16 January 2007

China: Not All It's Cracked Up to Be and Cracking Up

The Writing on the Wall
Will Hutton

Interesting review of book on the fragility of China: it seems it is not the monolithic monster of our imaginations (although I suspect it would like to be).

Interestingly, Stratfor sometimes discusses the financial house of cards that is China. It even predicted - in a what-the-heck-I'll-take-a-punt kind of way - back in 2005 or 2006 that China would fall apart in the next decade.


The truth is that China is not the socialist market economy the party describes, nor moving towards capitalism as the western consensus believes. Rather it is frozen in a structure that I describe as Leninist corporatism - and which is unstable, monumentally inefficient, dependent upon the expropriation of peasant savings on a grand scale, colossally unequal and ultimately unsustainable. It is Leninist in that the party still follows Lenin's dictum of being the vanguard, monopoly political driver and controller of the economy and society. And it is corporatist because the framework for all economic activity in China is one of central management and coordination from which no economic actor, however humble, can opt out.

[Emphasis added.]


Thanks to Doctor Thomas for the tip.


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