The Economist Asia Edition July 10, 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

Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, was in a serious but stable condition in hospital after contracting covid-19. In a reciprocal deal Israel said it would send 700,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that are about to expire to South Korea, where infections are rising. South Korea will return the same number of freshly produced jabs to Israel in September and October. Sydney’s two-week lockdown was extended for another week. Australia’s vaccine programme is not going well. A study found that men in England have been 30% more likely than women to test positive for covid-19 recently. It blamed football fans cramming into pubs to watch the Euro tournament. England beat Denmark 2-1 to reach its first international final since the World Cup in 1966, which, as one or two locals recall, England won. →…

the world this week

Politics Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was shot dead at his private residence. The police said that they killed four suspects during a gun battle and had arrested two others. It was unclear who ordered the assassination, or why. Claude Joseph, the interim prime minister, who was due to be replaced this week, said he would take charge as interim president. The opposition had been seeking Mr Moïse’s removal from office, saying his term had expired. In February the government claimed it had uncovered an attempted coup against him. American forces left Bagram airfield, near Kabul, which had been their biggest base in Afghanistan. A small number remain in the capital, largely to protect the American embassy. After 20 years America has effectively given up on the war in Afghanistan, which now looks…

abandoning afghanistan

“I WANT TO talk about happy things, man!” protested President Joe Biden in early July, when reporters asked him about the imminent withdrawal of the last American forces from Afghanistan, expected some time in the next few weeks. No wonder he wants to change the subject: America has been fighting in Afghanistan for 20 years. It has spent more than $2trn on the war. It has lost thousands of its own troops and seen the death of tens of thousands of Afghans—soldiers and civilians alike. Now America is calling an end to the whole sorry adventure, with almost nothing to show for it. True, al-Qaeda, which sparked the war by planning the 9/11 attacks from Afghanistan, is no longer much of a force in the country, although it has not been…

fault lines in the world economy

THE PANDEMIC caused a fearsome economic slump, but now a weird, exhilarating boom is in full swing. The oil price has soared, while restaurants and haulage firms are having to fight and flatter to recruit staff. As listed firms signal that profits will hit an all-time high this year, stockmarkets are on a tear. An index produced by JPMorgan Chase and IHS Markit suggests that global growth is at its highest since the exuberant days of 2006. Any escape from covid-19 is a cause for celebration. But today’s booming economy is also a source of anxiety, because three fault lines lie beneath the surface. Together, they will determine who prospers, and whether the most unusual recovery in living memory can be sustained. The first fault line divides the jabs from the jab-nots.…

hit and run

ONE INTRIGUING question about China is whether it can combine thuggish, autocratic politics with the predictable rules and property rights that entrepreneurs and capital markets need to thrive. The government’s recent attack on Didi Global, a Chinese ride-hailing firm that has just listed its shares in New York, suggests not. It is a warning to investors around the world—and to anyone hoping to make their fortune by setting up in China. Didi is one of China’s superstar firms, with 493m users (more than Uber), 15m drivers and a presence in Brazil and Mexico. It listed its shares on June 30th, raising cash from global investors and valuing the firm at $68bn. Its prospectus contained 60 pages of “risk factors”, including a regulatory crackdown, that most investors snoozed over. But almost immediately…

new cop on the beat

TO BE MAYOR of New York City is no easy task. Bill de Blasio, the departing incumbent, was once a progressive darling. However, his unique political talents—a penchant for selfaggrandisement and a smug disdain for dealing with the city’s problems—along with constant bickering with the governor, rendered Mr de Blasio ineffectual and widely loathed. He will soon be limping out of Gracie Mansion, leaving behind some daunting problems for his successor. Economic growth is choked by regulation and insufficient house-building. There has been a dramatic increase in shootings and homicides. Were it not for a timely federal bail-out, the city would be facing severe cuts to its budget. The man New Yorkers will choose to pick up these pieces is Eric Adams, a black, vegan, ex-police captain from Brooklyn. In a…