The Economist Asia Edition February 13, 2021

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 World Health Organisation recommended the Astra-Zeneca vaccine for all adults, even in places where more virulent strains of the disease have appeared. Earlier, South Africa’s health minister said he might try to sell or swap the AstraZeneca vaccine for other types, after a paper found that it gave “minimal protection” against mild-to-moderate cases of the South African variant. The number of Americans in hospital with covid-19 and the number of patients in intensive care dropped to their lowest levels since November. New cases continue to fall. Diners in New York state are able to eat inside restaurants again from February 12th. The date was brought forward to accommodate romantics looking for a Valentine’s Day meal. Canoodling couples can expect more privacy; restaurants are only allowed to operate at 25% capacity. For our latest…

the world this week

Politics The impeachment trial of Donald Trump got under way in the Senate. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to reject the defence’s argument that Mr Trump should not be tried as he has left office, but it is unlikely that the prosecution will get the two-thirds majority of votes needed to convict Mr Trump of inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6th. The proceedings are expected to be quick, certainly not as long as the three weeks of Mr Trump’s first impeachment trial a year ago. Darker Summers The Senate approved a budget blueprint for Joe Biden’s $1.9trn stimulus bill. The vote was 50-50 along party lines; Kamala Harris cast her first tie-breaker as vice-president. The House is crafting the details of the legislation. Democrats, meanwhile, were furious at…

how well will vaccines work?

EVEN MIRACLES have their limits. Vaccines against the corona-virus have arrived sooner and worked better than many people dared hope. Without them, the pandemic threatened to take more than 150m lives. And yet, while the world rolls up a sleeve, it has become clear that expecting vaccines to see off covid-19 is mistaken. Instead the disease will circulate for years, and seems likely to become endemic. When covid-19 first struck, governments were caught by surprise. Now they need to think ahead. To call vaccination a miracle is no exaggeration. A little more than a year after the virus was first recognised, medics have already administered 148m doses. In Israel, the world’s champion inoculator, hospital admissions among those aged below 60, who have not received a jab, are higher than ever. By…


THE DEBATE about whether high inflation will emerge out of the pandemic is becoming more pressing. In January underlying prices in the euro zone rose at their fastest pace for five years. In America some economists fear that President Joe Biden’s planned $1.9trn stimulus, which includes $1,400 cheques for most Americans, may overheat the economy once vaccines allow service industries to reopen fully. Emerging bottlenecks threaten to raise the price of goods. Space on container ships costs 180% more than a year ago and a shortage of semiconductors caused by this year’s boom in demand for tech equipment is disrupting the production of cars, computers and smartphones. Headline statistics on price rises will soon contribute to the sense that an inflationary dawn is breaking. They will go up automatically as the…

how to talk about xinjiang

WHEN RONALD REAGAN cried “tear down this wall”, everyone knew what he meant. There was a wall. It imprisoned East Germans. It had to come down. One day, it did. In the struggle between democracy and dictatorship, it is crucial that democracies tell the truth in plain language. Dictatorships will always lie and obfuscate to conceal their true nature. Democracies can tell it like it is. Bear this in mind when deciding what to call China’s persecution of the Uyghurs. On his last full day in office, Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, called it “genocide”. Although Joe Biden did not use that word this week in his first talk with Xi Jinping, China’s president, his administration has repeated it (see United States section) and lawmakers in Britain are…

an end to exceptionalism

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM takes many forms. One, alas, is a shockingly high rate of child poverty. According to the OECD’s measure, which defines as poor those families living on less than half of median family income, 21% of American children are in poverty. This is double the rate in France and nearly triple that in Poland. This grim statistic is cause to welcome two proposals to reduce child poverty, one from Joe Biden’s administration, the other from Mitt Romney, a Republican senator. Helping poor Americans involves balancing a complicated set of trade-offs. The more people who receive help, the more money it costs. The solution to this is usually to means-test aid, which does the most good per dollar spent. Yet help that is narrowly targeted at a small group of Americans…