Friday, June 3, 2011

James Fallows on How to Think About China

In the Atlantic, James Fallows has a nice post about the importance of paying attention to China's development but stopping short of:
being pie-eyed, gape-mouthed, and otherwise credulous about the overall nature of China's success.

Here Fallows explains we need to think clearly about China:
I'm talking about applying a common-sense BS-detector when you hear the next claim about how rapid, inevitable, trouble-free, and strategically-perfect the Chinese ascent will be. You could think of what I'm worried about as the "Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony" syndrome, or the "I just rode the bullet train to Tianjin, and holy shit, we're doomed!" approach.

For what it's worth, I'm also worried about the "I just rode the bullet train to Tianjin, and holy shit, we're doomed!" approach. Whether or not China has fast trains should not affect US transportation or environmental policy, which is the implicit suggestion buried in the (made-up but plausible) quote.

So go read Fallows' post, and then read the piece he says to go read.
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