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REALITY CHECK ON CHINA

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REALITY CHECK ON CHINA

Postby Wham » Mon, 27 Feb 2006 9:03 pm

This article summarizes what many businessmen that i know in Singapore have been whispering for several years now - but have been drowned out by all the "china rising" stories:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms. ... 73&print=1
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Postby Vaucluse » Tue, 28 Feb 2006 12:09 pm

I think anyone who has in the past downplayed the China Rising card, in terms of erring on the side of safety, has been labelled a 'loser' or being blind.

Anyone who has actively wokrd in China nd with Chinese companies knows that the facade is paper thin and the pitfalls many.

Playing by the rules? :lol:
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Postby cheatercock » Tue, 28 Feb 2006 2:10 pm

Image
Could not complete the entire article as it is a bit long but surely Minxin Pei cannot go back to China again more trouble if he/she has chinese roots. :)

China is moving with one-sixth of the world population. I guess to lift them upwards will require drastic measures which will definitely will be exposed to criticism. However as one proceed they should be open to certain values like democracy, human rights, etc. Here we are seeing a communist country which has to behave more like a capitalist tone in certain areas if it has to progress at least industrially. So in the tussle there is bound to be some friction. As to my observation if any government deliver economic success the other issues are sidelined. Singapore is a prime example. If there are jobs people are happy, if there is market the world is happy.
ImageThere is an art of which every man should be a master - "the art of reflection". If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all? ~ William Hart Coleridge

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Postby renter » Tue, 28 Feb 2006 3:20 pm

cheatercock wrote:As to my observation if any government deliver economic success the other issues are sidelined. Singapore is a prime example. If there are jobs people are happy, if there is market the world is happy.



PAP is putting your observation to work. You also see, when u don't give people democracy but give them jobs, after some time, u can shut them up and make them work like dogs. And they forget about human rights and also think like dogs.

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Postby Wham » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 1:36 pm

The difference is that Sinapore seems to be maintaining a healthy balance between freedom and growth - while minimizing corrpution; whereas, China is slipping down a very slippery slope towards becomming a massively corrupt criminal enterprise. As the article states, the real test will come during the next (and inevitable) economic correction as all of the bad decisions made in the interest of graft come home to roost.
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Postby renter » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 11:00 am

Corruption is indeed rampant there, but it is inevitable when you change from socialism to capitalism and planned economy to market econony amid huge amount of foreign capital flushing in in such a short period. Russia, Romania and some other eastern Eurpoean countries once ruled under USSR all suffer the same corruption.

Probably you are seeing once again what it's like at the beginning of capitalism which happened hundreds of years ago in the West and u were born too late to see.

It is a painful process. Can you blame it on Mao and his mistakes(Cultural Revolution did change the whole country in the people's opinion of "value" which in my opinion is worse than any other)? Don't u think Deng also have his missteps in transforming the economy? Then what's the point when all of these men are already dead. Everydbody's fault and nobody's fault, it is historical and the system's fault. When the situation is serious in such a big country, it last generations because it passes on from one to the next. so it also takes generations to change.

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Postby renter » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 11:03 am

Wham wrote:The difference is that Sinapore seems to be maintaining a healthy balance between freedom and growth - while minimizing corrpution; whereas, China is slipping down a very slippery slope towards becomming a massively corrupt criminal enterprise. As the article states, the real test will come during the next (and inevitable) economic correction as all of the bad decisions made in the interest of graft come home to roost.


Singapore's virtually clean politics won't change much.
but singaporean's political society probably will change a lot after LKY's death.

u know how big the effect the founder of a country has on its people. ;) it is diminishing from LKY to GCT to LHL.

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Postby Vaucluse » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 11:48 am

renter - what a great excuse that nothing is never done to address or change the problems we encounter.
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Postby sapphire » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 1:10 pm

Interesting article, Wham.

Last week I bumped into a guy who had just returned from a touristy holiday in China and India. He was going gaga over China's development vs. India's chaotic growth.

I did try to explain to him how its far easier for things to happen in China because of its powerful govt. as compared to India's democratic govt. If Beijing decides that the country needs airports, shiny roads and buildings, they will be built. Not so easy in India where hundreds will stand up against such decisions. Case in point is the slums near the Mumbai airport. The govt. tried to clean up, but couldn't due to political pressures from other political parties who didn't want to lose the votes of the slum dwellers.

Yes, China's development looks impressive, but the main difference being that India's growth is bottom-up not top down. People are trying to bring changes not with the help of the govt. but on their own steam. Overriding the bureaucracy, fighting the obstacles. The entrepreneurs of today...the private sector coming into its own...that's what has impressed me about India in the last couple of years.

