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Jiang outlines plans to make China wealthier
November 8, 2002 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Jiang outlines plans to make China wealthier Ah, Adam Smith in and K. Marx out. Brting on the Krispy Kreeme franchises. Bet there won't be labor unions in the near future but an economically powerful China plus the EU will give America some strong competition.
posted by Postroad (14 comments total)

 
Bet there won't be labor unions in the near future but an economically powerful China plus the EU will give America some strong competition.


That's what they thing, but wait until we bust out the "asynchronous warfare"

Bwuahahah

USA #1 WOOOOO
posted by delmoi at 6:35 AM on November 8, 2002


Also will need to merge with Canada and mexico, and then the UK and Japan.
posted by delmoi at 6:36 AM on November 8, 2002


Kurt Vonnegut wrote a short story in which China conquered the world by miniaturizing and then infecting everyone else in the world with tiny chinese

They're actually investing quite heavily in nanotech....
posted by troutfishing at 6:45 AM on November 8, 2002


Small pockets of dissent have surfaced. In at least three instances Friday, people tried to scatter leaflets around the front of the Great Hall. Police swooped in and cleared the papers before anyone could see what they said, and in two cases they detained several people.

I think you're drawing a slightly hastened conclusion with that "K. Marx out" thing...

But it's good to see that even the Chinese communists are getting a clue. Shanghai is looking promising, and they haven't completely botched up good ol' Hong Kong.
posted by dagny at 6:47 AM on November 8, 2002


Remind me again, what's it called when the Government, State, Party & Business combine?

O yeah, that's it - fashionable. I'm sure it won't catch on though. Too many goddam rules.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:48 AM on November 8, 2002


an economically powerful China plus the EU will give America some strong competition.

Competition for what?
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 6:49 AM on November 8, 2002


Reminds me of this commercial (1.6MB mpg)
posted by stbalbach at 7:04 AM on November 8, 2002


... an economically powerful China plus the EU will give America some strong competition ...

Well, capitalists like myself would be more likely to say, "... an economically powerful China plus the EU will give America some strong markets ..."

I'd love to see the EU achieve a genuinely effective, unified trading bloc, and China really unleash the creativity of its citizens. Not only don't I think the US would be worse off as a result, I think the US, the EU, and China would all be better off.

But I think this is probably some time in the future. Chinese politics has virtually nothing to do with the formal meetings or pronouncements of the Party Congresses. The words spoken (especially after being translated) can mean much less than the inflection with which they are said, and the particular seats various players are sitting in as they listen. It is a very old and subtle culture.

It's also got over a billion freakin' people, so nothing is going to happen very quickly. Governing that country is like piloting a supertanker.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:30 AM on November 8, 2002


More-or-less on the same topic, the Chinese government is building an internet-accessible legislative information system similar to that of the US. They're sending someone from their Legislative Affairs office to the Library of Congress in December to study our system. It will be interesting (to say the least) to see how they structure their system.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:39 AM on November 8, 2002


dash, you're not the first to notice.

The WaPo has a more detailed look: Under Jiang, Party Changed to Remain in Power. Jiang is exiting, so he's trying to paint up a nice legacy for himself, but he really hasn't changed the direction -- they're still in the era begun by Deng Xiaoping. The key trends that have been occurring there are co-optation of the emerging middle class, and civilian control of the military. Entrepreneurs have been allowed into the party, and the party has withdrawn its "socialist" responsibility over peoples' lives, especially their jobs. As long as you have no interest in politics, a Chinese today can live his life much as he might in any other country. Cultural controls were loosened long ago -- I still remember the "first" Western rock concert in China, but today it's a regular stop.

It's been known for almost three years that Jiang would turn over the reins to Hu at this party conference, but during the last year much speculation arose that he'd only release some of his jobs and keep others. Fortunately, enough dissent was possible that there were editorials discussing how bad an idea this would be, and so far Jiang appears ready to allow a complete transition to the next generation, albeit with close allies in firm control. China is exceptionally sensitive to pushback they were getting from the West about ensuring a stable, swift transition, rather than an extended period of confusion about who the "real" leader of China might be.

