In a global economy defined by overproduction and underconsumption, American and Chinese corporations are struggling to extract profits from developing nations. Without massive wealth redistribution, consumption won’t return to stable levels.
Ho-fung Hung is Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy and chair of the department of sociology at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Clash of Empires: From “Chimerica” to the “New Cold War” (2022) and City on the Edge: Hong Kong under Chinese Rule (2022).
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China has long seen high-speed economic growth tied to property investment. That model is now failing.
Proclamations of a New Cold War between China and the US herald a clash between authoritarianism and liberal democracy. But what we’re seeing in the growing rivalry between the two countries isn’t based on ideological difference but on inter-capitalist competition.
Illusions on both the Left and Right about China miss how the contradictions of capitalism are shaping that country’s development.