Day: May 21, 2020

Firms call for Covid loans to become grants

Business groups are also keen to ensure the loans are not enforced strictly if the economic crunch becomes a prolonged downturn that pushes thousands of businesses over the edge. 

It makes sense for the Government to make clear that it will demand repayment to prevent creating a moral hazard where firms take loans even if they have no intention or ability to ever repay, says Roger Barker, head of corporate governance at the Institute of Directors.  

“But if that becomes a macroeconomic problem to the extent that all this debt is actually going to go to be a burden on

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Trump spoils China’s planned economy

TOKYO — For a journalist covering the secretive world of Chinese politics, the annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, is a treasure trove of information.

It is a precious opportunity to see all of China’s leaders in one setting. It is not every day that a reporter gets to see the facial expressions of the leaders over an extended period of time and observe how politicians smile at each other, shake hands or ignore one another.

Intelligence officers covering North Korea, for instance, look to see who is deferring to whom, to understand the power hierarchy in

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Coronavirus latest: Indonesia logs biggest daily rise in new cases

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 5,000,561, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The worldwide death toll has hit 328,191.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

(Source photo by AP) 

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):

Thursday, May 21

7:23 p.m. Japan is preparing to gradually ease entry restrictions on foreign visitors, with business travelers and researchers being the first to get the green light, the Nikkei learned.

6:04 p.m. Indonesia reports its

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Beijing to introduce toughened Hong Kong national security law

HONG KONG — A national security bill expected to let Beijing clamp down more tightly on pro-democracy protests and activists in Hong Kong will be discussed in China’s annual parliamentary session on Friday, fueling concerns that street protests will flare up again in the semi-autonomous city.

The proposed law is seen as a replacement of the controversial Article 23, which prohibits acts of “treason, secession, sedition, or subversion”. The Hong Kong government was forced to shelve the legislation after half a million people protested against it in 2003.

“National security is the bedrock underpinning the stability of a country. Safeguarding

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