Year of the boar

Last 5fh of February more than 1.3 billion people celebrated the start of the new year, the year of the boar . This is the last year of the 12 year cycle in Chinese tradition.
The boar is a symbol for wealth in Chinese culture. People born in this year are expected to be problem solvers. They are not good communicators, but they are kind and able to provide for the family, a very high value in Chinese culture. On the dark side, they are keen to loosing temper easily. This description some people might think that suits to one of the main players of this new Boar Year, Mr. Donald Trump. He however was born not on that year, but on the dog year (1946), just one year after the Second World War had finished. The year of the dog is obviously marked by the loyalty that this animal represents. Dogs are after all men´s best friend.

Xi Jinxing, supreme leader of the People´s Republic of China, his counter-partner in the dangerous game we are immerse, is one generation younger. He was born in the year of the snake (1953). People born this year are thought to be cold in the inside but warm in the inside. Snakes are devoted and determined, but their worst enemy is laziness.

Loyalty and diligence are definitely a good combination for leadership. The question is however if the combination will bring positive results not only for their respective people, but also for the entire world.

Since Mr. Trump´s questioned and promoted meaningful changes in the quite stable path of last fifty years USA foreign policies around promotion of globalization and expansion of trade, instability has been slowly careering confidence in global trading and activity. Social changes, like the increase of populisms and nationalisms in several parts of the globe, the expansionist monetary policies followed by the Federal Bank (US) and European Central Bank,… have also done their job to create the conditions for a possible new recession.

Some signals in manufacturing, like Markit´s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI index) announce a contraction in the economy for the next months. This index is a macroeconomic indicator that aims to draw the economical situation of the country based on the data collected among managers in key representative companies. It has resulted very useful since it started to be collected in 2008 to predict future evolution of the economy. Germany, has marked in March 2019 the lowest PMI index in 69 months, France a value below 50, already showing contraction. IMF´s recent report and warnings on the contraction of world economy is another meaningful warning.

Of course the intensity of the contraction is unknown and so it is the duration and implications that it may have. The signals sent by the US presidency in the last weeks about a possible agreement between US and China on tariffs is in this sense good news and provides some potential for future stability.

In any case, it is now more obvious than ever that the World walks firmly into a new era marked by the confrontation of two mega-powers: a decaying US power and a patient and diligent rising Chinese power. Tucidides was probably the first one describing such a geopolitical dynamic. We just can hope that the resolution of the growing conflict have better development than the bloody wars between Sparta and Athens in the Firth’s century before Christ. This year of the boar will definitely set the path on which way the History will move.

By Ramón García-Rojo

Year of the boar was last modified: May 29th, 2019 by MIUC
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