The below piece is worth reading – as are all John’s pieces. But this one is special. I have heard people dismiss the Coastal provinces plan in 1986 – when China told the world that a stretch 100 miles deep from North to South , would lead a major economic development characterised by low cost exports and the movement of peasants from the land.
Again in 1999 we were told we did not understand the Western Initiative – to open up central and western China- was a vain attempt to con the people of those areas.
In 2013 – many said BRI- known then as OBOR – was a vain attempt to create a fiction across central Asia to Europe.
I have been constantly told that ‘ socialism with Chinese characteristics’ is an ideological nonsense. Yet China’s Welfare State is largely being developed outside the state balance sheet, its SOE’s are developing and will fund much of the Welfare state through dividends, and be globally competitive in product, pricing and technology. Its private sector is flourishing but is managed as Adam smith might have ordered. The transition through a managed market economy is unique in history but working as they feel the stones across the river.
The error of the West is to see China’s problems instead of recognising it works, is working and will probably work.
Some in the USA – a minority one hopes – might think that they can use global and internal fissures to be the basis for collapse of China’s state. But for 38 years that has been a vain hope.
If the west wants to maintain its wealth and interests then it better work out how to manage China’s rise and not resist it. Managing does not mean being trodden on, if such were China’s ideas. Managing China means working out how to work with China but for our interests, or as that horrible phrase goes – win-win.
This May President Xi will host a conference on BRI, it is of great importance as are decisions about attendance.
The UK and USA, with Germany and Japan have the most to gain and lose.
But maybe as in 1992 it will be South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, or their modern day replacements who gain the benefit of reading the small print.
Who are the Japan, South Korea and Taiwan of 1992 today , as they filled the planes organising investments when others stayed away?
Saudi Arabia for one perhaps? Russia another? Iran and Turkey?
Just something to think about