Some thirty years ago, no one worried much about China, as it was still considered a Third World nation, and today, one could argue that it is still a Third World nation, even though cities like Beijing and Shanghai and about 20 or 30 others are quite advanced, with modern architecture, infrastructure, and amenities. Nevertheless, the rest of the country is quite poor, with farmers that are barely scraping by. In China you either are rich or poor, and there are very few in the middle class, and that’s even if you call the middle class those people who made $1300 last year.
Not long ago, we were discussing all this in our think tank which happens to operate online. One of the questions was; “what concerns you about China?” Here are some of the issues that concern me – issues and challenges, which I believe our think tank needs to address;
Trade Wars, Chinese Military, lack of transparency, weapons sales to enemies, raw materials, lack of regulation of products, labor challenges, floods, growing pains, investments, outsourcing, old guard leaving – new guard coming in. Pollution, dead sea zones, water rights, traffic jams, bad loans and municipal vehicles, currency issues, world-wide scavenger hunt for oil, border disputes, ethnic cleansing, loss of industries to china – automotive, computer, aviation manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, etc. ASEAN block challenges.
And, I continued to rattle off more problems and challenges which I feel must be addressed right now; Internet censorship, religious freedom, human rights, policy, diplomacy, economics, trade, environment, education, think tanks. And let’s not forget issues with Taiwan, Burma, India, Japan, and Tibet – or some of the major current problems in the news; Typhoons, floods, pollution, ocean dead zones, and inner province economic development.
A few days ago, at the coffee shop I was talking to a second generation Chinese American, who is now a schoolteacher here in the US and he indicated the biggest problem in China wasn’t any of the things I mentioned above rather he said their problem is massive corruption. Now then, China does not want to be told what to do by the United States or anyone else, but now that China has the second largest GDP of any nation on earth, and we continue to have a trade deficit with them of almost half $1 trillion per year, if we don’t talk about these things it is liable to sink our economy, which would also sink the Chinese economy, along with the rest of the world.
Do you see that point? This is why we need free trade, but we must have fair trade, were this is simply not going to be sustainable the long run. Please consider all this.