I just bumped into a Malaysian friend, here at the “Summer Davos” in Dalian, up on China’s north-east coast. “What are you doing here?” I asked – “Paying tribute”, he replied.
There is quite a lot of that, here in Dalian. Last night, Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, told us that the economy would grow at the politically-required 8% this year. With the US still reeling, the international business people and foreign politicians here are increasingly looking to China for trade and investment opportunities.
I got a strong sense of that at the session that I chaired on the “The global downturn and the developing world”. Before we got talking the organisers took a poll of the audience, asking them to say what part of the world they expected to do most to pull the world out of recession? There were 67 votes for “Greater China”, about 30 for non-Chinese Asia, five for the US, two for Europe. I felt like finding the two people who had voted for my home continent, and buying them both a drink. Read more