Growing Pains

In the coming months I will be trying to distill news items like the following into a cohesive observation, to give voice to what I already sense – China’s grand experiment in social engineering has taken on a life of it’s own, for better or for worse.

One Child Policy and Changing Demographics
January 30, 2011

I noticed this in an article the NYT today:

“…The number of Chinese in their 20s and early 30s, the traditional age bracket for factory labor, is slowly shrinking because of the introduction of the “one child system” a generation ago….”
Inflation in China May Curb U.S. Trade Deficit

For reference – Age Distribution

Under 15: 20.3%
15–29: 22.8%
30–44: 26.7%
45–59: 18.2%
60–74: 9.4%
75–84: 2.3%
85 and over: 0.3%
Demographics of the People’s Republic of China

Plastic Surgery Trend Sweeps China
January 29, 2011

An interesting trend that may indicate the extremes in the wealth divide.
CNTV Dialogue

Total Listed Value of Underdeveloped Property Sites in Beijing Surpass U.S. GDP?
January 25, 2011

“If all of the land in Beijing were sold off [at its declared value], the wealth that would result would surpass the total annual GDP of the United States”

China Media Project

Class war in the new China – Features – Al Jazeera English
December 31, 2010

I’m reminded of Thomas Friedman’s column published in the NY Times in June of 2005…

“Every time I visit India, Indians always ask me to compare India with China. Lately, I have responded like this: If India and China were both highways, the Chinese highway would be a six-lane, perfectly paved road, but with a huge speed bump off in the distance labeled “Political reform: how in the world do we get from Communism to a more open society?” When 1.3 billion people going 80 miles an hour hit a speed bump, one of two things happens: Either the car flies into the air and slams down, and all the parts hold together and it keeps on moving – or the car flies into the air, slams down and all the wheels fall off. Which it will be with China, I don’t know. India, by contrast, is like a highway full of potholes, with no sidewalks and half the streetlamps broken. But off in the distance, the road seems to smooth out, and if it does, this country will be a dynamo. The question is: Is that smoother road in the distance a mirage or the real thing? ”

Country’s wealth divide past warning level
May 12, 2010

China Daily reports that the .46 GINI index for China is over the .4 warning level, however in the official line (Peoples Daily) may be that the rules do not apply to developing counties.

China Daily
Peoples Daily

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