Note — May 31, 2020

The “Frankenstein” That Wasn’t: A Realistic Appraisal of Today’s China

Seen in → No.128

Source → macropolo.org/the-frankenstein-that-wasnt-a-rea...

From the cleverly named MacroPolo, the “in-house think tank of the Paulson Institute in Chicago,” a piece trying to bring some perspective to the stereotypical views we often read and hear concerning China. From catching-up for some decades, the country is now building the present, leading or challenging in a number of tech fields, and looks like it’s turning its back to endless GDP growth. While for so long the template for progress was the American model, what might China want to change to that model, do they want to shape the new one, and will the US let them?
(Via Johannes Klingebiel)

China has become the all-weather “Sputnik moment” that America needs to jolt it out of its complacency and rise to the challenge. But such narratives rarely reflect the complexities of the world’s second-largest economy and most populous country. […]

While China is now competitive across several technology domains, it hasn’t reinvented the future either. Instead Beijing has busied itself with deploying the present. […]

[T]he earth under the GDP fixation has already shifted. The profound impact this shift will have on the Chinese growth model over the medium to long term should not be underestimated. […]

China is clearly dissatisfied with some features of the current system, and with its growing capabilities and influence, it wants to modify those features to better serve its own interests.