What does this say about free-trade and globalization?

by Chris Zappone

A nice little piece about economic nationalism from the Interpreter. On the one hand, Russia is apparently happy to endure sanctions in order to pursue its objectives in Ukraine. China, meanwhile, has grown more honest about how it sees foreign companies. A key line from the piece: International business people are often told here that ‘they are not invited to China to profiteer; they are invited to make the Chinese better.’ 

If the rise of the BRICs, led by China, contains an element of economic nationalism, how will that affect free-trade? On the one hand, the
mercantile impulses of China will ensure that foreigners don’t make too much money from China. At the same time, foreign companies will have more limits on the utility of sharing technology if there is a limit on how much a foreign company can grow there. Slowly, slowly, you can see a division growing in the global economy.