The Economist Asia Edition April 17, 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

Official daily infections hit a record 185,000 in India. Meanwhile, millions of people gathered for a Hindu festival, thousands of whom have tested positive for the virus. America, South Africa and Europe suspended the rollout of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson jab after six vaccinated women developed blood clots. The Centres for Disease Control urged Michigan’s governor to impose a lockdown to curb the spread of the disease in the state instead of relying on vaccines. Shops, hairdressers and gyms re-opened in England following a lockdown. Beer-lovers braved a cold spell to enjoy a pint at pubs with outdoor seating. The government has hit its target of offering a vaccine to high-risk groups and everyone over 50. Daily deaths from the disease have plummeted from more than 1,000 to a few dozen. → For…

the world this week

Politics President Joe Biden set September 11th as the day by which American troops will pull out of Afghanistan after 20 years. Without their support, other NATO forces are also expected to withdraw. It is not clear how much help the US will now give the elected Afghan government to hold off the Taliban, a jihadist group that seized power in the 1990s and hopes to do so again. Russia massed more troops along its border with Ukraine. A similar build-up in 2014 preceded the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the south-eastern part of the country. Mr Biden called for a summit with Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, to discuss the situation. Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats were locked in a bitter row over whether Armin Laschet, the leader of the Christian…

asia’s next failed state

WHEN THE generals who run Myanmar drew up a constitution to pave the way for an elected government, albeit one that would have no authority over the army, they termed the arrangement “discipline-flourishing democracy”. Untrammelled political competition, they suggested, would lead to disorder and impede development; only the army could ensure order and prosperity. So it is ironic that, since the army took complete control of the country again in a coup on February 1st, the only thing that has flourished is chaos. Daily protests are a rejection of the putsch, although these have shrunk since the army began shooting unarmed demonstrators (see Asia section). Soldiers are rampaging through rebellious districts, beating and killing at random, and reportedly charging grieving relatives 120,000 kyat ($85) to release the bodies. Citizens have burned…

the political ceo

WHEN AMERICANS notice business and politics mingling in other countries they often see it as a sign of institutional decay, crony capitalism or authoritarianism. Today the mixing of government and corporations is happening in America. Sometimes that is in pursuit of honourable causes, as in the protest of CEO s over new laws restricting voting in Georgia and other states. Sometimes it is visible in the statesman- CEO : the latest manifesto from Jamie Dimon, boss of JPMorgan Chase, pronounces on military procurement and criminal justice among many other weighty concerns. Most broadly of all, it is reflected in how the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group, has extended the corporate remit to include serving all stakeholders, for the success of their firms, communities and country. This newspaper strongly supports the protection…

be prepared

THE INEVITABLE has begun. America’s consumer-price index ( CPI ) in March was 2.6% higher than a year earlier, when prices collapsed as the pandemic struck. The increase in inflation from 1.7% in February was the biggest rise since 2009, the last time the economy was recovering from a deep shock. Several more months of high numbers—by rich-world standards—are coming. The CPI could reach over 3.5% by May. On the separate price index used by the Federal Reserve, inflation will soon rise above the central bank’s 2% target. The Fed is rightly unworried by cosmetically higher inflation that reflects what happened a year ago. Yet the central bank does have an inflation problem that will trouble it when the economdistance. Other Fed officials have hinted that they want to make up…

the final countdown

A DOZEN YEARS ago Afghanistan was sliding into carnage. The Taliban, who had scattered back into their villages after the American invasion in 2001, had regrouped and were launching attacks daily on American forces. America was split. President Barack Obama argued that Afghanistan’s elected rulers, though deeply flawed, were much better than the jihadists they had replaced, and should be protected. His vice-president, Joe Biden, wanted to draw down troops, leaving only a small counter-terrorist force. Mr Biden lost the argument; an extra 17,000 American troops flew into Kabul to prop up the government. Today Mr Biden is president, and faces a similar dilemma. The Taliban are as strong as they have been since 2001. The Afghan state, backed by America and its NATO allies, is tottering. This time, however, Mr…