AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

China: A model for the developing world?

Posted by ampontan on Sunday, November 18, 2007

IS CHINA THE NEW MODEL for the developing world? That’s what Australian journalist Rowan Callick suggests in this long and thought-provoking article in The American.

The model has two components: economic freedom and political oppression.

Observers have wondered for years how long China can survive under its present system. Callick cites Gordon Chang’s book, The Coming Collapse of China, as an example. He notes that Chang’s assumptions, which seemed plausible in 2001 when the book was published, are not as likely to withstand scrutiny today.

Callick points out the primary reason for Chinese success:

The system’s advantage over the standard authoritarian or totalitarian approach is obvious: it produces economic growth, which keeps people happy…the party ensures steadily improving living standards for all, and, in return, the Chinese people let the CPC rule as an authoritarian regime.

It has been widely assumed that exposure to democratic systems abroad would encourage the Chinese to implement those systems at home. But that has not been the case:

A striking example is that of Li Qun, who studied in the U.S. and then served as assistant to the mayor of New Haven…After his return to China, he became a mayor himself, of Linyi in Shandong Province in the Northeast. There, he swiftly became the nemesis of one of China’s most famous human rights lawyers, the blind Chen Guangcheng. First, Chen was placed under house arrest and his lawyers and friends were beaten because of his campaign against forced sterilizations of village women. Then, Chen was charged, bizarrely, with conspiring to disrupt traffic when a trail of further arrests led to public protests. He was jailed for four years.

It is unsettling that many in the go-along-to-get-along business and financial circles find the situation in China appealing:

(T)he big attractions of China to capital from overseas has been that the political setting is stable, that there will be no populist campaign to nationalize foreign assets, that the labor force is both flexible and disciplined, and that policy changes are rational and are signaled well ahead.

It is sometimes surprising who the admirers of China are:

The World Bank is just one of the international institutions that champion China (its greatest client and in some ways its boss) as a paradigm for the developing world.

A troubling aspect of the model for the development of domestic political awareness, not to mention future Sino-Japanese relations, is the Chinese government’s approach to history:

Historian Xia Chun-tao, 43, vice director of the Deng Xiaoping Thought Research Center…says, “It’s very natural for historians to have different views on events. But there is only one correct and accurate interpretation, and only one explanation that is closest to the truth.” The key issues, he says, are “quite clearly defined” and not susceptible to debate. “There is a pool of clear water and there’s no need to stir up this water. Doing so can only cause disturbance in people’s minds.

Others have become aware of the advantages of the Chinese Model:

In the May/June edition of The American, Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, explained that evidence is emerging that developing “countries that are economically and politically free are underperforming the countries that are economically but not politically free.”…Hassett wrote, “…. Being unfree may be an economic advantage. Dictatorships are not hamstrung by the preference of voters for, say, a pervasive welfare state. So the future may look something like the 20th century in reverse.”

The Chinese success is attracting the attention of other governments:

When 21 leaders controlling three-fifths of the world’s economy met at the latest Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Sydney in September, The Nation newspaper in Thailand editorialized: “One could easily spot who the real mover and shaker among them was. It used to be that what the leader of the U.S. said was what would count the most. That is no longer.” The new mover and shaker is China.

There are certain aspects of the model that developing nations find appealing:

Developing nations believe that, as an ideal, the China Model has replaced the American Model, especially as embodied in the “Washington Consensus,” a set of 10 liberal democratic reforms the U.S. prescribed in 1989 for developing nations….The Western requirement that good-governance medicine must be consumed in return for modest aid is now not only unwelcome but also, as far as many African leaders are concerned, outdated. They are no longer cornered without options. Now they’ve got China, which is offering trade and investment, big time, as well as aid.

