Since China’s Opening Up in the 1980s, its government has been navigating the murky waters of GDP growth and economic incentives to put its people on the path out of poverty. Its success is unquestioned, but putting millions into the global middle class came at the price of environmental degradation and deteriorating health and welfare of the Chinese people.
The blind pursuit of wealth and economic growth is not self-contained—as China emerges a global power, the rest of the world feels the impact from the Chinese ambitions.
Commentators are starting to recognize this problem: when a butterfly in China dies from pollution, the whirlwind of social change in places like Brazil ceases. So when China flexes its muscle to bring that butterfly back to life, the world watches for the gale of disruptive force that reshapes whole industries for the better.