Shaun Rein is the founder and managing director of the China Market Research Group. He is also author of a book, The End of Cheap China : Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World. The book will be published in the spring
According to Mr. Rein, the year 2012 is shaping up to be a difficult one for America-China relations, as both nations jockey for greater influence in the Asia Pacific region. President Obama has announced he will send 2,500 marines to rotate through Darwin, Australia, and has chastised China for not “playing by the rules.” Many in China view Obama’s moves as a containment strategy and have stepped up their rhetoric calling for an end to American hegemony.
Mr. Rein states in an article, “In one chapter I analyze China’s currency and show that China’s manufacturing beats America’s because of superior infrastructure and efficient labor pools, not because of a manipulated currency, as Krugman argues. I point out that China is no longer a cheap place to do business. Not only did its currency appreciate by 8% in the last year, but 21 of China’s 31 provinces increased their minimum wage this year by 22%. Office space is more expensive in Shanghai than in many Western capitals.”