Liberal democracies insist on the rule of law, but that does not apply in China. (Memo to Japan bashers: note the parenthetical remark in the penultimate sentence):

Chinese people do not expect to obtain justice from the courts, which are run by the party, the judges answerable to the local top cadres. Ordinary people, the laobaixing, have to negotiate their way out of any troubles if they can. They have grown accustomed to, but not accepting of, widespread corruption….Freedom House, in its annual survey, gives China a ranking of “7” for political rights—the organization’s lowest rating and the same as that of North Korea, Burma, and Cuba (Japan ranks “1”). China ranks only slightly higher, at “6,” for civil liberties, the same as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe.

Callick does not neglect to discuss the negative aspects of the Chinese Model. He does fail to take into account, however, two important factors that prevent a reading of China’s future. Both of these factors arise out of China’s implementation of a one-child policy for urban dwellers.

The first is that the graying of the population will engender an unprecedented demographic collapse starting in 2015. The second is that, according to statistics released just last week, China now has a ratio of roughly 120 males to 100 females. How will the losers among the men in the sexual marketplace find ways to occupy their time and energy in the future?

The entire article, however, is worth your time.

Meanwhile, this article in The Washington Post gives a real-world example of how the two elements of the Chinese Model combine. It explains that journalist Pang Jiaoming ran afoul of the authorities when he reported that substandard coal ash was being used in a major railroad construction project.

The ash is a key ingredient in concrete used for tunnels, bridges and roadbed, Pang wrote, and a substandard mix raised the specter of collapsing structures and tragic accidents.

The motive was money, of course:

There was a difference of about $12 a ton between the substandard ash, which contained rock and other waste, and the mandated fine ash, which comes mostly from the smoke of coal burned in power plants, Pang said. That meant a lot of money was being made from fraud, he suggested, probably at the railroad construction company as well as at the coal ash providers.

As a result, Pang was fired, prohibited from working as a reporter at any other publications, and “The Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department and the official All-China Journalists Association issued a directive ordering Pang’s employer, the China Economic Times…to ‘reinforce the Marxist ideological education of its journalists.’”

27 Responses to “China: A model for the developing world?”

  1. lankov said

    Not a great discovery. And nothing new. ALL “Asian tigers” achieved their take-offs in the 1960s and 1970s under dictatorial regimes. This was the case of Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia. Now it’s turn of China and Vietnam. On the contrary, the least dictatorial country of the region, the Philippines, is an economic failure. Democracy is NOT conducive to high-speed economic growth in a poor and underdeveloped society. Dictatorship itself does not bring prosperity to a poor place, but seems to be an important part of recipe for bringing such a prosperity (of course, this is not applicable to mad dictatorships of Kim Il Sung or Mao).

  2. tomojiro said

    Honestly said, I found that there was nothing new nor interesting what Mr. Callick said in his article.

    “the party ensures steadily improving living standards for all, and, in return, the Chinese people let the CPC rule as an authoritarian regime.”

    This is a standard example what in development economics would be described as developmental autocracy. Literally every successful developmental nation in Asia experienced developmental autocracy, be it Meiji Japan, South Korea under Park Chung-hee, Taiwan under the Kuomingtang rule, Indonesia under Suharto or Malaysia under Mahatir.

    The problem is, as in case of South Korea or Taiwan and other Asian countries when a substantial middle class will rise, the government can not rely to only authoritarian methods. They have to become transparent to every aspect of the society to gain their own legitimacy.

    And that would be a huge challenge for the Chinese communist party. In fact I believe that they have to answer these questions in the next 5 to 10 years.

    Otherwise only chaos will reign China.

  3. tomojiro said

    I failed to recognize post No.1. Sorry for posting basically same opinons. I have to say other things but maybe later.

  4. ampontan said

    Two comments, if I may:

    While the idea is not new and has been demonstrated before, it is counter to the conventional wisdom (or wishful thinking) that I have seen most often expressed in the US, at any rate, about China over the past few years.

    More important was the idea, which was new to me, that the Chinese are being seen as a model by other countries, and that this is occurring simultaneously with Chinese diplomatic initatives in those countries. If the West is the primary aid donor and ties its aid to liberalization, then the countries have no choice. China presents them with another choice.

