Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked for more efforts to promote economic growth and all-round social progress in Tibet and Tibetan-inhabited areas in four other provinces, vowing sustainable measures and continued preferential policies.
Modi has been busy strengthening India’s ties with neighboring countries to compete with China, while trying to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities for economic development created by China, as Beijing is actively carrying forward the “One Belt and One Road” initiative. Modi has also been playing little tricks over border disputes and security issues, hoping to boost his domestic prestige while increasing his leverage in negotiations with China.
Of all the natural resources on which the world depends, the supply and demand situation is most critical for water. There are replacements for oil, but no substitute for water, which is essential to produce virtually all the goods in the marketplace.
This raises a question: can Asia remain the locomotive of the global economy if it cannot mitigate its water crisis?
The Chinese feel strongly about China, but are indifferent to the party. Yet state and party are united, and the absence of popular responsibility towards keeping the party as government could see the country forfeited. Political participation is the key to the stalemate.
During the next plenary session of the Chinese parliament, the National People’s Congress, Beijing will overhaul its administrative system, with the total number of ministries set to be reduced to about 26 from 40 at present. This is a new step in reforming the administration, and follows a similar cut in 15th Party Congress in 1997 when the number of ministries fell from 70 to 40.
The usual story about African development over the last few decades is, simply, that it hasn’t developed. It is a region mired in permanent poverty—destined by geography or disease burden or corruption or ethnic division to everlasting misery. That story should be placed in the fiction aisle. Quality-of-life measures have been improving for decades across the continent, more recently followed by official measures of economic output in a number of countries. And recent analysis of survey evidence suggests that households across the region have become far wealthier than even those improving official output statistics would suggest.
Bangladesh was the original development “basket case”, the demeaning term used in Henry Kissinger’s state department for countries that would always depend on aid. Its people are crammed onto a flood plain swept by cyclones and without big mineral and other natural resources. It suffered famines in 1943 and 1974 and military coups in 1975, 1982 and 2007. When it split from Pakistan in 1971 many observers doubted that it could survive as an independent state.
According to the economist Daron Acemoglu and the political scientist James Robinson, economic development hinges on a single factor: a country’s political institutions. More specifically, as they explain in their new book, Why Nations Fail, it depends on the existence of “inclusive” political institutions, defined as pluralistic systems that protect individual rights. These, in turn, give rise to inclusive economic institutions, which secure private property and encourage entrepreneurship. The long-term result is higher incomes and improved human welfare.
Africa is no longer the “lost continent” of popular imagination. The region has been growing rapidly for over a decade, the private sector is expanding, and a new class of consumers is wielding considerable spending power. And because of its young and growing population, the sky is the limit for future growth: Between 2010 and 2020, the continent is set to add 122 million people to its labor force. An expansion of this magnitude should set the stage for dynamic growth, but capturing this potential will require a change in economic development strategy. At its current pace, Africa is not generating wage-paying jobs rapidly enough to absorb its massive labor force, which will be the largest in the world by 2035.