the rise of China

FT columnist Martin Wolf has a long essay in today’s Financial Times on China as an emerging superpower and the potential for destructive clashes with the USA. It is balanced and well-written, exceeding even the high standards I have come to expect from Martin.

Here are three paragraphs that I found particularly interesting.

The US can huff and puff about Chinese theft of intellectual property. But every catch-up nation, very much including the US in the 19th century, seized the ideas of others and built upon them. ….

China is also an ideological challenger of the US, on two dimensions. It has what might be called a planned market economy. It also has an undemocratic political system. Unfortunately, recent failures of free market high-income economies have increased the lustre of the former. The election of Donald Trump, an admirer of despotism, has strengthened the appeal of the latter. ….

The threat is [not the rise of China, it is] the decadence of the west, very much including the US — the prevalence of rent extraction as a way of economic life, the indifference to the fate of much of its citizenry, the corrupting role of money in politics, the indifference to the truth, and the sacrifice of long-term investment to private and public consumption.

Martin Wolf, “US-China rivalry will shape the 21st century“, Financial Times, 11 April 2018 (gated paywall; specific columns are accessible with free registration).

This is why I subscribe to the FT.

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