Video: Why George Soros Considers Himself 'Typhoid Mary' in China


George Soros: 'I Consider Myself as Typhoid Mary' in China. (4 min., 39 sec.)

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros says he would love to engage more with China as a philanthropist, but he doesn't feel welcome. "(China has) very efficient political police," the Open Society Foundations chairman said at Asia Society in New York on April 30, likening himself to Typhoid Mary. "[People we help] are immediately put in a different category and are much more closely examined. So it's better for us not to be active, because we could be hurting the people who we want to help."

In the above video clip, Soros explains that China is at a crossroads — it is transitioning to a more market-oriented economy, but political reform remains stagnant. "That is an imbalance for China," he said. "For China to become a more open society, it needs political reform, but now it's in the difficult transition and power is actually being centralized in the hands of the president."

Soros goes on to say that there is a reasonable chance that China's market reforms will succeed, which could open the door for more political reform. But if the economic transformation fails, things could quickly deteriorate. "Then the fallback is to hold power and hold the country together by having some external conflict," Soros said. "Obviously China and Japan are set up for that, and then you have a very dismal prospect for the world."

About the Author

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Eric Fish was a Content Producer at Asia Society New York and is author of the book China's Millennials: The Want Generation.