I suspect historians will look back one day at the global crash of 2008 and say what idiots western governments were at not having a bit of forward thinking on their minds.
Throughout the crisis, the Chinese economy continued to grow at an amazing pace, in part as a consequence of massive fiscal stimulus. When anyone wants an example of how effective a Keynesian counter-cyclical strategy can be, internationally as well as domestically, they need look no further than China’s four-trillion-renminbi stimulus of 2008-2009.
Apart from a six-month period after the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, in which trade finance stopped and the world did look as if it was close to Great Depression circumstances, China and other emerging markets helped those export-oriented industrial economies to recover.
It was not just Europe that benefited from China’s willingness to take on the mantle of “lender of last resort.” The new-found dynamism of African economies is a consequence of the Chinese drive to build up and secure sources of raw materials.
Unfortunately, the article is underlined by an assumption that the Chinese don’t care for multilateralism in a way the US does. This is rubbish. The US has ignored multilateral institutions when it was in its interest and China will do the same. In fact – it will learn from the US and, once powerful enough, will behave how Americans did.
It’s always been useful for the American right to disparage international institutions like the UN when it suited them. Soon they’ll be in the amusing position of demanding China listen to the UN in a way they never did themselves.
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Filed in: China,Current affairs