Posted by cadsmith on November 1, 2007
Reviewed The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What It Means for All of Us, Meredith, 2007. Interpreting the state of the world as seen through Chinese and Indian lenses locates major shifts in the near future. The pair are characterized as yin and yang. They assume the head positions on the long tail of state economies displacing US and Japan. International relations are in a phase of “permafrost peacetime”. Issues are jobs, demand for resources including petroleum, modernizing military, and pollution. There are plenty of ground-level examples, trend projections, profiles of business and political decision makers, and statistics. The author lives in Hong Kong.
A few brief excerpts reorganized as a timetable:
Origins: Capitalism succeeded communism, colonialism, socialism and nationalism.
2006: China has world’s largest dollar reserves at about 1.1 trillion. Exchange rates set to hold renminbi 405 below market for export advantage.
2008: Olympics set the West’s image of China. China is world’s factory, India is back office. They both have advantage of lower cost workers; Chinese earn 1/10th of US on average. Each of the pair is growing 3x faster than US & Japan. Customer’s design products to taste over internet; supply chain is mixed globally. West dominates manufacturing automation. In India 1/3 population not yet working age; literacy has reached only half of female population. The poor vote and the middle class does not in contrast to the US, so political reforms slow development, e.g. if infrastructure not built and investors lose interest. China’s population is aging; 1 working age person supports 2 parents & 4 grandparents. National dissent is a response to official corruption which reduces citizens’ incomes. Mainland slow to adopt democracy; Communist party has little opposition.
2015: Growth stabilizes; environmental problems are major issue. China is at economic parity with US. 3.3M jobs have moved offshore from US which depends on Chinese consumers.
2020: China matches US oil demand of 10 million barrels a day. If India needs same, then there is not enough supply.
2050: India’s population expected to be 1.6 billion, more than China’s 1.4B. They will have 500M more workers than US, 230M more than China.
Risky scenarios: Terrorist events slow growth. Japan and Taiwan relations with China affect US since China has anti-satellite and ship missiles and is considering an aircraft carrier. If China dumps dollars too fast, may cause US and world-wide economic meltdown. End of US housing bubble could reduce business demand in India. Downturns in companies like Wal-Mart affect China.”
May also be relevant to technology agendas to complement economic and political approaches to solutions. For example, user can setup preference via web front ends connected to products, design, back office, factory, and purchase. This encapsulates a population of state (and non-state) economies, representative services, networks. Might be an option to add an economy, proto the design, show metrics. Can also add abstractions (or objects) for technology, social movements, medical, or academic. Simple case might be voting having a login, issue and position selection to be read asynchronously at election time. Logic is useful to identify constraints, trade-offs and suggest options or show where aggregate designs might be appropriate and effective. Resultant database or network might illustrate all places where design, user or proxy might be a component. Ideally a big company does not end up having the sole patent to this.