EconoMonitor

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    Asia

  • East Asia Forum

    Carrot and stick tactics fail to calm China’s ethnic antagonism

    Author: James Leibold, La Trobe University For centuries the Chinese state has governed its distant ethnic frontiers with both carrot and stick. In the past, emperors proffered ‘imperial grace’ (ēn) for those ‘barbarians’ willing to submit (at least nominally) to Chinese dominion, while reserving the right of ‘imperial might’ (wēi) for those who resisted. The ēn/wēi stratagem continues in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today.
But recent unrest in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and elsewhere reminds us of the inherent limits of these tactics of paternalistic co-option and repression. Over the past decade China has witnessed an ugly spate of ethnic protest and violence, leading some to prognosticate a ‘tic...more

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  • East Asia Forum

    India’s renewed push into the Indian Ocean

    Author: Rupakjyoti Borah, India Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka reflects New Delhi’s changed foreign policy priorities. It signals that India is no longer willing to be outmanoeuvred in the Indian Ocean region — its strategic backyard. Modi’s visit was also part of the prime minister’s efforts to reach out to India’s neighbours. This started with his inauguration when he invited the heads of state of all the member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Modi was also scheduled to visit Maldives during this trip. But it was dropped from his itinerary in a not-so-gentle rebuke of the Maldivian government, which had arrested the former Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed. New ...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Ask me anything

    It’s time to have a conversation. I intend to have google hangouts on a regular basis. I am taking suggestions on the day and time. But first, would you like to join? Would the weekends be a good time for you? And if so, what time? Of course, you can ask me anything by leaving a comment on this post. I hope to hear from you on this open thread. ...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    Tier 2 Chinese hospitals: Is there a point?

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  • East Asia Forum

    China needs to strengthen its AIIB balancing act

    Authors: Kai He, University of Copenhagen; and Huiyun Feng, DIIS. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has become part of Xi Jinping’s ‘Chinese Dream’ of national rejuvenation. The United States’ failure to block other developed economies from joining the AIIB seems to have brought this part of the ‘Chinese dream’ closer to its realisation. But it is way too early to celebrate. A bigger AIIB does not necessarily mean a better one. Beijing must prepare to play an institutional game with other members inside the AIIB. More members — especially from developed countries — will dilute China’s influence inside the AIIB. China originally held 49 per cent of total capital, making its leadership undisputable. But as more developed economies join as ...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    ‘High-temperature air-combustion technology’ developed

    Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) At the Third Session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) held on April 9, Premier Pak Pong Ju of the DPRK Cabinet delivered a progress report on the Cabinet’s performance for the previous year and goals for this year. He said, “High-temperature air-combustion technology and other technologies that do not require the use of heavy oil should be introduced into various fields of the national economy.” As North Korea is a non-oil producing country, such technology would be beneficial. But whether this technology is possible requires careful consideration. According to various state media reports, “high-temperature air-combustion technology” maintains the internal temperature of the furnace by combusting gas or li...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    Are These the Meaningful Changes at the CFDA We’ve Been Waiting For? (WiCON)

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  • China Matters

    Stabbed in the Back: What's the Difference Between an "Unabashed Nationalist" and a "Fascist"?

    “Fascist”, it appears, is the go-to epithet for characterizing nationalists and racists we don’t like.  “Nationalist” is apparently the go-to epithet for characterizing fascists we do like.The Western media is coping with the conspicuous and undeniable presence of fascists in the Ukrainian paramilitaries by rebranding them.  A recent case in point was in a Reuters article celebrating the doughty defenders of Mariupol i.e. the Azov Battalion, which discommodes Kyiv-friendly observers by unapologetically  marching under the fascist “Wolfangel” banner:Many in the Azov Battalion have unabashed Ukrainian nationalist sympathies, prompting rebels to label them neo-fascists.From time to time, Azov fighters in Shyrokyne greeted one another with iron...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    More Detail on the Forthcoming China Senior Care Report

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    The big changes in financial reform

    Budget 2015 has been an important period for India's financial reforms. Indian Merchants Chamber, BSE and NIPFP had organised a meeting on these issues. From this show, here are two videos. Yours truly: and Ashish Chauhan: Both from our youtube channel. ...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    North Korea to concentrate state budget towards economic construction

    Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) North Korea has drafted a budget that emphasizes improving the lives of its citizens and the establishment of an economic power this year. The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that on April 9, 2015, North Korea held the 3rd Session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), where authorities balanced accounts from last year’s spending and decided the budget for this year. “This year the state budget was designed to further strengthen the self-defense capabilities of national defense while putting technology firmly at the front and bringing about a transformation in the building of an economic powerhouse,” North Korea’s head of the Finance Ministry, Ki Kwang Ho, explained at the session. First, Nor...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Solving market failures through information interventions

    The standard approach in public economics The standard approach of conventional public economics is to emphasise that the market economy generally works well, barring a group of market failures. The job of government is to try to address these market failures. The standard checklist of market failures is: Externalities -- e.g. a factory that pollutes. Asymmetric information -- e.g. safety in food or medicines. Market power -- e.g. firms that earn super-normal profit owing to weak competition, and Public goods -- e.g. law and order. In the standard approach we weigh market failures against the problems of obtaining effective State intervention. The barrier is `public choice theory': the State is not benevolent. The citizen is the principal, t...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    How Finance SEZs can matter

    I have a column in the Indian Express today on how Finance SEZs can matter.

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    An ad from 1947: “The Uphill Task Ahead”

    My friend Veer shared this advertisement from 1947. After 68 years, Indians are still fighting a war on poverty and it is still an “Uphill Task Ahead.” Very little has changed since 1947 in the economic environment, and what little change there has been regressive. Certainly relative to 1947, Indians have progressed but relative to others, India has slipped further behind. Note that in the advertisement, the attitude is one of collectivization, that we have to mount a war on poverty by “closing ranks” and “unitedly attack”. That sets the stage for a top-down, command-and-control regime. A country of free people should not resemble an army. Soldiers inhabit a hierarchical structure where orders flow from the top and they have no f...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Pohela Boishakh, Vishu, and Puthandu Greetings

    It’s a new year for the people of Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Happy New Year wishes. ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्ु निरामयाः । सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah | Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || Om, may all become happy, All be free from illness. All see what is auspicious, May no one suffer. Om peace, peace, peace. ...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Will the AIIB one day matter?

    When Isaac, an editor at Foreign Policy, sent me an email two weeks ago asking if I could write a piece on the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), I quickly wrote back promising 1,200 words within a few days. I thought it would be pretty easy to come up with the points I wanted to make, and all I would need was one uninterrupted day to pull them together into a coherent article. As I see it, the creation of the AIIB is not nearly as important as everyone seems to think, and if Beijing’s decision to create the AIIB, and Washington’s decision to oppose it, was part of the struggle for future geo-political dominance in Asia, let alone the world, they were both going to be wrong. There were only two useful parts to this story, it seemed to me. First, it sho...more

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  • China Matters

    Deeper and Darker in the Uyghur-Turkish Passport Mystery

    I’ve written about the Turkish passport mystery—in which suspected Uyghur refugees somehow came into possession of Turkish passports, presumably high-tech, smart chip passports encrypted by a Turkish government agency that are so flawless that Asian governments have been unable to confirm their suspicions that their detainees are indeed Uyghurs fleeing the PRC—in a couple posts: Curtain Coming Down on Erdogan’s Excellent Uyghur Adventure?  And Passport-Gate: Turkey’s Brewing Uyghur Passport Scandal .Here are a couple more news items torn from the headlines that provide some interesting perspectives.The first piece comes from the Benar News, April 9, 2015, and addresses the most sensitive case, that of four individuals detained in Indonesia and suspected ...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    ‘Okryu’ North Korean online shopping website gaining popularity

    Institute for Far Eastern studies (IFES) According to the Japanese newspaper Choson Sinbo, a new online shopping mall in North Korea is enjoying popularity. “In Choson [North Korea] an e-commerce service system is being operated that handles food and all kinds of light industry goods,” the newspaper’s Pyongyang correspondent reported on April 2, 2015. The newspaper explained that at the end of 2014, North Korea did a test-run of the system, and since the beginning of this year it has been in full operation. Since February of this year, they also started an e-commerce service that uses smart phones with communication functions. Users access a computer network, and after joining the ‘Okryu’ e-commerce system, they can browse and purchase products. In the Okryu ...more

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  • China Matters

    July 17, 2012: The Day America Exited the 9/11 Era…By Entering an Alliance with Al Qaeda

    I note with interest that Thomas Friedman, the premier moral imbecile of American journalism, is spitballing the idea of using ISIS to roll back Iran.Friedman is still an outlier.  The moderate voice in hawkish Middle East policy today, on the other hand, belongs to analysts calling for supporting al Qaeda as the preferred US asset against Iran and, for that matter, ISIS.This marks a sea change in American Middle East public punditry and a sign that the United States has moved beyond the 9/11 era, in which our national policy and indeed our national identity was largely defined by getting those AQ bad guys who had knocked down the World Trade Center, blown a hole in the Pentagon, and killed over 3000 Americans on a single day in 2001.Now, the oppose-Iran obsession...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    When do we decide that Europe must restructure much of its debt?

