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

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 June, 2007, 12:00am

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

by Will Hutton

Little Brown, HK$170

Tiananmen in 1989 is a black rainstorm compared with the signal-eight typhoon likely to hit China in a matter of years unless the Communist Party gets its act together on corruption and pollution. And if the US doesn't set a better example of capitalism beyond putting shareholder greed before stakeholder need, then it, too, is headed for disaster. Will Hutton, former editor of The Observer and author of The State We're In (1996) - about how deregulated markets could be socially responsible too - uses The Writing on the Wall to promote the ideal of modern, inclusive, wealth-creating and democratic societies. Hutton calls it 'global Enlightenment', and it's the institutions of the Enlightenment - rule of law, independent judicial and banking systems, a free press, freedom of speech and association - that are vital if China is to sustain industrialisation. Just as the west helped China's economic revolution, it needs to encourage political modernisation based on values above money. Hutton marshals a mountain of data to show how the fate of China is now of vital concern to all economies: 'A new great power is in the making, but one whose pursuit of its self-interest takes the amorality of power to a new plane.'


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