Schism | Paul Blustein

Summary of: Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System
By: Paul Blustein


In ‘Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System’, financial journalist Paul Blustein delves into the complicated economic relationship between China and the United States. With a focus on China’s participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Blustein looks at the contrasting perspectives and expectations on China’s accession to the WTO. By examining the culture, politics, economic strategies, and key players involved, readers will gain an insightful understanding of how these two nations have developed as strategic rivals on the global stage.

Chinese Betrayal and American Incompetence in Globalization

Paul Blustein through his book, accuses China of being a betrayer and the United States for being incompetent on the question of economic globalization. The expectations of American globalization advocates for China to develop democracy have fallen far short of the mark. Blustein argues that the failure was not due to America’s blunders but was attributable to China’s culture and politics. The book covers a wide range of topics, including financial reporting around the world, and provides knowledge to readers seeking to understand the economic currents affecting current events. Blustein claims no loyalty to any predetermined ideology. Blustein names Chinese deceit and American incompetence as the reasons for the failed US-China economic geopolitics. A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the US-Sino economic relation better.

China’s State Capitalism

Blustein’s book exposes China’s “state capitalism” model that disadvantages its rivals in the global market. Despite being a member of the World Trade Organization, China has found ways to manipulate loopholes to protect its interests, making it the most formidable strategic rival for the US. The book establishes that China has abandoned any pretense of becoming a free-market economy and will not change its political and economic system. With China’s policies volatile and uncontrolled, the US and all other international agencies can do nothing but brace for the impacts of China’s continued investment in state capitalism.

China’s WTO Membership

How China’s WTO membership impacted their economy and trade negotiations with the US.

Blustein’s book delves into the effects of China’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Despite President Trump’s criticism of the terms of China’s membership, Blustein argues that US negotiators successfully secured vital economic benefits for America. Alternatively, Chinese officials still feel that this agreement forced them into a position of “second-class citizenship.” By highlighting China’s growth from a poor state in 1993 to the seventh largest economy by 1996, Blustein shows the significant impact of China’s membership in the WTO on international trade and global economies.

China’s WTO Accession

Blustein’s “The Chastening” highlights how academics and policy makers underestimated the implications of China’s WTO accession and how events have proven skeptics right, with China’s lack of free markets and democratic institutions hindering progress towards political and economic openness.

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