Coping with the Dragon: Western Relations with China

  • Filippo Andreatta


The issue of the West’s relations with China is becoming increasingly central to the post cold war world. Sometimes, this importance is overrated due to the psychological interdependence of the CNN age, which attributes global importance to local events. For example, during the financial turmoil in the summer of 1998, it seemed at one time that global stability depended on China’s ability to avoid devaluation of the yuan, while in fact China’s share of world trade accounts for merely two per cent of the total. Similarly, the common fallacy of futurologists, which project current trends indefinitely in the future, has raised the issue of China becoming the largest economy in the world in the space of the next two decades, even if current growth rates are unsustainable in the medium run. The larger and more developed it will become, the more difficult it will be to make it grow at double-digit rates. Measured in constant dollars, China’s GDP is today only about a third smaller than Italy’s, while its per capita GDP is about four times smaller than Korea’s.


Foreign Policy Foreign Affair International Security Asian Crisis International Issue 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Filippo Andreatta

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