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China Shakes The World: The Rise of a Hungry Nation: The Rise of the Hungry Nation Paperback – 2 Jul 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (2 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826706
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Should the U.S. worry about China? Most definitely― but, by Kynge's account, for different reasons from the ones being raised on Capitol Hill.

Book Description

Authoritative and fully up-to-date account by leading China expert on China's economic rise and how it will affect the world

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Victor Smart on 15 April 2007
Format: Paperback
Anyone unimpressed by the general run of business books will find this a refreshing exception. First up, it is beautifully crafted. James Kynge brings an evocative personal perspective to China and the Chinese. The former Financial Times bureau chief in Beijing also has a topic which is vast and important - the book's publisher has classified it as history, not business. The themes - not least how it has taken a nominally socialist bureaucracy to destroy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of foreign capitalists' intellectual property - are intriguing, amusing and insightful. The book also bravely touches on issues such as the way China is ravaging the environment, its own and that of its neighbours. A rare buy-two-copies-and-give-one-to-a-friend book that is far better than the much-hyped The World is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman, which takes a rather banal conceit and milks it dry.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Charamis on 22 May 2007
Format: Paperback
Unlike most books on China, this one does not concentrate on how to do business there, but rather on how Chinese business practices and economic prospects are affecting the whole world. Hardly a sensationalist, Mr. Kynge nevertheless arrives at highly troubling conclusions: China has vast potential for growth, but is also full of very real weaknesses - a combination that can throw the global economy into turmoil if it becomes unbalanced.

The author writes in a fluid easy to read style that grabs your attention, with personal stories and observations, while also providing enough data to make his points convincingly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregor on 10 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book gives an general overview of the economic reforms taking place in China over the last 30 years and makes for interesting, if sobering, reading. The author describes the intensive development of the Chinese economy and and how such fast paced growth, on a massive scale, is impacting the rest of the world. China's economies of scale and sheer productivity do make you wonder how any 'developed' country can possibly compete with it in the manufacturing sector.

I find this quote telling: "Over 700 million people are thought to get by on less than $2 a day. That provides a huge pool of labour that is willing to work at pre-industrial wages in factories capable of producing goods at a speed that is thousands of times faster than was possible during the UK's Industrial Revolution some 230 years ago." To mitigate this relentless picture, some time is spent describing possible problems which may inhibit or derail future growth e.g. corruption, environmental damage, international tensions, scarce resources etc.

The raw statistics behind China however are astonishing and I would have liked more of these, possibly in tables in an appendix for ease of access. Some maps would also have been helpful to picture geographically the different regions talked about, instead of having to consult an external source.

These are niggles however. This book is very readable and conveys a lot of information for relatively few pages. The author combines business journalism and statistics with stories about individuals and their lives and careers. This really helps to provide a human context for the bigger picture he is describing. It is also well sourced with what looks to be a good bibliography. Excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
James Kynge analyzes and illustrates brilliantly the emergence of China as a major geopolitical power. He shows that the drastic shift in economic policies under Deng came from rural farmers who used creatively the concept `collective' to found private capitalist companies. The result is now a schizophrenic one party communist State wit a capitalist economy. Its social stability can only be maintained with fast economic growth and job creation for its enormous population created by Mao's demographic policy.
The actual industrialization process causes massive population and gender shifts (urbanization resulting in a higher status for women), colossal energy demands (one Italy every year) and huge environmental problems (water, air). In a one party State, corruption and nepotism (with stolen identities) cannot be eradicated and provoke a declining trust in government.
Economically, corporations are mainly concerned with market share, not profits. They continue to (over) produce for the next surge in demand after every dip. They are also beginning to build consumer loyalty by branding their own products.
Internationally, the Chinese voracity created energy and commodities price surges worldwide. The end is not in sight. On the other hand, the bulk of the profits made with China's low cost factory army (no welfare) goes into the pockets of Western retail giants and their shareholders, leaving only 10 to 15 % for their Chinese counterparts. In the meantime, the deindustrialization of the Western world continues with massive job losses in the textile, car, computer and even the service industry.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lovetolearn on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback
An excellent book. A few broad insights, particularly that China is struggling with a top-down system which means there's no dialogue from the grassroots up which in turn means there's nepotism, a lack of trust in officialdom and state institutions, an 'everyman for himself' ethos, regular military crackdowns (as there's no dialogue and therefore no safety valves), gross resource depletion (the State hasn't adapted to the almost overnight industrialisation whilst as the rivers literally dry up individuals and groups don't give a damn because it's everyman and every regional area for themself) and appalling pollution.

There's also been clampdowns on 'spirituality' which in turn means materialism rules which in turn means there's a declining moral structure.

In the long-term there's no way X billion people can live like Europeans (there's not enough resources on the planet) but at the same time this is the dream that's being peddled to the masses.

So China is being twisted and turned this way and that, a billion trapped individuals suddenly seeing a glimpse of freedom, Russia writ larger, the rich getting appallingly richer, the nation consuming insatiably but without a tried and trusted political system to absorb the forces unleashed.

Watch out for a cabal of individuals promoting George Zhibin Gu: China's global reach - see the review by 'A business researcher' on that book's page. For example, Expat-biz-Hong Kong has reviewed THIS book but has only ever made two reviews, posted on the same day and both promoting the above mentioned book by George Zhibin Gu.
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