Bremmer is a foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at TIME.

This is the text of a speech delivered by Ian Bremmer on November 18 at the 2019 GZERO Summit in Tokyo.

China has made its decision. Beijing is building a separate system of Chinese technology—its own standards, infrastructure, and supply chains—to compete with the West.

Make no mistake: this is the single most consequential geopolitical decision taken in the last three decades. It’s also the greatest threat to globalization since the end of World War II.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Globalization has lifted billions of people from poverty around the world. We now live longer, healthier, and more productive lives than ever before. We are better educated and better informed than at any time in history. There has never been a better place and a better time to be alive than right here, right now.

So why are so many people so angry, and why is globalization under unprecedented threat?

Related Stories


What Happens Next in the Chile Protests