22 April 2016

Each week on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at the Nepal earthquake disaster one year on, Myanmar’s rocky road to democracy, and China’s epic football plan. 

A year after a disastrous earthquake tore apart Nepal, leaving death and destruction in its wake, the country is still struggling to recover. On Policy Forum this week George Varughese looks at failing state performance in relief and recovery efforts and says it’s time the government stopped making excuses and just got on with governing.

On The Wall Street Journal, Raymond Zhong looks at the aid given to Nepal and the difficulty in getting it to those in need, while Binoj Basnyat at the Kathmandu Post takes a look at Nepal’s identity, security and regional stability over the last year.

In Australia this week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flagged a 2 July Federal Election, meaning the gloves are off and a marathon campaign period has begun. Former Federal Opposition Leader John Hewson looks at bank-bashing in the campaign, while Martyn Pearce, along with Bruce Chapman and Tim Higgins discuss whether Australia’s higher education loan scheme – HECS – is going to be an election issue. On DevPolicy Blog Giff Johnson looks at global migration and says the world is talking about the mass movement of people – and Australia should be too.

Despite new leadership in Myanmar, the country still faces ongoing challenges on its rocky road to democracy. On Asia Sentinel Michele Penna says the country’s first task should be tackling ethnic conflict, while Trevor Wilson says workers’ rights and conditions should be a key focus in addressing economic development.

On New Mandala Francesco Abbate and Marco Musso look at Myanmar’s economy and say that while challenges remain, there are signs things are improving. Writing for Global Research Tom Cartalucci takes an in-depth look at Myanmar’s political transition – pre and post-election – and says that the country’s transformation into a Western-style democracy has serious implications for the region.

China has made another move in its bid to become a football superpower. Simon Chadwick looks at the details of China’s newly-released football plan and says despite the epic scale and ambition of the project, the most striking thing about it is the concerted and visible effort for the sport not to seem under government control. Ben Bloom at The Telegraph asks why all the best players are moving to China, and Kristin Shi-Kupfer and Mirjam Meissner at the Inquirer ask whether this football obsession is Xi Jinping’s newest ‘China dream.’

Christopher Horton at The New York Times says when it comes to snapping up luxury goods China still leads the crowd, but Andrea Felsted on Bloomberg says recent reports show a drop in luxury items sales which could mean the end of the growth trend. Robert Potter, meanwhile, looks at how Xi Jinping is cracking down on conspicuous consumption and how luxury goods have become a matter of law and order.

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Hayward, K. (2016). The Policy File - Policy Forum. [online] Policy Forum. Available at: http://www.policyforum.net/policy-file-22-april-2016/