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The Economist Asia Edition

The Economist Asia Edition December 7, 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.

United Kingdom
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Asia Pacific
51 期號


3 最少
the good, the bad and the ugly

SO MUCH TALK of “crisis” has surrounded NATO’s 70th-birthday year that it has been easy to forget there are reasons to celebrate. Not only has the alliance proved remarkably durable by historical standards, but since 2014 it has responded aptly to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, refocusing on its core mission of collective defence. It has deployed multinational battlegroups into the three Baltic states and Poland and committed to improved readiness. Goaded by criticism from President Donald Trump, its members have raised their spending on defence. Though many countries, notably Germany, still fall short of their promises, NATO now estimates that between 2016 and 2020 its European members and Canada will shell out an extra $130bn. This new money helps explain one welcome development at the meeting of NATOleaders in Britain this…

3 最少
the bilk road

THE VICTIM was a Chinese citizen. He was shot in a gangland-style killing in Istanbul, the biggest city in Turkey. But the smuggling racket on which he had just blown the whistle was centred on Kyrgyzstan, a poor Central Asian country of 6m which has been a transit point between China and Europe for centuries. Aierken Saimaiti said his part in the racket had been to launder the proceeds, overseeing the removal from Kyrgyzstan of at least $700m in dirty money between 2011 and 2016. Kyrgyz officials have since admitted that Saimaiti and his associates funnelled nearly $1bn to banks in a dozen countries. (Kyrgyzstan’s GDP last year was $8bn.) Before his assassination last month he told journalists from Kloop, a Kyrgyz website, Radio Free Europe, an American-funded news outlet, and…

3 最少
tight bulb moment

IN SOUTH ASIA the ruling classes ignore the quotidian at their peril. Just ask them about onions. This autumn the humble bulb has challenged titans. The trouble began when unseasonably heavy rains followed drought across the onion-growing belt of north and central India. That not only all but destroyed the crop; the wet caused more than a third of onions in storage to rot. The result is a severe shortage of onions across India, as a result of which prices more than tripled. This hardly threatens famine—something the green revolution abolished decades ago by boosting wheat and rice yields. Yet remove the onion and you struggle to imagine Indian cuisine. It forms the base for curries and biryanis. When a poor Indian has nothing else to eat, at least she has an…

5 最少
a new battleground

DESPITE ITS veto-wielding power in the United Nations, China has long been reluctant to stick its neck out. It has been 20 years since it last stood alone in exercising that right. But in the UN’s backrooms, the country’s diplomats are showing greater willingness to flex muscle, and their Western counterparts to fight back. Not since the cold war has the organisation become such a battleground for competing visions of the international order. A struggle in October over China’s mass internment of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority, suggests how intense the fight has become. It involved Britain taking an unusual leading role in condemning China’s human-rights record. The British representative at the UN, Karen Pierce, issued a statement, signed by 22 other countries including America, calling for unfettered UN access to…

3 最少
tense times recalled

EVERY YEAR an elderly retiree brings dozens of his friends to a wind-swept customs post at Mishan on China’s side of the country’s border with Russia. “There is nothing to see or do here,” says the man, who goes by the name “Old Jiang”. He is not entirely right. Not far away, the border runs through a large, picturesque lake. A disused bridge is described as the world’s smallest connecting two countries. And busloads of visitors arrive every day, many drawn by memories of a not-so-distant history and curiosity about “the very existence” of the post, as Mr Jiang puts it. Such a symbol of normal interaction once could not have existed. In 1969 Jixi prefecture, to which Mishan belongs, was the scene of border skirmishes between China and the Soviet…

3 最少
desi’s unjust desserts

TWO DAYS after a military court found Desi Bouterse, Suriname’s president, guilty of murdering 15 political foes, he returned home from a visit to China. A throng of supporters, many wearing the purple of his National Democratic Party, turned up to greet him at Paramaribo’s international airport on December 1st. Mr Bouterse brought back a promise of $300m to upgrade airports and roads and install solar power and 5G internet services. But the welcome was a defiant show of loyalty to a leader who has dominated his tiny country’s politics for four decades. Mr Bouterse’s conviction for murders that took place in 1982, and the 20-year sentence that goes with it, are unlikely to dislodge him. He helped lead a “sergeants’ coup” against an elected government in 1980, five years after…