How China could dominate science – The Economist

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A HUNDRED YEARS ago a wave of student protests broke over China’s great cities. Desperate to reverse a century of decline, the leaders of the May Fourth Movement wanted to jettison Confucianism and import the dynamism of the West. The creation of a modern China would come about, they argued, by recruiting ‘Mr Science’ and ‘Mr Democracy’.

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Today the country that the May Fourth students helped shape is more than ever consumed by the pursuit of national greatness. China’s landing of a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon on January 3rd, a first for any country, was a mark of its soaring ambition. But today’s leaders reject the idea that Mr Science belongs in the company of Mr Democracy. On the contrary, President Xi Jinping is counting on being able to harness leading-edge research even as the Communist Party tightens its stranglehold on politics. Amid the growing rivalry between China and America, many in the West fear that he will succeed.

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Not to change the topic here:

In our post-truth era, how we view reality is more important than ever

Fake news! Climate change is a hoax! Vaccines are evil! And other disturbing (and increasingly common) attacks on reason

Last year, the president’s defender Rudy Giuliani went full Orwell when he declared on national television that ‘Truth isn’t truth,’ and objective facts are ‘in the eye of the beholder.’

Politicians frequently spin or shade issues or events to their advantage. But the wholesale denial of objective reality is something new, especially from the highest elected official in the land.

The aide dismissed people living ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ who believe that ‘solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’

U.S. and China Try to Seek a Rare Dual Soft Landing in the Middle of a Trade War

How will politics shape 2019?

In an age where political crises are the norm, and the subsequent economic outlook lurches daily between positive, stable and catastrophic, can anyone trust an economist, let alone a politician?

That’s one of many unanswered ‘64,000 questions that dominate the political agenda as it stands right now.

The current political infrastructure, however, seems not to be ‘standing’ but quivering on its last working leg.

This is the backdrop advisers are working in, during a period in which they are not sure if the Prime Minister Theresa May, or much of the’Cabinet, will still be in their jobs by the time they wake up.

  • Date: 2019-01-07T17:10:51+00:00
  • Author: Marcel Le Gouais
  • Twitter: @FTAdviser
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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China’s Atlantean ambition for the South China Sea

As Southeast Asian nations look ahead to 2019, competition for control of the South China Sea looms large on the horizon. That strategic contest could enter a new destabilizing phase if China introduces as reported a new Atlantis-like deep-sea submarine base in the already volatile maritime area.

The proposed new base, which could in theory be operated 24/7 through usage of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology, would dramatically bolster China’s quest for superiority in a largely unseen underwater struggle for one of the world’s most important waterways.

If implemented as envisioned in recent news reports, the futuristic underwater submarine base would potentially place the Asian powerhouse in a position to dominate the waters, skies, and underwater continental shelves in a maritime region through which trillions of dollars of trade travels annually.

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