To the extent that China is now recognizing the value of the rule of law (a catchphrase, these days, for accountable legal practices within a constitutional system), they're certainly interested in presenting an open face regarding its own legislative actions -- even if those don't represent what we would recognize as democracy. (The real action happens at the party conferences, and even those are worked out in advance to have essentially unanimous votes.) But the business need for certainty in regulation is probably what's driving the program MrMoonPie brings up.
posted by dhartung at 9:14 AM on November 8, 2002


But the business need for certainty in regulation is probably what's driving the program MrMoonPie brings up.

I think you are partially right about this dhartung, but there's another element that I suspect is the primary motivation - the fact that dissidents ... especially a lot of ex-pats ... are now aggressively (and quite effectively) using the internet as a distribution system for alternative perspectives.

The Chinese do attempt to control the flow of information - but it is becoming increasingly difficult, and ultimately they will fail. They fully understand that they must permit access to the global internet for their businesses to be even remotely competitive, but they also wish to sharply limit the vast variety of perspectives people can access on the net (in global business circles this contradiction is somewhat humorously referred to as "dot communism").

China does have some seriously big bandwidth built into its infrastructure, and it is investing more every day - but they want the sorts of content carried by that bandwidth to come under government control. In essence, they've created a sort of private national intranet, and try to filter the content that can come into China using relatively sophisticated technology (all access to the global internet in China passes through three gateways, in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing).

There are, however, some stunningly brave folks within China, and some expats in several countries (including the US), that are both committed to the free flow of information, and are technically brilliant enough to engage in information warfare with the Chinese government. The infamous Dacankao newsletter, for instance, is emailed - from a Chinese fellow now living in Washington DC - to a couple of million email addresses across China. The guy gets email addresses from a variety of sources, but it is not a subscription based service (i.e., the Chinese cannot punish people who get it, because they don't sign up for it). The organization also maintains a website (... sorry, it's all in Chinese ...). It publishes articles critical of the government, articles by dissidents, and in general just perpetually stirs the soup. It is not exactly "radical", in fact is often quite measured and judicious in tone ... i.e., the US equivalent would not be an Earth First! or Ruckus Society newsletter, but rather something more like the NYT, or San Francisco Examiner. It is only radical in China because there is no such thing as a free press, and absolutely no government criticism in the press.

Naturally, the government attempts to block this sort of email traffic, and tries to block access to such websites. However, every time the government evolves a technical solution to block access, white-hat hackers respond with tools to render the government solution meaningless. In fact, sometimes software used for other purposes is adapted in inventive ways ("Triangulation", for instance, is a technical solution first developed by a US firm - SafeWeb - to help users mask the websites they are visiting ... while the company sells to big corporations, it published a small program for free that individual users could download ... this thing wound up being downloaded in huge quantities in China, and, weirdly enough, the US CIA itself recently added some venture capital to the company, asking them to build a customization that makes the software even more applicable to the Chinese technical infrastructure).

Well - this is probably way more than anyone wanted to read. Point is, I suspect they are introducing the system MrMoonPie is speaking of because they understand that they'll never be able to stop access to alternative perspectives on it's legislation, so it needs to move more aggressively to distribute the "official" perspective.
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:40 AM on November 8, 2002


What do you folks feel about the proliferation of dependence on commodities in poorer countries? Does anyone believe that as poorer countries begin to focus on natural resources and other commodities that they will never be able to be in a position to advance their economy beyond that stage? What happens to countries that are entirely dependent on oil when fuel cells replace gasoline in cars? Isn't the whole idea of globalization and specialization going to keep the poor poor and keep the rich rich? Even if these countries develop their technology sectors from the revenue they generate from the sale of their commodities, won't we be overproducing too many products? When everything becomes manufactured by machine, won't the duplication of these processes in poorer countries lead to oversaturation in the market?
posted by banished at 12:05 PM on November 8, 2002


I guess the only answer is socialism and forced redistribution of wealth. Off with their heads! (The greedy capitalist pigs)

What happens to countries that are entirely dependent on oil when fuel cells replace gasoline in cars?

Could you name some countries where this is the case? Also, please tell me why we should give a damn about the plight of the Saudi Arabians?

Even if these countries develop their technology sectors from the revenue they generate from the sale of their commodities, won't we be overproducing too many products?

There is no 'we' and there will always be trade. Overproduction or surpluses ultimately benefit the consumer.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:51 PM on November 8, 2002


banished, what indeed happens to the buggy-whip makers? I tell you, I'm worried.
posted by dhartung at 5:21 PM on November 8, 2002


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