After threatening to set up an air defense identification zone, what might the economic impact be if Beijing went one step further and closed off the entire area inside its so-called “nine-dash line”?
The future of global inequality, in other words, rests on India’s shoulders. To join the global middle class, India must do much better. It must improve infrastructure and education. It must implement good governance and reduce harmful corruption. It must attract foreign investment and make growth a priority. And it must do all this while limiting its use of coal, in order to help halt the danger from global warming.
The Syrian civil war is like a massive tidal wave which swept across the country leaving behind widespread devastation. Buildings bear the physical marks of the damage. More than half of the Syrian population now live in poverty, says a study by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, with the unemployment rate now near fifty per cent. Half of Syria’s children have dropped out of school, with many Syrians unable to access health care.
Much as Japan Inc. caused a sensation with its buying spree in the eighties, acquiring prominent U.S. companies and landmarks, including Rockefeller Center, Chinese companies are making their presence felt. Acquisitions range from AMC cinemas to IBM’s personal computers unit.
Shuanghui International’s $7.1 billion purchase of US pork giant Smithfield was a US milestone for many reasons. Not only was it the biggest investment ever by a Chinese company, it also was proof that the US government could make impartial decisions about Chinese investment. And it meant that 70,000 US workers are now in the employ of Chinese-owned, US-based companies—more than twice the pre-Smithfield number—according to Rhodium Group, an advisory firm.
More than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water, sufficient food and electricity. Meanwhile, the global population is growing by some 80 million people every year. By 2030, the nine billion people living on earth will need 30% more water, 40% more energy and 50% more food to survive.
There are many challenging numbers confronting China‘s new leaders, but two are especially stark.
China has 20 per cent of the world’s population, but only nine per cent of the world’s farmland. And even that imbalance in the amount of land available to produce food for an increasingly demanding population of 1.3 billion is getting worse by the day.
Almost 1 billion people around the world don’t get enough to eat. Climate change, which is already contributing to food-price increases in poor and prosperous countries alike, promises to make it even harder to feed a growing population.
The world produces enough food to provide its 7 billion people with the roughly 2,700 calories they need daily. But agriculture and food supplies are highly vulnerable to the extreme weather that comes with climate change. As the population grows — it might reach 10 billion by 2050 — the world will need to boost farm productivity and solve logistical impediments that make it hard to get food to those who need it.