Martin Jacques, who holds academic posts at the London School of Economics and Tsinghua Universtiy in Beijing, as well as being a former journalist and founder of the left leaning Demos think-tank has produced a fascinating book about how the world’s political and economic power has been shifting in the early twenty-first century and what is likely to happen next.
Jacques finishes his book with an unexpected flourish (which I am just about to ruin for you) in which he makes a good case for China’s predicted world dominance to become a reality sooner rather than later. Through much of the book he refers to a Goldman Sachs prediction that China’s economy will overtake the United States (US) in 2025. The reader is left to assume that this is the date on which the new world order will be finalised. However, in this final section he points to the rapid implosion of all things American, suggesting that the impact of the 2007/2008 financial crisis on the US (and the Europe Union), together with US foreign policy which has had a myopic focus on the middle-east for the last decade, has left the field wide open for China. He names 2008 as the year that marked the end, or at least the beginning of the end, of a period of US world dominance that has lasted since 1945 and has been unchallenged since the collapse of the Soviet Block in 1989-1991.