From the Asia News Editor and China bureau chief for Bloomberg Businessweek, China and the Third Industrial Revolution:
China is ideally suited for the third industrial revolution because it has the most ample reserves of renewable energy resources in the world. It has the most solar radiance, most wind of any major country, off its coast. It has massive amounts of geothermal heat under the ground. It has massive amounts of biomass from its rural, agricultural areas. It is more than the Saudi Arabia of renewable energies. It can provide for every man, woman, and child here until kingdom come.
Asset No. 2, China has a social market economy like Europe. This is a huge asset. Infrastructure requires a social market economy. Infrastructure is something the government has to do and work with the business community to build it out. There is no example in the history of the world where infrastructure was put in by the private market.
The marketplace does not create public goods, so it is absurd to think companies will do it. You can not create the third industrial revolution if your entire business, investment, and financial community is focused on three-month quarterly statements. China is extremely comfortable with the government having this role and with long-term planning. In China they have five-year plans.
And the last asset: China has the cultural DNA to lead a third industrial revolution. In the West, our religious and philosophical tradition is that nature is the enemy, God has anointed us as masters, and we shall have dominion over nature. We exploit it.
Confucius completely parted with that. He said the meaning of the human journey is to extend empathy. And he said human beings are not separate from nature—we are part of nature. The key to the evolution of the human journey is finding a balance and harmony between humanity and nature.
This is China’s cultural DNA. It may not be practiced every day, but it is inside the DNA. And finally, no one wants in 30 to 40 years to be knee-deep in coal. If that is the case, they know they won’t be a great power.