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    China, Debt, and Influence

    Speaking at his annual press conference, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern about the outlook for U.S. government debt: “We have made a huge amount of loans to the United States. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. … More

    United Nations says to America: 'You're Deadbeats'

    Yesterday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called the United States a “deadbeat” donor to the world body. The White House called these words “unfortunate” and at least rightfully acknowledged the “the contribution that the American taxpayer makes.” However, these words are much more than “unfortunate.” Let’s start with our donor status. … More

    Tough Stance on Trade: Good for Politics, Bad for America

    Catering to a Congress that is largely hostile to international trade, USTR nominee Ron Kirk used his confirmation hearing testimony to assure the Senate Finance Committee that the administration plans to take a tougher stance on trade this year. Instead of focusing the trade agenda on looking for new opportunities … More

    North Korea Escalates Threats

    Pyongyang has accused the U.S. and South Korea of using the ongoing annual joint military exercise Key Resolve/Foal Eagle as preparations to mount a preemptive attack on North Korea. Pyongyang warns that “a war may break out any moment due to the reckless policy of confrontation” pursued by the U.S. … More

    Crisis Evolution in Russia

    The past few weeks saw a certain stabilization of the ruble against the key international currencies. The Russian national currency’s de facto devaluation has brought about a dramatic nearly 40-percent drop in imports compared to the same period last year. This development helped to offset export losses and retain a … More

    Possible Effects of Clinton-Lavrov Talks

    The Geneva meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hardly attracted Russian spotlight. Moscow does not have much faith in a fast track success toward improving bilateral relations and resolving multiple thorny issues. Nevertheless, the Kremlin is viewing with hope some of the … More

    An Ally We Should Believe In

    New York University Business School professor Tunku Varadarajan writes at Forbes: The truth is that, for all his unpopularity in the U.S. (and Europe, and Latin America, and the Middle East, and practically everywhere else outside Albania and Georgia), Bush is a much-appreciated figure in India–at least in high policy … More

    Physician, Heal Thyself

    Gordon Brown spoke today to a joint meeting of Congress. Did you notice? Well, exactly. There is one overwhelming reason to take him seriously: he is the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of reasons not to take him seriously. For one, he is massively … More

    Brown’s Telling Gift to Obama

    Last month, President Obama returned a bronze bust of Winston Churchill that had, since 9/11, been on loan as a symbol of the Special Relationship from the British Government to the United States. When he arrived for his visit this week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown brought along a few replacements. … More

    Live Blogging Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Address to the Joint Meeting of Congress

    Expectations for Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s address to the joint meeting of Congress this morning were low. His visit so far has been devoid of highlights. His joint press conference with Obama on Tuesday was canceled, supposedly because of the weather, which was a snub Tony Blair never endured. At … More