"Let China sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world." Napoleon s words seem eerily prescient today, as the shock waves from China s awakening reverberate across the globe. In China Shakes the World, the former China bureau chief of the Financial Times, James Kynge, traces these tremors from Beijing to Europe to the Midwest as China s ravenous hunger for jobs, raw materials, energy, and food -- and its export of goods, workers, and investments -- drastically reshape world trade and politics.
Delving beyond mere recitation of by-now-familiar statistics, Kynge s on-the-ground reporting provides alternative explanations for China's explosive transformation, revealing many of the usual reasons given for its growth to be myths. Most important for the future, he details China s deep, systemic weaknesses -- rampant fraud, crippling environmental crises, a corrupt banking system, faltering government institutions, a rapidly aging population -- that threaten even greater global disruptions. And he demonstrates the profound consequences of those weaknesses for American manufacturers, oil companies, banks, and ordinary consumers.
Through dramatic stories of entrepreneurs and visionaries, factory workers and store clerks at the heart of this global phenomenon, China Shakes the World explains how China s breakneck rise occurred, the extraordinary problems the country now faces, and the consequences of both for the twenty-first century.
Since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, binding its billion-plus population more tightly to the global economic system, the Asian giant's prodigious appetite for food, technology and natural resources has dramatically accelerated profound changes already well underway across the planet. Kynge, the Financial Times's former Beijing bureau chief, makes the voracious "appetites" of the new China his constant concern, as he uncovers the sources of and limitations on the giant country's epochal growth. Beginning with a scene in Germany's postindustrial Ruhr where a steel mill is sold, deconstructed and shipped more than 5,000 miles for reassembly near the banks of the Yangtze River Kynge assesses the socioeconomic transformations of China's low "Industrial Revolution-era" labor costs and modern production technology at home and abroad. But for all its world-shaking potential, notes Kynge, "China's endowments are deeply lopsided." Key weaknesses such as a shortage of arable land, serious environmental devastation and pollution, systemic corruption and a dearth of resources are conversely helping to ensure that China will have to manage its growing hegemony in a symbiotic manner with partners on the economic and geopolitical playing fields. Despite the subtitle, and a chapter devoted to China's acquisition of U.S. technologies, Kynge focuses at least as much on China's significance for Western Europe. Overall, Kynge's crisp assessment of the dynamics involved is both authoritative and eye-opening. (Sept. 27) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.