井底之蛙

9/7/2005

For this you need an expert?

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 2:14 pm

[via Simon World] An expert has outlined the six most significant problems facing China, which is to say, facing China’s government:

  • Demographics
  • Energy and Raw Resource Consumption
  • Ecological deterioration
  • Urbanization
  • Regional Gaps and Rural Economics
  • Sustainable Development and Power

This is an interesting, if entirely unsurprising, list, because it focuses on what the government can and should do for the Chinese people, but leaves out the three most significant challenges to the government itself:

  • Ethnic tensions and national identity
  • Political liberalization, aka democratization
  • Information access and control, aka censorship
  • Update: regarding the second and third above, see this

In answer to the above six problems, the government has offered, in rather stereotypical Chinese fashion, a 45-year plan with a slogan: “Three Zero Growths,” meaning stabilization of population, energy and resource use, and environmental decay. There’s some positive aspects, including education and tech sector growth, life expectancy increases, and “wealth creation” though all of those are processes that will occur pretty naturally, if the government doesn’t interfere with them, so that’s not the ambitious aspect of this plan. The continued committment of the Chinese government to mass social and economic engineering (and to retention of its near-absolute authority) is perhaps the most significant thing this tells us.

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