China Currents 2009 Issue Volume 8 Number 3
Article on CNN
By Tom Evans, CNN, November 3, 2009 2:38 p.m. EST
- China today, say many analysts, is in a comparable position to U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century… an emerging power that the dominant global power of the time is trying to downplay. Then it was Great Britain vs. the United States. Now it is the United States vs. China.
China is walking a tight-rope in handling the 2009 Iran nuclear crisis. On the one hand, Beijing's overriding strategic interest is to ensure a favorable "macro-climate" for its highly successful post-1978 development drive by maintaining good relations with the United…
As the world begins to emerge from the worst economic recession in recent memory, stimulus packages enacted by various governments around the world are very much in the spotlight. The early verdict on China’s massive stimulus is favorable. The Wall Street Journal reports that “spending by Chinese consumers is holding up pretty well, partly because of heavy stimulus spending by a government flush with cash. Urban household spending in China was up 9.2% in the first half of 2009.”
China’s stunning economic growth since 1978 has resulted in a ten-fold increase in real GDP per capita, with an average annual growth rate of 8.6% in the past three decades (China Statistical Yearbook, 2008). However, urban incomes have continued to outstrip rural incomes – the per capita income ratio between urban and rural people widened to 3.3:1 in 2007 from 2.6:1 in 1978 (China Statistical Yearbook, 2008) – and the trend is a major concern for the government. A policy announced in 2004 to phase out agricultural taxes has not worked to reverse the income gap. Undoubtedly, this disappointing outcome calls for additional supporting measures for farmers.
China is both a partner and a rival depending on the venue and issue. Both the U.S. and China have benefited from their economic interactions via trade and investment–probably China has benefited more simply because they were basically closed when they started this process.
Within walking distance of the Beijing community where I live is a strip of road brightly lined with seasonal flowers and plants from late March to October - the outdoor plant market. I have purchased my garden supplies from this…