The following is an English translation of an article by Martin Jacques that appeared in the People’s Daily, 22nd December 2017.
At the end of 2017 uncertainty dominates the outlook for the future. As we can now see with great clarity, the Western financial crisis of 2007-8 proved the most important turning point in the West since 1945. For a decade, the Western economies have been mired in varying degrees of stagnation, not least with regard to living standards. And it was the Great Recession that begat the Great Populist Uprising in 2016. The latter signalled the end of the hegemony of neo-liberalism in the West, which began in 1980 with the arrival of Reagan and Thatcher and was characterised by hyper-globalisation, privatisation and a huge growth in inequality. The Uprising was driven by large swathes of the population in both the United States and Britain whose living standards had more or less stagnated for four decades. It was a popular revolt against the governing elites by those who felt left behind and who held these elites responsible for their deteriorating situation. Politically the new mood was articulated most clearly, though not solely, by the right, notably Trump in America and the Brexiteers in the UK.
In an inspired election campaign, he confounded his detractors and showed that he was – more than any other leader – in tune with the times.
There have been two great political turning points in postwar Britain. The first was in 1945 with the election of the Attlee government. Driven by a popular wave of determination that peacetime Britain would look very different from the mass unemployment of the 1930s, and built on the foundations of the solidaristic spirit of the war, the Labour government ushered in full employment, the welfare state (including the NHS) and nationalisation of the basic industries, notably coal and the railways. It was a reforming government the like of which Britain had not previously experienced in the first half of the 20th century. The popular support enjoyed by the reforms was such that the ensuing social-democratic consensus was to last until the end of the 1970s, with Tory as well as Labour governments broadly operating within its framework.
The following is an English translation of a People’s Daily article written by Martin Jacques.
The trend towards globalisation that dominated the world from around 1980 – driven by the neo-liberalism of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms – began to lose momentum with the Western financial crisis in 2007-8 and came to something of a shuddering halt in the West with Brexit in the UK and the election of Donald Trump as US President in 2016.
Original article by Ken Moak in Asia Today, which can be found here.
If the polls are to be believed, Hong Kong’s “pro-democracy” or “pan-democracy” groups, Occupy Central and the Umbrella Movement, could be labeled as “fake” democrats.
Anson Chan was called an “instant democrat,” because she became one only after she was rejected as a candidate for the Special Administrative Region’s (SAR) Chief Executive. Chan was a champion and chief administrator of the undemocratic British colonial government. But once Hong Kong was returned to China, she suddenly acquired a “democratic conscious,” criticizing the mainland as authoritarian and demanding universal suffrage.
An opinion piece by Carmen N. Pedrosa in The Philippine Star. Read it on their website here.
There have always been critics of The Asian Century. As expected these critics are from the Western world that once colonized almost the entire Asian continent. Asians, they think were properly subjugated. Not so fast, boy. We do not know why things happen as they do – in circles. A good example is the Chinese Belt and Road initiative. For myself, I think it will be a comeback for Asians who are great traders and innovators, given the chance.
But some Western critics are satisfied with the reasoning that because the West does not want to happen, it will not happen. That is a blatant presumption of their colonial thinking.
Martin Jacques says that although China is reaching out globally, it does not see itself as a model. “They don’t require other countries to be like them,” he says.
During the long years that Martin Jacques devoted to writing what became the international bestseller When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order (Penguin, 2009 and 2012), he never imagined the book would sell more than 350,000 copies, be translated into 15 languages, and have the tremendous global impact it has had.
A study of China’s inexorable rise as a world power asks vital questions of America’s response.
The central theme of this excellent book by Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs commentator for the Financial Times, is what he terms “easternisation”: the remorseless shift in the global centre of gravity from the west to the east. His theme is not new; indeed, the book is something of a latecomer in this argument. But he pursues this fundamental truth with an impressive single-mindedness and explores its ramifications from south-east Asia and Russia to Europe and the Middle East in an insightful manner, often providing little nuggets of revealing and unexpected information. Since the financial crisis, the west’s decline and China’s rise have accelerated, though many could be forgiven for thinking the opposite was the case given the constant refrains about China’s economic “difficulties”. Rachman, rightly, will have none of it. And he demonstrates how, by the year, the world is being redrawn in the most profound ways by this shift in power.