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Is China leaving the US behind? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-9-12 09:14:37 |Display all floors
(FT) A week in China is enough to persuade anyone that the world has spun back to front. The benefits of immigration, the quest for fresh discoveries, the desire for education, the recognition of the benefits of stability, purpose and enterprise are flourishing in China at the very time that they are being maligned, belittled or ignored in the US by Donald Trump.

Take immigrants. The Chinese government has decided to expand a programme that allows qualified foreign graduates to obtain work and residency permits. It also floated the possibility of expanding the programme to provide for permanent residency. Compare this with the demonisation of Muslims, once welcomed in America, the proposed reversal of the “Dreamer” programme and the dragnets of Homeland Security personnel rounding up illegal immigrants in the US.

What about education? In China the central and provincial governments are rushing to build thousands of new schools in rural areas. The thirst for education accounts for a disproportionate amount of household spending. You have only to look at the burgeoning after-school tuition market to see the consequences. Millions of Chinese children are being prepped for tests. And private tutors, who are compensated according to bonus systems, earn an average of about $50,000 a year with a handful of outliers making as much as $300,000; although state schoolteachers take home much less.

Then consider factories. While Mr Trump barks about wanting to restore the manufacturing jobs of the 1950s, the Chinese are taking the opposite tack. Instead of placing more people on assembly lines, the government wants to install millions of robots over the coming decade. It has set itself the more audacious challenge of raising literacy levels rather than pretending it is possible to return to the past.

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Post time 2017-9-12 09:16:17 |Display all floors
There are plenty of other examples of how China is advancing while most of the US is either stuck in neutral or going into reverse. This week several Chinese airlines reported that their earnings were being hurt by travellers using freshly built high-speed train services. A number of local governments are saying that they intend to develop Hyperloop systems. Whether these initiatives amount to anything remains to be seen, but they stand in stark contrast to California’s $64bn effort to build a high-speed train track over a relatively short distance in the state’s Central Valley.

Meanwhile, China’s army of entrepreneurs is facing the future with an unrivalled sense of adventure and curiosity. The millions of internet-connected bikes that have appeared on the streets of China’s major cities during the past 18 months, although greeted with fury in some quarters, are the most visible emblem of this. Then there is DJI, a Shenzhen company and offshoot of the robotics lab of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, that makes 70 per cent of all drones sold around the world.

The most impressive example of Chinese global leadership is in electronic payments thanks to Alipay and WeChat Pay, the payment systems of the country’s two largest internet companies, Alibaba and Tencent. Every day, 600m payments course through WeChat Pay, allowing Chinese millennials to go for months without having to use cash.

Westerners often complain about the policies of the Chinese government. But from Beijing the world looks very different. Today’s political chaos in Washington and London leaves many Chinese wondering whether their long-held predictions about the eventual collapse of democracy are coming true. Either way, there can be little debate about what the government in China has done to improve the wellbeing of its people over the past 30 years.

If Mr Trump demands proof of the progress made in China in terms he understands, he should send the managers of his pocket-sized portfolio of hotels to visit the best hotels in Beijing and Shanghai. There they would find a level of service unparalleled in New York, London or Paris. Perhaps then even Mr Trump would understand that China has much to teach the rest of us.

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Post time 2017-9-12 15:21:52 |Display all floors
I still think it is too early to sing praises about China. The effort to improve is evident but the result is not clear yet. China must be ready to adapt along the way. The most important is that while living standard is better, social ethics must not be neglected. Otherwise materialism, covetousness, selfishness, and corruption will be rampant.

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Post time 2017-9-12 23:22:32 |Display all floors
What prompts me usually to add my barbed comments is the grandstanding that Chinese propaganda always engages in in such a nerve-racking manner:

Compare this with the demonisation of Muslims,


China in no way handles Muslim interests and culture with any more sensitivity than does the U.S.A. Just today I read that a Hui man was sentenced to jail for discussing religious matters with other Muslims on WeChat. And that's not the worst: go to Xinjiang and witness how the native peoples there get marginalised and ostracised for their cultures!

And where are the IMMIGRANTS in China? CUrrently China has none; it has 900'000 foreign residents, some who have work permits for a limited period, some who are married to locals and also have to apply for a new residency permit every once in a short while, and some as students. There is no "immigrant" here.

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Post time 2017-9-12 23:23:35 |Display all floors
I also think China is claiming credit for the wrong reasons:

What about education? In China the central and provincial governments are rushing to build thousands of new schools in rural areas. The thirst for education accounts for a disproportionate amount of household spending. You have only to look at the burgeoning after-school tuition market to see the consequences. Millions of Chinese children are being prepped for tests. And private tutors, who are compensated according to bonus systems, earn an average of about $50,000 a year with a handful of outliers making as much as $300,000; although state schoolteachers take home much less.

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Post time 2017-9-12 23:27:42 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2017-9-12 23:23
I also think China is claiming credit for the wrong reasons:

In point of fact, China's so-called "education" is nothing to be proud of. It creates elitism and legions of academic proles capable of nothing. These academics only have acquired an entitlement syndrome. They think society owes them plush jobs. They don't understand that they ought to contribute to society. Your schools and universities are stuck in the past. Real education can only be obtained abroad. Don't forget that your leaders learnt from Westerners how to build a more modern nation.

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Post time 2017-9-12 23:31:50 |Display all floors
ceciliazhang Post time: 2017-9-12 09:16
There are plenty of other examples of how China is advancing while most of the US is either stuck in ...
The most impressive example of Chinese global leadership is in electronic payments thanks to Alipay and WeChat Pay, the payment systems of the country’s two largest internet companies, Alibaba and Tencent. Every day, 600m payments course through WeChat Pay, allowing Chinese millennials to go for months without having to use cash.


Many Europeans are aware of this but they hardly envy Chinese for the privilege of making electronic payments. Meanwhile, if a foreigner takes a Chinese urban bus he has to learn to holler because if he doesn't he may not be let off the bus at the bus stop where he wishes to alight. Really, whby do buses in China require passengers to have to verbally tell the driver when they want to get off? In the West buses have for maybe thousands of years had buttons to press...  

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