Thursday, 24 January 2008

How red is the Red Dragon?

The Chinese dragon is moving, and the economy is growing on the brink of overheating. Is this the first economically succesful communist state?

This question needs two considerations. First is the economy succesful? I would say yes, with a but. Their is a backside of the economic growth, the environment is suffering, inequalities are growing and the considerations of human rights are far behind the west. However, I believe the growing middle class, the increased education levels and general increased prosperity will create a demand for democracy, sooner or later. And then comes another question will China resolve this peacefully and how will this change China?

So what about the communism? Well on the surface China is still a communist state, but it's moving towards what is could be described as a state-controlled market economy. There are private or publicly owned companies competing on the same market as large state-owned enterprises, such as PetroChina. The governing body of the Communist party has already removed some of the older traditionally communistic hardliners. This is a clear indication of a shift towards market economy. Furthermore, a recognition of the potential gains of foreign direct investment is spreading.

My describtion of China would be a market-driven authoritarian regime. Which in some senses might be a contradiction, but this is where China seems to be going. What the future hold for the Red Dragon is yet to be decided.

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