Funds for homeless not the solution, China threatened by US, not North Korea, Saudi Arabian college graduates must not coast, Kigali being branded a good step forward, more help needed for dairy farmers in Germany

 A roundup of global commentary for the June 13, 2016 weekly magazine.  


Andy Wong/AP
China's President Xi Jinping (second from r.), chats with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (second from l.), and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (l.) during the Joint Opening Ceremony of the 8th U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogues and the 7th U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on June 6, 2016.

The New Zealand Herald / Auckland, New Zealand

Funds for homeless not the solution

“Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett announced a scheme to give homeless Aucklanders, or those in the city’s state houses, a payment of up to $5000,” writes Kelly Makiha. “The scheme ... reeked a little of a last-ditch attempt to show the Government was committed to putting money towards the housing crisis.... There are empty Housing New Zealand houses in other parts of New Zealand. But practically speaking, most homeless in Auckland are not going to find a life they’ve always dreamed of by having an extra $5000 and a comfortable Housing NZ home in Huntly. Homelessness has little to do with there not being enough homes. These people are often homeless because they can’t function in homes.”

The Korea Times / Seoul, South Korea

China threatened by US, not North Korea

“When Xi Jinping became the Chinese Communist Party chief, many South Korean observers expected that he would be tough on North Korea...,” writes Lee Seong-hyon. “In fact, China has been increasingly tough on the United States, not North Korea.... From China’s point of view, if its rise will inevitably clash with the U.S., why then should Beijing help Washington and Seoul on Pyongyang when doing so would go against its own geopolitical interests? Even though North Korea is a discomfort for China, often not obeying its socialist big brother’s counsel, Beijing doesn’t see Pyongyang as an adversary. It sees the North as an issue to manage, not an enemy to destroy. China’s biggest threat comes from the United States, not North Korea.”

Arab News / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian college graduates must not coast

“[The] Saudi education system has to be refined to make it easier for students to adapt to any work environment and students should be taught the real meaning of work ethics from an early age,” writes Abdulateef Al-Mulhim. “For many decades new college graduates lean toward taking up jobs in the public sector because these jobs are secure, simple, without competition and with no real challenge but in the long run, it doesn’t help the country develop in the true sense. With the new government approach to economic development and reforms, our youth must adapt to the new changes.” 

The New Times / Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali being branded a good step forward

“[P]lans by [the] City of Kigali (CoK) to launch a campaign aimed at branding the city is a smart move...,” states an editorial. “The campaign’s components which include highlighting the positive impact of population growth, migration and diversity of culture in Rwanda through art, exhibitions, movie screenings and panel discussions, among other ways should be fast tracked because Kigali is changing rapidly, and this campaign is an opportunity to take the first big step towards building Kigali as a global brand.” 

Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany

More help needed for dairy farmers in Germany

“The government has decided to distribute a subsidy of 100 million euros ($111 million) among German dairy farmers to help bridge a period of low milk prices,” writes Kerstin Schweizer. “It’s a short-term boost that doesn’t solve the basic problem.... For customers in the supermarket, it’s difficult to understand why one Tetrapak cube full of milk costs twice as much as another. Most will buy the cheaper brand. Yet a small dairy farm has higher unit costs than a big industrial farm – there’s no way around it. That’s the main driver of the ‘structural changes’ affecting the sector. Globalized markets are another driver.... If farmers are reframed as conservators of the rural landscape, in addition to food producers, then it begins to make sense to pay them accordingly – i.e. to pay them for both services.” 

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