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Last June, Russia's series of investment forums presented Moscow with an opportunity to unveil plans for a serious correction of its economic policies, and what seems to be at the bottom line is a radical departure from the concept of state capitalism.  It is unclear at the moment how the shift in priorities will help to improve Russia's economic climate, to make the country a magnet for investments, to boost innovations, or to launch the promised modernization, and personally I see no reasons for heightened expectations.

On April 10, in an interview with a CNN host and political observer Fareed Zakaria, the former secretary of state James Baker, when he was speaking about the current global changes, said the following: “The biggest challenge facing the U.S. isn’t turmoil in the Arab world. It’s our debt bomb”.  He said that without a strong dollar the US will turn into the United States of Greece.

The successful completion of the 5-year cycle in China coincided in time with the Chinese leader's visit to the US, highlighting the contrast between the relative trajectories of the two economies. Now that the US economy's bankruptcy is an open secret and Washington is in the process of soliciting a global relaxation of payment schedules, the West's evasiveness about the situation reflects a naïve attempt not to admit the fact that the era of the US economical dominance is basically over.

Chinese poet and historian Guo Moruo wrote in 1952: “German occupants demolished the monument to Victor Hugo in Paris in 1941. Recently, a model of the Ford plant was installed on the monument's pedestal to demonstrate the dominance of the US dollar empire. No less than the French people, we feel outraged as the act is an offense not only to the French culture, but to the culture of the entire humanity”.

The planned December 15 opening of the rouble-yuan trading in Russia is a symbolic and potentially historical event. It reflects tectonic shifts in the world's economy and politics and accordingly promises a transformation of the global financial architecture. At the moment China's contribution to the global economy far exceeds the scope of the yuan international circulation and the Chinese currency's share in national financial reserves.

Two events which had been anticipated for quite long took place in the U.S. shortly before the G20 summit in Seoul. On 2 November the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, and on 3 November the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would pump $600 billion into the US economy by the end of June 2011 in order to boost the fragile recovery.

Debates between the US and China over the valuation of the yuan are currently gathering momentum. A new campaign of pressure on Beijing is initiated by the US Congress which proposed a bill authorizing the government to slap duties on China's imports based on the view that the yuan is grossly undervalued. The lower chamber approved the legislation.

The 61th anniversary of the Chinese Republic is celebrated in Beijing rather modestly. The country is preoccupied with its current tasks as it faces reemerging inflation, unemployment, excessively fast urbanization, and unrestrained energy consumption. Nevertheless, it is clear that China manages to sustain its exceptional growth and that its march to modernity continues regardless of the pains suffered by its economic partners from the ranks of industrialized countries.