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THE WORLD AND THE FUTURE

Brexit and the Other Forces Destabilising and Reshaping the World
Brexit and the Other Forces Destabilising and Reshaping the World

The shock of Brexit continues and is of profound interest the world over.  Although clearly a national and regional European issue at heart, it is worth examining Brexit in the context of the big changes reshaping the world.

The Trump Doctrine and the Future of American Power
The Trump Doctrine and the Future of American Power

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has made wide ranging statements on foreign policy. “The Trump Doctrine”, should it be implemented, has far-reaching for the World Order, impacting the rise or decline of American world leadership and potentially leading to China and India among others, to be beneficiaries were Mr. Trump to win the presidency.

The Logic Underlying President Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign
The Logic Underlying President Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Chinese President’s Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is continuing strongly in its third year now. Its success is critical to China’s continued governance, potentially preventing another Soviet Union type collapse of a global power and another Putin emerging in the world. However, it remains a double-edged sword for the President.

Key Themes for the Year to Come: What to Look Out For in 2016
Key Themes for the Year to Come: What to Look Out For in 2016

A number of big ideas will compete next year to shape the outcome.  In the year’s final Sign of the Times and next year’s opening one, we pick 10 big ideas determining where power will shift.

China’s New Silk Road: Tactics, Overstretch or Grand Strategy?
China’s New Silk Road: Tactics, Overstretch or Grand Strategy?

China’s New Silk Road project aims to connect China and 65 countries in Eurasia and Northern Africa.  Is this geopolitical Grand Strategy or an ambitious endeavour to boost trade and utilise China’s massive overcapacity?  The East India Company demonstrated why it may not matter which it is, and why all paths lead to home.

Does Democracy Drive Growth?  Can China Succeed Without it and India Prosper Under it?
Does Democracy Drive Growth? Can China Succeed Without it and India Prosper Under it?

Given China is faltering and India is rising, the question arises whether democracy is a better system for delivering sustainable growth and whether this is stage dependent.  This raises some important questions for both countries including whether China can really transition to a more value added model without introducing more freedoms.

Ten Lessons from China’s Equity Market Turmoil: What is Real?
Ten Lessons from China’s Equity Market Turmoil: What is Real?

In the wake of its equity stock market bubble bursting, if China does not firmly ground its objective and policies in facts, its risks creating more bubbles across a wide range of issues, and the China Dream may too turn out be an illusion.  The measured rise of China is slowly at risk of becoming very unmeasured.

The Dangers of the Wrong Reactions to China’s Growing International Power Position
The Dangers of the Wrong Reactions to China’s Growing International Power Position

Understanding the country’s foreign policy and indeed broader policy priorities is critical for countries seeking to constructively engage with an increasingly powerful and assertive China. Reactions based on a poor or superficial understanding of China hold all the promise of misguided friendships and misguided rivalry on the world stage.

The China Dream: Beyond the Purge, Arresting Decay
The China Dream: Beyond the Purge, Arresting Decay

The country’s leadership now recognize that China’s economic slowdown is the new reality. If China is to arrest the trend of decay and move to a phase of consolidation that enables a prolonged period of gradual but positive development it will need to focus on the quality of growth, valuing sustainability over “naked” growth.

Key Themes for the Year to Come: What to Look Out For in 2015
Key Themes for the Year to Come: What to Look Out For in 2015

Although “it’s tough to make predictions, particularly about the future” the Sign of the Times has attempted to capture what the potential outcomes might mean for the world in 12 months’ times on the upside and downside for each trend. On balance, there is potential more upside in the key events that are already timetabled for 2015.

The Hong Kong Protests and their Implications for China
The Hong Kong Protests and their Implications for China

The democracy protests in Hong Kong have evolved considerably since their start in late September. Fundamentally, the protests in Hong Kong are not a surprise, but the inevitable outcome of the “one country two systems” policy in action.

The Role of Mega-Scale in Building Industrial Power: Some of China’s Top Engineering and Construction Feats
The Role of Mega-Scale in Building Industrial Power: Some of China’s Top Engineering and Construction Feats

Today, China leads the world in terms of scaled infrastructure.  Scale has clearly played an important part in the build-out of China’s industrial power, which has important lessons for other industrialising countries. The key questions for China’s leaders today though are around the importance and the type of role scale will play in the country’s future.

China’s Overseas Population: Leveraging A Critical Asset
China’s Overseas Population: Leveraging A Critical Asset

China’s overseas population represents a critical and under-utilised asset for the country’s development. Attracting talent into in society from which many of the most successful participants are seeking to exit is a critical challenge for China’s leaders today. President Xi Jinping’s administration appears to have clearly recognised the potential of its overseas population and the underlying issues, having made commitments to address them.

Cyber Attack, Defence and Security in the Making and Preserving of Superpowers
Cyber Attack, Defence and Security in the Making and Preserving of Superpowers

The growing importance of the cyber-arena is undeniable and nations will need to develop long-term strategies to incorporate cyber into their national agendas.  For the US and China, two countries facing off against one another as the potential superpowers of the 21st century, the questions in this aspect are particularly urgent.

The Planning and Development Model of China, The Challenge to the Model is Becoming Clearer
The Planning and Development Model of China, The Challenge to the Model is Becoming Clearer

Cost competitiveness in a sector alone does not equate to the companies in that sector achieving international dominance.  This raises a series of difficult questions for China’s current planning model.

Making 2013 a Pivotal Year of Change: Our Wish List for 2013
Making 2013 a Pivotal Year of Change: Our Wish List for 2013

The Sign of the Time’s wish list for 2013 represents the key opportunities with the potential to have a meaningful impact on the coming year and the years ahead. This year’s list presents top ten triggers for change as wishes that we would like to see come to pass for a peaceful and prosperous 2013.

China’s Miracle Ends and China’s Growth Continues?
China’s Miracle Ends and China’s Growth Continues?

China’s leadership appears to have accepted the ensuing slow-down as a necessary cost of rebalancing. Interestingly, a comparison to other countries that transitioned from an investment driven growth miracle shows that China’s economy still has plenty of steam for high growth left, particularly in sectors relating to domestic demand.

Fighting for Corporate Position, Size is Not Enough
Fighting for Corporate Position, Size is Not Enough

Achieving global corporate industry leadership requires more than an economically strong country of origin. Innovation and intellectual property, mature capital markets and transparency are critical determinants, which will be essential for the rise of companies from emerging markets to take their place alongside the established global leaders.

American Power, Patterns of Rise and Decline
American Power, Patterns of Rise and Decline

American leadership and power today remains highly diversified across multiple areas.  These areas are all clearly interrelated and many are at risk today, with potentially significant implications for the rise or decline for American power as a whole.

China and the Freedom Advantage
China and the Freedom Advantage

Advanced levels of development the world over have gone hand-in-hand with a greater degree of freedom than seems on the agenda in China today. On its current trajectory it is possible that the country will forfeit material progress and that the expectation gap this creates may well give rise to further risks to the development levels delivered to date.

The Shape of our World ? The Year Ahead
The Shape of our World ? The Year Ahead

While 2012 may well not mark the end of the world, the prospect of another grim year appears to be confusing business and political leaders and investors alike and stalling progress. There seems to be at heart the lack of a clear vision of the world we live in and this is negatively impacting broader strategic thinking and action.