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August/September 2019

Contents

Cover story

Features

Regulars

10 China at 70 Tomorrow belongs to Beijing Rana Mitter

A history of China, decade by decade Yu Jie Economic growing pains Geoffrey Yu Four questions Graham Allison Portrait of Chongqing Tim Summers

24 Interview Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal 27 Competition Our prize-winner’s essay 28 Online regulation Europe’s mission to clean up the internet Asta Gudrun Helgadottir 32 Turkey Erdogan’s war wounds Hannah Lucinda Smith 35 Sudan Gulf states are mapping out Khartoum’s future Mohamed El Aassar 36 Oil Will petro-state Guyana stay green? Valerie Marcel 38 Indo-Pacific China’s advance divides Australia and New

Zealand Cleo Paskal

4 Contributors 5 The world in brief including Jargonbuster,

shorts and international events 31 Date with history August 1994: 25th anniversary of the closure of the border between Algeria and Morocco Claire Spencer 44 Review

Spying on the spies Edward Lucas Hussein Kesvani on British Muslims and the internet Arab women filing under fire Judith Matloff Reading list on Chinese fiction in translation Nicky Harman 50 Culture notes Translatlantic myopia by Catherine Fieschi Cover by Alice Piaggio

From the Editor Over the past 40 years, China’s progress from a self-reliant autarky to a global economic power has been nothing short of miraculous.

But the path to the next stage charted by the Communist Party, when China takes its place at the heart of the global power nexus, will not be easy.

As Rana Mitter writes, if China is to be a world leader, it is not enough for one-party rule to be seen as merely efficient. It must also win hearts around the world.

In a separate piece, Yu Jie offers a new way of telling China’s modern history over the past century. Her conclusion: the party has negotiated many twists and turns, but instability is never far away.

Our interview (page 24) is with Lord Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal. Behind his quaint title stands an eminent astrophysicist whose mind ranges over the threats to humanity from nuclear war to bio-attacks, the benefits of colonizing Mars and the way for a young scientist to make a quick impact.

On page 28, Asta Gudrun Helgadottir points up a paradox in the digital world. American and Chinese companies lead the field and take the profits. Yet regulation is in the hands of the European Union which imposes its own – and very un-American – views on privacy. This imbalance is unlikely to last.

Guyana, a country of 778,000 people on the coast of South America, does not get much international attention. This is about to change, writes Valerie Marcel (page 36). A new offshore oil find is about to make Guyana as rich as Kuwait but the Guyanese government insists it will not fall prey to the oil curse. It plans a green future where the biggest industry on land will be eco-tourism. Is this a pipe dream, or an example to others? Time will tell.

Alan Philps the world today | august & september 2019 | 3

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