Friday, April 11, 2008

Bill Emmott

On behalf of Publishers Weekly, Parul Sehgal put a few questions to Bill Emmott, former editor-in-chief of the Economist and author of Rivals: How the Power Struggle Between China, India and Japan Will Shape Our Next Decade.

The opening exchanges:

Given its slower growth, how seriously can Japan compete with India and China?

I think Japan will be a less ambitious rival. While China and India think that their destiny is to lead the world, Japan will be a rival [because of] fear of the others and out of a need to play the balance of power game to protect itself and its interests. Japan has a long history as an isolationist country that comes out of its shell when it feels threatened.

What realities temper India and China’s ambitions?

China faces the awkward dilemma of wanting to keep a low profile and remain nonconfrontational while needing resources and opportunities to invest their capital—thus they are inevitably hitting controversies as with their investments in Sudan and Spielberg’s resignation from the Beijing Olympics. Now, India feels a certain manifest destiny; it feels threatened by China and wants to be taken seriously—however, it doesn’t have the global range of China and is at a much earlier stage of development. Still, their elite are so well-educated and sophisticated that they want to leapfrog and be taken seriously today, now.
Read the full Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue