Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: China’s Young Officers and the 1930s Syndrome





[Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has covered world politics and economics for 25 years, based in Europe, the US, and Latin America. He joined the Telegraph in 1991, serving as Washington correspondent and later Europe correspondent in Brussels. He is now International Business Editor in London.]

I try to remain optimistic that the US and China will work out a more or less amicable way to run the world for the next half century, a “Chimerica” of interwoven superpowers.

But it was slightly disturbing to hear the warnings of a distinguished China-watcher at a closed-door session of the annual Ambrosetti conference on Lake Como.

(This gathering of the global policy elites at Villa D’Este is a hardship assignment for Telegraph hacks. It fell to me again this year, but somebody has to do it.)

“China’s military spending is growing so fast that it has overtaken strategy,” said Professor Huang Jing from the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. (He kindly let me quote his remarks.)

“The young officers are taking control of strategy and it is like young officers in Japan in the 1930s. They are thinking what they can do, not what they should do. This is very dangerous.

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