Wird China die Welt regieren?

CAMBRIDGE – Vor dreißig Jahren hatte China nur einen kleinen weltwirtschaftlichen Fußabdruck und geringen Einfluss außerhalb seiner Grenzen, ausgenommen einige Länder, mit denen es enge politische und militärische Beziehungen unterhielt. Heute ist das Land eine bemerkenswerte Wirtschaftsmacht: die Werkstatt der Welt, ihr wichtigster Geldgeber, ein führender globaler Investor von Afrika bis Lateinamerika und immer mehr auch eine wichtige Quelle für Forschung und Entwicklung.

Die chinesische Regierung sitzt auf einer erstaunlichen Menge an Devisenreserven – mehr als 2 Billionen Dollar. Es gibt nirgendwo auf der Welt eine Branche, die Chinas Einfluss nicht zu spüren bekommen hätte, entweder als Hersteller von billiger Massenware oder, bedrohlicher, als gefürchteter Wettbewerber.

China ist noch immer ein armes Land. Obwohl der Durchschnittslohn in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten gestiegen ist, beträgt er immer noch ein Siebtel bis ein Achtel des Lohnniveaus in den USA – niedriger als in der Türkei oder Kolumbien und nicht viel höher als in El Salvador oder Ägypten. Während die Küstenregionen Chinas und die großen Städte immensen Reichtum aufweisen, sind weite Teile Westchinas noch immer von großer Armut gekennzeichnet. Chinas Wirtschaft wird die US-amerikanische aber dennoch in den nächsten zwei Jahrzehnten überholen.

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