Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on September 30, 2021
Credit: Greg Baker/AFP
Emmanuel Macron continues his visit to China, a country that dreams of being the master of the world. The goal was set by Emperor Xi Jinping: it should be China The largest economy on the planet in 2049, A hundred years after the founding of the communist regime by Mao Zedong. And for the Chinese, this is just a fair return. feel thatWest stole the No. 1 spot from them. For centuries, that’s right, until the 19th century, China had, by far, the first GDP on the planet, and in between 20 and 30% of the world’s wealth.
They have a chance to make it happen. This is what a certain number of experts believe, who rely on the history and succession of world masters over the centuries: the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century, America in the twentieth century, and before them France, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. So China will be the next country after the United States is overthrown. I have to say I don’t believe it for a second for several reasons.
First, the Chinese economic miracle is behind us. Growth is slowing, the country’s extraordinary catch-up is coming to an end. Growth in the coming years will be around 3%, we only have 10 to 15% per annum. But there There is no sustainable power without economic dynamism. After that, the country is experiencing accelerated aging. This is the figure I already quoted to you, every year the working population in China decreases by seven million people. Having become a world factory, China will become Epahd from the planet. The country’s priorities will change, a massive redistributive effort will have to be funded for the elderly, and nationalism and aggressiveness will weaken, due to the lack of fighters.
The place of the master of the world is in danger
This means that the file The United States can remain the largest economy in the world. Moreover, unlike China, America attracts talents, entrepreneurs, innovators, and intellectuals, because it is a free country. Who wants to live in an authoritarian country like China? The number of European expatriates there has fallen by 30% since 2014. The ruler of the world must be envied, and his leaders must be admired or respected. It must spread its values, way of life, and culture, as the United States has done since 1945 to the present day. Not so with Beijing.
China is not on the eve of decline. But what is likely is that There is no real master of the world anymore. America is still there, but it is being challenged by China. There is one chair for two, and it may not be occupied anymore, as there is no winner. This will have dire consequences for the economy. Because without the master of the world, there will be no more globalization.
He is the master of the world who manages the four corners of the globe to secure the exchange of commodities and capital. It is he who determines the legal norms of trade, accounting standards. It is he who issues the world currency recognized everywhere, the dollar in the twentieth century, and the pound sterling in the nineteenth century, to facilitate trade. Without this unifying superpower, the global economy is divided into as many spheres of influence as there are countries running for high office.