Page 20 - CSA Speaker Bulletin January 2017 | CSA Celebrity Speakers
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 The Changing


The economic transformation of           which long established city residents       the Administrations of Harry Truman
         China is the most important     qualify for social support, but recent      and George HW Bush. The incoming
         global economic event of the    arrivals in the same cities do not, and     Trump administration seems to be
past forty years. It has changed the     can remain in a precarious situation        headed in the opposite direction, giving
balance of power on the Eurasian         for years. This presents a problem of       visible support to political parties that
landmass, in ways we are only            political management.                       would break up the EU.
beginning to comprehend.
                                         One can thus foresee the use of             President elect Trump’s decision to give
China has an increasing number of        Chinese nationalism by the Communist        an effusive welcome to Nigel Farage,
well off, high spending, consumers.      party leadership, to shore up support,      before any other European leader, and
The Boston Consulting Group recently     and distract from the ill effect of a very  immediately after the latter’s success
estimated that what it calls the “upper  uneven distribution of the fruits of        in engineering the first ever exit of a
middle class” (a group that can afford   prosperity.                                 country from the EU, sends a clear and
regular foreign holidays) in China will                                              hostile signal.
rise from 53 million today, to 102       Europe and the United States should
million by 2020. At the other end of     be cautious in their response to            A disunited Europe could become
the scale, China has not got a well      China. The decision to abandon the          a playground for the outworking of
developed welfare system. The income     Trans Pacific Partnership may leave         great power rivalries. Notwithstanding
gap is very wide. Stress is high. There  China in the driving seat, as far as        their notional “sovereignty”, individual
is a two tier labour market, under       trade policy in East Asia is concerned.     European countries could be used as
                                         Adding a conflict over the status of        pawns in a wider struggle, in the same
                                         Taiwan to this mix could have really        way as the religious factions in Syria
                                         unpredictable results.                      are being used.

                                         If the US moves closer to Russia, the       There are many ancient and buried
                                         EU may find its interests aligned more      antagonisms that could be exploited,
                                         with those of China in some fields, like    if European unity is broken. The UK,
                                         climate change. It would reinforce the      which did so much to defend the
                                         anxiety many of the central European        liberty of Europe in 1914 and 1939,
                                         members of the EU feel about Russian        forgot this when voting in their recent
                                         intentions. Russia has traditionally        referendum. n
                                         been hostile to the EU, because it felt
                                         itself excluded from pan European           John Bruton is a former Prime
                                         security structures.                        Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach)
                                                                                     and a renowned expert on global
                                         On the other hand, the US, in the           economic issues.
                                         past, has been a strong supporter of
                                         European integration, notably under

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