Commentary from the Web, Week 33, 2020

China: The Bubble That Never Pops

This review of a new book on China, written by the Shanghai correspondent of the Financial Times, is subtitled “Beijing is neither about to collapse or take over the world”. The book, authored by Thomas Orlik, Chief Economist at Bloomberg Economics, makes the point that Chinese policy makers have shown imagination and flexibility in facing up to the challenges they have faced, including the Asian financial crisis, equity routs and excessive capital outflows. This is “a history of crisis and response, in which policymakers are often seen as learning from earlier experiences”. The review may be found on

The Shenzhen Gig Market Where Migrants Embrace Being Broke

This fascinating report and video provides a glimpse of China’s vibrant informal private economy. It’s similar to informal markets all around the world, an example of how similar our societies are, if you take a close look. Thanks to Rasheed Griffith for sending me this.

Javier Solana, Former NATO Secretary General, Has His Say on China US Tensions

In the course of an interview conducted by Project Syndicate, Solana is of the opinion that “..  while China will seek to shape the global landscape according to its interests,” it will “not attempt to reshape other countries in its own image.”

The Peterson Institute: Trump's ban on WeChat and TikTok 

Martin Chorzempa explains that Trump's ban on WeChat and TikTok lacks clarity and will not solve US data security problems. 

The high taxpayer cost of "saving" US jobs through "Made in America"

Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Euijin Jung of the Peterson Institute show why “Buy American” or “Made in America” as a slogan for excluding imports is an economic loser.” Their column may be found here.

How China controlled the Coronavirus 

In this account of living through the crisis in Chendu, Peter Hessler brings the experience to life in a way that only someone who saw everything from the inside could do. His article is in the August 17 edition of the New Yorker.