In sickness and in health
Finally some good news from Davos! China’s rude economic health is set to continue, and the West has nothing to fear from the old Dragon.
Delegates at the WEF meeting spent Wednesday prodding at the wheezing body of the barely conscious eurozone like a team of doctors, only to shake their heads ruefully and wistfully hope for a miracle cure.
While it may be difficult to find a pulse in the sick man of the global economy (Europe), China’s only worrying symptoms are a mild case of high blood pressure – relieved slightly last year when economic growth “sank” from double digits to 8.9%.
Like a rapidly growing toddler, China finds itself surrounded by clucking aged aunties (economists) fretting that it doesn’t bump its head on the furniture as it learns how to run.
No need for such well-meaning yet faintly irritating advice, according to John Quelch, dean of the Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School.
“China has outstanding economists and finance experts,” he told me.
“They could beat any team that [US Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner or [European Central Bank President] Mario Draghi could offer.”
World Trade Organization head Pascal Lamy also poured scorn on fears that China is an evil empire attempting to take over the world.
Lamy told WEF delegates that such lurid tales were pure “media fluff fluff” – yes, that’s two “fluffs”. Chairman Mao would have approved of such sentiments.
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