We have long been looking for a book on the new China, the nation that in 25 years has changed beyond all recognition, becoming an industrial powerhouse for the world. James Kynge, China Bureau Chief of the Financial Times since 1998, will, by July, complete a book that shows not only the extraordinary rise of the Chinese economy, but what the future holds as China begins to influence the world. This is the book for anyone who wants to understand this astonishing turn-round. On the even of the British industrial revolution some 230 years ago, China accounted for one third of the global economy. In 1979, after 30 years of Communism, its economy contributed only two per cent to global GDP. Now it is back up to five per cent, and rising. As Kynge says, although China is already a palpable force in the world, its re-emergence is only just starting to be felt. Over the next decade the hunger for foreign jobs, raw materials, energy and food will reshape world trade, capital flows and politics. The outflow of Chinese manufactured products, tourists, students, corporate and personal investments will be felt keenly in some parts.
Kynge will also show China's weaknesses - its environmental pollution, its crisis in social trust, its weak financial system and the faltering institutions of its governments - which are poised to have disruptive effects on the world. The fall-out from any failure in China's rush to modernity or simply from a temporary economic crash in the Chinese economy would be felt around the world.
James Kynge has been a journalist in Asia for 19 years, covering many of the big events that have helped shape the region, including the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing and the bursting of the Japanese 'bubble' in the late 1980s. For seven years he was China Bureau Chief of the Financial Times in Beijing, and is now the Pearson Group's chief representative in China. He speaks Mandarin fluently and has visited every Chinese province. He has won a plethora of journalism awards. He graduated MA (hons) in Chinese and Japanese from Edinburgh University, lives in Beijing and is married with three children.