Klein's Commentary

Go beyond the headlines

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China’s Global Leadership Gap – CNN Commentary

(Also on CNN’s Global Public Square here.) In a rare and telling diplomatic snub this week China refused to send People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan to the IMF/World Bank meeting held in Tokyo. The slight, related to the continued stand-off with Japan over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea says…

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Malala Injured

The Fundamentalists’ Last Stand

In Swat, Pakistan three children were attacked including Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old awarded for promoting girl’s education. She was taken off her school bus by an armed Taliban militant and shot in the head (as of this writing she is reportedly in stable condition.) After years of acquiescence towards radicalized militant groups, the…

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If China Televised a Presidential Debate

(Sometime in the future . . .) Moderator, internationally-renowned artist Ai Weiwei: Thank you all for coming to the National Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Beijing for this first ever, internationally televised CCTV – China Presidential Debate. There will be no opening remarks, only questions submitted by Weibo users whose names will be…

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U.S. by the Numbers – Recovery Still a Mixed Bag

A torrent of headlines came out today on the latest U.S. jobs numbers. Unemployment fell to 7.8%, below the psychologically important magic number eight. Hitting a four year low this certainly marks a change in the right direction, but we’re still talking baby steps (hand holding a toddler comes to mind.) To have a substantial…

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Debate

The Presidential Debate We Needed, but Never Saw

One question for the undecided voters of America – are you better off now than you were 90 minutes ago? Despite a Romney landslide 67% “win” among CNN debate watchers and pundits parsing the candidates words in excruciating detail (worse than the actual number-laded debate itself), undecided voters remained decidedly, undecided. What voters needed from…

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China Port (2009)

Asia by the Numbers

(UPDATE 10/8/12: Both the World Bank and Asian Development Bank have lowered 2012 growth forecasts for China and Asia.) Remember those halcyon days of unending Asia growth and the re-birth of a Silk Road century? Cherish the memories. Nothing but negative news keeps flowing out of regional giants these days. Expert debates rage on about…

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Iran’s Economy at the Edge

(UPDATE: 10/3/12 – BBC reporting protests in Tehran.) Months of tightening U.S. sanctions appear to be taking their toll on Iran’s economy. The rial plunged against the dollar (losing 25% in street value in the past week and down some 80% since 2011). Imports, paid for in dollars, have become increasingly expensive. Inflation approached 24%…

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Foxconn Riot

Foxconn Riots and the Limits of China’s Middle Class

Several thousand rioting workers in Foxconn’s Taiyuan factory this week highlighted the inherent limits on China’s emerging middle class. Questions about the causes of the violence continue to circulate, either a dispute sparked by a security guard beating a worker or a fight in one of the privately contracted dormitories that went awry. (Jennifer Preston…

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East China Sea

Occupy East China Sea – China, Japan Face Off Over Disputed Islands

Chinese fishing fleets continue pressing their claims to the resources of a disputed island chain in the East China Sea while Japan considers what it can do with a Coast Guard fleet to protect their administrative control. The Senkaku/Diaoyu or Diaoyu/Senkaku island debate rages on with an occupy movement in full swing. With the Japanese…

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Asia Slowdown Hits Vietnam

You can’t argue with growth, until it slows, and slower it goes in parts of emerging Asia. Countries like Vietnam, long believed immune to the troubles of industrialized nations are now in the throes of their own domestic economic downturn. The culprit turns out not to be currency speculators or international financial institutions demanding draconian…

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