CHINA – A Tale of Two Chinese Cities (Zhang Jun, Project-Syndicate)

By recognizing and investing in the strengths of pioneering cities and regions, China has developed a powerful mechanism for organizing and advancing its economic transformation. Judging by the tremendous success of Shenzhen and Shanghai, it seems clear that China will continue to reap the rewards of this approach for decades to come.

USA – The State of America’s Disunion (Michael Spence, David W. Brady, Pproject-Syndicate)

The 2020 US presidential election followed a pattern very similar to the contest in 2016, with narrow margins in a few key counties determining the outcome in battleground states. And the record-breaking turnout on both sides was a sign not of a healthy democracy but of an anxious one.

A Good but Incomplete Start to Debt Relief (Paola Subacchi, Project-Syndicate)

After initially responding to the pandemic-induced economic crisis with an initiative to postpone developing countries’ debt payments, the G20 has now come back to the table to offer a more plausible solution. But the new common framework for restructuring sovereign debt should be merely a first step in a longer process.

USA – Breaking America’s Patent Stalemate (Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, Heidi Williams, Project-Syndicate)

Patents are intended to disclose information about new technologies and who owns the rights to them, but they often fail on both counts. The good news is that the United States Patent and Trademark Office can address both shortcomings without waiting for congressional action.