The mistery of China

—Google translation—

In his groundbreaking Nations (2012, Norton), Ruchir Sharma explains what the country-more-economically succeed in the coming decades. China’s growth will slow, as in 2012, after the economic and financial growth most spectacular ever seen by mankind in its history (Niall Gerguson in Civilization, 2012, Allen Lane). Advised to travel to emerging countries to meet and eliminate stereotypes. Sharma has-successfully-in BRIC countries, between 1992 and 2012: Ruchir Sharma manages 25,000 million dollars in emerging markets for investment management division of Morgan Stanley, who heads: in 10 years (2002-2012 ), its assets have tripled, especially in China.

I wish I had followed his advice the first time I visited China, years ago. I wanted to show my knowledge of the Mandarin Chinese communist official who accompanied me, speaking of the last Chinese emperor. I interrupted to explain that in my speech, instead of referring to the emperor by name, he had described as “a mule”. Half an hour of explanations about pronunciation made it clear that I understand something about China was more complex than come and kiss the saint have to travel a lot to the country, going through it, learn the language, read many books and interacting with enough people over the years, especially in the field of business. And yet, China will remain a mystery.

China is the major focus of international attention, the second world economic power, after North America, has changed for the fifth time since 1949, leading, after the death of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping took over, initiating reforms that combine capitalism invisible hand and, with the power of the state and his hand visible, representing the Communist Party and the Army. A Deng succeeded Jiang Zemin and his successor Hu Jintao was president, until November 15, 2012, and architect of the decade of greatest economic growth in the post-Mao. Today President Xi Jinping is, predictably two years ago.

When I visit Beijing, impresses me contemplate the image of Mao in Tiananmen Square presiding. In his great works on the first president of Communist China, Jung Chang (Mao, the Unknown Story, 2005, Knopf) and Philip Short (Mao, 2004, Editorial Review) argue that although the names of the presidents of China between 1949 today and have changed the face which directs the destinies of the country remains the Mao who, in his Red Book, wrote that “This must use Western weapons to defeat the West”. According to these historians, this would be the main reason why the Chinese Communist leaders have successfully embraced capitalism: “Who cares Deng Xiaoping, ‘said the cat is black or white … if catches mice?” .

Geopolitical experts agree with that theory: George Friedman, in his works The next decade (2012, Doubleday) and the next 100 years (2011, Anchor), Fareed Zakaria in The world posamericano (2008 and 2012, Norton); Gideon Rachman in the zero-sum world (2011, Atlantic Books), and Jim O’Neill, the chief economist at Goldman bright Sachs who invented the concept of the BRIC economies (2001) and 10 years later drew a new picture: Map growth: economic opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond (2011, Penguin). A study by Ernst & Young, this newspaper published a preview, the November 22, 2012, explained that “by 2035, China will be the leading economic power in the world, surpassing the United States.” The study draws on the global gross domestic product, as the sum of the wealth generated by the production of all goods and services in the Chinese economy. If we speak of GDP per capita measured in purchasing power, the picture would be essentially different, since it is the starting point: today, equivalent to U.S. $ 50,800 per family. In China, in late November 2012, is $ 9,600, as much as 400 million, of its 1,500 million people, are no longer considered to be very poor and middle class. A China has a long way to go.

The magnitude of the figures tide and therefore we want to understand: Jaques Martin explains how the global economy will dominate the world when China: Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the end of Western civilization as Mao wanted (2009, Allen Lane). Edward Tse shelled the elements of success of the Chinese economy in China’s strategy (2010, Basic Books) and gives the keys to doing business there, Karl Gerth, to paraphrase the Cole Porter song, crumbles as 1,500 million Chinese consumers are transforming global economic and business life in China As you, so goes the world (2010, Hill & Wang), Tom Doctoroff explicit what the Chinese want (2012, Palgrave McMillan); Shaun Rein speaks of the End of China cheap: economic and cultural trends that will change the world (2012, Wiley): the first chapter reads: there are more billionaires in China than in the United States.

The rise of China worried about the Americans: in the economic, geostrategic and military. The literature is abundant: The struggle for supremacy, Aaron L. Friedberg (2011, Norton); Chinamerica, Handel Jones (2010, McGraw Hill); Chimerica, by Niall Ferguson (2010, Allen) or Advantage: American innovation overcome the Chinese challenge, Adam Segal (2011, Norton). In April 2009, President Obama’s hand-launched its Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping and now-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Americans are frustrated with the Chinese for the lack of progress. As I was seven years ago, when I discovered I know China involves much effort, hard work, commitment, knowledge, reading and language. In the depths of China, neither know-much less Elvis Presley to Justin Bieber-or seen the movie Twilight and vampires.

Jorge Díaz-Cardiel. Previously published in Cinco Días