Thursday, July 21, 2005

China: Lots of wealth, lots of people, lots of flaws

Via China Digital Times:

Will China, despite its lack of freedom, become a true world-class power? China is actually still poor and weak. About two-thirds of the Chinese population have the low living standard typical of a developing nation. While China’s most developed regions, Shanghai and Beijing, were ranked as equivalent to Greece and Singapore, the more populous provinces, like Gansu and Guizhou, were ranked with Haiti and Sudan. China is essentially still a giant labor-intensive processing factory. Many of China’s business leaders hold or seek foreign passports or residency. Capital flight from China has been surpassing foreign direct investment since the late 1990’s. Beijing’s top diplomatic objective has been to gain external acceptance that will prop up the regime. Therefore, predictions that China will quickly become a world power, and will do so peacefully, are premature. Since the late 19th century, only one major non-Western nation, Japan, has risen to become a world-class power, and it did so only by wreaking much havoc. Still, China should and can be powerful and rich. More important, the Chinese people deserve to be free: free from poverty and backwardness, free from the hurtful feelings of past humiliations, free from deeply trenched ethnocentrism and chauvinism, and free from political tyranny.


Look out, world: Here comes booming India


The key to China's coming failure and India's growing success is Bejing's dependence on manufacturing exports for its wealth and New Delhi's focus on its service sector. Because of its low-wage economy and massive manpower, China can undercut the rest of the world in labor costs and produce goods for less than anybody else can. But this race to the bottom of the global economy will be won not by the lowest-wage economy but by robots. In the coming decade, the growth of robotics will end most manufacturing employment. China's impoverished workers will lose out to American and Japanese robots, and the source of its economic growth with likely wither in the coming decades.

Asian scientists 'set to overtake US research output'


The number of scientific papers published by researchers in the Asia-Pacific region could exceed the number from the United States within six or seven years, says a US report published in the July/August issue of ScienceWatch. Asia-Pacific nations, led by China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, produced 25 per cent of the world's scientific papers in 2004, just below the United States with 33 per cent. European researchers produced 38 per cent of the papers. In contrast, Asia was responsible for just 16 per cent of global scientific output in 1990.

3 Comments:

At July 21, 2005 9:40 PM, Blogger Zach said...

"Since the late 19th century, only one major non-Western nation, Japan, has risen to become a world-class power, and it did so only by wreaking much havoc."

That is indeed a very troubling thought.

Max Boot has an excellent article here about some of the ways that China may be challenging the West.

It is worth point out that China could certainly use radical Islam (and more broadly, multiculturalism) as a tool against the West, and could provide the nation-state backing that Islam badly needs. As I posted on my blog here:

"...Another point which also needs to be made is that in any confrontation, China fully intends to use our low social cohesion and large underclass of resentful "victimites" against us any way they can. Diversity is strength, certainly, if you wish to destroy the West. The West can deal with a large minority of radicalized Muslims (as in Europe) or illegal aliens and other low-functioning minorities (the U.S.) in most cases, even if things were to become violent. However add to the equation a large, relatively strong foreign power attacking from the outside while fermenting or supporting violence domestically, and it becomes very difficult to know what the end result might be."

 
At July 21, 2005 11:07 PM, Blogger CH said...

zach:"and it becomes very difficult to know what the end result might be"

Oh, but I think we all do..

This

They promised...

 
At July 22, 2005 5:54 PM, Blogger Evan said...

Capital flight from China has been surpassing foreign direct investment since the late 1990’s...

It would be interesting to see documentation of this claim. ("Capital flight" and "foreign direct investment" are measures of different things, so the comparison is arbitrary, but any evidence of increased capital flight would be interesting to see.) It would support a claim I made that China is due for a serious short-term economic correction. But I suspect that the long-term rise of China to a modern and hence powerful nation is much more likely than not, mostly for cultural reasons.

 

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