Image: Confucian Analects. Confucius tried to persuade rulers to live upright lives and supervise an honest government. (Needless to say, he met some resistance; and today’s not-very-communist China is a tragic pit of corruption that daily destroys ancient culture.)
Joseph Sternberg, WSJ, in re: Trade with China: we always assumed China was operating from a position of economic strength. However, in a lot of matters it’s weak: the population is ageing; the working-age proportion is shrinking, which will have big implications for the “factory to the world.” Is China ready to become a net importer? I’m not sure it is. . . . The problem with China is that it's not set up to operate in the global environment: it needs to make its currency convertible, open financial markets to attract capital, and reform corporate governance. A main reason that the US attracts investments to the enormous degree that it does is that we operate under the rule of law. To attract global capital, need to make investors comfortable, yet Xi Jinping seems to be working in the opposite direction. Will have to surrender a lot of political control, which will let their own citizens send capital overseas. Otherwise, China is in for a really rocky ride.