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Hong Kong’s newspaper of record, South China Morning Post, recently covered the surge of interest in Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the Asia Pacific.

The author, David Green, points out the positive data that has been demonstrated thus far from cash-grant experiments, such as in India.

South Korea has had interest in basic income since the “youth dividend” was implemented in Seongnam city. BIEN held its Congress in South Korea last year.

The article notes that Taiwan is seeing increased interest in the idea of basic income since the first Asia Pacific focused Basic Income conference was held in Taipei.

The headline references China’s dibao program, which is a cash-grant minimum income guarantee. The dibao has many differences to UBI as conceived by Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Primarily, dibao  is not a universal cash-grant (dibao is means-tested and only given to those that are under the dibao poverty line).

Due to dibao’s means-tests, the article notes there are an array of issues with China’s minimum income guarantee, primarily that it does not reach the poor.

Tyler Prochazka, features editor of BI News, was quoted as advocating for China to create “special economic zones” to test a UBI.

David Green, “GETTING PAID TO DO NOTHING: WHY THE IDEA OF CHINA’S DIBAO IS CATCHING ON“, South China Morning Post, April 14, 2017.

About Tyler Prochazka

Tyler Prochazka has written 86 articles.

Tyler Prochazka is a PhD candidate in Asia Pacific Studies at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. He is the features editor of Basic Income News and the chairman of UBI Taiwan. Support my work with UBI Taiwan: @typro

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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