The Neighbourhood/World
Xi Jinping gambles on ‘Chinese Dream’ - Atul Aneja, Hindu
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a trail that could see him become an icon — scripting a message that blends Confucius and Mao, without abandoning the centrality of Deng Xiaoping’s code of reforms.
Bad math makes China's GDP No. 1 - Noah Smith, Business Standard
The International Monetary Fund has just reported that China, not the US, is now the world's largest economy. This announcement comes a few years earlier than expected, due to a revision in the IMF's estimate of average prices in China. Chinese inflation, it seems, hasn't been as high as we thought, meaning that more of the nation's growth has been real.
Why the best hope for an Islamic enlightenment comes from the Shia clerics of Iraq - Deepak Lal, Business Standard
In my last column I had discussed the Scottish Enlightenment and how it had tamed the religious passions of the Sottish Calvinist Church within a few decades and allowed the secularism that is a hallmark of modernity to develop. In this column I want to discuss whether such an outcome is likely in Muslim societies. As David Hume noted in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the religious tolerance that was embraced by the English and the Dutch "proceeded from the steady resolution of the civil magistrate, in opposition to the continued efforts of priests and bigots".
India, China agree to defuse tensions - Suhasini Haidar, Hindu
Indian and Chinese diplomats agreed to defuse tensions of the past three months at a two-day meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) in Delhi that concluded here on Friday. But a month after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to restarting the high-level talks of Special Representatives on border issues, India is yet to announce its nominee for the dialogue.
A terror warning unleashes a frisson ahead of the SAARC summit - Yubaraj Ghimire, Indian Express
The absence of political stability and public faith in Nepal’s political leadership has taken a toll on the state. The debate on whether Nepal will become a failed state has subsided for the moment, but that is largely because of the hope that Nepal’s people possess and the goodwill the Himalayan nation enjoys. However, people are losing that hope as politicians, responsible for institutionalising Nepal’s political changes through a constitution, continue to fail. The deadline, extended for the third time — asking the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee to achieve consensus on the contentious issues — lapsed on Friday.
Why the West is unwilling to pressure Pakistan on terrorism - Jaimini Bhagwati, Business Standard
A senior British official said pithily to me some time back that "if Pakistan knew Osama bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad (located a couple of kilometres from Pakistan's Military Academy) it is a rogue state. If Pakistan did not know Osama was living at this location for over five years, it is a failed state". Despite such no-nonsense rhetoric in private, the United States, the United Kingdom and other Western governments have not been commensurately demanding of Pakistan in public.
'Hundreds of ISIS ultras killed in Syria' - Pioneer
A barrage of US-led airstrikes in and around the Syrian city of Kobane, including 39 over the past two days, has killed hundreds of Islamic State fighters and has stiffened the city’s Kurdish defenders, the Pentagon’s spokesman said.
Russia hugs China - C Raja Mohan, Indian Express
The extended crisis in Ukraine and the growing tension between Russia and the West are likely to pose a major challenge for India’s foreign policy. As Russia embraces China to relieve the pressures from the West, India’s room for geopolitical manoeuvre in Asia and beyond is bound to shrink.
Hong Kong protesters have relied on pop culture to get their message across - Nury Vittachi, Indian Express
In the first few days of the pro-democracy protest here, haughty newspaper editorials branded the demonstrators as naïve dreamers. The students responded by daubing a quote from John Lennon’s “Imagine” over various parts of the main sit-in site in the Admiralty neighbourhood: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
Why, for many in Pakistan, it is safer to think of Malala as an American spy - Komail Aijazuddin, Indian Express
Congratulations to us both on our shared Nobel Peace Prize win! Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, peace rock stars and all around saints-in-waiting, made our nations as proud as new mothers this week by being honoured as symbols of hope and peace for all humanity to emulate.
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