China: The Only Game in Town

China will be invited to join the World Trade Organization at its next meeting in November. Following the decision to hold the Olympic Games there in 2008, Beijing has plenty to be pleased with. More immediately, members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have their chance to take the political and economic temperature in Shanghai this month. What sort of China should they expect?

The World Today
4 minute READ

Stephen Green

President Jiang Zemin will welcome his APEC (Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation) guests, including President George Bush, to Shanghai this month with some satisfaction. Since being catapulted into power twelve years ago, he has overseen remarkable economic growth, the continuation of the political status quo and the emergence of China as a regional, soon to be global, power. Jiang has achieved everything his predecessor and mentor Deng Xiaoping asked of him.

This list of accomplishments causes considerable anxiety among Jiang’s APEC visitors. They worry about an economic giant that hoovers up every last drop of Asian-bound foreign direct investment. They are concerned about worsening human rights abuses. And they are frightened at Beijing’s growing capacity to project power into the Pacific. Hawks in Washington, many staffing the Defence Department, believe that a future military clash between China and the United States is all but inevitable.

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