategic priority for the U.S. must be a “reopening to China” to once again undercut the foundations of that bloc, just as Richard Nixon did (vis-à-vis the then Soviet Union) in 1972.

The WorldPost also reported on Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s call for the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank to deter Russia. Harvard professor Joseph Nye argues that a more robust self-defense role for Japan will help stabilize East Asia, not destabilize it.

Looking at the economic contours of the emerging order, World Bank economist Branko Milanovic describes how globalization so far has favored the rich and promoted the Asian middle class while demoting the middle class in the West. He argues that redistribution through investment in education and infrastructure, not populist protectionism, is the best response. Writing on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Noam Chomsky reminds our readers that nuclear weapons are still plentiful and proliferating.

Peering into China from the bottom up instead of through the prism of economics or geopolitics, WorldPost Beijing Correspondent Matt Sheehan chronicles the broad-based search for faith among ordinary Chinese seeking respite and spiritual solace from the breathless pace of materialistic pursuit. Sahra Vang Nguyen examines the cultural impact of the Internet and globalization on the rising middle class youth in Vietnam.

The Gaza conflict reached a fever pitch this week before the cease-fire was announced. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the shelling of a UN refuge “a criminal act” and even the U.S. said it was “appalled.” Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin argues in The WorldPost that it is “France’s duty” to end the Israeli “massacre” of Palestinians, a sentiment echoed by President Francois Hollande.

From Istanbul, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports on the political backlash of some low-income neighborhoods against the rapid development of the city under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is running for president. She also reports on how Turkey’s election, the country’s first direct presidential one, is unlikely to bring any surprises.

As the Ebola crisis further exploded this week, WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles reports on “the perfect storm” that has allowed the virus to get “out of control.”

Marking an unprecedented gathering of African leaders in Washington, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz writes that good governance is the best defense against Islamist extremism. Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomes the new attention of Western countries to investment opportunities in Africa, where China has moved in aggressively.

Finally, the pop warbler Christina Aguilera reflects on her experience working with the United Nations World Food Programme in Rwanda.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun). Sergio Munoz Bata is Contributing Editor-At-Large.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


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