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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars those who have eyes do not see
The West is way behind the curve if we take Moyo at her word. She's not so much upset with what China is doing (although perhaps she should be) but more upset that the West doesn't seem to be doing enough to keep the competition honest and fair. What is frightening is the ease with which China has moved into the developing world and made themselves indispensable...
Published on 22 July 2012 by CJ Craig

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting but in places rather dry book
Summary:

- The worlds resources are limited

- The worlds population is increasing and getting richer which is putting pressure on already dwindling resources

- China is trying to buy up as much of those resources that it can

- The result is that at some time in the future some very very bad things are going to happen...
Published 23 months ago by Biff


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake up call, 17 July 2012
By 
F. M. Muse "headspace traveller" (Leicester, Leics United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a very timely book, at once well well written and engaging with just the right amount of statistical detail to support the principal observations. This is a book about China's economic and political activities,whose aim is to secure unrestricted access to global commodities; how the combination of this strategy and it's enormous financial reach has introduced a game change in commodity markets, and the social and political implications both now and into the future.

The author starts with a brief overview of the principal mechanisms which drive the demand for commodities and most particularly the escalating urbanisation of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC's), the subsequent burgeoning growth of an affluent middle class in these and other developing countries, and the step change in resource demand associated with these developments.

Dr Moyo proceeds to develop a picture of the current situation with respect to the main resources that directly or indirectly, are influential in commodity markets, notably arable land, water, energy and minerals. What unfolds is a very clear and somewhat disturbing picture of China's integrated strategy of major resource acquisition beyond it's own borders.

For those of us not versed in economics and the workings of the commodity markets, the author provides an easily understood precis of their basic principles, together with competing opinions of the influence of commodity speculators in the behaviour of markets and pricing of commodities. Factors which undoubtedly distort the workings of the markets are examined at some length, whether via the influence of cartels, subsidies, government intervention or regulatory frameworks and the institutional influence of strategic reserves and sovereign wealth funds.

Dr Moyo examines the observable geopolitical effects of China's activities and concludes that US and European accusations of neocolonialism on China's part are largely unfounded, not least because the classic features of colonialism, violence, coercion, religious conversion and buying off leaders of states or regimes etc., are absent and that the relationships that China forges with host countries are mutually beneficial. Unlike earlier, Western colonial models and on down to the present day, where aid is tied to resource exploitation in undeveloped and Third World countries, China negotiates agreements that result in training, education, healthcare and the creation of infrastructure and jobs.

The author briefly examines the negative impacts of resource discoveries, whereby cash windfalls from say oil, or other resources, tend to drive currencies upward with the consequent fallout as manifested by declining exports and resultant unemployment. Rather more space is devoted to looking at the geography of conflict and it's main drivers, largely in undeveloped or institutionally weak states, and Moyo succinctly shows, partially by the use of tables, how these conflicts are associated with significant natural resources such as arable land, water, timber and foodstuffs on the one hand and scarce,valuable mineral or energy resources on the other. Moyo contends that China's systematic, well-organised resource policies will in future tend to exacerbate existing tensions further, as well as eventually giving rise to new conflicts.

Factor in a global population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, against a contracting resource base, fuelled by continual environmental degradation across pretty much every continent, then widespread and large scale conflict appears inevitable at some point in the foreseeable future. Despite the foregoing the author attempts (and largely succeeds), in presenting a balanced view on pretty much all of the issues. Notably she raises a number of 'what if' scenario's, any one of which could avert what looks like some form of Armageddon. In this context her conclusions are similar to those expressed Harald Welzer in his recent 'Climate Wars', albeit based on differing premises.

China can hardly be blamed for looking down the road to see what's coming up and taking appropriate and necessary steps to secure it's future. Western politicians appear to be oblivious to the coming crises - and there will be many, each more hair-raising than the last - and appear to be pursuing the usual capitalist agenda of business as usual and devil take the hindmost. Yes there are global institutions who are considering this or that aspect of the problems we face, but they largely lack political clout and support. As Dr Moyo notes, what we need now is a cooperative global approach to understanding and addressing thes problems. One is not bound to agree with everything posited by the author, but by and large this is a book which needs to be widely read, by politicians, policy makers world-wide and most particularly this book needs introducing to educational systems everywhere.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting magazine article, 20 Aug. 2012
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This wasn't too bad. The writing style is okay though it can get a bit dull with highly selective statistics being constantly thrown at the reader.

