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China remains the globalisation king

Daryl Guppy
Daryl Guppy6/23/2022 11:57 PM GMT+08  • 6 min read
China remains the globalisation king
A customer shows her mobile phone to a vendor as proof of digital payment at a market in Guangzhou, China. Photo: Bloomberg
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Globalisation was killed by Covid-19, or so some would have us believe. If globalisation is dead, then it is a serious situation for China, Singapore and other export dependent countries.

The truth is, China sits at the beating heart of globalisation. Covid-19 brought with it a hurried conversation about over reliance on a single supply chain — usually taken to mean China — and the need for sovereign independence when it comes to trade. Business shuddered at the screenshots that purported to show the concentration of ships clogging Shanghai waiting for port openings. All of this was supposed to presage a shift away from overseas suppliers and a build-up of domestic industry. It even coined a new term — onshoring — and drove the nationalist agendas for several elections.

If globalisation is dead — or breathing its last gasp — then those who do business with, or invest in business with China, must also be on their last legs. But as writer Mark Twain is reputed to have said: “The report of my death has been grossly exaggerated.”

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