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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

"Once Again The Apparently Unthinkable Becomes The Inevitable"

• by Michael Every

Dig into this: the G7 took us a step towards decoupling: they say "de-risking", but it's same thing. This is 'not about keeping China down, but lifting the Global South up' by diversifying strategic imports and exports. But: (i) who can say what's a strategic when little things can be - for want of a nail, as they say; (ii) friendshoring will still find China supplying key inputs to other EM, and the impetus will be to move the whole supply chain, upstream to downstream; and (iii) diversification means zero-sum math - import more from one country, you import less from others, ceteris paribus, and export less to one country, you export more to others. Yes, the G7 can friendshore and China still be better off… but only if it shifts to consumption, services, and imports rather than production, manufacturing, and exports. Which it won't/can't.

If Chinese consumers had a CNY every time they were told they will drive growth, they would be driving it. Yet Xi says China's focus is on supply chains and key industries, not real estate, services, and finance; and those "lying flat" must get married and/or go to the countryside. That economic model means investment/exports >consumption/imports, and it can't be a win-win - it's mercantilism. It's like tourists at a hotel buffet who only take plates of shrimp, no carbs, soup, or veggies, and the restaurant owner isn't allowed to go to a Chinese hotel and reciprocate at their buffet. As a result, we rapidly end up with different restaurants for different clientele.

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