I imagine that this will lead to plenty of highly paid speaking tours and consultancy work.
It is somewhat too pro China.

I didn't feel that it said anything more than the hundreds of similar newspaper, magazine and online articles that most people will have come across.
I have read a few criticisms that some of the research is quite sloppy.

Her other books felt a lot more substantive. This seemed like yet cash in on the rise of China. I am not certain why it is so noteworthy. Taiwan (sorry Chinese Taipei) and Singapore are very prosperous. Chinese immigrants throughout the world have done very well.

Will India be next country to be hyped up? I might stake my claim to being the guru of the next Global superpower - the Faroe islands.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lucid moments, 18 July 2014
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Moyo exposes and summarizes the resource challenges facing the world today with reference to China's growing hunger. There are interesting and lucid moments throughout a sprawling and sometimes unfocussed narrative.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars needs better organization, 27 July 2012
By 
Mr. R. G. A. Thomas "RussT" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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There is a great deal of information in this book. As you read each section loads of new stuff surprises the reader. Problem is - there is too much new stuff that is chaotically presented - impossible to absorb. You come away with the uneasy feeling that much of what you previously thought about China was wrong ... but you cannot figure why, or what is/was/will be correct. The whole topic needs the help of a skilled editor ... what are the essentials of what you are trying to state {a few short MEMORABLE statements), how might these be proven or disproven/tested, here are the facts sorted into tables or graphs, and hence we deduce this proof, QED.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit scary and somewhat worrying...., 1 July 2012
By 
Craddock Edwards from Bristol (bristol, uk) - See all my reviews
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The world's resources are running out, as the world population rapidly expands then demand not just for basics, but demand for 'stuff' such as mobile phones, cars, white goods etc. as the purchasing power of the ever increasing middle classes expands exponentially. Just on the basics, demand for food is set to increase by 50% by 2030 and water demand by 30% during the same period.

Production of copper, zinc, lead and other metals are becoming unsustainable. So if your industries need more copper, what do you do? If you are China you go and buy a mountain about half the size of Everest in Peru for US$3 billion. Or basically just buy the exclusive mineral rights as said mountain is proclaimed as having over 2 billion tons of copper just waiting to be dug out of it. $3billion goes a long way in Peru, a few people get a lot richer. For the average Peruvian nothing much changes except for the poor souls who have to mine the copper on wages of misery.

China is on a massive worldwide spending spree with over US$3 Trillion in the bank to buy up all the arable land and natural resources they can get their hands on.

And us? We just sit around watching as China snaps up 40% of Brazilian participation in Repsol, a massive Spanish energy company for US$7 billion. Another 7 billion for the Addax petroleum company with assets in Nigeria and Iraq. As early as 2008 some US$13 billion for a share in Australian aluminium production. Complete steel works in Brazil, hundreds of thousand of hectares of arable land in Africa, countries like Ukraine, those in South and Central America,Asia, neighbours Burma, even the United States, all over the world. They are also renown for paying over the odds which keeps officials and companies in the countries where huge acquisitions are taking place onside and quiet. The odd deal has gone belly up due to protest by local people in targeted areas but mainly the deals go through on well greased tracks so to speak.

18 military conflicts since 1990 have been started over the division of natural resources, as resources become scarcer then tension gets ramped up. Lets face it, one of the main reasons for the creation of the European Union was a determination for no more war. Diminishing natural resources, lack of food and fresh water leads to higher prices and a lowering of living standards for all but the one percent. Cross border and internal tensions arise, sometimes passing boiling point.

The Chinese are obviously determined to avoid this or put it off for as long as possible for their citizens hence this very aggressive, worldwide shopping exercise to acquire global resources. No good just sitting around worrying about it, too late - it is a reality that is going to have extremely serious economic consequences for us and maybe worse. Ms Moyo comes up with the hard facts about this insatiable demand for commodities and she asks what will be the financial and human effects of all this and are the end results inevitable - conflicts on local or globalised scales - or can we somehow avoid violent reactions?

