Do the Chinese think they're soon going to be the biggest economy? (No!)

by fulltimestudent 2 Replies latest social current

  • fulltimestudent

    An editorial in the Global Times (English, web edition)

    Don’t read too much into PPP ranking
    Source:Global Times Published: 2014-5-5 0:53:01
    The International Comparison Program, a project coordinated by the World Bank, released a new report with data suggesting that the size of the Chinese economy, by the measure of purchasing power parity (PPP), will surpass the US to become the biggest sometime this year.

    The data, once released, drew keen attention from Western mainstream media, some of which even reported that China, which strongly questioned the accuracy of the report, had tried to stop the World Bank from announcing it for a long time.

    PPP is usually employed by economists as a supplementary measure to evaluate the size of economies besides market exchange rate. The size of developing economies will be usually bigger when assessed in PPP terms instead of market exchange rate.

    The statement that Chinese economy tops the world is not nonsense, but such a vision is still too far away from what Chinese people can really feel. Although China has surpassed the US in certain economic spheres, the quality of the Chinese economy is far worse than that of the US.

    It is a positive sign that the Chinese government has objected to the PPP-based conclusion, and the Chinese public cares much less than the Western countries about the top economic ranking. The mainstream society is aware of China's real economic conditions. China may lack confidence, but it won't sacrifice sense to acquire it.

    The PPP-based statement, announced by Western economists and analysts, does not mean it is a conspiracy, as some alarmists think. What China should do is to keep calm, and know what exactly it means to the Chinese economy.

    The report may serve as new catalyst for discussion in Western countries about China overtaking the US. It might be the start that they will discuss it in a serious way. The world will probably take new perspectives toward China's growth.

    China also needs to adjust itself to avoid any false pride and self-centeredness. It has to keep a clear mind about what it really is, and minimize the impact caused by external forces.

    For now, China cannot decide what image it has in the mind of the West, which still has a big say on this matter. But China has the initiative for its own actions. It doesn't have to wrestle with the West for image, but it must make sure the steps it takes for its own development are not dictated by the West.

    China will become the No.1 economic power sooner or later, which is an irreversible trend. But China still needs foresight to guide its moves, and make sure the geopolitical changes in the Asia-Pacific area will generate more positive results.

    China being the No.1 economic power is like a double-edged sword, which on the one hand will enhance the nation's confidence, but on the other hand pose great challenges to the improvement of people's wellbeing. Whether the crowning will produce more positive results instead of social problems will be a huge test for the Chinese society.


  • metatron

    China has its problems - with pollution, debt and looming labor issues but it is the largest economy within new emerging alliances that are likely to overturn the existing order.

    There is also the BRICS alliance and the Eurasian Economic Customs Union being set up by Russia.

    There are new TED lectures on China's concept of human rights and its relation to economic development. Basically, they see rights and freedoms coming after development and as a product of a better economy. There are now open doubts about the US pushing democracy in the 3rd world as ineffective. Many nations are intrigued by the Chinese alternative viewpoint.

    Decadesago, Singapore pursued this concept to the consternation of western liberals - as led by Lee Kuan Yew.

    I see the primary causes for wars as coming from the US military-industrial complex, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. A world tied together by trade alliances would be preferable, in my opinion.


  • Satanus

    Pollution, yes:

    'A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

    Of about 6.3 million square kilometres (2.4 million square miles) of soil surveyed—roughly two thirds of China's total area—16.1 percent is thought to be polluted, the environmental protection ministry said in a report.

    The study, which appeared on its website, blamed mining and farming practices among other causes.

    "The national soil pollution situation is not positive," the ministry said, adding that more than 19 percent of the farmland which was surveyed is polluted.

    The ministry last year described the results of its soil pollution survey as a state secret and refused to release the results, a move which incensed environmental campaigners.

    The government has come under increasing pressure in recent years to take action to improve the environment, with large parts of the country repeatedly blanketed in thick smog and waterways and land polluted.

    In response to public pressure, China has released more accurate data about air pollution.

    More than 80 percent of the soil pollution was caused by "non-organic contaminants", the ministry said in its report. The survey was carried out over an eight-year period from 2005 to 2013.

    The ministry last year acknowledged the existence of "cancer villages", years after Chinese media first reported on more than 100 polluted rural areas with a higher incidence of the disease.'


Share this