A senior Venezuelan diplomat-scholar, Toro Hardy depicts a rapidly declining United States and Europe and an emerging Chinese powerhouse, voicing an increasingly common perspective on global trends. Extensively referencing commentators such as Joseph Stiglitz, Niall Ferguson, and Kishore Mahbubani, Toro Hardy gleefully depicts U.S. society as trapped in a self-destructive orgy, as myopic corporations and deadlocked politicians lose all sense of the national interest, while the Chinese Community Party brilliantly masters technological innovation and gains global leadership. A more multicultural, multipolar world will present exciting opportunities for Latin America, but only if the region draws the right lessons from its checkered past, conserves earnings from high commodity prices in sovereign wealth funds, further diversifies its exports to include modern goods and services (pop music, software development, product design, and so on), and develops its human capital and physical infrastructure. Most interesting, Toro Hardy urges Latin American diplomats to unite as a block and negotiate a grand bargain with China in order to integrate their economies into Chinese industrial value chains and to obtain more access to Chinese capital and technology.
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