Redford’s post is worth reading, but he misses a few points when he says, “China’s economic growth is happening exclusively in cities.” That’s old news.
Evidently, he hasn’t heard that last year China’s ruling body launched a five-year plan to extend the electric grid into rural China and subsidize modern electric appliances for peasants, explore ways to modernize rural villages, build about 40,000 additional kilometers of railroads while crisscrossing the country with a grid of high-speed rail.
China was the most powerful nation on the planet between 206 BC and 1800 AD. The Han Dynasty was more powerful and more technologically advanced than the Roman Empire at its height. Prior to British opium flooding China from India early in the 19th century, China had the largest economy in the world.
Starting with the first Opium War, that power was robbed by the West. It wasn’t until Deng Xiaoping said, “Getting rich (and powerful) is glorious”, that the Chinese started to get back on their feet. He also said, “Some areas must get rich before others.”
China was a global power for more than two millennia. America has only been one since the end of World War II in 1945. Although Redford doesn’t say so, it was obvious that the Chinese are sending a strong message—”We are back”.
If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.