OTHER VOICES

United Nations late to the party

Posted Oct. 24, 2011, at 8:25 p.m.

The failure of a sanctions resolution in the U.N. Security Council can only embolden Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to further crack down on demonstrators.

Despite the internal tensions in American politics today, there should be commendation across the political spectrum for the United States’ backing of the resolution. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice surely spoke for lovers of liberty everywhere in condemning the veto of the resolution by Russia and China.

Those two powers are permanent members of the Security Council, with a right of veto. One is a semi-dictatorship that has had a close relationship with Syrian dictators since the days it was the Soviet Union. China is an outright communist dictatorship that deplores any human rights agitation as an affront to national integrity.

Great Britain, Portugal and France compromised on language in the sanctions resolution, in an effort to get something passed, but to no avail. Abstaining from the cause of freedom was little Lebanon, where Syria has been almost an occupying power for years; that vote was understandable. But when South Africa, Brazil and India also abstain, it is disheartening.

The latter three are democracies. The dictators club won a round, but one day we are confident the sacrifices of the Syrian people will be vindicated. Unfortunately, the United Nations will be late to the party.

The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. (Oct. 19)

China not losing steam

The steady slowdown of the world’s second largest economy may disappoint those who are hoping it will be the driving force for the global economy, which is teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession.

Latest statistics show that the Chinese economy expanded 9.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2009.

However, remarkable income growth indicates that the Chinese economy is not losing steam. Instead, it is making needed progress in stimulating consumer-led growth. Compared to the gloomy growth prospects of the European Union and the United States, that the Chinese economy is on track for such a “soft landing” should be reassuring.

Better, double-digit income growth figures suggest that the world’s largest developing economy has managed to tilt the distribution of income a little bit during the process of macroeconomic control.

Domestically, continuous and fast income growth is essential to the country’s efforts to boost domestic consumption into a key growth engine for the coming decades.

Globally, more and wealthier Chinese consumers will play a key role in transforming the world’s leading exporter into a vital source of demand, underpinning balanced global growth in the foreseeable future.

China Daily, Beijing (Oct. 19)

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