Posts Tagged ‘china’
I’m reading “The Making of Northeast Asia” by Calder and Ye on the rapid stitching together of Northeast Asia into an organisational bloc to be reckoned with.
I saw an intriguing map of a network of high speed rails tying up the region together, titled the Big Loop, proposed in the early 2000s by Mr Shioya. Fast forward a decade later and we see China’s high speed rail system going their own way and also stitching up the region along the way too.
The comparison with past policy plans, and actual implementation on the ground years later, is always fascinating.
Uploading some of my notes during the Economist China Summit in Beijing (Nov 2010).
The PRC has so many stories of the future embedded in it that it could be an entire series of ‘People’s Republic of Change’. This is our first effort, and I hope more folks out there can tell the story of change. If there ever was a society in future shock, it is the People’s Republic of Change.
Well, it’s a been a while since I last posted for a variety of reasons. We have been rather busy, and I’ll be uploading some of the past twelve month’s work by and by. But here’s our latest release, the new silk railroads of Asia and some what-ifs. Let me know what you think?
When I was in CN last month, we were showed the outline of a pilot reform program by the central govt to reform Pearl River Delta into ‘Asia Pacific’s most dynamic city cluster’ by 2020. That was quite an audacious statement, and you probably know that a ‘pilot reform’ by the China central govt means they set the large directions but leave it to the city governments to work out the details, and more importantly, best practices of what works will be replicated across China to guide the formation of their mega city clusters. What makes PRD 2020 interesting is they are gearing to go head on with Korea in terms of advanced manufacturing, creating a services hub that will be augmented with HK (if they get it right) and the number of global Chinese MNCs they want to create. I’ve combed through the outline and with some help from HK’s Civic Exchange group on slideshare here it is!
I think the first para says it well. “But while we believe the greatest danger is past, we also recognise the price of our salvation has yet to be paid in full.” SocGen’s view on how public debt will swing recovery (or not) in the next five years.
Will Chimerica end in a divorce? Will the USA be a shadow of its former self?
Niall Ferguson, who co-invented the term Chimerica, asks what the post-Chimerica world might look like in 2013 in the latest HBR issue (full article below). He starts with the US in crisis (high public debt, digesting toxic assets, who wants to buy US bonds?) and then moves on to the economic marriage between the USA and China. Chimerica could end in a divorce if China relies less on exports for growth, resulting in a shift in the balance of power. Yet US global economic power is not undermined as there is no real alternative to the US dollar. Ferguson reiterates a point he made before, that the global economy’s breakdown hurts other nations more than the US. Other countries, including China, will be more weakened by comparison with the collapse in world trade and industrial production. This results in a world of low US growth, and lower growth for other emerging nations. What Pimco has termed ‘the new normal’.
The economic crisis will spill over into politics. In this crisis, US allies (East Asian exporters, newly democratic Eastern Europe) have been hurt more than US rivals. We see new outbreaks of instability in emerging markets that previously looked stable, such as Thailand and Ukraine. The world’s increasing instability reinforces the US as a safe haven. But the US may not want to be global policeman much more, and both new and old unstable spots are left to fester.
It is in this world that Ferguson revisits 2013. It is an assymetric world where everywhere else seems more dangerous and unpredictable than America, where the actual consequences of the crisis are less terrible. The USA’s financial power has been diminished, but its economic power is still stronger than all others.
Power after all, is relative.
Paul Romer spoke at TEDGlobal on his new idea of ‘charter cities’. Charter cities are catalysts for economic development as they are the appropriate arena for new ideas (villages are too small and nations are too big). Economic development not only involves technologies (a main emphasis of Romer’s theories); it also involves rules. Charter cities are the ‘greenfield’ sites where new rules are implemented. As they succeed, cities nearby will become influenced and development will spread. Just as Hong Kong was a charter city which influenced Shenzhen and other cities, Romer proposes charter cities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (calling Canada to take a partnership there) and throughout Africa. Singapore’s experience complements Romer’s theory perfectly. I caught his attention with the idea of a TEDxCharter Cities to take these ideas further and encourage bottom-up discussion about the concept and its application. Something to think about…?