The future is in China's hands

Over the past 40 years, China’s progress from a self-reliant autarky to a global economic power has been nothing short of miraculous.

The World Today
Published 6 August 2019 Updated 7 August 2019 1 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

But the path to the next stage charted by the Communist Party, when China takes its place at the heart of the global power nexus, will not be easy.

As Rana Mitter writes, if China is to be a world leader, it is not enough for one-party rule to be seen as merely efficient. It must also win hearts around the world.

In a separate piece, Yu Jie offers a new way of telling China’s modern history over the past century. Her conclusion: the party has negotiated many twists and turns, but instability is never far away.

Our interview (page 24) is with Lord Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal. Behind his quaint title stands an eminent astrophysicist whose mind ranges over the threats to humanity from nuclear war to bio-attacks, the bene ts of colonizing Mars and the way for a young scientist to make a quick impact.

On page 28, Asta Gudrun Helgadottir points up a paradox in the digital world. American and Chinese companies lead the field and take the profits. Yet regulation is in the hands of the European Union which imposes its own – and very un-American – views on privacy. This imbalance is unlikely to last.

Guyana, a country of 778,000 people on the coast of South America, does not get much international attention. This is about to change, writes Valerie Marcel (page 36). A new off shore oil fund is about to make Guyana as rich as Kuwait but the Guyanese government insists it will not fall prey to the oil curse. It plans a green future where the biggest industry on land will be eco-tourism. Is this a pipe dream, or an example to others? Time will tell.