Thursday, March 29, 2012

'China: Growth on surface, lots of problems underneath'

Chinese workers go about their chores at a textile factory in Huaibei, Anhui province in China (AFP Photo / China out)

Source: Russia Today

It is wrong to idealize the Chinese success, let alone fear Chinese economic dominance in the future. It is not coming, Chairman of Glencore International corp., Simon Murray, told RT.

“China on a comparison basis is certainly doing better than anywhere else but whether it is going to lead the world forever and ever I do not think so,” said Murray, who spent most of his career in China.

Secret of China’s success is nothing unique: the country is just coming through the cycles Europe has long passed in the previous eras, he noted.

“China is a manufacturing country … Manufacturing is what really leads the prosperity and the western world has swung away from manufacturing into service industries,” Murray said. He added that after China passes its equivalent of industrial revolution it might move its factories offshore just like the West now.

There is also nothing unique in the so-called Asian values of hard labor, the British businessman noted. They are exactly the same as in the Victorian England with 15-16-year-olds working in coal mines.

“Today everything is much softer [in the UK] and there are human rights and entitlement and benefits and so on,” he said. “China does not have those … Yes they have huge monetary success on the surface but underneath they have lots and lots of problems.”

Despite China boasting 350,000 millionaires and 115 billionaires, 700 million of its people live on just "four dollars a day",Murray said, and discontent is growing.

“In many villages there are riots and people are on strike,” Murray added. “If those towns all got up on the same day and rebelled China would have big problems.”

The Chinese Communist Party’s prior task was maintaining stability in problem territories, Murray says, “They could do it because the Communist Party is very-very tough.”

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