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The old world order – the Pax Americana - is falling apart. What does China think about all of this? Beijing realises that it needs to do more to maintain a reasonable minimum of international order – and that it needs to work with the United States towards that purpose.

China’s overdue structural reforms, rapidly increasing debt, growing industrial overcapacities combine to produce declining growth in spite of monetary and fiscal stimulus efforts. This current situation displays many analogies with Japan’s economic turbulence in the early 1990s, but carries a much graver risk of social and political destabilisation.

China’s leaders want to establish the yuan as a global asset and transaction currency. But this won’t work as long as exchange rates are driven by conflicting domestic policy targets rather than by global markets.