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The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition July 6, 2019

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
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51 Issues

in this issue

8 min.
the world this week

Politics Protesters ransacked Hong Kong’s legislature, spraying graffiti and waving British-era flags in the chamber after commemorations for the 22nd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, condemned the “extreme violence”. China’s government accused the demonstrators of trampling on “the rule of law”. Rahul Gandhi resigned as leader of Congress, India’s oldest political party and the only national force opposing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mr Gandhi’s father, grandmother and great-grandfather all served as prime minister. Congress has been thrashed by the BJP at the past two elections. Taliban insurgents killed some 40 people in an attack in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The attack came as American and Taliban negotiators were meeting in Qatar to discuss a possible peace deal. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the general…

6 min.
the global crisis in conservatism

VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia’s president, has declared the liberal idea “obsolete”. It will not surprise you to learn that we disagree. Not just because he told the Financial Times that liberalism was all about immigration, multiculturalism and gender politics—a travesty—but also because he picked the wrong target. The idea most under threat in the West is conservatism. And you do not have to be a conservative to find that deeply troubling. In two-party systems, like the United States and (broadly) Britain, the right is in power, but only by jettisoning the values that used to define it. In countries with many parties the centre-right is being eroded, as in Germany and Spain, or eviscerated, as in France and Italy. And in other places, like Hungary, with a shorter democratic tradition, the right…

4 min.
counter-flow

TRADE WAR, tech war, new cold war or just plain decoupling: call it what you will, the confrontation between America and China has been bruising. Tariffs are up, exports down. Even as they resume trade negotiations, they talk of blacklisting each other’s firms. In the words of Henry Paulson, a former American treasury secretary, the danger is that an “economic iron curtain” will soon divide the world. All the more remarkable, then, that one crucial sector—finance—is bucking the trend. Financial links between China and the West have grown tighter since the trade war broke out. They are set to grow tighter still. For years Western insurance firms, asset managers and brokerages have been allowed to own only minority stakes in local firms. Now China is giving foreign financial firms more leeway…

3 min.
deae ex machina

IT WASN’T PRETTY, but they got there in the end. After an epic three-day haggle, the leaders of the European Union came up with a slate of names for its top jobs: the presidents of the European Commission (the executive arm), the European Council (the forum where the leaders meet) and the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as its grandly titled High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. None of the jobs went to the front-runners, nor indeed to anyone who had featured on most observers’ lists until a few hours before the dénouement. Critics will object to the murky process, though it was always going to take horse-trading to satisfy 27 states (Britain politely sat the business out), while striking a balance between right and left, north and…

3 min.
a country apart

“IF THE SUN lost its gravity, its gases would explode and its unity would no longer exist. Accordingly, unity is the basis for survival.” Muammar Qaddafi’s “Green Book”, his rambling political manifesto, is full of pabulum. But the former Libyan dictator was right about the importance of unity, something his country has sorely lacked since he was killed in a revolution in 2011. Libya has been mired in conflict ever since, creating a jihadist playground and a jumping-off point for migrants desperate to reach Europe. The latest fighting pits the “government of national accord” (GNA) in Tripoli against the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), under Khalifa Haftar, which rules by fear in the east and south. The UN was trying to bring them together when he attacked Tripoli in April—while the…

3 min.
navigating the rapids

PREDICTING THE future is hard. But preparing for its uncertainties, while you lie on the beach, can at least be entertaining. It can also broaden the mind and subtly change your understanding of the present. Rather than the Great American Novel or a tall stack of chick-lit bonkbusters (see our Obituary on Judith Krantz), we propose a different sort of summer reading. Speculating about the future, even if it is far-fetched, can help people and institutions cope with what comes next. For the best material, here are three places to look. The first is scenario planning. This originated in the armed forces during the second world war and was pioneered in industry by Royal Dutch Shell, enabling it to react more quickly and effectively than rival oil firms to the oil…