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.
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?