A few reviewers have slated Dambisa Moyo over this book, a reviewer in The Guardian thought she was not taking new technological developments into consideration especially in the hunt for new energies and in the metals field. Another in The Daily Telegraph I believe was questioning how much she had traveled to obtain her evidence or how much had come from United Nations research and other fonts of information. Personally I don't think it matters, in my opinion this book was written for the general public and not for academia. As anything but an academic I found it extremely interesting, logical and easy to read although if I do have a complaint it is that it could have been edited a little better. Most importantly I found her evidence convincing and all her sources are listed in the notes to each chapter at the end of the book.

This book is a wake up call, should we be over concerned bu China's actions or is it some form of inverted jealousy? As it stands it seems the Chinese are more interested in raw materials, arable land rather than buying up/taking over huge Footsie 500 corporations with all their technological know - how. After all most of the richer economies seem to be doing the same thing - and for much longer than the Chinese have. Could all this boil over with military consequences? I think a lot would depend on who was occupying the White House at the time, no doubt the 'special relationship' would see us involved also. Ms Moyo is nowhere like as hysterical as some of the politically motivated commentators are who hate to admit that neo conservatism has failed the West miserably and maybe, just maybe, the CPC are getting it right economically for their people. Could not have that could we?

As Rio 2012 has just shown (and the ongoing mess in Syria) - the world finds it hard if not impossible to get it's act together, another example is the lack of firm decision over the Euro currency which struggles on from crisis to crisis. The big one starts to happen when we start running out of food, fresh water and energy, who has the control, who is stacking the deck in anticipation already? Maybe a bit easier for China politically, the government can spend their taxpayers money without much complaint and at the end of the day the Chinese Communist Party exists to better the economic and living standards of it's citizens, basically the 99% comes first not the other way round as in our economies where everything is seconded to private and individual gain, where political decision making is confined to no longer than the next election. Not a problem for my baby boomer generation, we're now cashing out and leaving a pretty uncertain future for our children and grandchildren. As my kids like to remind me every opportunity they find.

This book deserves a wide readership, it is a subject that will affect us all more and more as time passes. I have given it four stars because I think Ms Moyo gives it to us straight and it is essential that we in the West wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late for us to prepare for our future as the Chinese are doing.

Dambisa Moyo is an economist with a PhD from Oxford and a Masters from Harvard. She has worked for the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and is at present a non executive director of Barclays Bank. The American magazine Time named her one of the most 100 influential people of 2009.

Reading this book made me ask myself yet again - a question I keep asking - is economic growth and the constant search, at all and any cost, for the magic 3% year on year increase in accumulated capital the only way forward? There has to be an alternative, not saying the Chinese way is better or worse but there has to be a plan B.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 24 April 2013
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This review is from: Winner Take All: China's Race For Resources and What It Means For Us (Paperback)
This series of books were informative and well written. They are easy to read and understand, with the subject matter being covered in great depth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Oct. 2014
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Great service and product!
I'm quite satisfied and will shop with the seller again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but a bit too dry, 1 Oct. 2012
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This is an interesting book which tackles the on-going development of China as both a political and economic global power in the 21st century, but is so packed full of facts and figures in places it should perhaps be approached as a study textbook- full of juicy hard info to pile into an essay on globalisation- than a simple cover-to-cover work of academic 'journalism.'

That's not to say there aren't some great insights in this book, you just have to plough through chapters of dry facts and figures to find those nuggets and, tellingly, it's only the last couple of chapters that really get to any 'intellectual' analysis of the issue.

It's intriguing that I suspect many will pick up this book worried about the rise of China on the world stage, but will leave it with a feeling of a] if there is a problem, what is Moyo's take on tackling it from a Westerner's self-interested point of view [an issue she doesn't really tackle head-on] and b] that the West's problems lie fairly and squarely within our own systems, which are too short-termist and arrogantly/ignorantly based on increasingly creaking- and discredited- socio-economic models.

Because the overwhelming success of this book, for me, was a greater understanding of the political and socio-economic make-up of China, and very impressive it is too to be honest. Modern China has managed, within a broadly communist framework, to develop a highly effective system of centrally controlled, command 'capitalism,' that is now completely out-performing the more laissez-faire, 'small-state' obsessed western systems and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In fact China is a shining example of what well organised, 'Big' government can achieve; China is not an example- as western commentators would have us believe- of a communist state having to capitulate to the logic and efficiencies of capitalism, but of a communist state being intelligent enough to adapt the dynamics of capitalism to its own ends, and morphing it into a wholly different-and much more effective- economic model completely. Just don't of course, expect to hear that from any one in- particularly- the West's 'Anglo-Saxon' establishment.

