Foreign affairs expert speaks on how problems facing China affect global markets, security | VailDaily.com

Foreign affairs expert speaks on how problems facing China affect global markets, security

John O’Neill
Special to the Daily

VAIL — China is one of the most important drivers of global growth. If the Chinese economy sputters, as it is beginning to do, its impact isn't restricted to China — it affects every other country — economically and otherwise.

Today, foreign affairs expert Jamie Metzl will speak on this subject as part of the Vail Symposium's Hot Topics series. The talk will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Grand View Room in Lionshead Village.

"China plays an ever more important role in our increasingly interconnected world," Metzl said. "What happens in China is critically important not just for them but also for us."

Metzl is a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council and previously served on the U.S. National Security Council, State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as executive vice president of the Asia Society.

The author of three books, Metzl appears regularly on national and international media discussing Asian economic and political issues, and his syndicated columns and other writing on Asian affairs, genetics, virtual reality and other topics are featured regularly in publications around the world.

According to Metzl, the biggest problem China faces is the misallocation of resources, a problem ultimately stemming from its political structure.

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"Almost every resource China uses is misallocated in some way. This creates enormous inefficiencies," Metzl said. "Capital is misallocated, the environment is degraded, wealth is unfairly distributed and people's talents aren't fully utilized. The overbearing influence of the Communist Party warps everything.

"China has outlined ambitious economic reform plans, but those reforms cannot succeed as long as China's political structure continues to misallocate political power and, through it, everything else. In the past, the rise of China looked like a one-way bet. Now, it is looking increasingly like China's rise is going to be wobbly. Those wobbles will influence our stock market, our economy, our military posture and many other factors."

Economic, political and geopolitical issues are all intimately connected. Metzl points to China's increased aggression in the South and East China seas as indicators of a country unsure of its future.

"It used to be that foreign affairs were something that was interesting and felt relevant to a small group of Americans," Metzl said. "Now, our world has changed. Everyone needs to understanding what is happening in other parts of the world to make smart decisions in their lives. China is first on that list of other places. An educated person in American simply must strive to understand China."

John O'Neill is the marketing director for the Vail Symposium.

If you go …

What: “Can China Avoid Economic Crisis?,” issues facing the Chinese economy and how they affect American and global interests, with Jamie Metzl.

When: Thursday, Feb. 25; 5:30 p.m. reception and 6 p.m. program.

Where: The Grand View, Lionshead Village.

Cost: $25 preregistration, $35 at the door or $10 for students and teachers.

More information: Register at http://www.vailwymposium.org or by calling 970-476-0954.