The DailyBrief

Tuesday January 3, 2017

How can the US make up the ground it has lost to China on R&D? In the first of a three-part series for Asia Times looking at innovation in the US economy on the cusp of a new era, Orla O’Sullivan asks whether the government ought to be a bigger driver of technological dynamism.

China’s factory activity picked up more than expected in December, as shown by the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, which rose to 51.9 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Demand accelerated, with output reaching a near six-year high, giving the manufacturing sector a solid boost heading into 2017.

In a landmark judgment on Monday, India’s Supreme Court said political parties cannot seek votes in the name of “religion, race, caste, community or language”. The ruling has special significance for Uttar Pradesh, where India‚Äôs ruling BJP party is planning to woo Hindu voters in upcoming elections by promising to build a Ram temple at a disputed site.

China’s state television network will begin airing its latest anti-graft documentary series from Tuesday evening, writes Benny Kung. The three-episode, prime-time series, named “To Forge Iron, One Must Be Strong”, reinforces President Xi Jinping’s populist campaign against corrupt officials.