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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The 21st Century - Anglosphere Century, With America, India and Australia Leading The Way

Mark Steyn writes that while westerners,may get awed by the infrastructure that the chinese have built. There seems to be an universal appeal that this will be the "Asian century". Even in the US, the cry is heard: Go east, young man! Today it may also be the case of a cunning simulation of external wealth and power that is, in fact, a forbidding false front for a state that remains a squalid hovel. There's the China the world gushes over - the economic powerhouse that makes just about everything in your house.
China hasn't invented or discovered anything of significance in half a millennium, but the careless assumption that intellectual property is something to be stolen rather than protected shows why. If you're a resource-poor nation (as China is), long-term prosperity comes from liberating the creative energies of your people - and Beijing still has no interest in that. India, by contrast, with much less ballyhoo, is advancing faster than China toward a fully-developed economy - one that creates its own ideas. Small example: there are low-fare airlines that sell £40 one-way cross-country air tickets from computer screens at Indian petrol stations. No one would develop such a system for China, where internal travel is still tightly controlled by the state. But, because they respect their own people as a market, Indian businesses are already proving nimbler at serving other markets. The return on investment capital is already much better in India than in China.
China was a better bet for the future than Russia or the European Union.Trapped in a demographic death spiral, Russia and Europe have no future at all. But that doesn't mean China will bestride the scene as a geopolitical colossus. China won't advance to the First World with its present borders intact. In a billion-strong state with an 80 per cent rural population cut off from the coastal boom and prevented from participating in it, "One country, two systems" will lead to two or three countries, three or four systems. The 21st century will be an Anglosphere century, with America, India and Australia leading the way. Anti-Americans betting on Beijing will find the China shop is in the end mostly a lot of bull.

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