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The Economist Asia EditionThe Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition

May 18, 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.

國家/地區:
United Kingdom
語言:
English
出版商:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
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51 期號

本期

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the world this week

Politics The ruling African National Congress won South Africa’s general election with 58% of the vote. The party had never before received less than 60% at a national poll. Many voters were put off by the corruption that flourished under Jacob Zuma, president from 2009 to 2018. The ANC might have done worse but for Cyril Ramaphosa, who replaced Mr Zuma and vowed to clean up his mess. The Democratic Alliance got 21% of the vote. Violence flared in Sudan as the ruling military council and protest groups tried to reach a political-transition deal. At least six people were killed. It has been more than a month since the army toppled Omar al-Bashir amid large demonstrations against his presidency. Generals and civilians have yet to agree on how…

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a new kind of cold war

FIGHTING OVER trade is not the half of it. The United States and China are contesting every domain, from semiconductors to submarines and from blockbuster films to lunar exploration. The two superpowers used to seek a win-win world. Today winning seems to involve the other lot’s defeat—a collapse that permanently subordinates China to the American order; or a humbled America that retreats from the western Pacific. It is a new kind of cold war that could leave no winners at all.As our special report in this week’s issue explains, superpower relations have soured. America complains that China is cheating its way to the top by stealing technology, and that by muscling into the South China Sea and bullying democracies like Canada and Sweden it is becoming a threat to…

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now for the hard part

MOST PARTIES would delight in a sixth successive election victory. But South Africans’ endorsement of the African National Congress (ANC) on May 8th was tepid (see Middle East & Africa section). The ANC’s share of the vote was 57.5%, the first time in a national ballot that it has fallen below 60%. More important, over half of South African adults could not be bothered to go to the polls. Twenty-five years after the jubilant vote that ended apartheid, South Africans are disillusioned. They are not quite ready to abandon the main party of the liberation struggle, but they wish it was better at running the country.The result would have been worse for the ANC had it not been for Cyril Ramaphosa. Pre-election polls showed that South Africans admire their…

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supremely wrong

IF THE ALABAMA legislature gets its way, abortion will soon become illegal there. A doctor convicted of performing an abortion could be sentenced to up to 99 years in prison. With no exemptions in cases of rape or incest, this would be the most restrictive such law in the country. But other states with Republican-controlled legislatures have passed “heartbeat” laws that are almost as absolute—they ban abortion from 6 weeks, at which point many women do not yet realise they are pregnant. These laws will be struck down by lower courts because they contradict Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal throughout America. At which point the court will have to decide whether it wants to look at Roe again.In the abortion argument, both…

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cocked and ready

NOT LONG ago there was a broad consensus that rich-world governments had become too indebted. How times change. Left-wing politicians today say that governments need to spend freely to counter climate change, and should not worry about borrowing more if necessary. America’s Republicans, who not long ago warned of imminent budgetary catastrophe, have in office cut taxes enough to push the deficit above 4% of GDP, despite a healthy economy. Economists, meanwhile, are locked in debate over whether much higher debt-to-GDP ratios might be sustainable (see Finance section). Is lunch free after all? Changing attitudes to budget deficits are in part a backlash against the zealous fiscal rectitude that prevailed in much of the rich world after the financial crisis. America began deep and indiscriminate spending cuts in…

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you couldn’t make it up

A CURIOUS FEATURE of these turbulent times is the rise of comedian-politicians. Volodymyr Zelensky, president-elect of Ukraine, is only the most recent (see International section). But the anti-elite protest propelling comedians into politics is also nurturing comic talent in politicians. President Donald Trump is the master blender of performance and politics, replacing policy pronouncements with a routine of gags and put-downs. But other newcomers are showing talent—if only despite themselves.Just as different leaders are inspired by different ideologies, so they lean towards different types of comedy. Vile despots are often their own best satirists. Nicolás Maduro and Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, presidents of Venezuela and Egypt, find their voice in absurdist humour and their material in economic hardship. Under the hilarious “Plan Conejo” (Plan Rabbit), Mr Maduro set about solving poverty…

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