The big wagers and even bigger stakes riding on China's role in the global economy ...

Betting on China

Chinese Stocks, American Stock Markets, and the Wagers on a New Dynamic in Global Capitalism

English Edition

ISBN: 978-1-1180-8714-5
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Versions: Hardcover, E-book
Length: 209 pages
Publication Date: June 2012

Chinese Edition

ISBN: 978-7-212-06518-8
Publisher: 时代出版传媒
Publication Date: July 2013

Getting It and Betting It

China is easily the least understood of the world’s major economies. Given the mystery that perpetually enshrouded the China of older times to the world outside, this is hardly a new phenomenon. But it is one whose implications grow increasingly consequential with each day that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) rises in importance as a modern economic superpower.

Not getting China did not matter much for the people beyond its borders during the nearly two millennia in which trade with the lands of the Celestial Empire was conducted by caravans lumbering along the trails of the Silk Road; or when newly industrialized foreign powers could unilaterally dictate terms of commerce with the weakened Chinese states of the late Qing dynasty and warlord-dominated Republican era. After a fiercely independent Communist-led New China of the current PRC arose in 1949, its governing ideology pushed the country to recuse itself from international commerce until market-oriented reforms began three decades later.

Since China’s pivotal reopening to the outside in 1979, both it and the world beyond have been dramatically changing. China has gone from avoiding foreign trade to becoming the epicenter of a worldwide, integrated manufacturing system. Along the way, it has emerged as a leader in key global industries such as mobile telecommunications, automobiles, and alternative energy. China’s demand today for and supply of commodities and natural resources moves world prices. An apocryphal story that used to circulate in the World Beyond China (WBC) not so long ago related that if all the people in China jumped at the same time, the Earth would be knocked off its axis. Turned out that the teeming masses of China never needed to jump; they just needed to start producing and consuming enough to genuinely reorient the world in its material economic existence.

In response to this reorientation of our planet’s economy, companies from the WBC have beat a path to China to invest their euros, dollars, and yen in order to hitch a ride on what appears to be the unstoppable steamrollering of China’s economic juggernaut. People from every corner of the WBC flock to Chinese cities for study or employment, or to strike deals in order to maintain competitiveness in a global market system that effectively revolves around the machinations of a country whose modern existence bears truth to the Chinese name for China: zhong guo (中国), which literally means the central nation. This state of affairs has stood out in stark relief throughout the dismal months and years during and after the global financial crisis and recession of 2008 –2009, when China’s unhesitating economic expansion hummed along as the only major engine for worldwide economic growth.

The WBC has been betting on China, and betting big. Because of the sheer size of these wagers—the money, resources, talent, planning, and ambitions at stake—getting China in a way that is both meaningful and practically useful has become more important than ever before. ... the preface chapter in full China Chip