The way of the West is going south, according to author Martin Jacques.

Author of When China Rules the World, Jacques predicts China will usurp the United States as the dominant world power in a matter of years.

Jacques shared his findings this past week at LSU as part of the E.J. Ourso College of Business Dean’s Seminar on Global Research, Education, and Practice.

“The impact of China on the world, the global footprint, is accelerating all the time,” Jacques said.

The speed of China’s rise, compared with the 2009 financial crisis in the United States, has ramped up early projections for when China’s economy will overtake the United States, he noted

“It’s not 2027 being projected anymore for when the Chinese economy will be larger than the American economy. The projection is now 2018. … and it could happen even quicker.”

The history of the world has always been the history of the West, first Europe and then the United States, Jacques pointed out, adding that by 2027 – or sooner – that will no longer be true.

China is experiencing exponential growth, according to his findings—10 percent a year for 30 years—and has a current population of 1.3 billion people. “How can the rest of the world keep up with it?”

Jacques said China’s history has long been ignored in favor of Western history. He compared a picture of the huge boat Zheng He used to sail around Southeast Asia, with Christopher Columbus’ tiny boat next to it.

Everyone knows the story of Columbus, but who knows the story of Zheng He? he asked.

To cope with the monumental shift in the coming years, he warned, westerners need to change their thinking.

“It has been an assumption that to be modern is to be Western. This way of thinking is profoundly wrong. This isn’t true and it’s not going to be true.”

Go beyond China to focus on all of the developing states that will rise up in the next two decades, he urged.

“The world we are moving into isn’t just about China. It’s the shift in the center of gravity from the North to the South. The new center of gravity in the global economy will shift from the developed world to the developing world.

“What we are witnessing is an enormous shift with China at its focus as the lead presence,” he said.

– Katherine Terrell