World News Brief, Thursday September 5

Putin warns West against taking action on Syria; China's economy slowed intentionally, says President Xi Jingping; Communist Party members in China to be tried for torture and death of another party member; World Bank to help Lebanon raise funds for Syria fallout; Eurozone shows signs of firmer recovery; and more

Top of the Agenda: Putin Warns West on Syrian Action

President Vladimir Putin warned the West against going through with a punitive strike against the Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons (AP), and said Moscow would reconsider its decision to suspend delivery of an air-defense missile system to Syria if military action is taken without UN Security Council authorization. The Obama administration edged closer to congressional authorization for the use of force on Tuesday after a long and sometimes testy hearing in the Senate, where the foreign relations committee's draft resolution would permit sixty days of military operations (Miami Herald), which the president could then extend for an additional thirty. Uncertainty over a potential strike and fallout dragged on many equity markets (Reuters) despite a positive outlook for the global economy.


"The US should reverse course. A direct US attack on Syria without UN backing is far more likely to inflame the region than it is to resolve the crisis there—a point well appreciated in the United Kingdom, where Parliament bucked the government by rejecting British participation in a military strike," writes Jeffrey Sachs for Project Syndicate.

"Ratification of an AUMF for Syria might set a precedent for Congress as much as for Obama. It would suggest that Congress agrees that the United States should enforce international norms against the use of dangerous weapons ­or intervene to prevent serious violations of human rights—even when the United Nations will not lend its support," writes Jack Balkin in the Atlantic.

"If the world's strongest power fails to defend the hard-earned prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, then don't expect anyone else to, either. The best move now is for Obama to muster every gram of persuasion, focus his nation's and the world's attention on the global need to prevent these weapons from being used and, yet again, build a coalition of the willing," Bloomberg editors write in an editorial.



China's Economy Intentionally Slowed, Xi Says

President Xi Jinping said the Chinese government targeted slower growth this year to adjust the economy and "solve fundamental problems" (Bloomberg). Senior Chinese leaders are planning a meeting in November that could provide clarity on projected growth rates this decade.

CHINA: Six Communist Party investigators are expected to be tried for the torture and death of a fellow party member during a disciplinary probe earlier this year (SCMP).

This CFR Backgrounder explains the origins and current challenges of China's ruling party.


World Bank to help Lebanon raise funds for Syria fallout

Eurozone shows signs of firmer recovery

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