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August 12th, 2008
China Prep
Audio: When China Becomes the World's Largest Economy

China will inevitably become the largest economy in the world, according to Andrew Nathan, chair of Columbia University’s Department of Political Science. In this WIDE ANGLE web exclusive, we talk to Nathan about China’s political and economic future, the differences between today’s youth and the youth of the Tienanmen generation, and the long-term effects of hosting the Olympic Games.

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  • Jimmy Bastiat

    It doesn’t matter which economy is the biggest. What matters is trade based on comparative advantage. A nation’s standard of living is based on its own domesic productivity. How can any one take your documentary seriously when such ignorance of economics is on display?

  • Gerri in DC

    Jimmy Bastiat: what if an economy such as China has a big comparative advantage? Would that not lead to more trade than other countries/economies; therefore, more productivity; therefore, a bigger economy?

  • Claude

    The difference between the Chinese economy and the American economy is the difference between the practical Austrian economics and the deceptive Keynesian economics. One is based on saving and hard working, and the other, spending and shenanigan financial engineering. One is simulated by a state-run central bank, and the other, by the private, for-profit Federal Reserve. The economic result between them today speaks for itself.

  • Suoyang hou

    I lived in both China and the United States…I think the future of China is more like Japan…we have much to learn from them. Such a small nation can be so powerful is something to aspire to.

    It really doesn’t matter what China is now or who controls the central bank. Only time can tell!

  • Dairuide

    I have lived in China for a few years now working extensively to understand aspects of what is happening there in relation to the rest of the world. Perhaps a few matters need attention. Andrew Nathan’s words are insightful (thank you), in addition his overall estimation is about as close as a subjective observer can get to dead center. Jimmy, I laughed at your comment; knee jerk remarks from an arm chair are generally speaking in poor taste. Claude, I remain at a loss why Keynes is on trial in your comment; a more in depth evaluation of China’s major SOE’s in comparison to an economy which remains around ten times their own is worth consideration. Finally, Andrew your cultural understanding in relation to their political and psychological mindset was helpful.

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