China cham­pi­ons eco­nomic growth

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion - Martin Sto­bart

THOSE of us who stud­ied de­vel­op­ment eco­nom­ics soon af­ter in­de­pen­dence will at­test to the phe­nom­e­nal and un­prece­dented de­vel­op­ment of the Asian economies, with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to the Chi­nese econ­omy. We could also in­clude In­dia’s for good mea­sure. These two great Asian na­tions not only share com­mon ge­o­graph­i­cal borders: their economies are both less than three quar­ters of a cen­tury old, with In­dia a shade older.

In 1980, China’s econ­omy was only a tod­dler at age 30 years cal­cu­lated as at Oc­to­ber 1, 1949 when the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party (CCP) de­clared the foun­da­tion of the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China. This was af­ter a pro­tracted and bruis­ing war with Ja­pan, a proxy of both the United States and West­ern Europe.

As we speak, most economies of West­ern Europe are more than 600 years old while that of the United States is half that age.

What makes a na­tion such as China, with a baby econ­omy in com­pa­ra­ble terms, pros­per so rapidly?

It’s the poli­cies of its lead­er­ship. When the CCP were fight­ing against Ja­pan and her West­ern al­lies poli­cies were al­ready in place, be­gin­ning with the agrar­ian re­forms.

The Chi­nese un­der Mao Ze­dong (Tse­tung) did not frit­ter away pre­cious time doo­dling and counting their fin­gers as to how the rev­o­lu­tion would set in mo­tion.

As in­di­cated above, a whole regime of devel­op­men­tal poli­cies, prin­ci­pal of which was the agrar­ian re­form, were set in mo­tion.

The poli­cies were per­va­sive and in­clu­sive as in­di­cated by the one child per fam­ily pol­icy.

This is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily in­tel­li­gent con­cept of eco­nomic plan­ning.

The Chi­nese are a truly re­silient and hardy race of peo­ple. They be­lieve in them­selves and in what they do. You can­not de­ter or cause them to veer off course. Their de­trac­tors failed dis­mally in their at­tempts to scup­per the CCP pol­icy of one child per fam­ily by bring­ing into the equa­tion the hu­man rights fac­tor.

Go­ing by the cur­rent pop­u­la­tion sta­tis­tics, China has 1,4 bil­lion peo­ple thanks largely to this pol­icy.

In 1985, the World Bank, the IMF and oth­ers be­gan to prof­fer prog­nos­ti­ca­tions to the ef­fect that the Chi­nese econ­omy was set to leapfrog that of Ja­pan, then the sec­ond largest econ­omy in the world af­ter the United States. That was the essence of the pol­icy.

Its goals have been achieved and the pol­icy has been set aside al­low­ing the Chi­nese peo­ple to have more than one child per fam­ily. The Chi­nese are en­gi­neers through and through. The gov­ern­ment is run by them; the tech­nocrats in the strictest sense of the world.

This is un­like in the West­ern world where lawyers are the politi­cians. There is a dif­fer­ence here, sub­tle and even im­per­cep­ti­ble to some and yet crys­tal to oth­ers de­pend­ing on which side of the po­lit­i­cal di­vide one is on.

e West em­pha­sise on po­lit­i­cal rights. They ex­tend mone­tary “aid”, in­vari­ably with strings at­tached, to their un­alien­able friends.

Usu­ally such monies do not reach the “in­tended” ben­e­fi­cia­ries be­cause it is not in­tended for au­then­tic and de­serv­ing ben­e­fi­cia­ries but for the West’s sur­ro­gate govern­ments.

Look at what has be­come of the Arab world with their West­ern-en­gi­neered Arab Spring? The world is lit­er­ally on fire. It’s a con­fla­gra­tion worse than the two world wars.

That is on the one hand: on the other the Chi­nese are con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence in these rav­aged and war-weary world spots.

The Chi­nese don’t go to for­eign lands with guns blaz­ing. In­stead they go with de­vel­op­ment plans.

They em­power the less en­dowed by eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance.

Their em­pha­sis of hu­man rights is on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as op­posed to po­lit­i­cal rights.

When the CCP as­sumed power in the late 1940s, an eco­nomic blue-print was laid out with a de­lib­er­ate tilt to­wards heavy in­dus­try, in other words the ac­cent was on ex­portable goods.

Wages were low, de­lib­er­ately low, so as to be spread lib­er­ally across the board such as to cater for the na­tion’s small fam­i­lies. This links smack with the one child per fam­ily pol­icy.

And this is what is called eco­nomic plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment: and only en­gi­neers can ex­cel at the feat.

Chi­nese heavy in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment has sat­u­rated the world, es­pe­cially in Africa.

