wants fast track ability and increased domestic energy resources.
According to an article in the New York Times, Bush's plan
addresses the need for increased economic globalism to combat terror-inspired
fear, and he wants an independent energy source in case Saudi Arabia
leaves the US fold and none of the Central Asian states enter the
are supposedly entering a new recession with growth limited to a
paltry 1.4%, if that
biggie. The US is still the world's powerhouse in most fields. A
little recession won't keep us from eating steak and potatoes whenever
we want to.
While We Grow
Fat, the Chinese Grow Rich
ridiculous growth rates of the Chinese economy have been making
headlines for a few years now. The opportunities presented by a
nation of 1.3 billion with a growing desire for the good life has
kept Western businessmen drooling and kowtowing for just as long.
fall of the Twin Towers has done nothing to change this. As most
of the world is swept up in wartime politics and economics, China
keeps on chugging along, racking up 40+ billion dollars in foreign
direct investment as it goes.
is the spot corporations want their production lines to be. Labor
here is plentiful, obedient and cheap. There will be little whining
about sweatshop conditions here. Farmer/porters count their blessings
every time someone from the top of one of Chongqing's many hills
buys a TV in the lower neighborhoods. These men of stone and sinew
lug TVs up and down the hills all day while puffing on throat-searing
homegrown. After that they head to the midnight construction site
and hew stone for eight hours with a hammer and chisel. 25 yuan
(3 USD) for eight hours work.
fellas are a CEO's dream come true. Couple this with a government
extremely serious about keeping order and equally serious about
bringing in foreign money and you have a country set to become the
world's manufacturing plant.
is busy replacing Japan as the electronics manufacturer of the world,
and Nokia knows this, as does Motorola, Fujitsu, GE, Samsung, etc.
Nokia has just signed a USD100 million with Beijing Mobile, and
Motorola has millions invested in the mobile phone business as well.
article in the China Daily puts it this way:
has many talented professionals, a number of patented high-tech
inventions some of which are near international advanced level,
a series of regulations and laws guaranteeing the growth of the
high-tech sector, and a growing domestic market for high-tech products.
These factors combined provide a sound condition for the growth
of the high-tech industry in China."
500 companies have more than 2000 projects running in China right
now and more than 100 research centers have been established by
major multinationals such as AT&T and Siemens in cooperation
with the Chinese government.
era of China is arriving,"said Harald Lux, president of the
OBI Group of Germany, citing the fact that China is the world's
largest market for digital converters and the second-largest market
for personal computers in Asia. German companies such as Siemens
AG and Formtec Gmbh are taking advantage of the rather good relationship
between the two countries and the recent visit by Prime Minister
Gerhard Schroeder to conduct brisk and profitable business with
leading Chinese telecommunications, pharmaceutical and automotive
companies. Chinese consider German cars to be the best built in
the world, the BMW is called a "treasure/precious horse."
Chinese companies hope to use German engineering to prepare their
cars for the coming onslaught of multinationals following WTO membership.
China and the US are hunting for domestic energy sources. While
Bush hopes nuclear power will be a cornerstone of future energy,
China looks to exploit vast reserves of minerals, gas, oil and coal
that have never been developed in the Western Provinces. The Chinese
government recently compiled a list of ten sites that need development,
preferably with foreign companies leading the drive. Mining right
fees, prospecting fees and ownership limitations have all been eased
or downright scrapped in some cases in order to make mining in Qinghai
more attractive to foreign companies.
is also deeply involved in coal mining in the Thar desert in Pakistan.
The project involves a rail link as well as exploitation of billions
of tons of coal. ASEAN countries are hoping to cash in on China's
rise and stem their own downslide by creating a China = ASEAN Free
Trade Area in the coming months.
is moving into the role of regional powerhouse through economic
domination. Neighbors, far from being spooked and defensive, are
trying to jump on the wagon and get a piece before its gone. China
knows this, and is already wondering aloud in an article in the
Chongqing Daily what India is doing "looking for more room
in the Indian Ocean," as if China already has dibs on the ocean,
or a right to say anything at all. One would expect articles like
these in the New York Times.
as the US, UK and Russia haggle over who gets to split up Afghanistan
as if Kabul were already taken and Osama had already shot himself
in his bunker, China continues to assume a leadership of sorts in
East Asia. Whether increased economic power in East Asia translates
into increased power in Central Asia remains to be seen.
printable version of this article
is a teacher living and working in China. His articles have appeared
in the South China Morning Post, the Minnesota Daily,
and elsewhere. His exclusive Antiwar.com column (usually) appears
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