1. China wants to curb its population growth, while Russia has sought to increase its number of children. China’s government allows each couple to have only one child, although exceptions are permitted for those living in rural areas and for minorities. Heavy fines may be imposed on those who violate the rules. In Russia, then President Dmitri Medvedev, in his 2010 State of Russia speech, called for a baby bonus, better health care, and free land for women who will have a third child. Why would governments make commands on childbearing practices? Is this acceptable? Explain.
2. Can China maintain its closed, centrally controlled political system while enjoying the benefits of its somewhat open economic markets? Explain.
3. In 2014, in response to Russian military action in Ukraine, the United States imposed sanctions— travel bans and asset freezes— on several Russian government officials as well as business executives and companies. What impact might these sanctions have? Should such sanctions be a part of an international response to a government’s actions? Explain.
A Western visitor to modern Moscow must be hard-pressed to imagine that this thriving, consuming, competitive place was once the global center of communism, the dour capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the home of America’s nuclear enemy.