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News :: Education : Globalization : International
myth of rising China, India, globalized economy, finance, trade, democracy, politics, peace, management
26 Jun 2007
explore vast opportunities, challenges, conflicts of borderless finance, banking, labor, wealth, peace, democracy and politics. Will emerging China, India, Japan alter global production, business and politics map?
Reviews of 2 new books:

1. China's Global Reach: markets, multinationals, and globalization

2. China and the new world order: how entrepreneurship, globalization, and borderless business are reshaping China and the world

by Sinomania China News Service

"Empty talk destroys prosperity," so goes the current wisdom in author George Zhibin Gu’s hometown Shenzhen in the booming Pearl River delta of Guangdong province, long China’s export powerhouse. But empty talk you won’t get from Gu’s insightful and timely discussion of the Chinese economic resurgence and its implications for the world.

This new book "China’s Global Reach : Markets Multinationals Globalization" is an at times urgent appeal against isolationism and protectionism. Critics of China’s "peaceful rise" argument will find most surprising Gu’s assertion that you cannot equate the business of China (export dominance, job outsourcing, etc.) with the government of China or China as a national entity. Indeed Gu emphasizes the essential importance of international involvement in the reform of China’s state sector and in ultimately untangling the knot at the center of China’s problems - the impasse between party-bureaucracy and private life and property at all levels.

Gu expertly dissects the reality behind the huge numbers of Chinese trade and economic performance and shows how hard it is to criticize China’s trade surplus with the USA, for example, in light of its impact on Wal-Mart’s (and numerous other American multinational corporations (MNCs) profits. There is a tremendous amount of information regarding MNCs in China throughout the book.

On one level, "China’s Global Reach" is a celebration of how far China has come in such a brief period by a son of the first post Cultural Revolution generation. On another level it fits into the "peaceful rise" line that is predominant in China today, that is that Chinese economic ascendancy is not the emergence of a new hegemony but benefits the whole world. And Gu’s book serves also as a good antidote to rising sinophobia, particularly in the USA, by contrasting the Chinese global reach with that of Japan.

It was not so long ago that the same criticisms leveled against China - trade deficits, job displacement and so forth - were directed at Japan. The bogeyman of the 1980s was "Japan, Inc." just as today many of the same voices (The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Economist, just to name very few) claim China aims to take over the world. However, Gu gives numerous examples of just how different China’s global reach is from that of Japan and how much more open the Chinese economy is compared to Japan where foreign involvement is still severely restricted. More significantly, Gu shows how global-minded the Chinese are themselves particularly with their embrace of foreign products.

The rise and success of consumerism in China is one of the main themes of "China’s Global Reach" and the book goes a long way toward explaining to a foreign audience (the book is available in English and Portuguese so far) how the ruling Communist party equates its political authority with unfettered materialist determination.

Capping Gu’s book off nicely is an Afterward by Andre Gunder Frank who died last year before finishing his sequel to the ground-breaking and influential "ReOrient : Global Economy in the Asian Age." Frank’s comments are a powerful encapsulation of China’s global impact and a reminder to Americans specifically that the only thing to fear about a rising China is the USA’s response to it.

A delightful read, full of useful information, and interesting anecdotes, "China’s Global Reach" belongs on the desk and bookshelf of anyone with a serious interest in what’s going on in China. Get your copy today !

About the Author

George Zhibin Gu, a journalist/consultant based in Guangdong, China. A native of Xian, he was educated at Nanjing University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Michigan. He holds two MS and a PhD from the University of Michigan.

For the past two decades, he has been an investment banker and business consultant. His work focuses on helping international businesses to invest in China and helping Chinese companies to expand overseas. He has worked for Prudential Securities, Lazard, and State Street Bank, among others. He generally covers mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, business expansion, and restructuring.

Also, he is a journalist on China and its relations with the world. His articles or columns have appeared in Asia Times, Beijing Review, The Seoul Times, Financial Sense, Gurus Online, Money Week, Online Opinion, Asia Venture Capital Journal, and Sinomania, among others. He is also a member of the World Association for International Studies hosted by Stanford University.

He is the author of four books : 1.China and the New World Order : How Entrepreneurship, Globalization and Borderless Economy Reshape China and World, foreword by William Ratliff (Fultus, 2006) ; 2.China’s Global Reach : Markets, Multinationals, and Globalization, afterword by Andre Gunder Frank (revised edition, Fultus, 2006) ; 3. China Beyond Deng : Reforms in the PRC (McFarland, 1991) ; and 4.Made in China ( English edition forthcoming, Fall 07 ; Portuguese edition, Centro Atlantico, 2005).

This work is in the public domain
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