In The News

May 14, 2003
The recent SARS epidemic, believed to have emanated from mainland China, has brought to the forefront the contentious politics of the Taiwan-China relationship. The following editorial from the Taipei Times is a scathing indictment of the Chinese government's refusal to acknowledge Taiwan's sovereignty by impeding its inclusion in the World Health Organization (WHO). Although China...
Sunanda K. Datta-Ray May 13, 2003
In times of crisis, governments tread a delicate balance between democratic ideals that guarantee civil liberties and autocratic measures for the common good. The ways in which Asian countries have responded to the SARS crisis provides an important case in point. China failed to take stringent measures to pre-empt the spread of SARS, and now it faces a national SARS epidemic that has enormous...
Susan L. Shirk May 12, 2003
China's integration into the global capitalist economy has been predicted by successive US presidents and others to be a necessary pre-cursor to expanded freedoms and democracy. Ironically, it may turn out to be a domestic Chinese issue – the fast-spreading Sars epidemic – that generates real openness and government accountability. China-scholar Susan L. Shirk explains that Sars has given...
Joshua Muldavin May 8, 2003
The rise of Sars virus in China and its spread throughout the world has brought new attention to the negative consequences of creating a global village. In this opinion piece the author questions the value of China’s success in market transition. He says the negative economic effects of Sars in Asia, and its direct human costs, “should make us question the wisdom of our rapidly expanding global...
Seth Mydans May 7, 2003
Vietnam, declared Sars-free by the World Health Organization just last week, is being heralded as an example of efficiency for other countries trying to contain and eliminate the Sars virus. The country was lucky in some regards, but its early containment and prevention efforts should not be underestimated. "It was the speed, the leadership, the transparency, the flexibility, the intensity...
May 6, 2003
While other countries seem to have had some success in containing the spread of Sars, China is still scrambling to estimate how many infected persons there are and to find ways of treating all in need. Meanwhile, says this Economist article, the total cost of the epidemic within China is nearly impossible to estimate, as the country's government and many industries remain highly secretive...
Joseph Kahn May 4, 2003
The widespread usage of global media technologies such as the Internet and cell phones in China threaten to undermine the Communist Government’s control of information. The unchecked spread of SARS in China, and from China to other parts of the world, is a striking example of the administrative inefficiency within the Communist Government. Moreover, it threatens the Communist ideology as a...