Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, November 15, 2004

BULLISH ON CHINA

China is helping Latin America by boosting the demand for raw materials.

Some predictions about China:

1. China's economic links will turn into diplomatic capital, as happened with the US early in the Cold War.

2. China's political culture will gradually liberalize as more Chinese travel abroad, and as wealthier Chinese demand freedom as part of a rising living standard.

3. China's economic development model is more attractive than anything on offer from the World Bank, the IMF, or the developed West, and other developing countries will increasingly study it. Many will go there to study it.

4. Christianity is spreading rapidly in China, and this trend will continue. Possibly, China will even become a predominantly Christian country.

5. As China liberalizes, emerges to rival the US as the world's most important market, becomes an ideological influence thanks to its political stability and successful growth model, China's poverty (albeit diminishing) will itself become an asset to its foreign policy. Other developing countries (most of the world's population) will envy the US but see China as one of their own.

Clinton said a few years back that China was "on the wrong side of history." But history is full of odd reversals, of the last becoming first, the first last. I think Clinton may turn out to be wrong.

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