Naive thinking or bold prediction……
So, I’ve asked myself recently has been ‘Am I old enough to get by with out having to learn Mandarin?’
Hopefully, the answers ‘yes’ because I’m rubbish at languages, but The Economist has recently brought forward its forecast and has now stated that China will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy in 2019. So, maybe not.
However, maybe this is a good thing as being the world superpower will allow them to save the world. Literally.
There’s two bits of evidence to suggest that China will save the day. The first is a book called Consumptionomics.
Here’s the radio interview with it’s author. What’s interesting about it is that it’s written by an Indian Management Consultant based in Hong Kong (rather than someone from LSE or Harvard) and basically he says that China and India cannot mirror the OECD countries in their level of consumption or we’ll run out of planet. Nothing new there, but he goes on to say that China, with its style of government is in the best place to save the planet and indeed they’re already restricting car ownership. He also makes some great points that India and China’s idea of what the ‘right path’ is has been determined by the West (i.e. consumption is good) and it’s time for the academics in those countries to step up and create their own sustainable future, rather than have their future dictated to them by the West.
This is all interesting stuff, then Tim passed this my way. It’s an article in Time magazine about China banning ads that promote the luxury lifestyle because it encourages inequality and China’s number one priority is to build a ‘harmonious society’.
So, what does all of this mean? Well here’s the prediction. The USA is the current the world’s superpower but there’s only 307 million of them (4.5% of the global population). A lot of their foreign policy is about protecting American interests and they’ve been pretty good at that. Now, China has got a population of 1,331 million (19% of the global population). So, America doesn’t have to worry about what happens at a global scale because they don’t have to think that big. But China does. So, if China pursues a sustainable policy now, what are they likely to see when they get to be number 1? That they’re doing their bit to save the planet (and themselves) and given current trajectory, the US and Europe aren’t. And will China do? How about ‘force’ the West to do what they say, for the sake of the planet. Economic or military force, who knows?
That’s my prediction.