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The Varsavsky Foundation
Avenida Bruselas 7, Planta 3
28100 Alcobendas
Madrid, Spain

The political blog of a social entrepreneur

We Fear China For The Wrong Reasons

In this video I talk about my conversations with top Taiwanese and Chinese entrepreneurs and my own tentative conclusions. I describe paradoxes presented by the Taiwan/China situation. One for example is that presently many more people migrate from Taiwan to China, that is from democratic to undemocratic, than the other way around. Another paradox is that after talking to many people in Taiwan and China I have come to the conclusion that China should be feared more for its desire to be like America rather than its alleged desire to antagonize America. Many in the West are concerned that China will become a military power that will eventually clash with the United States. I used to think that as well. But after my conversations with different business leaders in the region I have changed my mind. I believe that it is unlikely that China will seek military confrontation and instead what worries me is not only China does not hate America but the opposite is true. The Chinese love America and especially the American way of life and that is a threat to the planet. China likes America so much that it is copying the American model. Unfortunately it is not copying what is good about America, democracy, but it´s copying what is bad about America, its unsustainable developmental model. By copying America´s developmental model China is making the planet already shaking from America´s incredibly high pollution per person, even less sustainable. To me the greatest risk about China has little to do with business, little to do with politics, even less to do with geopolitics and a lot to do with the environment. As Al Gore frequently argues America´s disregard for the environment is already creating the world greatest threat to our survival. Now that China has chosen to develop along the American model the damage created by these two powers combine will greatly accelerate the problems that European and Japanese among others are trying to manage.

Posted on April 7, 2007