    The author also mentions that the Chinese specifically, and the Asians in general, have been more likely to successfully achieve growth, whereas some of the other countries they mention are not.

    In that regard, I was thinking of bringing up this comparison of civic communities and “uncivic” communities, widely discussed about a decade ago, but that would have made the post too long and gone off topic.

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/DETOC/assoc/13putn.html

    The author does briefly mention East Asia in this article.

  5. Ken said

    More than half of credit in China cannot be paid.
    The bubble will burst when infrastracture demand for Olympiad and Exposition disappears.

    The governer of each province is ruling the taxes to cross the border to protect own province’s industry.
    Central government cannot control it as if returning to the era of ‘The good earth’ by Pearl Buck.

    Even ideology cannot subdue sexual desire, the fundamental instinct as a crature.
    Prostitution will flourish more in black market from socialism priciple so that AIDS, liver desease, etc. will wide spread.

    Such hybrid confusion with frsutration of poverish, lack of energy and food, environmental pollution, etc. will lead to collaps of China.

  6. Daniel Xiao Wang said

    http://www.helium.com/tm/576976/economic-prosperity-changed-structure

    Things are changing in China, but it won’t happen overnight. Quite actually we should be happy that things are not much worse

  7. tomojiro said

    >Ken

    Let’s hope that China does not collapse. That would mean a huge disaster for all East Asian nations. Japanese economy and Chinese economy are so much intertwined each other, that collapse of china would have a huge negative impact on Japan.

    I have read an assumption if China collapses that there could be at least 20,000,000 refugees who will storm to Japan. The number seems to me a bit exaggerated, but anyway I don’t wanna see a huge number of refugees pressing to Japan. That would be a nightmare.

    I agree what Danny has said, the situation seems not that bad that a collapse is foreseen in the near future, but to transcend China peacefully into a democratic state is a huge (sometimes seeming almost an impossible) task.

    I only hope that the Chinese leaders do not resort further to Ultra-nationalism or even Fascism (like Japan in the 1930ies).

  8. Albion said

    RE: the Freedom House report Ampontan referred to above:

    Yes, Japan gets a rating of “1” for Political Rights, but it gets a “2” for Civil Liberties
    (http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&country=7202&year=2007)

    Seems all is not right in Shangri-La:

    “Women in Japan have legal equality, but discrimination in employment is particularly widespread. According to The Times (London), “Only one in eight lawyers is a woman, as is one in ten company managers, one in thirty ambassadors and one in seventy senior civil servants.” In addition, sexual harassment on the job is common. Violence against women is a problem that often goes unreported because of “social and cultural concerns about shaming one’s family or endangering the reputation of one’s spouse or children,” according a U.S. State Department human rights report.”

    The section quoted above goes on to apparently praise Koizumi for the fact that when he was Prime Minister more women were elected to the Diet.

    But I note that the report makes mistakes as well. For example, it states: “Trade unions are independent, and with the exception of police and firefighters, all unionized workers have the right to strike.”

    Not quite. In fact, no public employees have the right to strike. That includes public servants at your local city hall and teachers, not just police and firefighters.

    Japan has problems in the area of civil rights. They are not as bad as the problems in, say, Saudi Arabia, but they exist. Japan may from time to time be the victim of bad reporting and ignorant attacks from the US and other countries, yes.

    (If you lump all the bad reporting in one place and never mention examples of good reporting, the situation looks worse than it actually is … ever notice that most of the “bad reporting” mentioned on this site are examples of “feature stories” that are supposed to provide “culturally significant background” to stories? Why so few hard news stories, Ampontan? Oh: here’s one from Reuters http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/business/worldbusiness/13yen.html?n=Top/News/World/Countries%20and%20Territories/Japan,
    and oops, here’s another: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071118/bs_nm/japan_economy_recession_dc_1).

    But that doesn’t mean that every single complaint about Japan is simply an example of whining foreigners.

    Some of Japan’s problems are real.

  9. tomojiro said

    Albion

    You could be right, but we are talking about China now.

  10. Albion said

    Tomjiro,

    Thanks. Knew that. As I noted clearly in the post, I was referring to a comment Ampontan made in the post that referred specifically to Japan.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think China is a viable development model for other countries unless the other countries in question are geographically vast, densely populated, ethnically and linguistically diverse Communist-to-Capitalist transition states.

    Russia comes to mind as a country in a similar situation.

    But as for the applicability of the Chinese experience to, say, Rwanda: sorry, don’t see it. (I’m basing this statement on the fact that Ampontan’s post begins with the question: “IS CHINA THE NEW MODEL for the developing world?”

    RE: “The model has two components: economic freedom and political oppression.”

    Democracy (arguably the opposite of “political oppression”) is not required for capitalism to function, if you define capitalism as profit-driven market economy. Most dictatorships in Africa (oppressive regimes) are 1. profit-driven, and 2. function within the market model(supply and demand, etc).

    As for the “Chinese success”…

    (I’m referring to: “The system’s advantage over the standard authoritarian or totalitarian approach is obvious: it produces economic growth, which keeps people happy…the party ensures steadily improving living standards for all, and, in return, the Chinese people let the CPC rule as an authoritarian regime”)

    …I don’t know how anyone can claim that the Chinese system “ensures steadily improving living standards for all.” The vast differences in wealth and standard of living between the urban and rural areas is well-known. Such discrepancies are usually the cause of political turmoil, not stability. Hence, the worries over a Chinese meltdown at some point soon. Sure, we hope it doesn’t happen, since — as you point out — we are all so deeply invested (financially and politically) in China that a meltdown would mean global turmoil. But as a “model”? Naaaah.

    There, I discussed China 🙂

  11. ampontan said

    Yes, Japan gets a rating of “1″ for Political Rights, but it gets a “2″ for Civil Liberties.

    Only a 2? Intolerable!

    That’s the highest rating in Asia, tied with South Korea (and Israel, for that matter). China gets a 6 for civil liberties. It is a Shangi-La in this part of the world.

    Wait, I was too hasty. “Micronesia” has a 1/1 score. Life must be grand in Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae.

    It is interesting to note that all the countries in Western Europe have 1/1 ratings. How marvelous for them. I hadn’t realized the extent to which Europe has overcome its crisis with Muslim integration. Perhaps they tossed a burnoose over it.

    Japan has problems in the area of civil rights. They are not as bad as the problems in, say, Saudi Arabia, but they exist.

    No need to bring up extreme cases like Saudi Arabia. They’re rated 7/6, dwelling in the same dungeon as the Chinese.

    That overlooks Paris, with their “zones de banlieux”, the de facto semi-autonomous, semi-no-go zones for police, that have, and will continue to, boil over into violence. (Until dhimmitude predominates, perhaps) There’s nothing remotely like that in Japan.

    Ah, but France gets a 1/1 rating. Naruhodo.

    “Women in Japan have legal equality, but discrimination in employment is particularly widespread. According to The Times (London),“Only one in eight lawyers is a woman, as is one in ten company managers, one in thirty ambassadors and one in seventy senior civil servants.

    False logic and false premises. Because a certain number of women of a certain generation chose to raise families rather than having a full time career, it does not necessarily equate to a certain level of discrimination in employment today.

    It seemed to work for them at the time. “Era of Rapid Growth” and all that.

    The evolution of Japanese society has been rather different from that in the West. It was still technically a feudal society until 1868. They have telescoped into fewer than 150 years changes that it took the West several centuries to (partially) work out and digest. To impatiently tap one’s toe and berate them for not being at the same, presumably superior, place at the same time is cultural arrogance.

    Especially since this has been an issue in Western countries for barely more than a generation.

    Why so few hard news stories, Ampontan?

    I beg your pardon. This is neither a newspaper nor an RSS feed, and I am not a news reporter. I write about what I choose and what interests me. It requires no justification and no other answer.

  12. Albion said

    Ampontan,

    Thanks for the reply.

    As I said, Japan is not as bad as many countries, but it has problems. One would hardly know that from reading your blog.

    Also, I think you said it all when you stated that the content of your blog “requires no justification.” Exactly my point: you pick and choose what you like and focus exclusively on it, thereby providing a warped, inaccurate picture of (in this particular case) Western reporting on Japan.

    Lots of Western reporting on Japan is bad. Lots is good. That fact is not reflected here.

    Which begs the question: what then is the difference between what you do and what the papers that print “bad reporting” do? They print their bias and you print yours, and at the end of the day, what has anyone gained? Basically, people who share your view are comforted and those who do not either ignore you (as I usually do) or try to point out where you have presented a view of things that is not completely based on the facts and then get drawn into a battle.

    I’m going back to ignoring now…

  13. Aceface said

    Albion:

    “But that doesn’t mean that every single complaint about Japan is simply an example of whining foreigners”

    Yeah,but the ones discussed on the blog here seems to be so,Don’t you agree? I was actually surprised that freedom house’s year 2007 survey on Japan was very negative and focused on topics that has little impact on the neither civic nor political liberty. It was usual “rise of the nationalism” and Yasukuni talk. And the mistakes you have pointed out also suggests lots of failure in the Japan coverage,the point this blog is claiming all the time.

    I was also surprised you sinically mentioning “They are not as bad as the problems in, say, Saudi Arabia”,Instead of saying “Japan has better score than any other Asian nations.”(OK,Australia and NZ could be an Asian nation to some,but not to everyone including themselves.)

    Claiming Japan as a Shangri-la with no social problem is not exactly the object of this blog,or that is my understanding.
    If you want any duscussion on the women’s role in the Japanese society,check “Men,Women,Japan and the West”post,there is a live discussion on going.

  14. Albion said

    Aceface,

    Thanks for the comment. It’s “is the glass half full or half empty” syndrome.

    There are problems in Japan.

    Do we then say, “but Japan has a better score than any other Asian nation?”

    Or do we then say, “how can we address and solve these problems?”

    OR…do we say, “anyone who points out the problems doesn’t get this blog, etc etc?”

    I looked at the post you mentioned (Men, women, etc). Hmmmm, it starts a discussion about whether women “let” their men go out at night and drink, etc and goes downhill from there. Thanks anyway!

  15. Aceface said

    Oh wait,you guys DO type fast!

    “you pick and choose what you like and focus exclusively on it, thereby providing a warped, inaccurate picture of (in this particular case) Western reporting on Japan.”

    “Lots of Western reporting on Japan is bad. Lots is good. That fact is not reflected here. ”

    Remove Western reporting on Japan” and change it “Thing happening in Japan” would fits my idea.
    And No,lots of Western reporting on Japan are just plainly “bad” whether you join my idea or not.It’s just a fact.

    “what then is the difference between what you do and what the papers that print “bad reporting” do? They print their bias and you print yours, and at the end of the day, what has anyone gained?”

    You can get better picture of things,instead of just being the passive audience of mass media.

    “people who share your view are comforted and those who do not either ignore you (as I usually do) or try to point out where you have presented a view of things that is not completely based on the facts and then get drawn into a battle. ”

    Where do you live Albion? It must be somewhere classified as low ranking in Freedom House…
    You might want to give us what is not completely based on the facts before you run into adhominem attack.

    Bill:
    Congratulation,this “”blog seems to have almost the same importance as an institution with heavy weights like WaPo and NYT according to this fella.

  16. Albion said

    Aceface,

    I have lived in Japan for a long time.

  17. Aceface said

    “Hmmmm, it starts a discussion about whether women “let” their men go out at night and drink, etc and goes downhill from there. Thanks anyway!”
    “I have lived in Japan for a long time.”

    I know.I remember your last post here.The discussion went downhill from the post of this women claiming living here for ten years.Perhaps you could add some of your critical insight to the debate,instead of proclaiming “I’m ignoring this blog from now on.”.

  18. Overthinker said

    I was under the impression that the reason Ampontan chose the bad reporting to write about is because that is more in need of correction. A NYT or AP article about Fukuda’s cabinet line-up that just sticks to the facts isn’t very interesting, and doesn’t generally take an “editorial” stance. Whereas those articles that like to try and say something “meaningful” about Japan often miss the boat entirely.

    “Do we then say, “but Japan has a better score than any other Asian nation?”
    Or do we then say, “how can we address and solve these problems?””

    Actually we can say both. It’s both better than it could be, and not as good as it could be. I don’t really know how it would compare with Muslim youth not integrating in Europe, but I gather that there it is largely their own refusal to abide by local culture that is the issue, though there are limits on civil and/or social freedoms etc, eg Turks in Germany, or foreigners in Switzerland etc.

  19. Aceface said

    Sorry for derailimg the topic and all that,But I too have to agree with everyone whether this is anything new from “developmental state”and “Japan problem” argument from the late 80’s.

    “More important was the idea, which was new to me, that the Chinese are being seen as a model by other countries, and that this is occurring simultaneously with Chinese diplomatic initatives in those countries.”

    OK,When E.O Reichauer and others started modern Japanology after the WW2,what they had in mind was selling Japan as the success model in East Asia to counter revolutionarism promoted by China.

    Then things starts to change during the Vietnam war days that younger Japamologists like John Dower,Herbert Bix(whom are now in the mainstream of Japanology in the west)and others start
    saying Japan is full of problems.(i.g Japan is an American lapdogs,The role of the Leftism are underrated,etc)

    Then Chalmers Johnson shows up and starts to rationalize two differnt streams of ideas.(Yes,Japanese model can be economical,but they are hardly a democratic nation and are dangerous to the world economic order and America’s global strategy,because their politico-economy runs by different logic and priority)and somehow in this process Johnson and his acolytes start attacking EVERYTHING about Japan.

    Then the bubble had bursted and Japan went out of the rader and China starts to get all the spotlights,only this time being capitalist and exporting toys instead of revolutionary zeals.
    So,in a sense we are back in the beginning again.

    If you are being logical,China should be criticized almost as harshly as the bubble days Japan. Somehow China had escaped this pass,or so make me feel by reading reports from Atlantic Monthly’s James”Containing Japan”Fallows, or Clyde(Trading Places)Prestowitz saying “let’s embrace China,because they ain’t Japan”.

    The difference is China attracts more foreign investors and much more tied with globalization than Japan back then.So far there are no Chinese equivalent of Toyota that would make American industry nervous.And after everyone experienced “the rise of Japan”,idea of non-western economic power would not instantly make western alarmists take their pen and write “rising Sun”like book targeted on China.
    In a way,China benefits a lot from the past trade friction and media feud between Japan and Western society.

    But still there many problem making China as a role model for development.Just using Freedom House as a judgement tool,it is obvious that China would not be a “model” for social development for any country except North Korea. China’s record is far more worse than that of post-war Japan.Problem is pointing that out in public,you would recieve lots of hysterical comments from Chinese and Sinophiles(or perhaps from Koreans too).Even the I-lived-here-long-enough type of western expats would make unsatisfactory comment on that.

  20. Ken said

    Tomojiro,

    >Let’s hope that China does not collapse.

    I hope so but it it will be inevitable so that we should prepare for it.

    >Japanese economy and Chinese economy are so much intertwined each other, that collapse of china would have a huge negative impact on Japan.

    China cannot produce macninery goods without Japanese mother machines and hi-tech materials but Japan can choose the bird for fishing with cormorants.
    So collapse of China would not have huge negative impact on Japan.

    >I have read an assumption if China collapses that there could be at least 20,000,000 refugees who will storm to Japan.

    Thanks to their anti-Japan education, little Chinese are supposed to like living in Japan permanently.
    Most of poor Chinese would select easier way to evacuate, through long border.
    The rest of poor Chinese will despoil the asset of rich people in seashore area.,who will escape to the US, etc.

