The first impression of China when you fly out of the lurid slums of Mumbai and land in Shanghai is frankly, even if you have read about it, stunning. You’d never think this is a “developing” country, like India clearly is. You’d think you are in a rich, cosmopolitan city like New York, only ten times bigger and a lot cleaner.

Regarding China, there are two main camps in the West. What I call the “American Camp”, which claims China is becoming just like America, and it must continue to converge onto American values and policies to become really successful. This camp feeds its delusions through ignorance and provincialism, as is typical in the US. The second camp, which I will call the “European Camp”, maintains China will fail, because their culture and systems are intrinsically inferior to those of the European masters. This camp feeds its delusions on racism and arrogance, which are common European vices. Now Martin Jacques, a reputed British journalist who has lived and worked extensively in China, demonstrates that in 15-20 years China will overtake the US as the richest country in the world; in less than 40 years it will be the undisputed world leader, its GDP at least double that of the distant second, possibly the US or India. This 500 page very thorough analysis of the Chinese reality is easily the best I have read this year (out of 6 books on the topic).

Read more >