Current Events & Trends: Is China the solution to Western economic Woes?

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Is China the solution to Western economic Woes?

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The number of deals, and their overall value, has climbed steadily in recent years” (accompanies “In the Heart of the Rust Belt, Chinese Funds Provide the Grease,” Feb. 11, 2012). Fairly recently, in Saginaw, Michigan, the Chinese rescued from ruin a substantial automotive company—that city’s largest employer.

But America is far from the only target. The teaser for an article in Time magazine by Vivienne Walt titled “Feasting on Europe” stated, “As the euro-zone crisis deepens, China is angling for the union’s most prized firms” (Dec. 19, 2011). The article explained that while China may currently be a small player in Europe, that is quickly changing.

Yet historians, journalists and academics remain somewhat skeptical about the viability of Chinese assistance long-term. Harvard professor and historian Niall Ferguson is only one. His London Sunday Times feature article of March 11 was titled “Get Ready to Be a Slave in China’s World Order.” The drophead starkly stated, “We think Chinese money is the answer to our problems, but the reason the country [China] is prospering is hard work—very hard work—and it will expect it from us too.”

A review by Oxford economics professor Paul Collier of the 2012 book Why Nations Fail, by two U.S. academics, offered this advice in its title: “Don’t Look to China for Economic Salvation” (The Observer, March 10). (Sources: The Observer, The Sunday Times [London], Time, The Wall Street Journal.)

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