Thursday, June 08, 2017

China Beyond The Miracle

    An adulatory book on the Chinese economic miracle by an Indian bureaucrat recently come back from a posting in China. The adulation is without qualifications but not without merit and detail. Officially communist China opened itself to foreign capital in the early 80s, and rode a magical economic turnaround in the next few decades based on low wages, cheap trade union free, labour exploitative manufacturing and exports for the world and massive investments in infrastructure and high-rise urban real estate, fuelled by low-cost credit from state-owned banks, tax-concessions enthused inflows of FDI, forcible land-acquisitions, etc. But the bubble has to burst sometime. Today's China, no longer growing in double fantastic digits, is trying to move away from being the factory of the world to its designer. It is also trying to be less export reliant, and trying to unlock the massive domestic consumption market. And the author is impressed and hopeful. No talk however of the long term impact on the environment and on human relationships, of a growth model solely based on more and more and more, of everything. While the rivers get polluted, hills get denuded and the air gets too thick to breathe...

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