The bottom line is the fact that the Chinese government is not afraid to have a vision for it's country that stretches beyond the next 12-18 months. China is prepared to PLAN- not just a few years ahead, but ten, twenty perhaps even fifty years hence, with a clear idea of where it wants the nation to be as this century unfolds. This is in stark contrast to the West- the US and UK being the prime offenders- where the word 'vision' has become a dirty word and the idea of the state has been reduced from helping and improving the lives of it's citizens, to being merely an institutional prop for privately owned corporations.

So I left this book very impressed by China's modus operandi, which holistically includes both it's domestic framework and global aims as one, national package. Whether this was the aim of the book I'm not sure, but I certainly understood China much better after reading it. It also made achingly clear just ineffective and out of time the West has become on the world stage; we are living on borrowed time, basking in past glories and what's left of the power base we gleaned from those glories, and now with a blindfold on and ear plugs in, we actually hold in our hands a busted flush and are trying to make a clearly inefficient free market economic model work, that is no longer fit for purpose. It is up to us to change and adapt this century and the sooner we do it, the more chance we have of maintaining some influence in the world because countries like China just aren't going to stand still, particularly as it's political system becomes much more attractive to emerging nations than our currently broken one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some hard choices, 2 Aug. 2012
By 
Mondoro (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a clear exposition of the world's economic situation today, highlighting the many dangers we face in a future of increasingly scarce natural resources. Alone of the world's leading nations, China has embarked upon a long-term strategy to ensure that it will have access to vital commodities such as copper in an uncertain future. In contrast, Western governments avoid making `tough' decisions about such issues as energy as these are potential vote losers at election time.

Dambisa Moyo analyses the extent and type of Chinese investments with particular reference to less developed countries and queries some of the many allegations made, for instance that Beijing exports convict labour to Africa; and more, fundamentally, those who have termed Chinese involvement in some African states as `neo-colonialism'. She points out, with some justice, that for every Mugabe succoured by Chinese aid, the West has until recently helped equivalent dictator figures elsewhere, illustrating the way economic considerations have always tended to outweigh human rights concerns. Similarly, reports of Chinese settlement in Africa when examined properly hardly bear out claims that China sees Africa as a future outlet for its large population. Polls of public opinion in several African states suggest that China is seen favourably, and indeed more favourably than is the United Sates. Beijing has also made a point of offering assistance for projects requested by governments in an apparently easy-going relationship between donors and recipients somewhat rather different from that offered by other governments and world bodies.

She admits that this could change - if for instance several states tore up agreements with Beijing and nationalised enterprises without compensation, or for that matter if the international race for control over commodities enters a more aggressive phase. So far, so good, but I think it would have been useful if we had been told more than just the size of the Chinese investment and the sector - agricultural etc- involved. Are these grants or loans? If the latter, how much interest is charged and over what period? We are told that China has written off some Third World debt, but then so has the West. But by how much, in relation to total Chinese investment? And did China continue to invest in those areas? What conditions were laid down in the various agreements made? It is true that as the author has pointed out, there is little point in China ravaging her African hosts to the point of ruination, but this does not necessarily mean that the practice of giving assistance is wholly altruistic, and there might very well be other prices, less visible perhaps, that recipients find themselves having to pay.

The main strength of the book is in its assessment of the world's main resources, and the challenges that lie disturbingly close to us in the future in securing supplies of such basic commodities as oil. We are reminded that already, wars for the control of certain vital minerals has been waged for some time in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, too often dismissed as some type of `tribal' conflict. Its message is crystal clear, without international agreements in areas like global warming, the supply of arms, and farm subsidies - all a very distant prospect - the future outlook is indeed bleak.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis, 27 Sept. 2013
By 
Sally Wilton "Sally" (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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Dambisa Moyo is unusual as an economist in the 3rd world. She doesn't campaign for aid and she is a free marketeer. One of the hopes for Africa is the alliances that it is building with China, hence her interest in this subject. Much of the detail in this book is fascinating. Lots of facts and insight into China and its determination to get hold of commodities required for its development. I am not an economist but have interest in the subject and found the book filled in many gaps in my knowledge
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