May/June 2015

May/June 2015
94, 3

Comments

Comment
Gideon Rose

In recent decades, China has surged from totalitarian poverty to middle-income authoritarianism. This transformation has been one of the great events in human history. But Beijing has already picked most of the low-hanging fruit of modernization and is now bumping up against the classic challenges of the middle phases of development. Our deep dive into China's condition looks at what's happening today—and what might happen tomorrow.

Comment
Youwei

For decades, China's communist regime has defied predictions of its impending demise by using policy reforms to head off the need for fundamental institutional change. But with few reform rabbits left to pull out of its hat, the regime may now be approaching a dead end.

Comment
Hu Angang

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called slower economic growth the “new normal,” and as he says, it represents less a decline than a crucial rebalancing, one in which China diversifies its economy, embraces more sustainable growth, and distributes the benefits more evenly.

Comment
Zhiwu Chen

China's debt has ballooned in recent years, and now that growth is slowing, the country’s borrowers are struggling to pay up. If China doesn’t get on top of the problem, it may be in for a prolonged and painful crash.

Comment
Baozhen Luo

China's population is aging rapidly, leading many to worry that the country will grow old before it gets rich. But a closer look at China's demographics reveals a more positive picture: Beijing has resources to deploy, and as the country’s population ages, it will not be caught off guard.

Comment
Perry Link

What does it mean to be Chinese? Under President Xi Jinping, it means being nationalistic and materialistic. But without morality and ethics, that definition will remain dangerously incomplete. As so often in the modern era, the future of Chinese identity is up for grabs.

Comment
James Leung

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anticorruption campaign has emerged as the linchpin in the Communist Party's effort to maintain its legitimacy—and its grip on power. Despite what pessimists predict, as long as Xi avoids major abuses of power, the campaign might actually succeed.

Comment
Gray Tuttle

Western observers often overlook the deep-seated ethnic prejudices and racism at the core of contemporary Chinese society. Hostility and discrimination toward Tibetans and other non-Han Chinese citizens will likely undermine Beijing’s efforts to foster a “harmonious society” and present China as a model for the rest of the world.

Essays

Essay
Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard

Until recently, most Europeans believed that their post–Cold War security order held universal appeal and could be a model for the rest of the world. Putin’s actions in Ukraine proved them wrong, and have exposed differences in worldviews that could cleave the Atlantic alliance.

Essay
Fred P. Hochberg

The U.S. Congress may soon shutter a government agency that in the past six years alone has supported more than 1.3 million American jobs and generated more than $2 billion in profits. Opponents of the Ex-Im Bank do not understand the reality of global competition and how to protect the United States' competitive advantage.

Essay
Andrew Palmer

Wall Street may have helped engineer the economic crash of 2008 through its incessant experimentation, but not all familiar practices are safe and not all financial innovation is evil. The challenge is promoting innovation that helps improve lives and economic prospects rather than undermining them.

Essay
John M. Owen IV

The Muslim world today is going through religious turmoil similar to that which raged across northwestern Europe 450 years ago. The West’s own history of ideological and religious radicalism offers key lessons for understanding and managing modern-day crises elsewhere.

Essay
Gretchen West

The commercial use of unmanned drones, in everything from farming to bridge inspection, has nearly unlimited potential. But right now, the industry’s takeoff is being blocked by a giant obstacle in the way: the Federal Aviation Administration.

Essay
Dave Baiocchi and William Welser IV

Technological advances are driving down the cost and ease of getting into space, allowing a crowd of new actors, from developing countries to small start-ups, to get into the game. In the next space race, the main challenge will be figuring out how to regulate all the new activity.

Essay
Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer

"Precision agriculture" is revolutionizing farming as we know it. Taking advantage of information technology, farmers can now collect precise data about their fields and customize how they cultivate each square foot, boosting yields and reducing waste. Big data is the key to the future of the green revolution.

May/June 2015

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Reviews & Responses

Review Essay
Ron Wyden and John Dickas

Openness is not just a cherished American value; it is a core element of American strength. A new book reveals how excessive secrecy weakens U.S. national security, harms the American political system, and even threatens the U.S. economy.

Review Essay
Robert Jervis

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s so-called torture report was a failure. By dodging fundamental questions about the proper balance between values and security, its authors wasted a rare opportunity to fill the vacuum that allowed torture to occur in the first place.

Review Essay
Joshua Yaffa

Two new books—Red Notice, by Bill Browder, and Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, by Peter Pomerantsev—chronicle the boom times that Russia experienced in the first years of Vladimir Putin’s rule. But now the party is over and a nasty hangover is setting in.

Review Essay
Jeremy Adelman

Conventional narratives argue that capitalism arose in the West because of some special sauce that emerged there. These "internalist" explanations are challenged by “externalist” ones arguing that the West’s dominance and exploitation of other regions was crucial. Neither story is fully convincing.

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