Sunday, December 20, 2009

When China Rules the World

That's the title of Martin Jacques's book, reviewed in the Washington Post. I have not read the book, but the Post reviwer a) doesn't full share his conclusion and b) doesn't give details on how the author must answer (or ignore) well-informed economists' reasoned arguments that China will not ever see a per capita income like that of currently developed Western nations. Those would be the passages to look for.

My dream is that a vibrant, economically healthy China with free elections and free speech will step up to take its rightful place as one of the world's great nations. The way that the twenty-first century closes will largely depend on the resolution of that problem and the relationship of China and the West. Unfortunately it is not clear that this is the direction the Chinese government is currently taking or has any reason to be interested in, nor that Americans are holding our leaders accountable to make decisions (economically, militarily, strategically) that will put us in a better position in the future to encourage this development.

In American history, typically it's been conservatives who have faced these kinds of unpleasant realities and made the hard decisions, but today's conservatives seem more interested (for example) in applauding the Chinese government for punishing Uighur dissidents who happen to be Muslim, than in confronting a country with the combined military ambitions of the Soviet Union and the economic ambitions of Japan as it makes clear its contempt for individual liberty.

No comments: