Putting the Plan into Action: How China’s Leaders Steer a Massive Nation – SPIEGEL ONLINE

English: China's with provinces numbered for u...

English: China’s with provinces numbered for use with tables of provinces. Regions are coloured: Orange = Northwest Purple = Southwest Yellow = South Central Cyan = East Green = North Blue = Northeast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a very insightful article from Spiegel and well worth a read. Better still, read the whole series.

via Putting the Plan into Action: How China’s Leaders Steer a Massive Nation – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Whilst the series respects democracy, it takes a hard look at decision-making in more authoritarian countries.

For me, the whole series seems to respect lessons to be learned from BRICs countries, notably China and Brazil but another important perspective is the power of lobbyists in the US. The context for the series, of course, is the crippled state of decision-making in Europe.

Any thoughts?

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6 responses

  1. Pingback: Interview with Historian Walter Lacqueur on the Decline of Europe – SPIEGEL ONLINE « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. We do not have democracy and free speech, what we have is the illusion of it,since about 75% of our laws are made by unelected officials within the EC.

    All our telephones are monitored along with every e-mail we send or receive unless we use proxy servers and on average we are photographed 300 times a day by CCTV cameras.

    As for having a voice and political representation, no-one earning under £250,000 gbp a year really has any say in anything.

    Our leaders do nothing to improve airport capacity, nothing to really drive exports and nothing to make our economy competitive and create jobs.

    This is a deliberate attempt to drive work and jobs offshore, so that certain very wealthy people can effect investments in those countries.

    Democracy and freedom of speech, whilst important, do not create jobs, do not build the 9.9 million houses we need and does not create wealth for the ordinary person who is effectively disenfranchised and closely watched.

    The Chinese leadership for all its faults at least tries and tries very hard to create jobs and wealth and is now embarking on a programme to teach 650 million people English and train them in it so that people and industries can “swarm out” and earn a living in other countries as well as their own
    At a local level, they are moving from manufacturing jobs into IT/BPO outsourcing which means wage levels are rising along with sufficient purchasing power parity to enable them to go abroad in huge numbers and spend in our High Street.

    Much of what we buy comes from China and until I see people wanting to pay higher prices for mobile telephones, clothing, shirt buttons, computers, batteries, car spare parts, garden furniture etc the rhetoric about exploitation of their workers and taking our jobs really is just so much hot air.

    Angela Merkel can influence the Chinese leadership because they respect her as a former nuclear physicist and because they respect the quality of German products.

    They also like the fact that she does not engage in megaphone diplomacy and says what she needs to say in private.

    David Cameron has insulted them in public at least three times and lectures them on human rights yet still thinks he can ask them for money via their Sovereign Wealth Fund.

    Given the history of the Opium Wars in which Sasson and Rothschild of the British East India Company caused the deaths of 100 million of their people (Hitler managed 6 million Jews and Stalin killed 66 million Christians in the Gulags), the Chinese feel aggrieved with us and do not trust the motives of the West.

    I think that this is understandable and that the way forward is to engage with them properly and build trust.

    This is not achieved by lecturing them and pontificating when our own house is not in order.

    • John,

      See my recent blog entitled “Planned austerity and erosion of democracy” – here is the link http://wp.me/p1m0kg-2Kd.

      Most Western countries have parliamentary democracies and I agree that they struggle to be effective in these challenging economic times, especially on delivery – this is the whole thrust of the Spiegel series of articles. Within the EU, we agree that there has been an erosion of power in the national democracies.

      I also recognize that the Chinese Government is making enormous strides forward in the interests of its citizens.

      However, at the margin, I am more optimistic than you, and perhaps do not see matters as negatively – it’s a personal perception and outlook thing, I guess.

      Thanks for the debate!

  3. In the UK we are told that we are a free country but the reality is our woman are not free to walk about in safety in many of our major cities late at night or for that matter in our towns on the weekends late at night.

    Freedom of speech is a myth as well, because many innocent comments can bring on the wrath of the Muslim community, and a large number of people are never allowed onto Question Time or Any Questions because their opinions are either considered racist or because they are “Conspiracy Theorists”. Surely, if there is nothing in what these people say, they should be able to speak and reasonable men and woman would see through what they say?

    We are not allowed to have an informed debate about EC membership, the Barnett Formula, the justification for the Monarchy and what it costs or population control.

    Then there is the Law, which sends petty criminals and benefit recipients to prison, yet allows white collar criminals to steal money from us as taxpayers and bank customers.

    In 500 shootings of the public by the police not a single policeman has been sacked or lost pension rights, the matter is hushed up, people are paid for their silence and nothing changes.

    Then we are told about the 500,000 people that the Chinese lock up. This is 1/2600th of their population of 1.3 billion people.

    America has 1% of its population under lock and key, tortures people by waterboarding and maintains a concentration camp in Cuba called Guantanomo.

    We have 100,000 prisoners, 30% of whom are people who have defaulted on fines or not paid a TVlicence.
    This out of a population of 63 million is 1/630th which means that we and America between us lock up far more people than the Chinese in proportion to our numbers.

    In terms of security cameras, we have more per head of population than any country in the World and with the misapplication of RIPA by town hall “Little Hitlers” we must rule the world when it comes to interfering busybodies telling us what to do.

    Do I get the feeling that our Government is there to help create economic prosperity and work for ordinary people? Again the answer has to be a resounding “no”. Did I get that feeling whilst in China?
    Yes in spades, although the distribution of wealth is anything but fair.

    • John,

      Many thanks for your posting.

      Whilst I understand the thrust of your argument, I am not sure that I entirely agree with your comparisons.

      Personally, I am a passionate believer in democracy, liberty and free speech.

      I understand that China is changing very quickly and I have great respect for the enormous improvements in economic prosperity.

      Surely, the point of this thread is that Angela Merkel is possibly able to influence China at the the margin, whereas David Cameron Government has probably been rejected?

  4. Pingback: German Commentators on Merkel Visit to China and Human Rights Issues – SPIEGEL ONLINE « Dr Alf's Blog

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