    >I agree what Danny has said, the situation seems not that bad that a collapse is foreseen in the near future, but to transcend China peacefully into a democratic state is a huge (sometimes seeming almost an impossible) task.

    Neither any bubble has not bursted nor any persons in bubble said it is bubble in history.
    They will find themselves between the devil and the deep sea.
    The more they demodratize, the more China breaks up, to the rich and the poor, by race, by province.
    Corruptions will be revealed one after another and riots cannot be controlled any more.
    It is their history that a dynasty collapses and the previous history is revised.
    I have read that a Chinese researcher who grew in China and is working in Japan said, “The Japanese and Chinese are so different as to be feared. Every time I arrived at Narita airport, I wonder why this country is this safe and reliable. China is an African safari park where innocent person is eaten up while Japan is a zoo where each animal is secured.”

  21. tomojiro said

    Ken

    IMO, you make too much absolute statements.

    “I hope so but it it will be inevitable so that we should prepare for it”

    What is the logical reasoning for that? Turmoil’s about aids is far from enough. It could be that China remains successful and we should also prepare for that. Nobody knows whether collapse is inevitable except of those ant-Chinese pundits who want to see the collapse of China. They have continuously prophesized that China will collapse in the last twenty years and they have a notorious record over twenty years that their prophecies failed. We should not rely to ideological wishful thinking. Because of that I have a tendency to instantly doubt a person who says “that the collapse of China is inevitable”. Although I admit that the future of China is full of insecurities.

    “China cannot produce macninery goods without Japanese mother machines and hi-tech materials but Japan can choose the bird for fishing with cormorants.
    So collapse of China would not have huge negative impact on Japan.”

    Again an absolute statement. There are far more Chinese students who study at top class universities in US than Japanese students. Who knows what the future becomes if that continues.

    Aceface

    IMO,the biggest mistake that the Japanese did in history was not that it became a fascist state in the 1930ies (think about Spain which remained an fascist nation until the 1970ies) , nor that it attacked Pearl Harbor without declaration of war or the atrocities in China (of course, atrocities of communist states in post WW2 are easily forgotten). IMO, it was that it sided with the Nazis, and that gave Japan an almost eternal brand mark.
    And basically I agree with the rest what you said.

    “it is obvious that China would not be a “model” for social development for any country except North Korea.”

    The irony is that for economical developments and for nation buildings, authoritarian state leadership is indispensable as it is shown in history again and again. Democracy and freedom alone wouldn’t help. It would rather invite chaos and civil warfare.
    The sad truth is that you need an authoritarian government sometimes relying to cruel oppression and even to genocides to clear “aliens” or indifferent “enemies” that could be an obstacle for an imagined “national unity” inside an imagined “national border”. Only after you have cleared the national borders from indifferent aliens and enemies or have killed enough or that you are sure that you have assimilate enough that they wouldn’t be an obstacle for the imagined “national unity”, you can be generous enough to introduce democracy and freedom of society for all people and beginning to call the former “aliens” with honorable titles like “the first nations” or “the indigenous peoples” and preserve and protect their histories in museums to show your generosity and humanity (but only after the “genocide” and “assimilation).

    IMO, as long as the whole world is based on the system of nation states that will continue. And I don’t see any advanced nation who is an example from these traits (all European nations who invented the system of nation state and literally forced the whole world to participate in this system and their off spring USA included).

  22. Aceface said

    “IMO, it was that it sided with the Nazis, and that gave Japan an almost eternal brand mark.”

    Don’t know about that.The death toll caused by the Japanese imperialism is quite impressive.Possibly the addition of all the imperialism in Asia.So I would say imperialism in Asia alone would give bad name to Japan whether allied with the NAZIS or not.

    I think my point has been derailed by me mentioning about Japanese experience.But I believe the development of a nation takes long and winding road.So it’s pretty difficult to find any ideal model from any nation in the world either that would be Japan or China.Perhaps because every nation is unique in it’s own way,or has some dark side in the process,or surrounding environment would not allow the repeat of the past experiences.

