By Felicia Graham
SAN DIEGO, June 10 – Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What it Means for the Rest of the World is the latest offering by Zambian economist and commodities expert, Dambisa Moyo.
Winner Take All, Moyo’s third book examining the global economy, follows Dead Aid which looked into the pitfalls of foreign aid in Africa, and offered alternative financing options.
Moyo’s second book, How the West Was Lost, detailed the economic deterioration of the United States’ policies over the years and how that tipped the world balance in favor of developing economies.
Winner Take All thus comes as a further extension of Moyo’s ongoing critique of the global economy.
Given changes in the global make-up, the book is a particularly relevant follow-up to How the West Was Lost. While that book details what Moyo sees as the policy mistakes of the U.S., Winner Take All expounds on China’s policy decisions.
The overarching portrait Moyo paints for us in Winner Take All is of a global economic competition for long-term stability and growth.
For Moyo, this competition takes up any and every commodity: water, food, land, timber, minerals and – most importantly – energy. Furthermore, Moyo describes this global commodity duel as a zero-sum game, with clear winners and losers.
The winners are those countries that can ensure access to vital commodities and extend their country’s dominance. The losers are those that cannot ensure that access.
Winner Takes All asserts that China is emerging as a winner.
But how has China done this? What kind of policies has China embarked on that enable it to out-pace the long-running economic behemoths of the U.S. and Europe? And what are the global implications of a world economically dominated by China?
Winner Takes All brings us back to the battlefield of the global commodities market to answer these questions. Going through the arenas of land, water, and energy, Moyo traces her own version of the global race for what’s left, and how China is moving in quickly.
Throughout the book Moyo discusses the systematic approach China has taken to obtain resources – befriending regions previously excluded and granting aid packages that are amenable to the host country.
Moyo’s discussion is highly relevant, as China has inserted itself into new markets the world over – from Asia to Africa and Latin America to obtain resources. In a word, Moyo’s analysis of China’s policies depicts a foreign policy that works.
As Moyo notes, the West would do well to mind the actions of its Asian counterpart, and her book does well in providing a valuable insight into the stark differences between Eastern and Western foreign policies.
Overall, Winner Take All, is a good read that gives a straight-forward and thoughtful overview of China’s rise to global prominence, and the implications associated with it.
Those readers seeking a basic understanding of the intricacies of the global interplay at work should find Winner Take All quite valuable, while readers already accustomed to these intricacies might find the book a tad redundant.
But Winner Take All is a solid read and an excellent addition to Moyo’s literary work.
Felicia Graham is Managing Editor at Oil Diplomacy.
© Copyright Glamma Productions Inc. 2012