I was brought up with a very western-centric view of the world, and culture continues to frame things in that way. It is therefore intriguing to view the world from a completely different perspective. History can provide a very real way of doing that. One example of this is when the British Empire encountered the Chinese.
The British Empire, one of the largest in history, went through several phases. One critical phase was the American War Of Independence when the colonists in North America broke away from the Empire in 1783. While it did stop British expansion in the west, it resulted in them focusing on the East. Eventually, it lead to the British Raj in India and the next phase of the British Empire.
I recently gave a speech on 3 key themes many investors are neglecting . Here’s the summary:
1) US-China tech cold war. The essence is that the US establishment led by the US Department Of Defense (DoD) has deemed China’s tech development as a national security issue. The view has been publically articulated by US Vice President Mike Pence in his Hudson Institute speech last October, where he talked about “using stolen technology, the Chinese Communist Party is turning plowshares into swords on a massive scale”. Meanwhile, the DoD’s venture capital unit, the DIUx, has described in a white paper that a key dimension of China’s technology transfer strategy is to invest in US start-ups, which had to be curtailed. On top of all of this, Congress has taken an increasingly hawkish stance to China.
I recently read a striking front-page manifesto from the Chinese Communist Party published in China’s People’s Daily. I Google translated it, edited and picked out the following highlights:
Historic turning point
October 2017 will be remembered in history as the golden autumn. The Chinese Communist Party, one of the largest political parties and most successful Marxist ones, has brought the world’s attention to China’s new era. Continue reading “China’s Dream Factory (3 min read)”
China’s President Xi Jinping gave a striking defence of globalisation at Davos in January. This stands in contrast to US President Donald Trump’s attack on globalisation. I thought I’d splice President Xi’s Davos speech with Donald Trump’s key quotes on the topic to produce a remarkable conversation between the two men: Continue reading “An Imagined Conversation Between China’s Xi and Trump”
I gave the following lecture to students on the International Finance course at the London Business School on 3 June.
(Biggest movie of 2016)
Let me start with a question. Which movie has made the most money this year in any one country? No, it’s not Captain America: Civil War, it is actually Mei ren yu (The Mermaid). It has so far made $530m in China. This compares to Captain America’s $380m in the US. The reason for highlighting this is to show how big the Chinese economy has become. At over $11trn it is the second-largest economy in the world after the US ($17.8trn) and more than the double next-placed Japan ($4.7trn). Back in 2007 before the financial crisis, China was only a quarter the size of the US, rather than two-thirds the size and it was smaller than Japan. Continue reading “Mermaid Spotted – The Rise of China and Secular Stagnation”
The US is the oft-cited innovator. But upon closer inspection, it seems it is only the technology sector, and more specifically Silicon Valley, where the US is the undisputed innovator. So could China create the equivalent of Silicon Valley? To answer this, we need to understand the roots of Silicon Valley. Continue reading “Can China Innovate? (2min read)”
It’s easy to get caught up with the latest management fads, but hard to know which ones will endure. Indeed, Nassim Taleb writes about how time is the ultimate test for the fragility of ideas. So with China in the news, what better ideas to look at than Confucius’, who lived over 2,500 years ago. His sayings are in the “Analects”, which are said to have been recorded by his disciples. What I’ve found is that Confucius was very good at understanding how to get the best out of hierarchical structures, which today would equate just as easily to corporations as governments. So I’ve picked out the best bits for business and modified the language to sound more contemporary: Continue reading “Confucius On Management”