Book Review: Trickle-Down Censorship

Book Review: Trickle-Down CensorshipAs we enter a post-truth world – or so we are told -- there’s probably no better time than to curl up with JFK Miller’s Trickle-Down Censorship: An Outsider’s Account of Working Inside China’s Censorship Regime. It serves well as a timely reminder of the dangers in the other direction – state control of truth…

Jaipur Lit Fest gets massive crowds for books and fun

North India’s two annual cultural jamborees have this year again pulled in tens of thousands of expanding crowds from home and abroad as they reach their ten-year anniversaries – the Jaipur Literature Festival last month and the India Art Fair next year. Both provide a mixture of culture, education and entertainment, having begun in a relatively…

Australia and a US–China Trade War

Australia and a US–China Trade WarIt’s time for Australia to get ready for a trade war between the United States and China. Our security alliance partner looks set to pick a fight with our biggest customer. And all this on the back of the US abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a rules-setting trade deal in which Australia was heavily invested.…

Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” for Muslims: Najib Exempt?

Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” for Muslims: Najib Exempt?At 2:30 a.m. one day in mid-November, after the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency of the United States, the telephone rang in the official residence of Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia. Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor answered the telephone. On the other end was businessman Syed Azman of Weststar Group, a sprawling…

Economic Outlook 2017: Thailand

Economic Outlook 2017: ThailandThailand’s economy is poised for modest growth in 2017 as solid domestic spending is expected to offset weaker export growth. Confidence is expected to return as the country puts a long period of mourning its late King Bhumibol Adulyadej behind it and rallies around Vajiralongkorn, his successor. “The Thai economy shows signs of a nascent…

Gambling on Chinese Investment in Laos

Gambling on Chinese Investment in LaosWith its massive cupolas, one shaped like a green crown and the other painted bright gold, Kings Romans Casino does not blend in with the forests of rural Southeast Asia, but the establishment is the heart of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GT-SEZ), a controversial gambling hub in northern Laos. The area has mostly…

India’s Budget Presented under Shadow of Banknote Ban

India’s Budget Presented under Shadow of Banknote BanArun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, this week presented his annual Budget aimed at bouncing the country’s political and economic focus away from the miseries of prime minister Narendra Modi’s three-month-old bank note ban and at projecting an economy with increased growth and less corruption. The demonetization – or cancellation – of 1,000 rupee and 500…

Economic Outlook 2017: Hong Kong

Economic Outlook 2017: Hong KongSlow economic growth, rising wages and prices, political instability, lower property values, confrontation between the United States and China over trade or security, and Mainland interference in the rule of law are just some of Hong Kong’s concerns going into 2017. “Headwinds remain from weak global growth, local property tightening measures, a more aggressive Fed…

Economic Outlook 2017: Taiwan

Economic Outlook 2017: TaiwanTaiwan’s economy is expected to continue its recovery in 2017 on the back of a pick-up in exports as the global economy improves. However, the upward trend is expected to remain gradual due to an uncertain international and domestic political environment. According to the government’s Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Taiwan’s economy got back…

Economic Outlook 2017: Philippines

Economic Outlook 2017: PhilippinesA weakening currency was not enough to stop the Philippines posting gross domestic product growth of 7.1%, one of the fastest in the world. The peso fell 5%, hitting a seven-year low in September 2016. However, this has been widely seen as a strength, boosting revenue from overseas workers’ remittances and making the country’s outsourcing…
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