Political risk must-reads
Eurasia Groupâ€™s weekly selection of essential reading for the political risk junkie â€“ presented in no particular order. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections @EurasiaGroupÂ or @IanBremmer.
China has been all over the news this week, with the New York Times hacking episode dominating headlines. But recent stories related to China venture much further than cyberspace.
â€śThe resource race: China dips toes in Arctic watersâ€ť â€“Â Christoph Seidler, Spiegel Online
This piece outlines Chinaâ€™s new ventures to the Arcticâ€”and how Chinaâ€™s diplomatic tactics are shifting.
â€śChinaâ€™s love affair with cars chokes city airâ€ť â€“Â Louise Walt, Associated Press
Over the last decade, the automobile industry has skyrocketed in China. Last year, 13 million cars were sold. But what kind of environmental impact will such a rapid shift have?
â€śMaking roomâ€ť â€“Â The Economist
In 2010, there were roughly 4,000 cities with populations of 100,000 or more.Â (China had about 400 of those.) Â But between 2010 and 2050, the UN anticipates that the worldâ€™s urban population will double. This piece reviews a new book by Shlomo Angel called Planet of Citiesâ€”the book predicts how future urbanization will play out. Hereâ€™s an interesting rule of thumb: usually, a countryâ€™s biggest cities break down such that the largest city has twice the population of the second largest, three times that of the third largestâ€¦etc.Â
â€śChinese labour pool begins to drainâ€ť â€“Â Jamil Anderlini and Ed Crooks, Financial Times
Chinaâ€™s working age population unexpectedly shrank last yearâ€”a trend that wasnâ€™t meant to begin until later this decade. What do Chinaâ€™s shifting demographics mean for the economy?
â€śMexico: the new Chinaâ€ť â€“Â Chris Anderson, The New York Times
Is cheaper always better? This piece highlights some of the advantages of using Mexican manufacturing from an American business perspective. Anderson argues that it allows for more product evolution, innovation, and customizationâ€”and Chinese labor is getting less and less cheap.
Editorâ€™s note: This was originally published at ForeignPolicy.com. It is being reprinted with permission.