China’s economic model retains a dangerous allure


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Twenty years ago Joshua Cooper Ramo, a consultant, first wrote about the “Beijing consensus". The Washington consensus of financial liberalisation, floating currencies and openness to foreign capital was, he posited, a damaged brand. China was pioneering its own approach to development based on principles of equality, innovation and a relentless focus on sovereignty and national security. This would appeal to lots of developing countries. In the years since, China’s leaders have mostly denied any ambition to export a state-led model of development. But they are sometimes more brazen. Last year, for instance, Xi Jinping argued in a speech to Communist...