China’s economy does not need to grow at 7.5 percent a year. What matters is that Chinese households continue to improve their lives at the rate to which they are accustomed.
Even if EU foreign policy analysts’ working assumption is wrong, the outcome is the same: if Europeans want to matter in the world they must get their act together fast.
Within a few years China will have more old people than any other country. Beijing will have to become a leader in addressing the problems of an aging population.
Europe’s dream of constructing its own gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Austria is no more. That raises important questions about the EU’s energy strategy and the role of Russia.
While Chinese observers admire Europe’s institutions and lasting peace, Europeans should remind themselves of the candid thinking that made European integration possible.
Two recent incidents have underlined Europe’s lack of strategic direction. They confirm that, when it comes to crises, Europeans still do not see the merits of pulling together.
Both Europe and China are overdependent on the United States as a guarantor of the liberal world order. Both need to wake up and accept their global responsibility.
If China is to rebalance its economy, the policies that subsidized Chinese exports must be reversed. As this happens, manufacturing in the rest of the world will surge.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are setting up a development bank. That is good news, as it increases their stake in a rules-based liberal world order.
A recent Chinese survey suggests that a genuine EU-China partnership will require the EU to develop an independent foreign policy that does not pander to U.S. interests.
Beijing is facing a financial dilemma: it must reduce investment and slow the growth of debt, but if it does so it will face stiff opposition from vested interests.
NATO too should pivot toward Asia—not as a military player, but as an alliance of democracies that has much to offer like-minded countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The euro crisis cannot be resolved if only low-savings countries adjust, because their low savings rates may themselves have been caused partly by high savings abroad.
Conferences like the MSC have become far too big and unwieldy to take away a clear message. But they are still useful.
This year may mark the beginning of China’s most difficult period since the beginning of the reforms in 1978.
With the rise of China, and the election of a new communist party leadership that will oversee China’s development over the next decade, the world is drifting back toward a bipolar constellation.
Europeans are so concerned with the crises in peripheral economies that it will come as a surprise that we may be at the beginning of a developing crisis in China.
The tension between values and interests is the human condition of the Western world.
The EU must realize that it has an existential interest in playing a role in the Asia-Pacific’s security.
China, with its enormous population of over a billion people, is going through extraordinary social, economic, and political upheaval.