Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is China Becoming A "Show-Off" Nation ?

Hantu Laut

The 16th Asian Games opened with a bang.The pomp and splendour was as astounding as the opening of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a correlated extravaganza of science,technology and human drama.

Compared to India's poor delivery of the recent Commonwealth Games, this new economic giant put out a magnificient show of verve and vibration.Richer and more advanced countries would not have been able to put up such splendour. They, probably, don't have to, they have shedded their inferior complex long time ago.


Is China becoming a 'Show Off'' nation?

In 2009 China displaced Japan to become the world's second largest economy and is expected to overtake the U.S before 2020.

By the end of 2010, the list of top 10 economic giants would look like this.....USA, China, Japan, India, Germany, Russia ,U.K, France, Brazil, Italy.

By 2020, the whole scenario would have changed and the list would look like this.......China, USA, India, Japan, Russia, Germany, Brazil,U.K,France,Mexico.

The emerging economies, particularly China and India are growing faster than the advanced economies, which is slowing down.

Chinese marvel.

(Six days. That's how long it took to build this level 9 Earthquake-resistant, sound-proofed, thermal-insulated 15-story hotel in Changsha, complete with everything, from the cabling to three-pane windows. The foundations were already built, but it's just impressive.)


In 2009, Japan real GDP shrank 5.2% brought about by long economic stagnation and a greying population.The US economy shrank 2.4% due to the 2008/2009 financial crisis.China, miraculously escaped unscathed.By the year 2020 China would have doubled its GDP to that of USA.

Do not be fooled by all the glittery and pompous shows whenever China hosted major world events and the megalomaniac structures you see in China's big cities that show off its enormous wealth. Some sort of never ending coming out parties wanting to show the world how far they have come.

There is a darker side to China's perceived prosperity.Beyond the high rises and churning factories lie the rural and semi-rural poor, rampant corruption and a government with little interest of wanting to arrest the widening gap between the rich and the poor.There are now, probably more billionaires in China than the rest of the world, other than the United States.

China may have a huge GDP but it is still in the poor man's club as far as the people are concerned.In 2009, its per capita GDP was only $6,600, compared to Japan $32,700, the U.S $46,000, Taiwan $32,000 and South Korea $28,700.

In this respect, in spite of the dazzling economic boom, you would be better off being a Taiwanese than a mainland Chinese.Comparatively speaking, even the average Malaysian is better off than the average Chinese.In 2009, Malaysia's per capita GDP was $14,900.

China's authoritarian politics is spawning a dangerous mix of crony capitalism, rampant corruption and a widening inequality.

Rising faster than China is the hype about China but behind the glowing headlines and publicity there are fundamental weaknesses rooted in the state.Beijing, still have a stranglehold on how politics and the economy should be run.The private sector account for not more than 30% of the GDP.It is still much more a socialist economy.

It's a comforting thought that this Middle Kingdom is now an economic giant but how long more can it keeping showing spectacular Chinese operas to the rest of the world?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

While the GDP is $6,600 now, what was it just 10 years ago?

How about Malaysia's current GDP of I think about $7,600 which has been more or less stagnating for the past 20 years?

Y1

eddy said...

Bro HL, for all those great sporting spectacles, the Chinese Government will have to address the disparity in income level sooner than later between the rich and the poor before it becomes a political problem.

I think GDPs are misleading if it is meant to show a nation's wealth. We should use the Purchasing Power Parity standard to have a better insight of how things are in a nation or between nations

There are still about 300million people below the poverty line in China and that will need a lot of effort to reduce, before China can emerge to be a strong stable nation. China has only one party and no opposition so in that sense the Government will have better focus on the job with less time playing politics. That can only be good for China.

As for India with the largest democracy in the world, the UN estimates that 600 million people or 55 percent of Indians still defecate outside and despite the economic growth India too got a lot of catching up to do in respect to making its country a better place to live in despite its economic prowess. Just hope that its coalition Government holds the rein long enough to ensure their policies are carried through.

I have visited both India and China to the rural areas and I must say there is no place on earth better than this blessed country.

Anonymous said...

bless you, eddy, for being forthright!

Anonymous said...

Try visiting the interiors/kampungs of Sabah & Sarawak, and our people have no choice but to defecate outside their own homes!

Y1

Hantu Laut said...

Y1,

Even worse in rural China.

Anonymous said...

Westerners usually look down on Asians, even those who live in Australia and NZ ( to think that they are actually in the Asia-Pacific!). How many times we heard of stories of Asian students in those countries riding on trains or even just waiting for a bus have been humiliated and spat at? Bro, I am not exaggerating here it is the reality that exists there. So with China showing off their capability in all spheres for the whole world to see, makes us Asians proud that we are not the lowly lives that some of these western uneducated skunks seem to believe.

Most of us despise racism and you wouldn't know how it feels unless you are the one being targeted. Most of these are due to perception about our backwardness/timidity according to them... so let China show off!

CNN and BBC continuously spoke badly of India during the recent Commonwealth Games but we didn't hear a word belittling China in this 16th Asean Games.

I am not Chinese, but I take my hat off to China!

Anonymous said...

HL, I have travelled into rural China too. Their open latrines and our interior kampung jambans are not too different.

China's massive development (sanitary toilets as a measure?) will soon reach the rural areas say in 10 years but there is tap water and electricity almost everywhere now? When will our interiors be given tap water and electricity?

Y1

Thong said...

We can't expect a country so vast with one of the longest history to change overnight. Given China long history,what it has achieved and shown to have achieved in it's "short" modern era are indeed spectacular. A very simple yardstick is if you ask every Malaysian Chinese who has relatives in China, are their lives better generally than during pre-Deng era? Certainly the answer would be positive. Given China vast land and population, we can't expect it's government to solve its rural poverty problem overnight but they are heading in the right direction. China has a powerful Sword of Damocles over the heads of the corrupted - the bullet. It would be much more effective than the Hong Kong ICAC and Malaysian MACC to safeguard the nation long term well being against any potentially corrupted leaders!

Thong said...

We can't expect a country so vast with one of the longest history to change overnight. Given China long history,what it has achieved and shown to have achieved in it's "short" modern era are indeed spectacular. A very simple yardstick is if you ask every Malaysian Chinese who has relatives in China, are their lives better generally than during pre-Deng era? Certainly the answer would be positive. Given China vast land and population, we can't expect it's government to solve its rural poverty problem overnight but they are heading in the right direction. China has a powerful Sword of Damocles over the heads of the corrupted - the bullet. It would be much more effective than the Hong Kong ICAC and Malaysian MACC to safeguard the nation long term well being against any potentially corrupted leaders!