Interesting Observation on China’s Economic Numbers

This is quite interesting.  Although I think the theory that 中國即將崩潰 (Coming Collapse of China)  is debatable, the author 章家敦 has a good point in this interview.  Is the data coming out of China trust worthy?  How accurate and inaccurate is it?  Those questions always exist in my mind, and I always have doubt about data from China.

It is not because I think Chinese government like to beef up the number to look good.  Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, but that is not the point.  The issue lies in the nature of their government structure.  First, the communist party has to justify their sole control of political power by economic advancement.  This is a big incentive for them to cheat the number.  Obviously, it is possible that western type of government also like to cheat on the number, but there are so many eyes watching their action, and as soon as they try to cover things up or make things look better than it is, there are always many skepticism and criticisms.  However, this skepticism and criticisms, and watchful eyes are rare, or at least not common, in China. 

The second thing is the local government.  Each one wants to look good, and again there is a lack of supervision.  One might say that the central government can act as the supervisors, but seriously, when and where is the central government  ever good at supervising, especially the central government of country with large land mass or huge populations.  The media usually acts as a better supervisors, but in China, media has their hands tie behind their backs and is not well developed.

Therefore, although China is still growing fast, I think it is wise to have some doubt about their numbers and the current western common assumption that it is all great in China.  Like Mr. 章 pointed out, the number simply does not add up.  Mr. 章 also points out that China might be going back to their older economic tricks of strong central government influence etc.  I find it interesting…will keep an eye on this later.


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