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Scrutiny
  
Will the dragon strike back again
It’s a no brainer that China rules the current BRIC countries list. Despite many experts forecasting that other BRIC countries would catch up with China in the years to come, the IIPM Think Tank shows why that is wishful...
07/08/2008

One of the very few successful communist countries in the world, China, has become one of the world’s favourite child from the 80s since the dragon realised the need and urgency to initiate economic transformation. Since then, China has been a perfect example of economic revolution with stupendous economic growth, and human development and prosperity among third world countries, which Japan and Korea had initiated almost five decades before.

Perhaps considering the ongoing economic transformation, Goldman Sachs, in the 2003 report, had clearly set China among the forerunner economies and predicted that if everything goes right, then along with other BRIC countries like Brazil, Russia and India, about whom we’ve already discussed in detail earlier in this section, China will witness robust growth and development in the future and, as we had mentioned earlier, could overtake Germany within the next four years, Japan by 2015 and the US by 2039. However, such predictions are made in such a time when China has really been successful in witnessing double digit growth since the last many years.

As per official figures, China’s GDP growth in the last year was over 11.4%. A specific study jointly done by the Financial Times and Global Insights has ranked China the world’s 3rd largest manufacturing country after the US and Japan. The same study further prophesied that with the current level of high growth rate in manufacturing [which is on an average 10-15% CAGR], China will be the world’s largest manufacturer by 2025. The global manufacturing industry was estimated to be over $8.4 trillion in 2003 and is expected to add another $7.1 trillion by 2015, of which China will have a share of almost $2.4 trillion.
Exports have also increased many-fold over the last ten to fifteen years. High growth of exports has also catapulted the dragon into the 3rd largest exporter in the world after Germany and the US. And most recently, there has been a drastic transformation in Chinese exports over the last few years, according to IMF observations. Exports of agricultural products or soft goods like apparel, appliances, have sharply declined while exports of heavy engineering goods like machinery, power generation equipment, electronics, computers etc. have increased exponentially. China has been the world’s hottest destination with FDI crossing over $69 billion in FY 07-08, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry. The country has also been credited in bringing substantial human development and eradicating poverty over the last many years [the UN confirms that in the last century, China brought above the poverty level, more number of people than ever done in the history of mankind].

But things might not remain as simple as they seem now. There are many uncertainties, risks and challenges that the dragon still faces. And one of them is, of course, the political setup that China currently has. China is not a democratic country; it’s a die hard communist country. History bears testimony to the fact that the communist regime has caused over eight million deaths in its history in various forms of civil wars, cultural revolutions, famine and most deprecatingly, through government initiated quasi-genocides. Especially so when in the history of communism, rare has been the day when a communist leader has taken the blame for the atrocities caused by them.

China and the ruling Communist Party have always been in the forefront of criticism and discussions for many of the worst cases of human rights violations by the global human rights bodies. Revolution in China is near impossible; and worse than that if the revolution is by the common people for a common interest.

By:- Akram Hoque
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