Former mayor Livingstone says current economic troubles are 'irreversible' as Asia becomes economic force

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone said the current economic crisis reflected a fundamental shift of global economic power from the West to the East.

Speaking at the Cityscape event in Dubai this morning Livingstone said that the US economy had been shored up by massive borrowing and consumer spending. "It distorts the value of the currency. (This crisis) will continue for several years more. The dollar is overvalued by 30%."

Livingstone said there was a dramatic difference between the economies of the West and the East such as China and India. The latter are investing much more into their economies, he said, making them much more fiscally sound. "The Chinese could buy the entire America banking systems with cash. That's the scale of the change. The historical shift will continue for generations to come."

Livingstone also pointed to future investment in renewable technology by the Chinese as a sign of such a shift. "Last year Germany topped the world in investing in renewables, putting in £14bn. They were followed by China, who invested £12bn - I think China will overtake Germany this year in investment."

The former mayor claimed that his campaign to regain his former role was already "up and running" and damned the green policies of his successor Boris Johnson with faint praise. He said Johnson would be forced to retain his sustainable plans for the capital. "He will not initiate anything or provide any leadership but he will not unwind it."