Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006. ISBN 0297852299

This is a great book about China and it's impact on the rest of the world - both positive and negative. James Kynge lives in Beijing, speaks Mandarin, and first went to China in 1982. He was the Financial Times bureau chief from 1998 to 2005.

To get an idea of the profound changes in China it's worth quoting from the book;

"It must be said that from a global perspective, China's emergence is of enormous economic benefit. The value created by the release of 400 million people from poverty, the migration of over 120 million from farms where they perhaps raised chickens to factories where they churn out electronics, the quantum leap in education standards for tens of millions of children, the construction of a first world infrastructure, the growth of over forty cities with populations of over one million, the commercialisation of housing and the vaulting progress up the technology ladder have helped unleash one of the greatest ever surges in general prosperity. The prime     (top)

beneficiary of this has been China itself, but the mobilisation of wealth on such a scale is necessarily, in aggregate terms, lifting the fortunes of the planet. Some specific advantages are already present. Beijing's towering pile of foreign currency reserves, which in late 2005 stood over $710 billion, has been used to a large extent to buy US Treasury bonds. Not only has that helped the American government to finance public spending and pay for the war in Iraq, but it has also assisted in keeping interest rates low. The depressed level of US interest rates has, in it's turn, set a standard for the world and led to a property boom in most developed countries. At the same time, the manufacture of ever cheaper products such as those on sale in Yiwu has meant that people's purchasing power has strengthened."

Nevertheless, he also explores aggressive Chinese nationalism, the abandonment of principle in the UN security council, the wrecking of their environment and the corruption of the new Capitalist (Communist in name only) dictatorship.

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