The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition October 3, 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


coronavirus briefs

The number of people worldwide who have died from covid-19 officially passed 1m. The true figure is much higher. The WHO announced a plan to provide 120m testing kits to poorer countries. The kits cost $5 and can provide a result in 15-30 minutes. Russia reported its most daily infections since June. Kenya’s national curfew will last another two months, though it won’t start now until 11pm. Bars can start reopening, but schools remain closed. Authorities in Brussels announced a ban on prostitution to limit the spread of covid-19. Hopes that the world’s longest-running play, “The Mousetrap”, could reopen soon were dashed. Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit had run continuously in London’s West End since 1952, until covid-19 closed theatres in March. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/ coronavirus or…

the world this week

Politics Fighting erupted in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed enclave inside Azerbaijan, mostly populated by ethnic Armenians and backed by Armenia. More than 100 people, mostly soldiers, are thought to have been killed. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Azerbaijan’s main supporter, urged his fellow Muslims to wrest back control of the area, whose inhabitants are largely Christian. The fighting was the worst since a ceasefire in 1994. The two countries, which were both subjugated by the Red Army in the 1920s, fought each other after the Soviet Union collapsed. On a trip to Lithuania France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, visited an exiled opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who many people believe won the recent presidential election in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian dictator who rigged the vote, seems determined to stay in power despite…


THE TWO presidential contenders squared up this week in the first debate before America votes on November 3rd. President Donald Trump set out to make it a brawl, even throwing a punch at the validity of the electoral process itself (see United States section). Joe Biden spent the evening jabbing at Mr Trump for bringing the country to its knees. And the president went for what he hoped would be a knockout blow, accusing his opponent of being a weak man who would succumb to the left’s plans to dramatically expand government and cripple business. Fear of just such a leftward lurch under Mr Biden is circulating among some American business leaders. However, as we explain (see Briefing), the charge is wide of the mark. Mr Biden has rejected the Utopian…

the house party returns

STOCKMARKETS HAVE not had a good September, but their strength for the year as a whole remains a source of wonderment. Less noticed has been the equally remarkable buoyancy of another asset class: housing. Many rich countries are seeing house prices surge even as their rate of infections is rising for a second time. In the second quarter, although economies were under lockdown, house prices rose in eight out of ten high- and middle-income countries. According to unofficial series—which are timelier though less accurate than government data—America’s house prices are up 5% on a year ago. Germany’s are 11% higher. Britain’s hit an all-time high, in nominal terms, in August. The boom shares some causes with the strength of stock-markets, but reveals more about the pandemic’s effect on economies. It…

an avoidable tragedy

THE WAR in Yemen seems to play on an endless loop. Atrocity follows atrocity. The government is backed by a Saudi-led coalition that bombs civilians; the Houthi rebels are backed by Iran, and recruit children and fire shells indiscriminately into cities. Efforts to make peace go nowhere. A swap of 1,081 prisoners, agreed on at the end of September, raised only faint hopes. A similar exchange, involving 15,000 detainees, was arranged in 2018 but never fully implemented. The loop is unbroken. In the past six years the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and gravely harmed millions more. Now it is escalating again. Civilians died in August in greater numbers than in any other month this year. The economy is collapsing, covid-19 is spreading unchecked and a rusting tanker…

growing up at last

MARGARET THATCHER feared and openly opposed the reunification of East and West Germany. François Mitterrand was said to have shared her worries, though he accepted it was inevitable. Giulio Andreotti repeated a popular quip: that he loved Germany so much, he “preferred it when there were two of them”. Yet despite the reservations of the British, French and Italian leaders in 1990, a new country came into being 30 years ago on October 3rd. With 80m people, it was immediately the most populous country and mightiest economy in a Europe that until then had had four roughly equal principals. Ever since, statesmen and scholars have grappled with the problem of how to deal with the reluctant hegemon at the heart of Europe. How should Germany lead without dominating? Indeed, after…