Opinion today: China’s tech supremacy
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There is no doubt that recent US trade sanctions are hurting China. That much is clear from the renminbi's slide against the dollar and the fall in Shanghai stock prices. In April, when the US banned Chinese telecoms company ZTE from buying American semiconductors, the move brought the company to its knees — at least until Washington rescinded the ban.
But, writes James Kynge in his column, none of this should disguise the fact that in the long term China is likely to prevail and become the world’s tech superpower. History shows that only a fool would bet against its modernising verve and ability to adapt. Chinese companies are already cutting US technology and intellectual property out of their supply chains, replacing them with products made in the EU, Japan, Korea and Taiwan — and $300bn has been committed to upgrade the country’s capacity in semiconductors.
American opposition will make the ascent slower and more painful, says James, but China will not stop climbing.
President Cyril Ramaphosa argues that government proposals on the expropriation of land in South Africa are not an assault on the ownership of private property. Land reform is a moral imperative — essential to address severe inequality between black and white South Africans.
Katie Martin touts a trendy new cryptocurrency, the SchadenfreudeCoin, for FT readers who might be succumbing to a bit of bitcoin-related smugness after the bubble burst. The last thing buyers who were burnt by plummeting prices need to hear is “I told you so”.
Ricardo Hausmann warns that President Nicolás Maduro’s stabilisation plans will not reverse his Venezuela’s economic collapse. His country is undergoing an economic collapse without precedent outside of war or the fall of the Soviet Union.
Mayyu Ali, a refugee forced to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh amid last year’s violence against the Rohingya Muslims, calls on the international community to stand up to Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. His erstwhile hero, he says, either cannot or will not deliver democracy.
What you’ve been saying
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Your wide ranging obituary of Kofi Annan did not dwell on his natural wit and sense of humour. In March 2000 the outgoing secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, invited Annan to give the annual Commonwealth lecture. […] When it came to Annan’s turn, before embarking on his address he looked across at Anyaoku with the observation: “Of course, Emeka, you don’t have to retire. You could always follow the example of countless leaders across the world who have changed their constitutions and stayed on.”
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