Asia

Economic Liberalism and Asian Vitality

It is easy to be gloomy about the state of liberalism in Asia. China is firmly authoritarian, indeed more so under Xi Jinping. Democracy has been reversed in Thailand and is under threat in Malaysia. It is fragile in South Asia, except India, and hardly exists in Central Asia. The Middle East is in flames. Economic liberalisation has slowed down since its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, and even stalled in some countries. Is this gloom justified? Up to a point, but it is overdone. There are chinks of liberal light. Their most penetrating rays are those of the…

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