David Thomas is an expert on doing business in China. With a successful history of forging global business relationships, David helps leaders, entrepreneurs and investors solve the China puzzle. As part of that, he’s launched a daily email newsletter ‘China Bites’ which you can read here on Targeting China.

This is not a good time for western democracies to fall apart, and yet this is exactly what we’re faced with whenever we read the news. A presidential impeachment enquiry in the US, the ongoing Brexit debacle in the UK with no sign of a resolution, and the early signs of an economic recession in Germany. With the recent rise of China and India, and only 20 years into the Asian Century, the world can’t afford to see long established economic super-powers reaching for the ‘self-destruct’ button.

Readers of China Bites will know that I greatly admire China’s progress over the past 20 years, and with a focus on innovation, investment and domestic consumption, China is doing its best to keep its own economy going and also contribute to global growth. However, China represents less than 10% of global GDP (India only 3%) and it’s far too early to expect any of these emerging countries to make up for dysfunctional leadership in the US, UK and Europe.

At this time tomorrow, China will celebrate 70 years since Mao Zedong declared the founding of a new Chinese state under Communist Party rule (see photo below). Since then, China has undergone extraordinary change, transforming itself from a poor and largely agrarian country into the world’s second-largest economy. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty and China is now at the forefront of an increasing array of technologies. But, instead of worrying about what China is, or isn’t, doing, and how it’s disrupting, influencing or disturbing other countries, surely it’s time for western democracies to focus on getting their own act together?

 

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