Despite low global commodity prices, the mining sector in Lao PDR still constitutes a key source of state revenue and an important destination for foreign direct investment, especially from China, Vietnam and Thailand. However, economic development through industrial mining has not translated into employment opportunities for local communities. Rather, the Lao mining sector is marked by a parallel structure of medium- to large-scale mining operations and informal artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), which often operate in a legal grey zone. ASM communities thus suffer from the sector’s high social and environmental costs and conflicts with foreign investors over allocated land.
Water security is literally a question of life and death. And as one of the most populous nations in the world with a severe lack of water resources, China needs to ensure that its water sources are sustainable and usable. But as Chinese academic Chen Hongbin explains, this is not always easy, despite the country’s best efforts.
China has a problem of wastage, and two areas where this is clearly seen are food and property development. Hong Kong commentator David Ng reviews the impact on China’s economy.
China’s young generation of overspenders is rapidly on the rise, fueled by the presence of an expanding online lending market. What will it take to stop them?
China’s “middle-class wannabes” live on the margins of a lower-middle class income, leading seemingly glamorous lives, but what goes on behind the scenes is a life laden with tough challenges and insecurities.