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NATO Report on China Highlights Rural Challenge

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has just released a report on “China's Development Challenge.” While the report discusses such topics as foreign investment and China’s energy needs, much of the analysis focuses on the challenge of rural development. This focus on the rapidly growing divide between China’s rural and urban economies and the fear of spreading rural unrest is correct: the problem has been growing for more than a decade.

Bolivian Gas: Right Goal, Wrong Approach

Bolivia is much in the news these days as Evo Morales accelerates the country's move to the left. Morales' nationalization of Bolivia's natural gas fields and the fallout (see, for example, Pertrobas scraps Bolivia project) is being closely watched as a bellwether for other Latin American countries, and for the questions it raises about how countries should manage their natural resource wealth for the benefit of their people.

Nigeria unloads Paris Club debt: What next?

On April 21 Nigeria made its final buyback payment to its bilateral creditors, completing the wipe-out of more than 80% of its debts. In the end, Nigeria paid $12 billion in cash -- out of the more than $34 billion saved so far from higher oil prices -- in order to buy back $30 billion in debt, an overall 60% discount.

What's Wrong With the Commitment to Development Award List?

A quick scan of the "People's Choice" nominees for the Commitment to Development Award gives the impression that the individuals from developed countries who have done the most to make rich-world policies more "development-friendly" are from a pretty narrow slice of the population. Mostly U.S., all male, many "inside-the-beltway" -- an environment not known for its friendliness to anything, much less poor people in poor countries. So what's going on?

Progress on human rights in Turkmenistan? Give me a break

On April 14 the Washington Post carried an editorial criticizing European policy makers for their efforts to give Turkmenistan Most Favored Nation trade status. As the Post points out, the European Commission’s argument that “Most Favored Nation” status is justified by “positive steps” on human rights is simply not tenable. Turkmen president Niyazov’s cult-of-personality rule and systematic economic mismanagement is robbing the country of its future.

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