'Brexit' hasn't wreaked predicted chaos, Apple's tax case reflects struggle between governments and big business, China and India: spoiling for a fight?, John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov could become closer

A roundup of global commentary for the Sept. 12, 2016 weekly magazine.

Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP/File
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, smile after their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.

The New Zealand Herald / Auckland, New Zealand

‘Brexit’ hasn’t wreaked the financial chaos some predicted

“It’s been two months since the Brexit vote caught investors by surprise, sending financial markets into a tailspin,” writes Mark Lister. “The world hasn’t ended in the wake of this decision, and some of the first post-Brexit economic indicators actually point to the whole region holding up pretty well.... As the votes were being counted, shares fell sharply.... The British pound fell to its lowest level since 1985 against the US dollar, while investors flocked to traditional safe havens.... But the turmoil was short-lived. The United Kingdom market took just four days to recover to its pre-Brexit level, while United States shares recouped losses within 10 days.... There’s a long way to go for the UK to disentangle itself from Europe, and this process will undoubtedly cause a few casualties along the way. The pound could be one of these.... However, Brexit is far from being a complete disaster for Britain, Europe and certainly the rest of the world.”

The Independent / Britain

Apple’s tax case reflects struggle between governments and business behemoths

“In recent decades, the world has become used to seeing huge and powerful corporations overwhelm small and feeble nation states...,” states an editorial. “Such was all too obviously the case with Ireland, virtually bankrupted by the global financial crisis – and Apple, the world’s richest company by some measures. In return for parking some of its facilities and creating jobs in the Republic, Apple was, we now learn, offered a tax rate of less than 1 per cent according to some.... Thanks to the European Commission, which receives little gratitude whatever it does, Europe’s citizens have discovered the full scale of this abuse – and also found themselves, through the EU Commission, in the unaccustomed position of being able to do something about it.... It used to be imperial powers that followed the maxim ‘divide and rule’; now it is imperial corporations who enjoy that prerogative.” 

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

If you believe headlines, you might think China and India are spoiling for a fight

“Whoever thinks China and India aren’t getting on, may need to get off the news for a while...,” writes Debasish Roy Chowdhury. “Take the current sniping over BrahMos missile.... It began with a Times of India scoop on August 3 that India was deploying the supersonic cruise missile in its Arunachal Pradesh state, which China claims as its own. Such militaristic reportage of India’s preparations for its coming war with China has become increasingly common in Indian media in recent years and is treated with a degree of circumspection by serious students of the region’s geopolitics. But it can be disturbing stuff if you are a Chinese defence commentator or journalist.... Bombarded with content all day, the hapless reader, too, is denied the opportunity for reflection. So in the hurry to retweet the headlines, no one notices that at every stage of this particular news loop, the sources to the key stories are all unidentified. Neither has the Indian government declared the deployment nor has the Indian Army issued a press release telling the Chinese to mind their own business, nor has the Chinese government threatened an escalation.”

Al Jazeera / Qatar

How John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov could become closer

“Since he began his tenure as [Russia’s] foreign minister in 2004, Sergey Lavrov’s relationships with former United States secretaries of state Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton have been unpleasant...,” writes Marwan Bishara. “Lavrov had clashed with Powell over Ukraine’s 2004-20 05 ‘Orange Revolution,’ and he disliked Rice.... When the Syrian crisis intensified at the beginning of 2012, Clinton termed the Chinese and Russian disapproval to the US initiative to stop the bloodshed in Syria ‘despicable.’ Lavrov shot back, calling the American response ‘hysterical’.... Kerry and Lavrov finally met to discuss Syria, among other issues.... The meeting reportedly went on for two hours, and when it was finally over; Lavrov portrayed it as ‘constructive’ and ‘ambitious’. The US State Department referred to it as ‘really serious and hard-working.’ It was certainly not love at first sight – but it was the first of many more encounters to come. And with each encounter, suspicion gave way to familiarity as the two grew on each other.”

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