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Rockntractor
10-03-2011, 07:34 PM
Its young are incapable, its old are exhausted, and box-ticking bureaucrats make life hell. China, a superpower? First it needs to grow up, says acclaimed author Xué Xinran

By Xué Xinran

8:00AM BST 02 Oct 2011

95 Comments

Is China going to oust the United States as the world’s superpower? Is China really ready to rule the world? For nearly a decade now, on book tours that have taken me all over the globe, this is the one subject I am always guaranteed to be grilled on.

I can understand why people ask me. My name is Xinran and I was born in Beijing in 1958. I am a British-Chinese broadcaster and author, and have lived in London since 1997, where I initially worked as a cleaner. I have a foot in both cultures, and yet, when my readers ask me whether Western fears that power is shifting inexorably to the East are justified, I struggle to answer them.

China is a sleeping lion, Napoleon once warned. “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” Nearly two centuries later, this lion is not only awake, but roaring. Foreign companies in Asia, factories in Africa, and even villages in Italy and streets in France have been snapped up by perspicacious Chinese businessmen. Growth may have slowed in the midst of the world debt crisis, but China remains the world’s low-cost manufacturer and the US’s biggest creditor, with one Washington think tank recently making the prediction that the Yuan could overtake the dollar as the principal reserve currency within a decade.

On my home turf in London, a string of schools now offer Mandarin lessons to children as young as three, including Easy Mandarin UK in Belgravia and the Link Chinese Academy, which runs “fun” classes in “the language of the future” in Soho, Liverpool Street and Hammersmith. Back in 2008, The Daily Telegraph reported a rush on Mandarin-speaking nannies by “high-achieving parents” looking to “invest in their children’s future”. Wherever you look, China’s dominance seems inevitable. But is it?

At least twice a year I go back to China to update my understanding of my magical, constantly changing home country. As a writer, I try to dig out what’s really going on behind the cities’ monolithic shopping centres, the billboards flashing that day’s FTSE index, as well as visiting the countryside, where life couldn’t be more different.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8796486/Why-China-wont-conquer-the-world.html

fettpett
10-03-2011, 07:50 PM
we just wait 40 years and they'll start dropping like flies...they won't be able to replace the people who die

Starbuck
10-03-2011, 08:58 PM
A fascinating article. Many people remember that I am a China skeptic, and it is articles like this that support my skepticism.

In another thread I linked an article that explained how the one child policy will, in the end, be the downfall of China. Even if it ended today, the damage is done.

If the working population of China is feeling burned out today with 18 hour days, imagine how they will feel in 20 years when there are even fewer workers.:confused:

Odysseus
10-03-2011, 10:06 PM
A fascinating article. Many people remember that I am a China skeptic, and it is articles like this that support my skepticism.

In another thread I linked an article that explained how the one child policy will, in the end, be the downfall of China. Even if it ended today, the damage is done.

If the working population of China is feeling burned out today with 18 hour days, imagine how they will feel in 20 years when there are even fewer workers.:confused:

I agree, but I still think that there is cause for concern. Historically, rising, confident nations are less of a threat than flailing, collapsing ones. A communist central committee that sees itself losing control of China is likely to indulge in very dangerous foreign adventures as a means of deflecting attention from its own failures, and China has historically been prone to bouts of nationalist violence. Could China conquer the world? Doubtful, but they can certainly make it less pleasant if they decide to try.

Starbuck
10-03-2011, 11:19 PM
I agree, but I still think that there is cause for concern. Historically, rising, confident nations are less of a threat than flailing, collapsing ones........

I'm sure you're right. I remember back in the early 90s when a Japanese official referred to America as Japan's sub-contractor; referred to lazy American workers; A news outlet played clip of a young Japanese lady explaining that America "should not tell us what to do - they work for us".

Ah, how times change. Of course, Japan was not a threat in the 90s; just over confident.

I understand China is very active in Africa, but I'm not sure what they are doing there. Perhaps that should be an area for vigilance. Fortunately for my sleep cycle people in another pay grade have to keep an eye on that sort of thing.........................I hope they do their job well.:)

Nubs
10-04-2011, 03:54 PM
I'm sure you're right. I remember back in the early 90s when a Japanese official referred to America as Japan's sub-contractor; referred to lazy American workers; A news outlet played clip of a young Japanese lady explaining that America "should not tell us what to do - they work for us".

Ah, how times change. Of course, Japan was not a threat in the 90s; just over confident.

I understand China is very active in Africa, but I'm not sure what they are doing there. Perhaps that should be an area for vigilance. Fortunately for my sleep cycle people in another pay grade have to keep an eye on that sort of thing.........................I hope they do their job well.:)

China in preparing Africa for development in 15 years. As products become standardized and wages rise, margin falls. China is developing infrastructure in Africa so when product China currently manufactures becomes not profitable, they will shift the manufacturing to a low wage area in Africa.