Posts tagged under China
Singapore wants to utilize corporate sponsors to help install energy efficient lightbulbs to low-income households. The rationale: the new bulbs will conserve energy and also lower the households’ utility bills. Quick aside: the article also further highlights the Singaporean obsession with acronyms (the program, S.W.I.T.C.H, stands for “Simple Ways I Take To Change My Habits”).
China has taken a very different approach: it wants to ban the imports and sales of incandescent lightbulbs in the country. The ban will be rolled out in phases, starting with banning lightbulbs over 100W next year, and eventually banning all bulbs above 15W by 2016.
Which of these is the better approach?
Short term winner: Singapore. The impact of the Singaporean program is more direct, as the bulbs used inside the homes are changed right away. The poor feel the cost reductions right away, especially because they don’t actually have to pay for the lightbulbs. In China, on the other hand, households will continue using incandescent lightbulbs while they still can.
The ATM team got the chance to talk to Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist at the Financial Times. He was visiting Singapore to participate in a roundtable event organised by the Asian Trends Monitoring Bulletin and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on the topic of “Rising Asia, Growing Inequality”.
Rachman touched upon the issues of China’s growing economic influence in the region and its political consequences for ASEAN as an organisation as well as its individual member states. He drew comparisons to the European Integration process and pointed out how free of movement of goods, capital and labour helped bridge gaps in development between Eastern European member states and the core members. We also asked him about his perspective on the Arab spring revolts, the threat of social uprisings in Southeast Asia (e.g. a Burmese Spring) and regulatory gaps in the global financial system.
About Gideon Rachman
Gideon Rachman is chief foreign-affairs comlumnist for the Financial Times and author of Zero-Sum Future: American Power in an Age of Anxiety.
He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Washington and as bureau chief in Brussels and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalization.
The Roundtable on “Rising Asia, Growing Inequality”, which was attended by a full house of about 220 guests, students and media, saw a lively debate on the nature of inequality witnessed today and the sense of injustice amplified by the social media, which is in turn facilitated by rapid technological change.
Watch the exciting debate among the six panelists moderated by Dean Kishore Mahbubani here. The first video features the only debate, further below you will find the Question & Answer Session.
- Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Chair)
- Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation
- Dr. Anies Baswedan, President, Paramadina University and one of Indonesia’s leading public intellectuals
- Professor Fu Jun, Executive Dean, Peking University School of Government
- Mr. Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Financial Times
- Mr. Karim Raslan, writer and consultant based in Indonesia and Malaysia
Senator Ton Nu Thi Ninh, President, Founding Committee of Tri Viet University, Vietnam
We would like to express our gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, New York and the Centre for Strategic Futures, Singapore for their generosity in supporting this Roundtable event and the Asian Trends Monitoring Project.
Coming on Monday: Full-length video of the event and footage from the Q&A Session. We will post it here.
The session was moderated by Dean Kishore Mahbubani and featured Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation; Dr. Anies Baswedan, President, Paramadina University and one of Indonesia’s leading public intellectuals; Professor Fu Jun, Executive Dean, Peking University School of Government; Mr. Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Financial Times; Mr. Karim Raslan, writer and consultant based in Indonesia and Malaysia; and Senator Ton Nu Thi Ninh, President, Founding Committee of Tri Viet University, Vietnam.
Don’t want to wait for tomorrow? To find out what the panelists discussed during the 90 minute debate, read a feature article about the roundtable event on the LKY School’s homepage here.
Asia is rising! Asia’s growth is now celebrated the world over, much of this focused on China and the phenomenal economic growth that over the last 30 years has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty. But Asia is not China, and this remarkable transformation is not a ubiquitous story for all of Asia. While Southeast Asia has experienced its own economic miracles, the problems of endemic poverty, increasing divides between rural and urban communities, and absolute growth in economic inequalities, represent the dark shadow of Asia’s success that is too easily overlooked.
Asia is rising but not all Asians are enjoying this growth; many have realised only marginal improvements to their economic resilience, others have gone backwards, and still others now suffer an ever more precarious existence, shut out of any hope of accessing even the most basic of infrastructures. A deeper examination of the “rise of Asia” reveals growing gaps in access to basic financial, health, education, and social services, both across countries and within national borders. Despite Southeast Asia’s economic success, millions of its poor continue to exist in a parallel economy: a mass underclass of invisible urban and rural populations who are marginalised from the changing economic landscapes that so often make the media headlines each of us are familiar with.
Our final preview before the official release of ATM Bulletin #12. (click to see full size)
If you’re in Singapore, don’t forget to attend the “Rising Asia, Growing Inequality” roundtable event organized by the ATM team. This event looks into the question of why Southeast Asia’s economic growth has led to the creation of parallel economies with dramatic social inequalities. The Roundtable will be held on September 30, 2011, 1:30-3:00 pm at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Have you checked out our other infographics? Scroll down a few posts or click here.
Who should take the lead in getting international trade and the Multilateral trading system back on track?
In an article in the Daily Star earlier this week Dani Rodrik, professor in Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, discuss the role of the developing countries in the world economy after the downturn.
Can developing countries carry the world economy? Yes; few developing countries are as indebted as the G3, they are headed for strong growth, the quality of policy making is improving significantly in many developing countries and tech transfer as a consequence of inclusion in international production networks is spurring development. Developing countries already (or still) experiencing growth should not be held back and have to wait around for the developed world to get back on track and take the lead in the world economy.
However, although quality of policy is improving many developing countries still lack a sustainable growth strategy. As an example Rodrik mentions China and the ongoing “currency war”. The world has put up with China’s subventions of their exports through an undervalued currency and this fact has largely been the reason to China’s unmatched growth rates. It is however unlikely that the world will put up with these subventions much longer and force an appreciation of the renminbi. An appreciation of the renminbi might effectively put a halt to China’s enormous growth.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo: Can the West still pressure China on Human Rights violations or has the risk of potentially lost trade deals become too costly?
On Friday the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Norway announced the winner of 2010: Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The Norweigan committee said Mr Liu was “the foremost symbol” of human rights in China. In 2009 the writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo was charged for ”suspicion of inciting subversion of state power” this as he was the founder of the Charter 08 campaign for constitutional reform in China. After a year in detention without trial and a two hour trial where no family or foreign representation was allowed; Liu was found guilty and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The Nobel Committee’s decision to award the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo has infuriated China and led to an intense debate in the West where many governments has called for his immediate release. On the streets in China however, the prize is unlikely to cause any debate. Few Chinese people know who he is, that he has won the Prize or why he won the Prize as the Chinese search engine Baidu effectively censor results with his name.
What’s a health system to do with more money but seemingly entrenched perverse incentives? That’s the question that Alex He Jingwei asks in a new paper in East Asia Policy, “China’s healthcare reforms: reversing the perverse incentive scheme“. Alex is a PHD candidate at LKYSPP, and he’s just come back from 7 months fieldwork asking policymakers all about the new rural cooperative medical scheme, so he’s in a good position to elaborate. The paper reviews incentives defects – like massive information asymmetries between patients and providers, in a country where most people head straight to the hospital rather than a primary care physician - and the implications for health systems performance, before critically analysing the intention and design of new policy reforms. Others have done this (Damjan Denoble at asiahealthcare blog offers some insights) so whats new here? Crucially, Alex draws attention to the issue of implementation of reforms and political will. Sticks needed it seems: