This is the most interesting thing on the web right now.
I’m about to grab a cup of coffee and read through all of this and post some commentary. I believe there are even more articles. We’ve already covered the first article here.
SPOILER: The United States can’t even build a fence on its own border while the Chinese are using gene editing to create genetically enhanced autists who are immune to diseases.
“In the uncertain years after Mao’s death, long before China became an industrial juggernaut, before the Communist Party went on a winning streak that would reshape the world, a group of economics students gathered at a mountain retreat outside Shanghai. There, in the bamboo forests of Moganshan, the young scholars grappled with a pressing question: How could China catch up with the West?
It was the autumn of 1984, and on the other side of the world, Ronald Reagan was promising “morning again in America.” China, meanwhile, was just recovering from decades of political and economic turmoil. There had been progress in the countryside, but more than three-quarters of the population still lived in extreme poverty. The state decided where everyone worked, what every factory made and how much everything cost. …”
“In the dusty hillsides of one of China’s poorest regions, Gong Wanping rises each day at 5:10 a.m. to fetch well water and cook her son’s breakfast. She washes his feet while he keeps his nose in English and chemistry books. She hits him if he peeks at her cellphone.
To Ms. Gong, 51, who dropped out of school, the future of her son, Li Qiucai, 17, is paramount. If Qiucai does well on the college entrance exam, if he gets a spot at a top university, if he can achieve his dream of becoming a tech executive — then everything will change.
“He is our way out of poverty,” she said.
To achieve all this, Ms. Gong and millions of other Chinese like her have an unspoken bargain with the ruling Communist Party. The government promises a good life to anyone who works hard, even the children of peasants. In exchange, they stay out of politics, look away when protesters climb onto rooftops to denounce the forced demolition of their homes, and accept the propaganda posters plastered across the city.
Ms. Gong is proud of China’s economic success and wants a piece of it. Politics, she said, doesn’t matter in her life. “I don’t care about the leaders,” she said, “and the leaders don’t care about me.” …”
“Under a merciless sun, a dozen Chinese construction workers survey an empty expanse of desert, preparing to transform it into the heart of a new Egyptian capital.
The workers are employed by China’s largest construction conglomerate through a $3 billion contract from an Egyptian company, with financing from Chinese banks. They are erecting a thicket of 21 skyscrapers, one as tall as the Empire State Building.
The presence of Chinese labor and largess on the sands of Egypt is a testament to China’s global aspirations. After centuries of weakness and isolation, China is reclaiming what its leaders regard as its natural destiny — supremacy in Asia, and respect around the planet. Through the ventures in Egypt and elsewhere, China is exploiting its formidable economic clout to expand its geopolitical influence, directing investment to woo governments that control vital assets.
A traditional ally of the United States, Egypt controls the Suez Canal, a vital shipping passage where a threat to access could impede China’s movement around the globe. In constructing a central piece of the futuristic capital, China is ingratiating itself with the canal’s ultimate gatekeeper, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, while rendering his grandest visions dependent on friendly relations with Beijing. …”
“Milton Friedman had a message for China: To get rich, it must be free.
It was 1988. The Soviet Union was tottering. Across Eastern Europe, the communist order was on the verge of collapsing. Trying to avoid its own demise, the Chinese Communist Party had taken small steps toward unshackling its economy from the state. But prices for food and other necessities were surging as a result, and the party’s reformers wanted advice.
They invited Mr. Friedman — the Nobel laureate and champion of economic freedom — to Zhongnanhai, the walled compound in Beijing where the country’s most senior leaders live and work. Sitting down with Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party’s top leader, Mr. Friedman was tactful but insistent. If Beijing wants to help its people thrive, he said, the state must let go faster.
“I hope the Chinese people can become strong and prosperous,” he told Mr. Zhao. “I wish to see China’s reform succeed so that she can contribute more to the progress of mankind.” …”