China Shakes the World - The Rise of a Hungry Nation

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 March, 2007, 12:00am

China Shakes the World - The Rise of a Hungry Nation

by James Kynge

Phoenix, HK$115

James Kynge, Beijing bureau chief for the Financial Times, is impressed with China's achievements. He's also sceptical. Ramifications of events in China are felt around the world. High prices for scrap metal on the mainland result in manhole covers vanishing as far away as Chicago, and newspapers in Scotland report the 'Great Drain Robbery'. Communities in Europe and the US suffer a loss of livelihood as China undercuts them on price, or simply wipes out their businesses with cheap knock-offs. Similarly, communities on the mainland are swallowed up in land grabs, babies die after consuming fake milk, and a scheme by local officials to cash in on hospital blood shortages results in the infection of millions with HIV. This book makes for a sobering read, both for its assessment of the social consequences of the ride to riches, and the economic ramifications of commercial combat on a global scale. Kynge would like to celebrate China's success, but it can't last unless it gets a grip on the exploitation and corruption polluting the economy.