February 09, 2006

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China 80 Years Behind US: People's Daily

Amusing article today on a study done by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on how far behind China is in terms of social and economic development. They have concluded that China is still a less developed country that is 80 years behind the US, France, Sweden and Germany. They said economically that there was less of a gap.

Unsurprisingly, there was no mention of the gap in political development.

While it is a welcome respite from Chinese triumphalism and scaremongering Western journalist reports, one hopes this will not serve as a justification for why some things don't work as well as they should (i.e., thousands of miners getting killed each year, and the government subsequently announcing they are shooting for a 3% reduction in deaths this year).

In any case, it would be interesting to note why such a study was commissioned in the first place.

posted by HK Dave on 02.09.06 at 01:39 PM in the China economy category.


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Excerpt: Some fuzzy social science grabs the attention of China Daily: No poverty and child labor; a life expectancy of above 80; everyone entitled to medical insurance and unemployment benefits; and the lowest monthly salary surpassing US$1300... A dream you
Weblog: The Useless Tree
Tracked: February 10, 2006 10:47 AM


I suspect the objectives are
1) highlight the difference and jobs to be done in future
2) ease the china threat pressure

i do not think they try to use that to justify the gap in political development.

posted by: sun bin on 02.09.06 at 03:01 PM [permalink]

Hi Sun Bin, I do agree with your analysis. But it was actually myself that mentioned that the US in the 1920s had as many coal miner deaths as China or more, proportionate to the population, a few weeks ago.

It appears to me that a few of the cities of China at least are substantially closer to Western levels than the study suggests. I was just expressing the hope that the government will be able to develop without having to / being willing to undergo the same sacrifices in human costs as the US and other countries did 80 years before.

posted by: HK Dave on 02.09.06 at 03:14 PM [permalink]

Based on the entertainment programming on CCTV, I would say China is about where the US was in the 70s. No wonder John Denver is so popular there!

posted by: Derek Scruggs on 02.13.06 at 08:14 AM [permalink]

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