Wednesday, March 18, 2015

China: From happy problems to unhappy ones

China used to only have happy problems which they were only too glad to solve. Now they have mostly unhappy ones. Happy or unhappy problems the list is too long to enumerate.

The most frightening problems are those that affect everyone. Jobs, housing, healthcare and security will always rank very high but pollution was taken for granted. They keep ignoring this problem and I think they are now very near the limits of public tolerance.

I have time for only the first third of this documentary and fast forward the rest stopping at strategic points; really appreciate the producers for sticking to plain Chinese avoiding too many idioms.

If you put one and one together, Li Keqiang publicly showing less confidence from getting local government to cooperate to implement reforms looks worrying. Most problems cannot be solved without their cooperation and rapidly solved unless they are highly motivated. They were once extremely motivated to stoke growth. It made them very rich. Now who would cooperate if it makes them poor?

As outsiders we do not offer the Chinese solutions to their problems. You only have to decide if they can overcome them. They have always made us nervous or in awe. Which way would it be this time?

Link to WSJ article.

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