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Date Posted: 23:31 19/01/2005

The China Threat

Neo-cons, stay calm

FOR ALL those worried about the inevitable rise of China, one thing has to be kept in mind. China's gross per capita domestic product remains very low indeed. Today, the Chinese government revealed that it would do its utmost to raise per capita GDP levels to US$ 1900 by 2010, a level far lower than developed countries.

Forty years ago, Chairman Mao and his ilk talked about overtaking Britain, France and the United States in the space of a decade and building paradise on earth. Now, the new generation of steely technocrats talk menacingly of a 'stable rise' towards mere subsistence for the large majority of the country.

For all those US right-wingers who think that China might be a threat to 'western values', it also needs to be said that the high economic growth rates in China over the past decade cannot, by any means, be attributed to the Satanist collective farm experiments of the 1950s and 1960s, and actually owe more to orthodox capitalist experiments than anything else. Furthermore, despite reports, China is motivated by the same self interests as the United States, and as it increases its economic and political might, the conflicts that might arise with other powers are not a result of being irreconciliably different from the West, but because they are chasing the same sort of thing – glory, prestige and prosperity, much of which is finite, or part of a zero-sum game that requires the subjugation or humiliation of others.

Anyway,according to the chief of the Development Research Centre, the State Council think-tank, China expects to lift its GDP rate up to 21,500 bln RMB by 2010, which comes to about US$ 1,900 on a per capita basis. The world rankings show that Luxembourg has a per capita GDP of US$ 55,100, and that the United States has a respectable GDP average of US$ 37,800. China currently lies in 123rd place, with US$ 5,000, according to CIA statistics. Running Dog, while suspecting that it has something to do with dubious calculations relating to purchasing parity, tried to contact the CIA about the discrepancies between their figures and those of the Chinese government, but their enquiry form did not work, and our phone has been cut off.

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