Wanjohi Kabukuru's article "Mere summit or checkmating China!" (NA August/September '14) was an interesting piece of writing but seemed to me to make it appear that China was almost omnipotent in the economic muscle it possesses. It is a common perception that Beijing wields enormous power, but the truth is a little more nuanced.
China's economic performance has been sluggish in the previous few months. For example, the purchasing manager's index, industrial profit growth, retail sales and new loan figures have all declined since mid-summer and for the first time there are indications that China may not hit its forecast 7.5% annual growth rate this year.
China's exports dropped by 1.2% year-on-year in the first half of the year, and domestic infrastructure investment also slowed significantly.
China's economic "mandarins" are essentially facing similar problems to the West. As the economy slows,...