Saturday, March 10, 2012

U.S.A. - China's Bitch ?

Former Goldman Sachs partner Peter Kiernan, author of Becoming China's Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now, on CNN sharing his concerns about China replacing the U.S. as the world's top economy.

The broadcast was two days ago, and I first hesitated to write just another blogspot on a subject of international importance. I found it hard to deliver an adequate and fair evaluation of the present situation after having invested a lot of time to receive a broader knowledge and understanding of China's language, culture and historic development.

Here are some data that support Kiernan's theses of China going to dominate the U.S.A.. China's answer, however, can be read at the end of my blogspot.

However, there is nothing new in it. The trend of China's rising influence is visible for many years. Could it be that the West has slept too long instead of rising in competition ?

As to China, who would not understand the Chinese people's striving for a better life after all those hardships suffered through the years of the Cultural Revolution and other politically motivated campaigns on behalf of some grass-root Communism that dominated China for many decades ?

Throughout China's history, its tribes have virtually "invaded" South-East-Asia as honorable merchants and detested smugglers. They have spread their culture to Japan and even made an early contact with the Arabic world. Since 1800 they arrived in North-America to earn a living while realizing badly needed railway connections from coast to coast.

Far away from the country of their ancestors they founded prospering communities all over the world in towns like San Francisco, London and Singapore, only to mention some of the most important and oldest settlements. As a result of steady efforts and Chinese ability to cope with hardships of all kind, some of them soon succeeded in business affairs and were often regarded as a danger by those who claimed older rights. No wonder that Chinese were mobbed in some South-East-Asian countries, their natural resort for emigration. In Indonesia, things culminated in bloody riots against Chinese immigrants who already controlled the economy. Even though nowadays, the proportion of Chinese in that country can be considered as insignificant, their economic influence is still highly remarkable.

Someone I spoke to compared the Chinese emigration with that of the Jews who are similarly distributed all over the world and who tend to be living in their own communities making money there. Such analogy has the truth, with the exception that Chinese never killed another people's Messiah and one of Allah's prophets. Furthermore, the Chinese have no use of a Wailing Wall in spite of so many hardships they had to overcome in their history.

After China had slowly regained its political power under Mao Tse Tung, following a century of stagnation that was due to the crumbling of the old Chinese empire and the rise of Japan, it only needed the economic reforms and some freedom of trade in the era of Deng Xiao Ping and his successors to put China into a kind of economic pole position. And that's just what we have to deal with.

China has simply been underestimated during all those years of Communist rule. Same goes with the Arabic race that was hampered in its development by political constellations established by their former colonial powers and by recent Western politics that used to maintain a "balance of horror" while supporting all those corrupt leaders who are now being swept away.

And even nowadays Western politicians surprise us with funny remarks like our German Chancellor, Frau Merkel, who recently said: "To work in Germany, you don't have to learn Chinese and Arabic". That was when she headed to Portugal in order to find badly needed workers while many qualified German specialists and who now depend on social welfare are unable to fill the gap because of drastic restrictions to additional income. Maybe we should tell her: "You never know what you will need to learn in order to survive in a world of growing competition". Moreover, I remember a German middle-class employer from my region who successfully introduced his company's products on the Chinese market. He said: "If you want to make it in China, you'll have to rely on any professional help you can get your hands on, including, both, foreign and home support."

And finally, wasn't it on Capitol Hill in Washington DC that a nominated candidate for the chairmanship of some committee dealing with foreign policy had been questioned about his qualifications for the job ? Being asked about his knowledge of foreign languages, he simply replied: "I speak English, that will be sufficient." Even though I forgot that gentleman's name, this is a true story.

For all those U.S. citizens who are venturing to deal with China and its people, here some examples taken from an old guide to the Chinese language and that should be regarded as outdated. Don't use such phrases and the ideology behind them any longer !

Practical Chinese for U.S. diplomats, published in 1931:

A diplomatic household employing a new cook:

Chapter on meeting bandits:

Talk on politics - It's about Communists:


UPDATE on March 11:

The following financial news from People's Network, Beijing, should be compared to a past reality not so long ago when China's citizens held no significant bank accounts at all [People's Network on March 10, 2012]:

去年全国居民存款缩水6600余亿 人均财富“蒸发”500余元
Last year, the bank savings of all Chinese citizens were shrinking by more than 6.6 billion Yuan, i.e. the people's average sparings "evaporated" by more than 500 Yuan.

This loss of value is about 1.9% of all bank sparings [or: 190 Yuan for each 10.000 Yuan 一万元会“缩水”190元]. It can be related to a prolonged period of lower benefits for type A shares:

Going through an expansion of the expected weakening of profit for type A shares.


An answer to U.S. media reports on different trends of economic development in China and America is given in an article of People's Network, Beijing, published on March 11, 2011:

Such point of view appears to China as rather new and furthermore out of the ordinary. It's not long ago that some people, being decided to emigrate to America, not even stopped at claiming "political asylum" in order to obtain U.S. citizenship. But now, this very America has reached a standstill, the unemployment rate resting high without [any current decrease]. China's economy, however, is prospering and developing. Maybe, personal plannings are undergoing a change. [At least] China's many consumers, owing [but] tiny riches, are lately intrigued by heated discussions dealing with the subject: Will U.S. citizenship ever again become so popular ?


The Development of Global Commerce

Traditional lines of global commerce and their predicted change until 2030. The center of trade will be moving from the U.S. to China. While South-East Asia (and namely Indonesia) will become a reservoir of cheap working power for China's industry, the Middle East and Africa will be China's main provider of oil products. New trade connections will be established between China and Africa. [Source: ARTE French-German TV channel on March 13, 2012]

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