20
Oct
2010

Future Shock: China As Seen By Alvin Toffler

I just read the 40 predictions for the next 40 years as released by Toffler Associates. This was to mark the 40th anniversary of the book Future Shock authored by sociologist Alvin Toffler.

So what does the future store for China in the next 40 years? Let’s see–

Prediction No. 2

Nation-state power around the globe will be increasingly “multi-polar” in terms of who wields it and where

  • The economies of Brazil, China and India will become less US and EU centric.
  • Foreign Direct Investments will shift toward developing economies.

Prediction No. 25

China will continue to position itself as a long-term economic power-player around the globe

  • China teams with other emerging countries (Brazil, India and China) to influence currency utilization.
  • China partners with other countries (Venezuela and Africa) to meet energy needs and to import a wide range of raw materials.

Former Foreign Prime Minister of Mexico Jorge Castañeda does not agree they are ready though, at least when he wrote his piece in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs talking about China and the emerging countries joining the leadership of the global institutions.

At best, they are regional powers that pack a minuscule international punch; at worst they are neophytes whose participation in international institutions may undermine progress toward a stronger international legal order.

Prediction No. 37

China’s monopoly control of the world’s rare earth metals market will have a significant impact on US national security and the economy

  • The seventeen elements that make up a group known as rare earth metals will remain critical to the performance of hundreds of products and technologies.
  • The US will be reliant on China’s metals to produce such things as high-performance weapons components, internal guidance systems, microwave communications systems, radars, the motors and generators that power aircraft and ships, wind turbines, high-performance batteries, hybrid cars, superconductors, computer chips and digital displays.

This prediction is on a wait-and-see mode. Global Times reported early this month that China does not have monopoly over the rare earth reserves.

Among the world’s 88-million-ton known rare-earth deposits, China has about 36 million tons, hardly more than the combined deposits of the US (13 million tons) and Russia (19 million tons).

But over the years, due to the underregulated market in China, it supplies the world with close to 97 percent of the total market share. Japan, for example, depends solely on China for rare-earth minerals.

…with reports early on saying China blocked rare earth metal exports to Japan.

See anything new or trends moving towards the predictions? Considering the prognosis of the predictions before, they are not really that shocking.

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