The View From China: The Seeds of Change Bode Well for U.S. Investors

Money Morning Investment Director Keith Fitz-Gerald is currently leading an investment trip through China, taking in that country's culture and scenery, as well as its investment opportunities. Here is Part III of a short series detailing his observations and discoveries.

By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Investment Director
Money Morning/The Money Map Report

MUTIANYU, CHINA - When you step up on to the top of China's Great Wall where I am today, it's instantly clear that China is unlike any other place on earth - although not for reasons you'd normally think.

It's true that China's a communist country that's steeped in tradition by virtue of a history that reaches back thousands of years. But there are changes afoot that may make the next generation of Chinese leaders the best yet.

And like the Great Wall, which was initially built under Emperor Qin Shi Huang (221-210 BC), those changes may last for centuries.

Groomed under the Party's watchful eye, these men and women are beginning the long process of change that will culminate with their installation as leaders in 2012. They speak openly of change and of opening China.

This contrasts starkly with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin who were educated (some would say indoctrinated) in the former Soviet Union.

While we're seeing glimmers of this in the current generation of leaders - including President Hú Jǐntāo and Premier Wen Jiabao - it's the next generation that will really demonstrate the commitment to change.

For the most part, both Hu and Wen remain inwardly focused - even though both have traveled extensively outside China. That's an important point. For travel outside China has provided these two leaders with a perspective that the country's leaders have never previously possessed.

In short, by virtue of this experience, they know that "foreign rice" is China's future.

With that insight, China's current leaders are laying the groundwork for the most profound changes the country has seen in centuries. But those sweeping changes will be the responsibility of the next generation of leaders, who have received substantial portions of their education in the United States and Europe. They are eager to embrace the best the world has to offer and to assume their place in the international affairs realm.

This suggests that China's incoming leaders actually understand what they're getting China into, and have the firsthand experience to carry it out. It also means that they can build upon the foundations being established today by Hu and Wen and others.

The bottom line: It's very likely the world will be able to work much more closely with China, at a much-higher level and with a more-complete agreement than we have at any other point in the past.

This scares a lot of people who may not appreciate 1.3 billion of our closest friends suddenly bursting onto the world's stage.

So consider it this way: We view this as the greatest investing opportunity of our lifetime.

Besides, this isn't going to just happen all at once. Like the Great Wall, which stretches for thousands of miles, the process will take place one brick at a time.

Now if I can just find a way back down....

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About the Author

Keith is a seasoned market analyst and professional trader with more than 37 years of global experience. He is one of very few experts to correctly see both the dot.bomb crisis and the ongoing financial crisis coming ahead of time - and one of even fewer to help millions of investors around the world successfully navigate them both. Forbes hailed him as a "Market Visionary." He is a regular on FOX Business News and Yahoo! Finance, and his observations have been featured in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, and MarketWatch. Keith previously led The Money Map Report, Money Map's flagship newsletter, as Chief Investment Strategist, from 20007 to 2020. Keith holds a BS in management and finance from Skidmore College and an MS in international finance (with a focus on Japanese business science) from Chaminade University. He regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand.

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