China's Dream

By N. Gunasekran

China’s 30 years of nearly uninterrupted high growth is an outstanding phenomenon in contemporary history. The International Monetary Fund recently predicted that China’s GDP growth rate this year will be 9.6%. Bearing in mind the catastrophic economic crisis engulfing the global economy and the US and EU sinking further into deep recession, China’s advance is a great achievement. But mainstream corporate media are disgustingly ignoring this wonderful development in China.

How could China surge ahead and come to the status of the second largest economic power behind the US and maintain that status in spite of the severe downturn in the global economy? To put it simply, China’s strength in containing the impact of global crisis comes from its state control over the commanding heights of the economy and, by contrast, the corporate power is formidable over the economies of the US, the UK and developing countries.

Many governments are trying to tackle the economic crisis and recession by cutting the living standards of the toiling sections, and shifting the burden on the poor to safeguard the interests of the corporate elites. China’s government and its public-sector banks and corporations have actually increased the investments and expanded spending on education, health, infrastructure and pensions. Today, the Chinese government is actively involved in social development.

The working people are getting subsidized housing in major provinces. The government has resolved to deliver 36 million subsidized houses over the next five years. This is one of its policy instruments to address the problems created by accelerating urbanization and its resulting inequality in the Chinese society.

Growth and influence of the public sector is significant in China’s economy. The public sector banks are mainly promoting long-investments to raise productivity, output and employment. This is in contrast to the neoliberal financialization taking place in Western countries and in many developing countries, such as India. In these countries, corporate looting is going on in sectors like insurance, real estate and finance.

China’s per capita income at the end of 2010 was 7.8% for the urban residents and 10% for rural residents. Compared to all developing economies, this figure is appreciating. India’s per capita income is now reached the $1,000-mark.China’s per capita income is at $3,400 in average; however, it is much higher in developed regions in China. Experts term this surge in China “consumption boom”.

For all its might, the Chinese state is the target of attack by mainstream media and they call it authoritarian. Whatever may be the veracity of this claim, the reality is that the so called democracy practiced in the US and in other countries, which seems to be giving room for debates and discussions, has been accelerating corporate plunder and causing distress for billions of working people.

The founders of modern China have aspired to turn China from the backward agricultural country into a powerful modernized industrial country. For a longtime, this ideal is expressed as “China Dream.” To the astonishment of economists and historians across the world, the Chinese have made strides toward achieving their dream within a very short span of time. And now they are pursuing efforts to bring prosperity to each Chinese citizen. Although there are still problems such as inflation, urbanization, inequality, huge population, demand for speedy improvement in basic needs and environmental degradation, they are striving to complete their “China Dream” with sheer determination, which is unparalleled in history.

N. Gunasekaran is a political activist and writer based in Chennai, India.

From The Progressive Populist, September 15, 2011

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