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The year 2008 was pivotal in the coming of China. In the Beijing Olympics that summer, the nation laid out its claim to be one of the world’s great powers. And just a few weeks later, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the western banking system buckled.

In his latest column Philip Stephens argues that the latter event was a stroke of good fortune for China that historians will consider crucial when assessing the 21st century history. The psychological boost of the crash to Beijing was just as important as the economic impact imposed on the great western powers. China still has many problems such as an aging population and inequality, Philip writes, but it can hardly blame the west if it stumbles on its path to becoming the world's most powerful nation.

Gillian Tett says that turmoil in emerging markets makes the case for a stronger IMF— as more countries will be asking it for aid.

Chris Giles argues that a weaker British pound makes no sense. Sterling depreciation has had a negative impact on living standards.

Constanze Stelzenmüller, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, criticises John Bolton's attacks on the International Criminal Court.

What you’ve been saying

Brexit cherry-picking is merely natural selection: letter from Jeremy Ramsden, Honorary Professor of Nanotechnology, University of Buckingham, UK

The EU’s strenuous opposition to the “single market à la carte” and the “cherry picking” so deplored by Michel Barnier and his colleagues, merely illustrates absurd attachment to an ideology. The whole essence of evolution by natural selection is picking those features that are successful and dropping those that are not. This is how improvements in survivability and other attributes are achieved. By clearly indicating the features it wishes to retain, the UK has taken a lead that should, in fact, be emulated by all member states.

In response to “ Britain should be welcoming international students”, Katsuwonus says:

As someone sponsoring a student from overseas at a leading UK university, I know just how much is contributed to the UK economy. Reducing the number of such students is just another crazy policy delivered by blinkered ideologues. And that’s before one considers the soft power of educating foreigners in UK.

Politicians’ vision problem: letter from Mark Solon, London, UK

Your piece, “How spectacles transform the lives of tea-pickers”, shows how clear vision helps productivity. Perhaps politicians could do the same.

Today’s opinion

A weaker British pound makes no economic sense
Sterling depreciation has severely harmed UK living standards in the past decade

John Bolton is wrong to attack International Criminal Court
He should concentrate on the more serious strategic challenges facing the US

Italian populists’ bark is worse than their bite
Behind a façade of radicalism is a backbone of moderation and links with the past

Global Insight: America’s gaping McCain-shaped hole
Georgia’s mourning for its former champion feels like a wake for US influence in eastern Europe

FT Alphaville: Monzo: When is a bank not a bank?

FT View

The FT View: Waning co-operation makes next crisis more difficult to tackle
The core banking system has been made safer but risks have been shifted elsewhere

The Big Read

The Big Read: ‘Robin Hood in reverse’: the crisis in the Brazilian state
The winner of October’s election will have to address a budget dominated by special interests

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