  23. Ken said

    Tomojiro,

    “What is the logical reasoning for that?”

    As I stated, “Neither any bubble has not bursted nor any persons in bubble said it is bubble in history.”
    It is an induction.
    You say current condition is not bubble or even if it is bubble, it will not impact so much.
    I say it is bubble and it will impact severely.
    That is fine.

    “There are far more Chinese students who study at top class universities in US than Japanese students. Who knows what the future becomes if that continues.”

    Number of students are not logical reasoning for whether China can produce machinery goods without Japan or not.
    If you study what sorts of products China is importing from Japan and whether those can be supplied from any countries other than Japan.

  24. bender said

    Isn’t it a bit too early to judge anything? Hitler was praised for reconstructing Germany before 1939. Some, if not many, thought the Nazi authoritarian approach was superior back then. Like, just loook at them handsome blonde sturm troopers, awesome aren’t they? See how they raise their right arm!!! Sig Heil! Guess what happened later. Same with the USSR- right until they collapsed, there were lots of communist praisers, as I recall.

    And talking about hasty judgments, remember how everyone in the US thought the Japanese were taking over- but look how the Japanese system had to be revamped, and it’s still midway through the “kaikaku”.

    Not to forget all the brain drain going on now- I’m sure the US sucks and China is a better place to live with the H-1B visa cap running out in a single day because of all those Chinese (and Indian) applicants. I’m sure the Thousand-Year kingdom will reign forever.

  25. tomojiro said

    “Don’t know about that.The death toll caused by the Japanese imperialism is quite impressive.Possibly the addition of all the imperialism in Asia”

    Yeah, I agree. But still are they far more impressive than death tolls during the Great leap forward or the Cultural Revolution or the oppressions of Indonesian communists during the 1950ies?

    If Imperial Japan didn’t side with the Nazis, I believe that we were not still haunted by people like David Burgermini or Iris Chang or Herbert Bix who just try to find (or a lmostly make up) the equivalent of Adolf Hitler or Nazi Ideology in Imperial Japan.

    “I believe the development of a nation takes long and winding road.So it’s pretty difficult to find any ideal model from any nation in the world either that would be Japan or China”

    I am not saying that china is the exclusive model for developmental states (or Japan), but as far as the model of nation states are effective, I believe that authotarian leadership would be also effective and maybe also indispensable at beginning stage of a certain “nation state” building.

    Is there any exception to what I said? I honestly want to hear about that (maybe there are).

  26. “There are far more Chinese students who study at top class universities in US than Japanese students. Who knows what the future becomes if that continues.”

    I would imagine that is because (a) there are rather more Chinese and (b) Japan has its own top class universities for Japanese students to study at.

    As for the necessity of developmental autocracy… yes, we have a bunch of East Asian tigers, which developed better under autocracy than the democratic Philippines. Also democratic India. But aren’t there cultural features shared among China, Japan, Vietnam, (South) Korea, and Singapore, not shared by India and the Philippines? Confucianism, for one thing.

    Not that the Philippines are doing that badly right now, with a 5.4% GDP growth. There’s also the democratic country of Botswana, GDP $11,000/capita, and democratic Mauritius, at $13,700 and 5% growth. So I’d say the pre-requisites for development aren’t that clear cut. (Not to mention things like Cuba or Kerala having low income but high life expectancy; what do you want out of your development?)

  27. Aceface said

    Confucianism argument was pretty popular in the 80’s and it was proclaimed by Korean and Japanese academic.Chalmers Johnson smashed the argument simply saying “Why then did it took such a long time since the death of confucious to make these country so wealthy?”.He has a point.

    Thing is the nations Damien had referred are the nations that had industrial policies launched by the government which had more or less accepted free market expertise.India had indutrial policy but that was more or less socialistic and The Phillipinesas had no industrial policies,what so ever.As for Japan,inspite of heavy criticism from abroad,there were competitions within the domestic market.

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