Anyone doing business with China will have been shocked by the speed with which political and economic relations with Western, and some other, countries – like India – have deteriorated in 2020, but especially the USA and the UK. A crucial issue for the future is whether this is a passing phase, caused by temporary shocks like the Pandemic and by the personalities of leaders in China and the USA. Alternatively, this could be the beginning of a new Cold War characterised by prolonged hostility on several levels, especially the economic.
Sir Vince Cable was Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade in the UK’s coalition government 2010-15, and before entering parliament he had an extensive career in government, international organisations, universities and business, latterly as Chief Economist of Shell. He has enjoyed Visiting Professorships at the LSE, Nottingham, Sheffield and St Mary’s and Birmingham City Universities. He has been at the heart of trade with China, and brings to this book a depth of understanding and a clarity of thought that is so important today when emotion and feelings dominate over facts, reality and sense. His analysis in “China: Engage – Avoid the New Cold World War” is precise, forensic and clear and he brings to the debate about China realism and facts and this book is vital reading for all of us concerned with international trade and international relations.
The march towards a cold war with China led by the US, and apparently supported by the UK, is dangerous and Sir Vince Cable’s perspective is a corrective to many of the so-called “alternative facts” that are in circulation. This book is timely and important and vital for anyone concerned for the future of international trade.