Only time will tell how far will China go in its political and economical development with its many state owned and state funded companies.
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Postby Vaucluse » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 1:12 pm

Nicely put, Sapphire.
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Postby Wham » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 1:38 pm

Sapphire - i agree and would also say that India's advantage over china is that as a country india is doing more to inspire a new generation of capitalists that know how to actually make a buck the hard way - through hard work and innovation. Whereas China is inadvertantly inspiring a generation that will become disillusioned with capilalism and more interested in making money the easy way - through ripping off the system. When hard times hit - as they always do - india could end up being more resiliant.

Cheatercock, the article was only 4 pages long - surely not that hard to slog through.
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Postby sapphire » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 1:55 pm

Resilience...I could write forever on that. Talk to a taxi driver in Mumbai and you'll understand resilience in ways you never understood it before.

I would not like to be negative about any country. Predictions go wrong, people can change, revolutions happen...time will tell.

An interesting statement by Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek - India might have several Silicon Valleys, but it also has three Nigerias within it, more than 300 million people living on less than a dollar a day.

I thought that was a very apt description of India. I never quite looked at it that way.
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Postby renter » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 4:05 pm

Vaucluse wrote:renter - what a great excuse that nothing is never done to address or change the problems we encounter.


You mistook it as excuses.

I believe the Chinese government is also doing a lot, as I don't think the top several Chinese leaders also corrupt to get their own pocket money, a big house, a child's overseas education, etc. The corruption mainly happens in the province, region, county, town level of politicians( party officials as the chinese media call it, they are not used to using 'politicians' ). but nothing actually changed much in the past few years, despite that a series of corrupted criminals were arrested every year.

It's hard to push an elephant.

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Postby renter » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 4:25 pm

sapphire wrote:I did try to explain to him how its far easier for things to happen in China because of its powerful govt. as compared to India's democratic govt.


that is why sometimes I think democracy develops with the economy.

Examples:

1. Democracy without economy leads to bloated politics, e.g. india, developing fast, but at a relatively slower rate(compared to china, see below). when u dont have much money, democracy creates lots of bureaucracy, defeats its purpose. Another issue is with the indian population. One-child policy is bad in the short term and criticized in China, but it is good for long term. The indian population policy, not criticized by anyone, is going to be a big pain in the long term. Afterall, india is still smaller in size than china.

2. Economy without democracy, how to put it? hard to find an example. e.g. singapore. well, not too bad, maybe those oil-rich middle-east countries. ppl are crying for more rights, but not given. it ends up singaporeans no longer bothering about their politics, and complaining just for the sake of it.

3. Non-democracy without economy, china. developing at a faster rate than india, with good planned infrastructure built in the last 20 years. they can solve problems fast if the top is determined to do it.

4. democracy with economy, mainly western countries after hundreds of years of economic development. their democratic politics evolves to today's form.

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Postby sapphire » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 6:31 pm

renter wrote:
sapphire wrote:I did try to explain to him how its far easier for things to happen in China because of its powerful govt. as compared to India's democratic govt.


that is why sometimes I think democracy develops with the economy.

Examples:

1. Democracy without economy leads to bloated politics, e.g. india, developing fast, but at a relatively slower rate(compared to china, see below). when u dont have much money, democracy creates lots of bureaucracy, defeats its purpose. Another issue is with the indian population. One-child policy is bad in the short term and criticized in China, but it is good for long term. The indian population policy, not criticized by anyone, is going to be a big pain in the long term. Afterall, india is still smaller in size than china.


I prefer democracy, period. Yes, it has its problems in India. But would I choose any other form of governance, NOPE.

What you described above of India...Yes, that too is India. India is too complex and diverse for anyone to define it in black and white.

I feel that as a result of bureaucracy, the average Indian has become a lot smarter, smarter to look for other options to override bureaucracy. Somewhere there, entrepreneurship gathered force.

Here's a simple example of the current mindset of people in India:

We were in India looking to open an NRI (Non Resident Indian) bank account. Called up one of the leading banks and were told their representative will show up within half hour. Bear in mind, Delhi is a huge city with awful traffic.
The main door was open, my hubby saw this guy standing and waved him in. He walks in, sits down and we start with the question -

So what can you tell us about a NRI account?

His response - What exactly are you looking for?

We are looking to open an account and would like to know what benefits your bank can provide us? Loan etc.

His response - How much loan are you looking for?

And a few more questions asked, he answered and then we smelt a rat. So we ask him - Are you from the bank?

He says - No

We ask - Then why did you walk in?

He says - Because Sir waved me in, I am just a building contractor. And I thought Sir needed some info on that, but when he asked about loan etc. I thought I could be of some help there. I have contacts!

We all had a good laugh. The point being, he thought he had an opportunity and he grabbed it. Now this is at a very grassroot level, very basic example I gave.


One child policy will never be implemented in India. I would much rather see an effort towards maximum literacy which itself will then translate into lesser number of kids.
It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you.


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