At Davos debate, concerns about China, India and the Internet

Saving the world was on the agenda, but for many of the business leaders, academics and activists attending Wednesday's "Big Debate" at the &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2001/01/27/2194.html' target=_blank>World Economic Forum, the theme may very well have been: Saving the West from China and India.

Foreboding hung in the air as participants discussed key issues that global society must confront to navigate what Harvard University President Lawrence Summers described as one of the most important moments in history _ Asia's new economic might.

"What is happening in India and China ... the integration of the four-fifths of the world where people are poor with the one fifth of the world where people are rich, has the potential to be one of the three most important economic events in the last millennium, alongside the Renaissance and the industrial revolution," Summers said.

He cautioned the room of millionaires and leaders in their fields to focus their minds: "I fear that we have too much hope and too little fear."

But fear was a recurrent subtext _ at least in the words of the Westerners who comprised the majority of those present.