Book Review by Andrea Puccio (Originally posted at Occhi Sul Mondo)
“The People’s Republic of China is a giant that burns records in every field: the IMF estimates that in 2021, its GDP reached 16.642 billion dollars, over 17% of the world’s total, the first economy in the world in terms of Private Public Partnerschaft 26.656 billion, the first commercial power on the planet (12% of the total); already in 2018 it was the first trading partner of 129 countries out of 190, the largest manufacturer in the world (in 2018 28.4%), number one in the sectors of aluminum, coal, instrumental machinery, textile-clothing, oil, cement, food industry, transport machinery, consumer goods, footwear, toys, household appliances and then fertilizers, plastics, synthetic fibres, cars (25.77 million sold in 2019); the first producer and consumer of many agricultural products; feeds 20% of the world’s population with 7% of arable land; first in the world for production, consumption and installed capacity of electricity, first importer of oil; first also for CO-2 emissions, 28% of the world total (in terms of per capita emissions, the United States emits twice as much as China); first for investments in green technologies ($83.4 billion in 2019 alone); owns 36.6% of the world’s reserves of rare earths (57% of production, becoming the world’s leading exporter); The Chinese consumer market is the fastest growing in the world and the first in online commerce; in 2019, 58,990 patent applications were filed by China with Wipo, while those of the United States 57,840”.
With these numbers, China is a candidate in a few years to be the first economy on the planet, in the new book by Alberto Bradanini “CHINA The irresistible rise”, published by Sandro Teti in Italian (368 pages), the former Ambassador of the Italian Republic in China, offers the reader an objective and realistic vision of the Asian country without ever falling into easy rhetoric and ideologies.
The text, enriched by numerous data and documents, addresses the rapid economic rise of the Asian giant without neglecting the implications that the sudden and constant development of its economy implies in international geopolitics. Interesting are the pages that deal with the exceptionalist vision of the foreign policy of the United States that considers itself the holder of the world power granted to it by God as the chosen people who have the task of leading the current chaotic world.
In the context of the current crisis in Ukraine, Alberto Bradanini’s text provides, among other things, a critical reading of the reasons that led to the outbreak of the conflict. In fact, the author does not neglect to mention how the United States has tried, for obvious reasons of economic interest, to weaken the Chinese economy in order to prevent its development. This development will lead the Asian country to undermine the United States from the current world economic supremacy. The author defines the Ukrainian spring of 2014 as “engineered by the United States in an anti-Russian function”. Russia’s sanctions after 2014 have only brought it closer to China.
In short, for the author you can not understand China if you do not take into consideration the international geopolitical context. For this reason, it clearly and with a wealth of analysis how the Asian giant is moving in the international field, providing not only complete reflections on the current hegemonic role of the United States, which fears a multipolar world, but also a series of economic data that show how China is an important global competitor and how it is trying to create a multipolar system.
China rightly defines Europe as “a superfluous member of the US empire” floundering aimlessy “preventing it fromfulfilling the international role to which it could aspire”.
Little considered from a political point of view given its natural subjection to the United States and Atlanticist policies. It is instead an important trading partner: China is the second largest trading partner after the United States for the old continent. Italy, on the other hand, is well worth watching, in fact in 2020 Italy imported 36 billion dollars worth of good from China and exported only for 14, levels very far from those of Germany and France.
But the author does not limit himself to citing a large amount of data and analyzing the international geopolitical framework in which China is placed, but examines in great detail the current situation of the Asian country from a political point of view.
In the vast final part of his text Alberto Bradanini traces a complete and exhaustive picture of the current situation of the country. The comparison between the current Chinese model of development with that of the old Soviet Union is very stimulating, which consequently leads to broadening the analysis by extending it to Marxist theories. He cites numerous authors in this regard and it follows that China can be defined at the same time as “differently capitalist” but also “differently socialist”.
In conclusion, a book that flows very well despite the incredible amount of data and quotes that gives us a real China, not ideological but above all inserted in an international context that the author draws as obviously complex and hegemonized by the United States which, however, are losing their leading role. Many positions are expressed that highlight the distortions of our system that acquire an important value because they are not written by a stranger but by a person who has played an important institutional role.
Finally, the prologue to the book is masterful, where the author condenses in a few pages all his considerations on the current complex international situation. In short, a beautiful book that I absolutely recommend reading to get to know a country that too often is painted following only the classic stereotypes imposed by information that no longer deals with seriously analyzing what is happening around us but limits itself to acting as a sounding board for the oligarchies that govern the world.
Read the Italian version HERE
Cina L’Irresistibile Ascesa di Alberto Bradanini
Published by Sandro Teti
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