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No, the global economy is not breaking into geopolitical blocs

There’s a counsel of doom which has been emerging for a few years and has now been given extra vim by the war in Ukraine. It contends that the post-cold war surge of globalisation which stitched together the advanced and developing economies had a good run, but that the patchwork, increasingly stretched by geopolitical rivalries, is now coming apart into two or three pieces.

Specifically, the argument says, the “splinternet” is breaking the online world into competing digital spheres, partly thanks to three incompatible models of handling data — European privacy-focused regulation, US corporate-driven free-for-all and Chinese state surveillance.

Meanwhile, it goes on, political risk from the US-China strategic conflict is causing companies to reshore or “friendshore” supply chains. Governments, especially since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are faced with the task of picking economic and strategic sides: either…

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