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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jun-18 > The coming Renminbi revolution

The coming Renminbi revolution

The world must hope that China won’t run the world economy in the same way as the west

Planet China

Napoleon was only half-right when he warned more than two centuries ago that, “China is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” China has woken up and is indeed shaking the world. But it is shaking the world gently. Why?

Chinese history has mirrored that of Europe. Until the Industrial Revolution, the European elites lived well while the masses suffered brutish conditions. The Chinese masses, by contrast, suffered the same plight until as recently as 1978. After that year, when Deng Xiaoping launched the Four Modernisations Programme, China experienced the greatest uplift of the human condition in history: 800m people were rescued from absolute poverty. Infant mortality plummeted. Virtually every child in China goes to school today.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s June issue: Isabel Hilton, Rana Mitter, Kerry Brown and Yuan Ren debate the rise of China and what it means for the UK and the rest of the world. Hilton argues that China’s ideas could dominate the next century, just as American ideas dominated the last. Rana Mitter charts how those ideas have developed from Confucius to modern political theorist Wang Huning. Kerry Brown explores how Australia is dealing with the rise of China, by reimagining itself as an Asian country and drifting from the US. Yuan Ren asks whether China’s young people will forge a new path for the country in the coming decades. Elsewhere in the issue: Steve Bloomfield explores Jeremy Corbyn’s foreign policy, asking whether Britain would become a silent protester on the global sideline; Jonathan Liew asks if the World Cup has seen better days; Miranda France explores the life and meaning of Frida Kahlo, and Simon Jenkins says Trump’s charge through the China shop of world affairs is not all bad news.