China is making rapid progress, throwing up new programs in every area, be it political, social or economic. Even though its political philosophy continues to be communism for the sake or records, it has diluted many of the tenets at the practical level. How it has achieved, what it has achieved? Is China really an economic and political threat? Will it develop the capacity to make the super-powers sorry? China is perhaps is in no hurry to answer that question.
If one goes by the available facts, and not by what is told through the propaganda machinery, China has many problems, both at the social and economic levels. As for the availability of cheap labor, China scores the advantage over the Western countries. Being a secretive communist country, information is leaked on selective basis, and the weaknesses are swept under the carpet. Scrutiny is done on the terms of the government and the report submitted as per directions received from the top. But as for its achievements, China is an open book. Its exports are rising and that brings its precious foreign exchange.
Communism steeped in Confucianism? Incredible but true. Superiority complex as for the race is the hallmark of Chinese culture. They wish the world communities to acknowledge this. A student of Chinese history will tell you that the driving force in China today is not communist ideology as commonly believed, but the ancient Chinese civilization. The Chinese military that was in the driver’s seat was directed to take the back-seat and focus on economic growth turned out to be the number one objective since Mao’s death. The shift from die-hard communism to pragmatism began in the year 1961 at the Guangzhou conference when the late Premier Deng Xiaoping initiated the changed approach. To him production was more important than the clash of ideologies. Whether capitalist or communist ideology—it must deliver the goods.
The Chinese economy
“According to projections by Goldman Sachs, the three largest economies in the world by 2050 will be China, followed by a closely matched America and India someway behind, and then Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Indonesia.”(Jacques, 2009, p.3) The Chinese system of economic development has many issues to deal with. The silent protests are taking concrete shapes. The Chinese Government is not relenting and refuses to believe the inevitable happening sooner or later. The Tiananmen protestors were brutally suppressed by the Chinese military might by killing the youngsters. Hundreds paid with their lives. 300 plus Chinese intellectuals last December submitted a written memorandum to the Chinese Government suggesting reforms. But it cannot be concluded convincingly that Chinese people are dying for democracy. Majority of the Chinese people do not like democracy. They do not like the Western lifestyles. That they do not like democracy does not mean that they are happy with the present state of affairs. They resent the corrupt bureaucracy, its inefficiency and desire tangible reforms.
The future prospectus – advantage China!
The rise of China will likely to create one of the largest shifts in global power in human history. When economic issues take the political angle in world politics, it turns out to be the grave issue. America will never allow its economic supremacy to be challenged by an Asian country. On the cultural front also it sees the danger from China. When it’s economic and defense interests are in jeopardy, USA may indulge in created tensions and may try to exert its influence on other Asian countries. A new equation for economic and defense interests may be in the offing. China is threatening to realign the global power structure and its weapon is economic prosperity. Whenever its economic and political sovereignty was threatened in the past USA had acted decisively to recoup its original position.
The Chinese leadership is sure about the direction which they have to take. It is upgrading its universities to compete with the best in the world. It is making efforts to persuade overseas Chinese to return to mainland. One third of the Silicon Valley professionals and technical staff are Chinese, and Chinese consider this as their future asset. Granting access to its markets to foreign firms has been done in exchange for intellectual knowledge. It has no inhibitions for intellectual piracy so far it serves the good of the nation. China will be the top competitor in aircraft manufacture, electric automobiles, computers, solar panels and communications. The cost advantage they enjoy in the household products, biomedical products will put them in an enviable position in the world markets. All things considered China will be the dominant economic power in the 21st century.
China has proved to the world, that without democracy it is possible to make progress. In world politics it is neutral; it is securing its interests, and does not meddle with the affairs of other nations. It pursues the policy of non-interference and does a good balancing act. China hasn’t dispatched a single soldier to Iraq or Afghanistan and it is doing trading with both the countries.
Ref: Jacques, Martin. When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World: Allen Lane, 25 Jun 2009.