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    Dealing the Right Cards in Japan's Upper-House Shuffle

    On Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) took majority power in Japan’s upper house, giving his party majority control over both upper and lower houses. This presents an opportunity for the LDP to make the difficult changes necessary to turn its economy around and make it a … More

    60 Years After His Death, Stalin Haunts Russia

    March 5 marks the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death. One of the most infamous leaders of the 20thcentury, Stalin remains a controversial figure among Russians as they refuse to settle a debate about his role and impact. And the recent attempts by the state to remember him may be … More

    China’s NPC: Don’t Jump the Gun on News of Economic Reform

    The annual meetings of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) start March 5. This year is more important than most: The new Communist Party leadership introduced at last fall’s Party Congress receive their government positions. We all know the top slot (president), and we are all but certain of the #2 … More

    Requiem for Hu, Wu, and Wen

    Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, and Wen Jiabao will step down from the top of the Chinese Communist Party this week. In four months, or thereabouts, they will surrender their (less important) places at the top of the Chinese government. And not a moment too soon. Their decade leading the PRC … More

    Super-Rich Chinese Leaders: A Dangerous Development

    The New York Times has laid out a portrait of a Chinese billionaire family, and it’s a fairly worrisome one. Premier Wen Jiabao’s extended family, including his brother-in-law, are said to be worth $2.7 billion. Average income in China last year was less than $6,000. The Wens aren’t alone. Bloomberg … More

    China’s Next Leader Is Missing—and That’s Not Even the Big Story

    Where is China’s incoming Communist Party chief, Xi Jinping? When he canceled a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it was attributed to a back injury or perhaps unhappiness with the U.S. But as he has canceled meetings with other visitors, including the Singaporean prime minister, rumors have arisen … More

    Chinese Defense Spending Continues Rise as U.S. Budget Declines

    As China prepares for the final plenum of the 17th Party Congress, it has announced that the new defense budget would amount to 670 billion RMB (approximately $106 billion), which equates to a 11.2 percent increase. This is in sharp contrast to the United States, which, despite a so-called “pivot … More

    Morning Bell: Getting Our China Priorities Straight

    Last week, the establishment media played up reports that China surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Contrary to the amount of attention it received, the development is not as important as it was made to sound. First of all, if the … More

    China Hiding Treasury Purchases

    China’s reported holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds fell sharply again in June and are now almost $100 billion lower than they were in July 2009. The press reports this as meaningful and important. It isn’t. You may have noticed that American interest rates are not soaring; in fact, they’re at … More