“If China Doesn’t Solve Its Water Problems, There’s No China Story”

Jim Rogers recently appeared on BBC’s HardTalk (via BusinessInsider; videos embedded below), arguing that despite the problems China faces, it remains more attractive in terms of investment than the “bankrupt” West. Echoing his warning in a recent Shanghai Daily interview, he claims that water is the one potentially fatal issue confronting China:

I don’t mind if China has civil war, epidemics, panics, depressions, all of that. You can recover from that. The only thing you cannot recover from is water … China has a horrible water problem in the north. India has a worse water problem, there’s no question about that; America, in some places, has water problems. If China doesn’t solve its water problems then there’s no China story … I’ve been around the world a couple of times, I’ve seen whole societies, cities, countries that disappeared when the water disappeared.

They’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars … they’re spending staggering amounts of money trying to solve their water problem. I am presuming that they will. Now, maybe they won’t, and if they won’t, in twenty or thirty or forty years, the whole story’s over.

He acknowledges other looming problems such as demographics. “But I don’t see any other country on the horizon which will be the most important country in the 21st Century. It’s not going to be the UK. It’s not going to be the US. It’s not going to be Denmark.”

Rogers also discusses rising oil prices, America’s economic fate, and the Asia-centric education he has chosen for his children.