    It is hard to watch the Greek drama unfold without a sense of foreboding. If it is possible for the Greek economy partially to revive in spite of its tremendous debt burden, with a lot of hard work and even more good luck we can posit scenarios that don’t involve a painful social and political breakdown, but I am pretty convinced that the Greek balance sheet itself makes growth all but impossible for many more years. The history is, to me pretty convincing. Countries with this level of debt and this level of uncertainty associated with the resolution of the debt are never able too grow out of their debt burdens, no matter how determined and how forcefully they implement the “correct” set of orthodox reforms, until the debt is resolved and the costs assigned. Greec...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Syriza and the French indemnity of 1871-73

    European nationalists have successfully convinced us, against all logic, that the European crisis is a conflict among nations, and not among economic sectors. Today’s Financial Times has an article discussing the travails of Greece’s new Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis as he takes on Germany: In a small but telling sign of the frosty relations between Berlin and the new Greek government, the German finance ministry last week criticised Mr Varoufakis for failing to follow through with a customary courtesy call following his appointment. Mr Schäuble, meanwhile, has warned Greece not to attempt to “blackmail” Berlin with demands for debt relief. This is absurd. The European debt crisis is not a conflict among nations. All economic systems— and certainly an e...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Peter Hessler’s China Daily “article”: how low can they go?

    Now this is chutzpah: China Daily asked author Peter Hessler to participate in a Q & A with his friend and translator Li Xueshun comparing aspects of Egypt and China (both countries where Hessler has worked as a New Yorker correspondent). China Daily then had the nerve to take Hessler’s replies and shape them into what looks to the reader like a bylined article by Hessler. Li’s replies were totally removed. From Hessler’s Facebook page: [I]t omitted crucial parts, including the most important point: that I believe it’s harder to make a political change in China, where the system is deeper rooted than in Egypt, and thus the flaws are also more deeply rooted. I said that this is the reason why the current anti-corruption campaign will be a failure...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Is it a police state?

    The best post I ever wrote (and I realize that’s not saying very much) is this one. Its simple point is that underneath a veneer of happiness, prosperity and optimism there can lurk a much darker and more dangerous side. People can be content and appreciate their government while being oblivious — willfully or not — to what it is going on beneath the surface. There have been a rash of articles in recent months of a severe crackdown in China on civil rights lawyers, professors, journalists and activists. A story from yesterday drove this home: As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s ...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Shaun Rein wants your help marketing The End of Copycat China

    The End of Copycat China is the name of Shaun Rein’s new book that will be available come October 20. I am flattered that Shaun has included me on the mailing list he uses to blast information to his friends and colleagues, and I wanted to draw attention to how he wants his fans to do the marketing for his new book for him. Over the last three months Shaun has sent out two lengthy email blasts and I find their content to be intriguing, and to confirm some of my own thoughts about Mr. Rein. Perhaps most revealing was this paragraph: If you or a friend are looking for a keynote speaker, consider me. If organizations buy 1000 copies of my book to give to attendees between October and December, I will waive my standard speaking rates at my speaker’s bureau (my...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Foxconn Moving Direct to Consumer

    I remember having conversations years ago about what Foxconn would do going forward, and whether or not they would be happy as the manufacturer to brands.   The WSJ article, Amid Margin Squeeze, Foxconn Designs Its Own Fate, puts this question to rest. Recently, the $130-billion-a-year in revenue company has ventured into handset accessories under its own brand, and sales and distribution of mobile phones. It also plans to offer telecommunications services in Taiwan. For me, this has always been a bit of a no brainer.  Foxconn has an amazing amount of talent in the firm that is not just managing the supply chain and assembling gadgets for their customer, but have for years also been bringing designs to the brands that they feel would sell well in the market. Partner ...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Bites of China. Finally a Show Worth Watching!

