If Deng Xiaoping were alive to attend the G20 summit in Hangzhou this September, he would probably conclude that things have gone according to plan. The 21st century was supposed to be the time when China would join the club of wealthy nations and return to the international stage – having been preoccupied with wars, revolutions and the recovery from all this frenzy throughout the previous century.
There are many good reasons to criticize China’s obsession with GDP growth targets. Setting such targets for growth – and therefore for total demand – is a relic from the era of Communist planning in a closed-off economy. It is a bad fit for today’s open economy, which owes a considerable part of its growth to external demand, the development of which China’s planners cannot directly influence. In times of double-digit growth rates, growth targeting was not a major issue.
Turkey’s shift from a parliamentary democracy to one-man rule Turkey’s weighs heavily on the country’s relations with the West. During the diplomatic standoff with EU member states over AK Party (AKP) campaigning in Europe in the run-up to the April constitutional referendum, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu openly threatened a strategic realignment: “If Europe keeps this up, they will lose many places, including Russia and us.”
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) recent decision to accept India and Pakistan as full members is a major gain for the organization’s most powerful member China. The SCO members represent 40 percent of the world’s population and generate 20 percent of global GDP, and it now stretches across a large part of the strategically critical Eurasia-South Asia landmass.