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Asia Update

February/March 2016

Asia-related activities of Bertelsmann Stiftung and insights into important developments in the region.


BTI 2016

Developments in Asia Cause for Concern

The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) analyzes and evaluates the quality of democracy, a market economy and political management in 129 developing and transition countries. It measures successes and setbacks on the path toward a democracy based on the rule of law and a socially responsible market economy. The new dataset for 2016, resulting from an international analytical collaboration of almost 300 experts shows that there is no one Asian model of governance.
From dynamic democracies to Stone Age dictatorships: Political conditions in the 21 countries paint a landscape marked by extremes. Declining levels of political participation and an eroding rule of law are particularly worrying. Read the regional report here


A plea for a realpolitik approach

Is China a Market Economy?

2016 is set to be an important year for the People’s Republic of China’s external trade, because Article 15 (ii) of China’s WTO Accession Agreement will expire in December. The issue of China’s market economy status (MES) has been described as “the mother of all trade issues now”. For the EU, Antonia Hmaidi, Project Manager in our programme, recommends a pragmatic approach granting China Market Economy Status, but introducing specific conditions to avoid negative impact on EU economies. Read the blog post here


Essay by Vasundhara Sirnate

JNU Arrest: Not Just a Crackdown, It's a War on Democracy

The current showdown between Jawaharlal Nehru University, one of the most renowned universities in India, famous for its left-leaning student body, and the Modi government is driven by an anxious government that wants to suppress any counter-opinion and counter-ideology to its narrow definition of nationalism. By drawing parallels to student movements in the past, the author Vasundhara Sirnate argues that students possess great capacity for social mobilisation and progressive thought that often goes against the status quo, and therefore have often achieved their stated aims. Read the essay here



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Dr. Peter Walkenhorst

Senior Project Manager


Bertelsmann Stiftung

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Tel: +49 5241 81-81172




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