Sebastian Heilmann brings what is, for English-speaking readers, a somewhat rare European—or perhaps more precisely, German—perspective to the question of “China’s rise”, a term now almost de rigueur.
The Asia Global Institute at the University of Hong Kong has launched AsiaGlobal Online, a new journal focusing on “policy-relevant insights on global issues and from Asian perspectives.”
Jude Woodward’s thesis in her latest book is quite simple: Washington is engaged in an orchestrated plot to contain the rise of China economically, militarily and ideologically.
The rise and fall of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the so-called BRIC nations, is the great geo-economic story of the twenty-first century. In the early 2000s, these countries were tipped to redraw the economic map of the world. With a combined population of nearly 3 billion, they constituted roughly 40 percent of the world’s people. Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, they were among the fastest-growing countries in the world, sailing through the 2008-2009 global financial crisis in a way that made them the envy of the world. When the long-standing G-7 group of developed countries proved unable to meet the challenges posed by the crisis, the wider G-20—including all four BRICs economies—rose to the occasion. At a time when developed countries were talking austerity, the BRICs countries opened the taps on government spending. The crisis did not turn into the second Great Depression (though it looked as though it might in early 2009). For this, surely some of the credit goes to the swift action taken by the BRICs to stimulate domestic demand.
One of the defining debates in economic development theory is one of chicken-and-egg: whether good institutions and governance are needed for markets and growth, or vice versa.
“Finance is the lifeblood of the modern economy” has become something of a stock phrase for Chinese policymakers over recent years, uttered most recently by Xi Jinping as part of his speech to the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in mid May. Although this sounds like a capitalist mantra, what precisely might be meant by this phrase requires more in-depth understanding of China’s economy and its financial system. At the heart of that system still lie China’s banks, in spite of the rapid emergence of other financial institutions and instruments over the last decade.
Anyone who wishes to opine on Hong Kong’s perceived troubled present and possibly fraught future would do well to read Richard Wong’s Fixing Inequality in Hong Kong first.