In the DRC for ex­am­ple, more than 6 000km of rail­way lines have been laid. Else­where, hos­pi­tals, schools, dams and so on have been con­structed in con­se­quence of which em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties have been cre­ated for lo­cals.

An an­nual growth rate of more than 10 per­cent has now con­tracted to less than eight per­cent. This is by de­lib­er­ate plan­ning. China’s econ­omy is now in­ward­look­ing as con­cen­tra­tion is more on the do­mes­tic front than on the ex­port mar­ket.

This is a new phrase, a hys­tere­sis be­tween for­eign in­vest­ments and do­mes­tic in­vest­ments. This is sad news for the de­vel­op­ing na­tions. The Chi­nese are be­liev­ers in show­ing and in­volv­ing. They have nei­ther de­sire nor propen­sity to change the world, a pro­gres­sive world at that free from war, hunger and star­va­tion.

They do not be­lieve in evanes­cent hu­man rights as pro­bated by the West.

When­ever the Chi­nese go in the world, they leave be­hind them an in­deli­ble struc­tural pres­ence: eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Con­trar­ily the west­ern world of the cap­i­tal­ists leaves be­hind lega­cies of dev­as­ta­tion, ir­repara­bly bro­ken down economies and un­govern­able states burst­ing at the seams with un­det­o­nated bombs which in turn re­quire bil­lions of US dol­lars to clear, money which has to be bor­rowed from you know who.

All this is hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on the economies of the de­vel­op­ing world, plung­ing them even deeper into peren­nial re­ces­sions, ever rid­den and as­phyx­i­ated by debts.

One would have thought that lead­ers of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries would have reached a stage where they look at the pre­serve of the West in their re­spec­tive coun­tries through the same pair of lenses in­stead of a diffracted prism in which each coun­try chooses its own colour.

The de­vel­op­ing na­tions are not see­ing, or are mis­read­ing the anachro­nis­tic pres­ence of the West in their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

The West is sell­ing us fake eco­nomic blue­prints through the aus­pices of the Bret­ton Woods in­sti­tu­tions.

The con­ti­nent south of the Sahara is a cap­tive client, a guinea pig in the theatre of trial and er­ror blue­prints by the West.

At present the West, with re­spect to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment can­not square up to China, In­dia and the Tigers of the Far East. Euro­pean economies in par­tic­u­lar, have pre­cious lit­tle to of­fer to the world but an­te­dilu­vian the­o­ries of the Adam Smith era.

China is at the fore­front of the pur­suit and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the world’s best cham­pion of a so­cial­ist com­mu­nist econ­omy.

De­trac­tors of Marx’s eco­nomic blue­prints tell lies through the teeth that his poli­cies have failed.

Oth­er­wise how on earth could 110 of the cream of the west­ern econ­o­mists come to­gether to pro­duce a 647-page dic­tio­nary of Marx­ist thought? China prac­tises, the West the­o­rises. The dif­fer­ence is there for all to see. There is no econ­omy in the West which boasts an an­nual growth rate of more than 3.5 per­cent.

Re­cently, the Euro­peans have warned against the dan­ger of re­ly­ing on Chi­nese ex­ports to that con­ti­nent.

As noted above, the Chi­nese are slow­ing down on ex­ports to Europe. They are now in­ward look­ing. China does not seek to rule and sub­ju­gate the world uni­tar­ily as do the triple al­liance (read un­holy al­liance) of NATO-EU-US.

The Chi­nese are not vin­dic­tive and re­tribu­tive peo­ple as the Euro­peans and the Amer­i­cans are. If they were, Ja­pan would not be the same to­day. In fact, there would have been a Third World War, no doubt.

For years Ja­pan hu­mil­i­ated and bru­talised China on the be­hest of the US and Bri­tain.

If the US and UK can have de­pen­den­cies in far-away con­ti­nents, why can China not have Hong Kong, Ti­bet, Ma­cau and Tai­wan with all of which she has cul­tural, re­li­gious and ge­o­graph­i­cal con­nec­tions?

As for us Zim­bab­weans, time has al­ready run out to make choices.

We will con­tinue to moan and play the giddy goat with our­selves very much at our own peril.

Why not put our money where our col­lec­tive mouth is? Since their Long March, the Chi­nese are march­ing. The Chi­nese don’t bother when they are be­rated. They are mailed by a very strong pachy­derm. They mind their own busi­ness. Catch them if you will!

The new-look Victoria Falls in­ter­na­tional Air­port was com­mis­sioned on Fri­day by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. China pro­vided the con­ces­sion­ary loan for the mega project to Zim­babwe through the China Exim Bank and ten­der was awarded to Jiangsu In­ter­na­tional, a Chi­nese firm

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