    A couple of weeks back, while riding the G train back from Nanjing, something caught my eye.  An advertisement by CCTV for what I believe could be one of the best produced shows China has put together.  At first, I had no idea what the advertisement for, but what was clear was that it was celebrating the various food flavors of China, and those who are tilling the fields and preparing the dishes. The show is called Bite of China, and I cannot recommend it enough. Sure, China is known for its fair share of food failures, including recycled oil, but watching this show has restored a bit of my love for the flavors here.  Flavors that were actually the basis for one of my earliest posts, and have provided a never ending hunt for me and my wife as we look to try new thin...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    What Do China’s Millennials Want ?

    For a number of years, I had it pretty good.  I had a number of teams that were under me, were stable, and were producing.  It was at a time when a lot of questions were being asked about the post 80s generation in China, but for whatever reason I was immune. But, those days are over, and just yesterday I had another millennial go AWOL on me.  So, it was perhaps interesting timing that CNBC put up the article Millennials may be more like boomers than we realize highlighting how several studies point to a generation that is looking for meaning in their job, in their company, and for balance: A new study from Deloitte also found differences in workplace attitudes between millennials and older generations, saying that the former “want to work for organizations tha...more

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    Postcards from the National People's Congress

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Twins!

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  • ChinaBizGov

    China's Green Car Sales in 2012

    Just a few years ago, pretty much everyone (except Chinese auto industry insiders whom I interviewed) thought China was about to take ownership of the global green car market. (Here's just one example from the excitable Tom Friedman of the New York Times.)In 2009 China's industrial planners announced plans to have 500,000 green cars ("New Energy Vehicles" or "新能源汽车" -- a combination of electrics and hybrids) on Chinese roads by the end of 2011. That obviously didn't happen, so last year, that same target of 500,000 was pushed out to 2015.So how did green car sales fare in 2012? Overall, hybrids plus electrics grew a respectable 52 percent.So while sales grew pretty well in percentage terms, it is clear that overall numbers are still inconsequential when you co...more

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    What Causes Revolutions?

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Enter the New Year

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    China, school violence and official reaction

    I wrote yesterday about growing questions in China about the differences between the U.S. reaction to the tragedy in Newtown and that of the tragedy in Henan Province, where, on the same say as the shooting in Connecticut, a man stabbed and slashed 23 students at a primary school. (All survived in Henan, where the weapon was a knife, not an AR-15.) As a commentary piece in the state-controlled Global Times noted: “The Chinese public has focused on the slow official response and the level of social reflection. Many are furious that while the Americans have started mourning nationwide, the Chinese appear insensitive to the Henan case.” Another story today, carried by China Daily, caught my attention. It describes an example of how profoundly off-key propaganda can ...more

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    Postcard from a snowy Beijing

    The smell of roasting sweet potatoes in a city covered with snow put me in the mood to take a detour on my walk to work today  ...

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  • ChinaBizGov

    Comparing Corruption in China and the US

    Today's WSJ China Realtime reports on a study by a George Mason University economist who attempts to compare corruption in the US and China.  His conclusion is that corruption in America's Gilded Age (1877-1893)* was worse than corruption in China today.Perhaps the conclusion is correct, but the methodology used by this professor is flawed.  US corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US newspapers 1870-1930.  China corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US (not Chinese!) newspapers 1990-2011.So he is measuring corruption in two countries by the number of times the newspapers of only one of the countries mentions the word.  Even if the researcher had used Chinese newspapers, the study still would have been flawed due to Commun...more

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  • ChinaBizGov

    GM and SAIC: Trouble in Paradise?

    General Motors (GM) and Shanghai Auto (SAIC) announced in December of 2009 that they were deepening their partnership beyond their joint venture in China.  Together they created a 50:50 joint venture, registered in Hong Kong, for expansion outside of China.  Now that partnership appears to be coming apart.Initially, the plan for the HK JV was for the two sides to work together in India and possibly elsewhere in the future.  (For further insight into this particular deal, please see Chapter 4 of Designated Drivers.) As for the India venture, GM would contribute two existing factories in India, along with its Chevrolet brand, and SAIC would contribute cash -- something that GM had been seriously lacking as it had emerged from bankruptcy earlier that same ye...more

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Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at menenbergaaron@gmail.com.