The Writing on the Wall
China and the West in the 21st Century

Hutton, Will
Publisher:  Little, Brown
Year Published:  2007  
Pages:  357pp   ISBN:  978-0-316-73018-1
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX7858

The increasing global fear of the rise of China's economic power is misplaced and reflects the parallel rise of protectionist sentiment in a western world that has lost its moral authority to act as a legitimate international trade advocate.


Abstract:  The increasing global fear of the rise of China's economic power is misplaced and reflects the parallel rise of protectionist sentiment in a western world that has lost its moral authority to act as a legitimate international trade advocate.
Author Will Hutton delivers words of caution about the decline of what he calls "Enlightenment" values in the USA in particular and the risks of the hegemony of market forces and purely profit-driven corporatism. China's population heft alone can swamp a market. But to succeed as a society internationally, Hutton argues China will have to make changes that include development of property ownership rights, independent courts, accountability and a free press. The model provided by the USA is unworkable for China since the USA has compromised its values by embracing unilateral aggression and willfully blind self-interest. To overcome what Hutton views as a structurally unstable communist led nation, China's authoritarian government will have to make way for a pluralist market economy alongside pluralist political institutions - including independent trade unions, anti-monopoly rules and a properly functioning welfare system.
Hutton suggests economic openness and a mobility from poverty affect not just society but imagination. That is the basis for innovation that China can harness and the USA can recapture if a co-operative way to accommodate values is found.

[abstract by Penny Cadrain]