being a travel writer. I sometimes think of going on strike and
refusing to enjoy any more complimentary massages or free champagne
until they improve my working conditions. That’ll show ‘em.
the world in great luxury, and at no personal cost, does have an
upside: it gives you an overview. And during my recent sojourns
I’ve noticed one thing: the Chinese are here. There. And everywhere.
The point was rammed home when I visited the Darling Hotel in Sydney,
a lavish new casino complex where 95 per cent of the guests are
two months after my trip to Australia, my vague insight was confirmed
by a survey, which shows that the Chinese are now the world’s
most important tourists, overtaking the Germans and Americans in
And this is
where geopolitical reality has disconnected from British perception.
Too many UK pundits and journalists still think of America as unquestionably
the most puissant and important country.
The BBC will
send a dozen hacks to cover any old American tornado – even
as they ignore vast tragedies and triumphs elsewhere. These attitudes
are ludicrous – and dangerously outdated.
stats. China (population 1.35 billion) overtook America (population
320 million) as the biggest consumer of steel in 1999. That was
the beginning. China overtook America as the world’s main exporter
in 2007, as the biggest user of the internet in 2008, and as the
world’s greatest manufacturer in 2010 (the first time America
has been supplanted in this role since the 1880s, when the USA overtook
2010 was also
the year China overtook America as the world’s largest car
market, as the world’s largest retail market, and as the world’s
greatest producer of patents. A year later China became the globe’s
greatest user of energy. In 2012 China became the world’s biggest
market for PCs, and the primary source of global trade. Just three
days ago China unveiled the world’s most powerful computer.
As for Chinese forex reserves, they total $3.4 trillion. That is
to say, the loose change in China’s pockets, from all those
foreign hols, is equivalent to the entire economy of Germany.
© 2013 Daily Telegraph
This article originally appeared on: Lew Rockwell