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Ten Lessons
Development with Chinese Characteristics

How the Chinese model can help developing countries in formulating their own economic strategies.

Published on: January 3, 2018
Seth D. Kaplan is a professorial lecturer in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, senior adviser for the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), and consultant to organizations such as the World Bank, USAID, State Department, United Nations, and African Development Bank. He lived in China for seven years and speaks Mandarin Chinese. He can be reached at [email protected]
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  • FriendlyGoat

    In the influence game, a new one goes up when an old one is going down.

  • Marathon-Youth

    An economy and social structure that can deal with the following issues would address most of the problems plaguing the world:
    Any system must include a set of codes of Honor, Duty or Obligations, Ethics, and rights.
    “The honor of the individual is the honor of the nation”
    It is what rights and duties you do for yourself,
    What rights and duties you do for the nation
    What rights and duties the nation is obliged to herself
    and
    what rights and duties the nation is obliged to you.
    A government and social system that authentically serves the interest of the people and the nation as a whole. A system that prevents runaway growth of wealth in the hands of a few to preventing abysmal poverty.
    We have a Capitalist system which is state sponsored usury, and Usury is the means by which the wealth is taken out of the economy and concentrated in the hands of few till the system is bankrupt. We need to do away with that.
    Because of China’s continental sized population Beijing has to have broad impersonal laws that override the “rights and duties” she owes to each Chinese, and each Chinese has to sacrifice the obligations, and honor of a family unit , to that of the state. The balance required to preserve individual human rights while addressing the economic needs of a nation is missing in China.
    One peculiar American model is “making luxury a necessity of life”. Instead of minimalism and through innovation we made accessible to the common man all the services and products that used to belong to the upper class and the royalty. Such items as the radio, record player, lawn mover, refrigerator, car, air conditioning, uninterrupted energy dish and clothes washers etc gave the average home what used to be done by servants and those who were wealthy.
    But our leaders in commerce and politics have lost the ethics, honor and duty that would prevent a predatory form of economics.

    • ltlee1

      Absolutely agree with your last sentence.

      As a matter of act, I am not sure other nations can follow China’s example. For example, the article mentions “2) Invest heavily in knowledge infrastructure. China has invested heavily in education …” This is the results of many years of Confucian meritocracy. Uyghurs inside China in general put a lot less emphasis on education in comparison to Han Chinese.

      All other things, I would say a country could do better if it does not have Western democracy which readily allows elites to shirk their accountability and responsibility. American Interest has a recent article lamenting this reality in the US. Needless to say, declining elite accountability and responsibility contributes to the spread of predatory form of economics. In addition, as H. L. Mencken had predicted:

      “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On
      some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be
      adorned by a downright moron.”

      Not following the West is probably more important than following China.

      • Marathon-Youth

        Thank you. I was drawing from several sources among them the Buddhist concept of Dharma, Kautilya’s “ArthaShastra” [treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy], and Fascism. The section where ‘luxury is made into a necessity” is uniquely American and the predatory nature of American economics did not exist before the Great wars and even less before the civil war. Keeping in mind that slavery was common to many economic system and not exclusive to the West.

  • QET

    Here is my understanding:

    China’s late “rise” and prosperity was made possible only because of the existence, maintenance and functioning of a “free market” (please no tired remarks about how “the” market is not really “free”) located “out there,” in the Western-dominated world. “Only” is key here: the Western liberal international order (a concept much discussed of late in TAI and thus why I refer to it), of which the “free market” is the most significant part, sustained by the US at great cost (morally and financially) in the last 70+ years is a necessary condition to China’s success. That it may not be a sufficient condition is irrelevant. There is no condition anywhere that is sufficient.

    China has been free to make as much or as little use of that liberal international order as it sees fit from time to time in order to line its national pockets. The West has encouraged China to make use of that order, for reasons of both cupidity (profits of Western capitalist enterprise) and policy (the more China is integrated economically with the West, the less can it afford to retain an antithetical Communist ideology). China has never fully opened to the Western liberal order and its free market; that order has been an external object that it can access as and how it chooses to serve its own self-interest. But all of that Chinese “investment” in “infrastructure” and “manufacturing” is made possible only by reason of the existence of the Western liberal order and its free market. China’s sniffing at the excesses of that market is, to put it charitably, disingenuous. (And here I won’t even get into China’s pilfering of Western technology; some might even approve it as being at least flagrant theft instead of what they perceive to be the masked theft of the free market).

    China now asserts that it offers some sort of “alternative” that other less developed nations can mimic. This, notwithstanding that it continues to send record numbers of its children to the West to be educated in the ways of the Western liberal order. But Western markets are the foundation of China’s own development and despite China’s (and Russia’s) bloviatings to the contrary, there is no substitute it can offer. The most it can do is try to put a red coat of paint on the Western liberal house and call it a Chinese “alternative.” Selective use of the Western liberal order is hardly an “alternative.”

    China has (like we all do) conflicting interests: now that it has successfully resurrected itself out of the Communist ashes on the basis of selective access to the Western liberal order, its national pride (which hardly anyone in TAI seems to complain about even when otherwise disparaging the morality of nationalism in a “global” world) demands that it be accorded, not equal, but superior recognition by the Rest of World. But it is still propped up by the Western market and its reliable rules and modes of operation.

    It has long been the fashion to excoriate the US for the price it exacts from less developed places for its own investment and developmental assistance. But the Chinese are bookkeepers that put the West to shame. Nations who turn to China for its “alternative” to Western methods, markets and order will soon learn the difference.

    Please feel free to correct my understanding.

    • CaseKL

      ho ya Asian and Chinese are not capable to succeed on their own. It is the magnanimous west that provides the conducive environment for the Chinese to thrive.
      These non-white need to be lectured on human rights and democracy.
      The whites are supremacist race and is exceptional and all other races’ ordinary and stupid.

  • Jeff77450

    The Chinese economic model: Massive Western investment, unfair trade practices like currency manipulation and limiting foreign films to thirty-four a year and upwards of $1-trillion of intellectual property theft.

    • CaseKL

      Remember Opium War ?

      • Jeff77450

        Don’t stop there, let’s reminisce about the Persian, Hun, Mongol, Berber and Turkish invasions of Europe. Let’s further reminisce about China’s several aggressions against their neighbors post-1949. Let’s go back 30,000 years to when my tribe of “cavemen” conducted a raid on your tribe because we were a woman short. Because it’s all so relevant to crimes committed in the here-and-now. Everyone knows that two wrongs makes a right. If you murdered my child twenty years ago I’m justified in killing you child today.

        What you wrote in no way refutes my point.

        • CaseKL

          Dream on !!!

          • Jeff77450

            A preposterous lie but believe whatever you want to. Almost everything you enjoy in life was invented by or otherwise made possible a white person. We’re alive because of diseases cured, vaccines, antibiotics, water/sewage treatment plants invented by whites. A country like China will never be able to take pride in anything it accomplishes because they know that without western investment & technology, much of it stolen, they’d be nothing but a bunch of poor peasants bent over in a rice-paddy.

          • CaseKL

            At least Chinese peasants lived with dignity even though they are poor by not robbing others.
            Unlike your white race, acted more like robbers and pirates than decent human beings,when facing difficulties and life-threatening hunger, went round the world to rob and bring back the loots to your country to feed the poor and starving.
            Hahahaha you are unaware your DNA is of thieves and pirates, the worst human species in society, and the rightful place is behind bars.

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