The Economist Asia Edition March 20, 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

Schools, shops and restaurants were ordered to close across half of Italy, including Milan and Rome, as a new wave of cases emerged. Britain’s National Health Service warned of a crunch in vaccine supply next month, a potential setback to the country’s successful inoculation programme. Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, replaced his health minister for the third time during the pandemic. Mr Bolsonaro continued to rail against lockdowns. Only around 5% of the population have been vaccinated. The prime minister of Papua New Guinea said that a quarter of the population may have contracted covid-19. Neighbouring Australia, which is providing vaccines, is worried that the virus might spread across the maritime border. So are other Pacific countries, many of which have weak health services. → For our latest coverage of the virus please visit…

the world this week

At least 16 EU countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine, following reports that a handful of people had developed blood-clots after receiving it. Several regulators, including the World Health Organisation, said that the risks of not getting jabbed far outweighed those of getting jabbed. Experts predicted that the delay would cost lives and needlessly undermine confidence in both the AstraZeneca vaccine and vaccines more generally. Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats performed badly in two important state elections, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The results are a blow to the party’s new leader, Armin Laschet, and a sign that Germans are unimpressed by the government’s handling of the covid crisis. A general election in the Netherlands appears to have given Mark Rutte, the centreright prime minister, a chance…

dealing with china

LAST WEEK China slapped down democracy in Hong Kong. The imposition of tight mainland control over the territory is not just a tragedy for the 7.5m people who live there, it is also a measure of China’s determination not to compromise over how it asserts its will. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, liberal values were ascendant around the world. The challenge from China will subject them to their greatest test since the early days of the cold war. What is more, as the economy of Hong Kong also shows, China is more tightly coupled with the West than communist Russia ever was. This presents the free world with an epoch-defining question: how should it best secure prosperity, lower the risk of war and protect freedom as…

biden’s border crisis

ON HIS FIRST day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive action to halt construction of Donald Trump’s controversial and expensive border wall, but now he has a new wall of worry. A crisis is rapidly building on the southern border with Mexico, as hundreds of thousands of migrants seek entry into the United States, fuelled by the hope that the new president will be more welcoming than his predecessor was. In January and February the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended along the border started to surge above previous peaks. Illegal border crossings in general are soaring, amid predictions that this year they may be the highest for two decades. For Mr Biden this poses a threat. Immigration, for years the most polarising issue in American politics and one that…

another shot in the foot

IT DOES NOT take much for people to lose confidence in vaccines. When a few Europeans who had received the Astra­Zeneca ( AZ ) shot for covid-19 suffered unusual blood clotting that was sometimes fatal, many countries in the European Union stopped using it. They say this shows they take safety seriously. Unfortunately, their caution is more likely to cost lives. The suspensions began after Norway reported four cases of blood clotting in adults given the AZ vaccine. Similar reports have come from other European countries. Within days at least 16 of them, including Germany, France and Italy, had called a halt. The World Health Organisation, the European Medicines Agency ( EMA ) and the regulator in Britain, where the AZ vaccine has been used abundantly, urged people to keep getting…

a taste for cracking down

“FREEBORN ENGLISHMEN and women can no longer walk a few hundred paces down the queen’s pavement to Downing Street to protest at the closure of their local hospital,” thundered Boris Johnson in 2006. When the Tories were in opposition, Mr Johnson condemned attacks on the nation’s proud liberal traditions by the dastardly Labour government in prose weighed down with patriotic tropes. No longer. On March 16th his government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, which includes provisions that would sit comfortably in Russian or Chinese statute books, passed its second reading in the House of Commons. It increases the maximum sentence for defacing a memorial from three months to ten years and would allow police to restrict protests if the noise they make has a “relevant impact” on people in their…