The Rise of the New Global Middle Class

The global middle class will explode in the next fifteen years, growing from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 4.9 billion in 2030. About 66 percent will be in Asia Pacific, compared to only 7 percent in North America and 14 percent in Europe. New Asian Pacific consumers will wield nearly 60 percent of total purchasing power, double that of North America and Europe combined. This is a significant shift in economic power from West to East that hasn’t been seen in the last 300 years. Its impacts could dwarf the Industrial Revolution.

China and India will make the biggest waves in this surge of the new global middle class. In 2009, these two Asian countries comprised just over 5 percent of global middle class consumption; in 15 years, their share of global middle class consumption will increase to 41 percent or more.

What do you make of this? Comments are welcome.

Nationalism and Westernization: China’s Place in the World?

Forbes: Helen H. Wang

Chinese New Year
Image by yewenyi via Flickr

The latest The Economist ran a 14-page special report on China’s place in the world. One analysis points out that China’s increasing nationalism could pose a threat to American power and undermine global stability.

The report cited that many Chinese scholars do not believe a partnership with the U.S. is realistic. As Wang Jisi, dean of the School of International Studies of Peking University, was quoted as saying: “Most Chinese would say the U. S. is the enemy.”

I do not want to doubt the source or accuracy of The Economist article. After all, it is one of the best publications that I routinely read – a publication with the most sensible arguments and balanced views.

However, in writing my newly-released book, The Chinese Dream, I traveled all over China and spoke to hundreds of people. They are entrepreneurs, students, government officials, businessmen, office workers, migrant workers, scholars, etc. Not a single person told me that they considered the U. S. as the enemy.

In fact, many people I met looked up the U. S. as a model and admired the American system. Continue reading