Must-Reads from Around the World, April 19, 2012

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Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Hong Kong chief executive elect Leung Chun-ying exits a car as he visits a residential district to thank local residents after winning the election in Hong Kong March 28,2012

Bridging the Gap – In his first interview with foreign media since winning the nomination of Hong Kong’s 1,200-member “election committee” in March, Chief Executive-elect Leung Chun-ying tells the Financial Times his government will play a bigger role in the economy of the Chinese Special Administrative Region to tackle worsening inequality. “We will have to look at social implications and social costs and not just private benefits and private costs,” he said.

Bailout Battle – Germany’s Der Spiegel reports on the increasingly divisive battle over whether the International Monetary Fund should provide billions in additional funds to help relieve the debt crisis in Europe, as favored by the European Union. The news magazine says “a number of emerging economies are resisting the plans, accusing the West of abusing its power within the organization and creating a ‘North Atlantic Monetary Fund.'”

Words of Warning – China’s Global Times newspaper responds to India latest long-range missile test with a bluntly worded editorial warning New Delhi of its limitations in the face of Beijing’s military might. “India should be clear that China’s nuclear power is stronger and more reliable. For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China,” it states.

America’s Lost War – As another scandal emerges concerning U.S. troops in Afghanistan, The Week highlights three predictions for how the controversy will affect the remainder of the American-led war effort. It foresees the ways in which the incident could “tarnish” America’s reputation, “strengthen” the Taliban, and “further erode” U.S.-Afghan relations.

Fatigue Française – As candidates are hurriedly campaigning in the run-up to Sunday’s French presidential election, the Guardian views Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent, as a “half-baked president” whose defeat in the election is becoming “ever more likely,” arguing that the French need a leader with more of a “sense of the state.”

Colorful Cop – While the circumstances surrounding British businessman Neil Heywood’s death in China continue to come to light, Reuters provides remarkable insight into the “wild and flamboyant” Chinese police chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun, a formerly close associate of Bo Xilai, the disgraced Communist Party official at the heart of the scandal. According to the piece, Wang is said to have carried out his own post-mortems on executed convicts to see if “their hearts were black or red.”