An Optimistic Memo on the Chinese Noopolitik: 2001-2011

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2001 marked the full scale military arrival of the USA in the Eurasian heartland, yet it also marked the rather more discreet entrance of the People’s Republic of China into the World Trade Organization. 2010 would, in turn, be remembered as when China achieved the world’s second highest nominal GDP. Oscillating between isolationist, export substitution, and an all-out embrace of globalization’s manifold levers, being both Dragon and Phoenix, in spite of having suffered subordination to politically assertive empires from 1850 to 1950 and having notoriously “missed”[1] the Industrial Revolution, China is resuming its otherwise ancient status of world innovator and economic superpower. One may remember no civilization has provided the world with more empires than the Chinese. With contemporary transport, communication, and energy as its main economic bottlenecks, and a crucial dependence on hydrocarbons, China cannot afford to miss a single technological revolution that could help it acquire global leadership – a synonym of independence. Thus, while 2001 was supposed to mark a “New American Century,” China patiently agreed to the US deployment in Central Asia, mostly a self-inflicted Berezina, and built itself up as a diversified economic power, securing the largest sovereign capitalization and reserve-to-debt ratio. Increasingly putting unprecedented leverage at the service of innovation, China has undoubtedly embraced full spectrum Noopolitik, the policy of fostering a constant flow of innovation, the fruit of which shall be born when the Euro-Atlantic community begins copying and manufacturing Chinese products.
Idriss J. Aberkane, Jun 13 2011

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