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August, 27, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Arthur Cyr
The intense conflict between the European Union (EU) and heavily indebted Greece continues. On June 22, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed concessions involving more taxes. On June 25, Greece's government rejected counter-demands, risking default on an impending payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
 
Violent clashes involving Chinese ships and Vietnamese fishing boats are the latest in a series of maritime disputes which span the vast Pacific region.
 
Turkey's electorate has voted for democracy and the rule of law over incipient dictatorship, a most positive development. In June 7 parliamentary elections, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) was abandoned by many voters. The ruling party won the largest bloc of seats in parliament, but lost the majority.
 
At the end of May, the United States formally removed Cuba from the list of states sponsoring terrorism. This will greatly facilitate interchange between the two countries. In particular, significant banking restrictions will be lifted.
 
"Individual ambition serves the common good," wrote Adam Smith, masterful eighteenth century analyst of emerging industrial capitalism. Freer trade reflects collective coordination of national ambition.
 
"Egregious" and "grotesque" is how United States Secretary of State John Kerry has described North Korea's reckless international provocations, and brutal executions of victims who incur the wrath of leader Kim Jong Un.
 
The Obama administration tends to confuse rhetoric with accomplishment, and nowhere is this more apparent than in regard to the Middle East. "The Obama Doctrine" has been employed since Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign to sum up foreign policy strategy. However, there is no strategy, only a general declaration of international good citizenship and cooperation.
 
The general election in Britain has confirmed that the nation's politics are in great flux. The governing Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, has made unpredicted crucial gains.
 
Up close and personal -- that describes targeting individuals in wartime, even when impersonal drone aircraft and electronics are employed.
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While much of the media and many politicians have become obsessed with the nuclear negotiations involving Iran, unrelated and also underreported talks have achieved important progress.
 
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