China's current economic policy

Chris, London 100423.2040 at compuserve.com
Sun May 12 16:06:18 MDT 1996


Financial Times, London, 10.5.96

"Foreign business in China has experienced a roller coaster
existence since Beijing tentatively opened its doors in 1978.
The past five years have seen a flood of new investment, but investors
are now facing a less welcoming response from the authorities...


... "barriers have been erected by a series of directives designed
to exert more effective controls on foreign investment and channel
it into priority areas such a high-tech industries, agriculture,
transport and energy. In keeping with the general lack of transparency,
many of these directives do not see the light of day - but they create
additional invisible obstacles.

Such changes reflect a more nationalistic mood in China, accompanied
by a degree of smugness about Chinese success in attracting
more than $100bn in investment since 1978. China ranks second to
the US as a gloval destination for foreign direct investment and
is currently absorbing about a third of all foreign investment
to developing countries."

Comment:

Although some of this picture is IMO distorted by the large inward
investment  from Hong Kong (in many ways a reinvestment of the surplus
labour of migrant Chinese workers - nevertheless very important
nationally), overall it is an unusual achievement in a cruelly
competitive world. The accompanying article has the headline
"No loss of foreign interest".

The item presents the tightening of Chinese controls
over the process as coming from nationalist rather than
socialist motives. Marxists would need to have endless debates about
the changing class character of the Chinese state to decide.
Nevertheless this is a rare developing country that has the
initiative over international finance capital.

There has been a high price for this in terms of socialist
ideals. But it is not yet clear IMO, given the harsh
global neo-liberal climate of the 90's that there are no
socialist long term aims at all behind the government's
policy.

The Renminbi is the only serious contender to take over from
the dollar as the major world international reserve currency
in the 21st century.

The shape of the global economy could be powerfully influenced
by how China plays its cards in the coming decades - whether
it is purely capitalist and nationalist, or whether there
are any socialist or third world principles left.

Chris,
London,

PS China's struggle against the transnationals definition of
intellectual property rights is a just struggle against
imperialist oppression. We ought to be disussing it and supporting
it on this internet medium of free communication.The USA is
leading the attempt to force China to accept this privatization of
knowledge.


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