Bloomberg Businessweek

The Coming Bipolar Economy

China is creating its own international ecosystem. That may not be good for everyone

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, many economists and policymakers assumed the world would become one happy, prosperous economy. Aided by the spread of capitalism and technology, countries would be increasingly knit together by trade, finance, and the internet. There would, of course, be the occasional setback—such as the 2008 financial crisis. But ultimately the forces of globalization would prove irresistible and ever-tighter integration inevitable.

A serious obstacle has emerged to that vision. It’s not Donald Trump’s threat of trade wars or Brexit or terrorism. It’s China.

If we tease out the trends taking shape in China and its relations with the U.S. and other developed countries, we can foresee an unhealthy schism forming and widening in coming years. The global economy could be split into two giant parts. One would be centered in the U.S. and

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