Two analysts, one Indian and one Chinese, assess why India remains behind China. Can the answer lie in their different political approaches?
Hegemony these days seems to be spilling through the fingers of great powers like sand. As geopolitical complexity increases, so will instability – to the point where many will grow nostalgic for the golden age of a unipolar world.
By now it is clear that the race for global leadership in the coming decades will be played out in the Asia-Pacific region. Hence, plans for a realignment of military and economic forces are already in the works.
No matter what, it is now clear that the crisis was made possible by mismanaged US and European policies – in other words, bad politics. What has become clear since 2008, the year Lehman Brothers tanked, is that policy makers, both in the US, but most importantly in Europe, are very reluctant to do the right things in order “to get their economy back on track,” to quote Obama. Ironically, now central bankers are expected to lead the world out of economic bondage, and some are reveling in the task. But the central banker gang is far from monolithic. The US and China are flirting with a trade war which is looking increasingly inevitable. Europe faces tough decisions just as Jean-Claude Trichet steps down as President of the ECB and Mario Draghi, former Governor of the Bank of Italy, takes his place. What is clear is that central bankers now have the responsibility to pull the world out of the double-dip recession. Not an easy task.
In the early spring, when the National Transitional Council (NTC) was first touted as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, very few people had any idea who they were. It was enough that they were against Muammar Gaddafi. Now the NTC controls Tripoli and is busy trying to consolidate power throughout a country divided along tribal lines. As the spotlights of international media and various intelligence organizations shine on the new powers-that-be, concerns arise about the real political identity of some these Libyan revolutionary leaders. Among them there are many old cogs in the machinery of Gaddafi’s regime, who converted to the cause of freedom. But there are also military commanders and spiritual figures with dodgy Islamist agendas. As the disparate elements jockey for power, it remains to be seen who will wind up making what concessions to whom.
What direction China takes will be largely determined by the new “fifth generation” of communist leaders, poised to take the reins of the government in 2012.
Thanks to a successful stimulus plan, the Chinese economy is still roaring, and people keep buying cars. But eventually automobile sales will taper off. Now is the time to plan for the inevitable slowdown in growth.