Global Newsstand: China and the US begin to realize the costs of their trade war, and more

A roundup of global commentary for the Dec. 17, 2018 weekly magazine.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President Donald Trump sits across from China's President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Dec. 1, 2018, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Hindu / Chennai, India

China and the US begin to realize the costs of their trade war

“The global trade war has come to a welcome pause,” states an editorial. “On the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires [from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1]..., the U.S. and Chinese Presidents, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, agreed to a 90-day truce.... Signs of a significant slowdown in the Chinese economy and concerns over the negative impact of the trade war on American financial markets may have played a part in Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi agreeing to the truce – probably a sober recognition of the fact that there are no economic winners in any trade war.... A compromise that will allow both sides to claim final victory in the battle would be the best outcome.”

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

Macron will need to tread carefully to resolve the ‘yellow vests’ riots

“The gilets jaunes (yellow vests) revolt against President Macron’s policies in France is the biggest challenge he has faced...,” states an editorial. “Participants are from neglected social strata and areas of France.... Ministers pounce on evidence linking violent rioters to the extreme left and right, but cannot disguise the movement’s popularity. President Macron’s reform programme is comprehensive and intrusive for many layers of French society.... [Macron] can make concessions on taxation to rebalance social inequalities. And he can still draw on the remarkable eloquence he has displayed throughout his political career. He cannot afford to change the fundamental thrust of his reform strategy, including his commitment to give France a leading role in tackling climate change by taxing carbon fuels.”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan

Slow steps might be key to rebuilding India-Pakistan bond

“With the opening of the Kartarpur corridor [between India and Pakistan], Prime Minister Imran Khan [of Pakistan] has been handed a diplomatic victory in his first 100 days...,” writes Arifa Noor. “In his speech at the ceremony held on this side of the border, he brought up the old rivalry between Germany and France to illustrate that hope springs eternal.... Here perhaps we have a slower process at work – an increasing realisation (especially on the part of Pakistan) of the need for peace for economic growth.... Is it wrong to assume that there can be more such examples of cooperation and trade?... The power of quiet should never be underestimated.”

The East African / Nairobi, Kenya

Revitalization of African Union may increase its world presence

“Over the past two years, African Union incumbent chair Paul Kagame has been trying to push through reforms he was selected to champion at the continental body back in 2016...,” states an editorial. “Though it remains far from becoming completely lean and mean, the AU has somehow managed to reduce expenditure by 12 per cent.... President Kagame’s major intangible achievements are that he has been able to reawaken Africa’s long dormant dreams and demonstrate that they are feasible.... Whatever the differences of opinion that arise, therefore, all that whoever takes the baton from Kagame needs to do is to build on what has been started.”

JoongAng Ilbo / Seoul, South Korea

Insubstantial North Korean denuclearization efforts should not be ignored

“President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to revive the momentum on negotiations for the denuclearization of North Korea in a meeting between the two leaders in Buenos Aires...,” states an editorial. “North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to denuclearize the country in his three summits with Moon and summit with Trump, but he refuses to take substantial steps.... As a result, the decades-old alliance has been put to the test.... Our government must patiently persuade Kim to take substantial denuclearization steps based on a solid alliance with Uncle Sam rather than impatiently speeding up the improvement of its ties with the North.”

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