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You had asked when China will surpass the US/Japan.|
The answer given by one investment bank was 2039, the year when China's GDP will be larger than that of the US. As i write this, China's foreign reserves already surpass Japan's, making the former the world's biggest foreign reserves holder. Someone else commented that one time, during the Qing era, China had something like 35% of the world's GNP (altho' i don't know how that could have been ascertained).
Anyway, what i have observed as challenges in the coming years for China are the following:
1. how to lift up the 166 or more tier-2 cities to push forward at the same or even higher rates of growth than those enjoyed for the past two decades by Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen? Sure, pockets of these cities are doing well, but too much inter-city competition to attract foreign investment has caused many of them to build and offer too generously. The government is aware of this and is working with the cities' officials to develop but one wonders if there can somehow be a more holistic approach to inter-city coordination based on a national masterplan that streamlines and creates niches for development, while developing an umbrella programme of inbound services (coordinated tourism, for example) that will create more jobs, lift up the retailers and open more markets.
2. how to provide for the elderly, given the demographics of China will bend more and more towards an elderly majority? The social welfare challenge will have to be taken care of, perhaps in the light of better investment-borne insurance products under the aegis of the government. These products should cover both healthcare and savings for the elderly, so freeing their offspring to find more earnings to catch up on solving their own problems.
3. how to find the right response to the US-Japan fork that will try to destabilise and contain China geopolitically before the eyes of her many friendly nations? Somehow one is not too confident that that axis will not try to use their financial muscle to pull the plugs and change the rules of international finance to weaken China's growth, and try to come out looking rosy by using their influence over the global media; furthermore, while China is also developing her own nuclear fuel capability to generate more electric power, the US is currently able to influence global oil pricing.
4. how to develop and acquire the right types of technology and modernization methods so that China's enterprises will forge and prosper without having to re-learn all the mistakes made by the west, which may be expected to continue to disbar China from critical know-hows in order to weaken China's manufacturing capabilities in the affected notion that it is a zero-sum game, when they secretly know that more and more of them are benefiting from China's opening up.
Having said that, i recall the old saying: 'a nail that stands out gets hammered.' With this in mind, it may be better to progress quietly and continue to create win-win opportunities for everyone. What with so much unrest and discord in the world these past years, there is a psychological schism in the world today and many people all over the world hunger again for peace, progress and prosperity. China can create a new global mission statement for the whole world, even when she continues to find her way to her own destiny.
I can write somemore but the damn mosquito's finishing me....
[ Last edited by markwu at 2005-12-13 09:11 PM ]