The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián, Christopher Maurer

By Baltasar Gracián, Christopher Maurer

The notable best-seller -- a long-lost, 300-year-old ebook of knowledge on tips on how to dwell effectively but responsibly in a society ruled via self-interest -- as acute as Machiavelli but as humanistic and scrupulously ethical as Marcus Aurelius.

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What had started off as a GATT round of talks had led through a painstaking series of negotiations with the EU bloc, to a highly symbolic deal with the USA. WTO entry for China was one of the main achievements of the Zhu Rongji/Jiang Zemin government, and sent a significant message about China’s commitment to economic reform and opening up. Sectors that had been closed to FDI, like telecoms and banking, were slated for a phased opening – some of these will be examined in a little more detail in the case studies in later chapters.

In 1990 and 1991, the Chinese economy experienced only quiet growth, a shocked aftermath to the events of 1989. But then, in January 1992, Deng, at the age of 86, made his last contribution to history, embarking on his tour of the Special Economic Zones of Zhuhai and Shenzhen, to look at where the reforms had got to. The final comeback: Deng in the South in 1992 For a politician who had supposedly retired from politics several years before (standing down, in fact, from his formal position as Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 1989) Deng Xiaoping remained frighteningly active.

In the twenty-first century, it is likely that, beyond large infrastructure projects, the key partners will be some of these non-state companies, or non-state organisations. Lurking behind them, as will become clearer later in this book, are a range of institutions and entities that preserve the control and interests of the state. But on the surface, at least, it looks and feels like one is dealing with either limited companies, or listed companies – companies where one can at least identify the key decision makers and develop personal relations with them, much as one would anywhere else in the world.

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