Chinese walls come down?
“China in 2020.” That’s a fascinating topic to speculate. Jonathan Watts started his article in The Guardian today with “By 2020, China will have overtaken Japan as the world’s second biggest economy. It may even have started to rival the US in terms of the hard power of its military. But if it is to achieve the government’s goal of once again being the world’s leading civilisation, the country will also have to acquire the “soft power” of universally appealing values.
How can it do that? Paradoxically, the best hope for softening China may be the same thing that poses its greatest threat: the HIV/Aids epidemic. China is on course to suffer the biggest epidemic of Aids in the world, but in the process it may find the illness acts as one of the main drivers for social change over the coming years. ”
“It is already possible to get a glimpse of China in 2020. It is an impressive sight. Barring a war over Taiwan or an economic crash – both distinct possibilities – the country will have been transformed by the greatest spurt of development in world history. Beijing – currently thick with cranes and noisy with hammers and drills – will have hosted an Olympics to dwarf all its predecessors in terms of scale and spectacle. With annual growth of more than 7% per year, Shanghai, the country’s commercial capital, will have overtaken Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore as Asia’s leading financial centre. Further south, Guandong province will be the unrivalled workshop of the world. Its giant factories on the Pearl River delta will not only be churning out the labour-intensive goods of old, but also cutting-edge products developed by China’s premier institutes of nanotechnology and cloning.”