The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition September 5, 2020

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
51 期号


nowhere to hide

TOURISTS WHO gawp at gorillas and foreign businessfolk who meet in Kigali’s convention centre sometimes call Rwanda the Switzerland of Africa. It has beautiful mountains, clean streets, a functional bureaucracy and low levels of petty corruption and crime. But it differs from Switzerland in ways that casual visitors often miss. Rwandans are terrified of their government. They are constantly watched for hints of dissent, which is ruthlessly suppressed. History is rewritten to suit the present. Heroes can become “unheroes” overnight. One such person is Paul Rusesabagina, who as the manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines saved more than 1,200 people from a genocidal army and machete-waving militias that were hunting down members of Rwanda’s minority Tutsi group in 1994. Although a member of the majority Hutus, Mr Rusesabagina risked his…

no shrinking violets

A drama about female vigilantes breaks taboos “NOT ALL heroes wear capes,” declares the trailer for a new Pakistani television series. Some wear burkas. The stars of “Churails”—which means “Witches” in Urdu—are a gang of female avengers who wield fists and hockey sticks in anger. They dispense rough justice to abusive and philandering men. Sara is a lawyer who gives up her career for her husband before discovering that the rotter has sent explicit messages to scores of women. Jugnu plans weddings for rich couples, and happens to be an alcoholic. Batool served 20 years in prison for murdering her husband, who was a paedophile. Zubaida has long suffered under a domineering and violent father. Thrown together by chance, the quartet run a secret agency that aims to help wronged women exact revenge.…

double whammy

The economy shrinks by a quarter as the virus gathers pace THE STATISTICS landed like fists in a one-two punch. First came the news that India had counted 78,000 new cases of covid-19 on August 30th alone—more than any other country has tallied in a single day since the pandemic began. The next day came the bill for the two-month lockdown that the government imposed in late March at only four hours’ notice. The National Statistical Office said that India’s output between April and June was 23.9% lower than in the same period the year before. India had never recorded a quarter of negative growth since it began issuing such data publicly in 1996. No other big economy has shrunk so much during the pandemic. In the same period America’s GDP fell…

unambiguously dangerous

CHINA HAS never renounced what it says is its right to “reunify” Taiwan by force if peaceful means are thwarted. So armies on both sides have to prepare for war, however remote it may seem. Of late the number of naval exercises China has conducted has caused alarm—all the more so at a time of worsening relations between China and America on a number of fronts, including American policy towards Taiwan. The delicate status quo, in which China insists Taiwan is part of its territory but the island functions as an independent country, is fraying. As the Global Times, a tub-thumping official Chinese tabloid, puts it: “The possibility of peaceful reunification is decreasing sharply.” Mercifully, that does not mean war is imminent. A big reason for that is America’s support for…

three-finger salute

THE LAST time Thailand saw protests of the size now roiling the country was nearly seven years ago. Then, pro-establishment types declaring love for the king, the late Bhumibol Adulyadej, and for the armed forces that protected him, came out in Bangkok, the capital. They opposed the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra, which seemed to threaten their interests. Among the children parents pulled out of classes to attend these “yellow shirt” demonstrations were friends of a prominent protest leader today, Yanisa Varaksapong, an 18-year-old undergraduate. The turmoil the yellow shirts created enabled an army-led coup in 2014 that shoved all politics back into a box and slammed shut the lid. Today, Ms Yanisa says, those same friends are protesting alongside her—against the very establishment for which they once marched. The dissatisfaction is…


ON THE FIRST day of the school year in Inner Mongolia, a northern province of China, some teachers in schools using the Mongolian language found their classrooms empty. To show their anger at an official order that Mandarin be used to teach history, politics and literature, parents had kept their children at home. In recent years the government has stepped up repression in parts of China with large ethnic-minority populations, making widespread protests all but impossible. In Inner Mongolia ethnic tensions have seldom reached levels seen in Tibet or Xinjiang, so the school boycott is especially remarkable. The Communist Party has never been as fearful of unrest among Inner Mongolia’s ethnic Mongols as it is of protests by ethnic Tibetans, or Uighurs in Xinjiang. One reason is that a massive influx…