Washington and the media are quick to parrot Beijing's numbers showing "miracle" economic growth. But can we trust its numbers any more than the miracle growth once credited to the Soviet Union?May?
Market reforms or not, Beijing is still a police state running a command economy. Yet we accept Chinese GDP reports of 9% growth uncritically while casting doubt on their reports on defense spending. Go figure.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Beijing is hiding military outlays, low-balling them so as not to draw suspicions about its territorial ambitions in the Taiwan Strait and elsewhere. (China's stated goal is hegemony in Asia; it's called the "Island Chain Strategy," and those islands include Taiwan and Japan.)
"Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment?" Rumsfeld said recently. "Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases?"
So if Beijing's defense numbers are bogus, why do we have any confidence in its economic numbers? They come from the same dubious source: the Chinese Communist Party. How do we know its economic ministry isn't inflating growth numbers to attract more Western investment -- the lifeblood of China's economy? We don't. There's no transparency -- only a Great Wall of propaganda.
This is no small issue. American investors are pumping billions into the Chinese economy on the promise of huge returns, a promise slickly sold by the powerful pro-China lobby in Washington. Beijing needs that hard cash flow to finance its growth, because its state-run banks are virtually bankrupt. (Meanwhile, its central bank is artificially undervaluing its currency to make its exports artificially cheap.)
Many China watchers are starting to doubt China is growing as fast as it claims. "You can't trust their GDP numbers. They're at least 2% below what they advertise," said Roger Robinson, vice chairman of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. "So when they say 9% growth, it's really 7% or less."
Other estimates set the growth even lower -- 6.2%, according to the University of Chicago, and 3.0%, according to the University of Pittsburgh.
Robinson says that without the cushion of foreign capital, China would implode even with 5%-6% growth. And what would it do without our huge industrial subsidy? As a communist state with few incentives for innovators, China has to counterfeit goods and steal technology through economic espionage. Right now China pirates 90% of its technology.
"Miracle" economy? More like a mirage, kept alive by U.S. trade, investment and boosterism.
By naively buying into Chinese propaganda about miracle growth, we may be only propping up a corrupt communist regime while bankrolling its hegemonic military ambitions. We mustn't forget that any market reforms are merely a means to that end.
"If you don't get the Fox News Channel then you didn't see any of the dramatic footage of the Israeli army's arrest yesterday of a 21-year old, female Palestinian homicide-bomber, strapped with 25 pounds of high-explosives, just moments before she was to commit mass-murder by detonating herself inside an Israeli hospital. No other television network featured the story.Bauer: Major TV Networks Boycotted 'Hospital Bomber' Story
"Utterly ignoring the extraordinary video of the homicide-bomber's arrest, both the BBC and CNN focused extensively on how much ‘damage’ Israel's early morning arrest - for which there was no video - of 55 Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists, described by CNN as ‘Palestinian activists,’ would cause to today's scheduled ‘summit meeting’ between Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
"That only one network would air incredible footage of the seizure of a ticking human-bomb, just moments before she tried to murder hospital patients, means this story was not simply ignored by the mainstream media - it was boycotted by the mainstream media. Since nearly every aspect of this remarkable story contradicts everything the mainstream media has been trying to tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they just opted for the easiest way to handle it - denying it ever happened.
“This is setting a new precedent, globally."-Amina Wadud
Now that is what investigative journalism is all about! The News did itself proud.I go in for my share of media-bashing when they deserve it, which is often. This is not one of those entries. I come not to bury the Rocky Mountain News, but to praise it: their Ward Churchill reporting has been thorough, penetrating and outstanding. They've kept the heat on high, and made it impossible for CU officials to try and let Ward off the hook when public attention dies down.