China – a contradictory story

Via the O’reilly radar :


  • Peaceful borders in all directions
  • Economic, non-threatening engagement with the entire world, including with societies the US refuses to deal with
  • 200 million Chinese raised out of poverty
  • Private savings rate of 40 percent (it’s 1 percent in the US)
  • 300 million people with cell phones, and the best cell phone service in the world
  • A superb freeway system built almost overnight
  • New building construction everywhere, and some of it is brilliant
  • 150 million people online
  • 350,000 engineering graduates a year
  • One-third of the world’s direct investment
  • Huge trade surplus
  • And an economic growth rate of 9 to 12 percent a year! For decades.

but also…


  • Not much arable land, so a growing dependence on imported food
  • Two-thirds of energy production is from dirty coal, by dirty methods, growing at the rate of 1-2 new coal-fired plants per week
  • 30 percent of China has acid rain; 75 percent of lakes are polluted and rivers are polluted or pumped dry
  • Of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 16 are in China; you don’t see the sun any more
  • Some industrial parts of China are barren, hellish wastes
  • Driven by environmental horrors and by widespread corruption, there were 87,000 instances of social unrest last year, going up every year
  • The population is aging rapidly, with no pension or welfare, and a broken healthcare system
  • The stock markets are grossly manipulated
  • Public and official amnesia about historical legacies such as Tiananmen Square in 1989

Author: anand

Currently CleverTap. Founder & ex-CTO - burrp. A techie and an entrepreneur at heart. Have worked in US, China and India.

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