Throwing 10 percent of the world’s population into darkness is not a good way to advertise one’s “great power” credentials. India’s late-summer power outage, political dysfunction and slowing economic growth have engendered doubts among U.S. observers allayed only partly by the government’s recent announcement of economic reforms. For nearly a decade, India has represented Washington’s major strategic bet in Asia, a “natural ally” that was emerging as a strong, globally active and increasingly prosperous partner. Was this bet misguided?
We don’t think so. The short-run challenges to Indian power and progress in the relationship are daunting, and realism about the pace of both is in order.… Seguir leyendo »
“The heart of our [Asia] strategy, the piece that binds all the rest of it together, is our support for democracy and human rights,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared last Monday. Two days later, the Obama administration lifted prohibitions on U.S. investment in Burma . American companies are now free to partner with the state-owned energy conglomerate — the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) — whose revenue has underwritten the military regime’s repression of its people and ongoing wars against ethnic dissidents.
Why now? Burma (also known as Myanmar) is undergoing a managed political opening designed to legitimize its regime, transform its growth prospects and enlist Western partners as a hedge against China.… Seguir leyendo »
China boasts the world’s second-largest economy, delivering double-digit economic growth on a seemingly permanent basis. It pursues the world’s most ambitious program of military modernization, emphasizing the projection of power beyond its borders. It is the planet’s biggest steel producer, car market, commodity consumer and exporter. As President Hu Jintao prepares to visit Washington next week, his country’s model of authoritarian development looks unstoppable – with troubling implications for American primacy in world affairs.
Yet China may soon bump up against the model’s limitations. An aging demographic profile means the population’s share of prime workers has already peaked. Resource constraints and environmental devastation will increasingly complicate economic development.… Seguir leyendo »