China’s Expressway Dilemma and the Solution – Part 1/2

China may not know what it is getting itself into by copying the U.S. as far as linking all of its cities with Expressways.

About a year and a half ago, Shanghaiist reported that China had more than doubled the length of China’s expressway system.  Shanghaiist said, “It’s so long, in fact, that it should soon overtake the interstate highway system of the United tates as the world’s longest.”

China’s road building frenzy is linked to the same goal that includes having a population ratio between urban and rural areas that already exists in Europe and the US, which may create the largest consumer driven middle class in the world.

In addition, there is the parallel frenzy of multinational fast food corporations such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and KFC opening thousands of fast food outlets in China.

In fact, China is quickly becoming another automobile, consumer driven culture similar to the United States, but it may not be a good idea to become a duplicate copy of the U.S.

China has a plan but the United States does not.

If you click on this link and study the chart from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, you will discover what China’s future fate may be and that fate, if it becomes a fact, will lead China into wars such as the two the US is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Due to U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products, America’s national interest and economy are linked to countries that supply oil to the US.

In January 2010, the Center for American Progress reported that Oil Dependence is a Dangerous Habit, and said, “The United States is spending approximately $1 billion a day overseas on oil instead of investing the funds at home, where our economy sorely needs it. Burning oil that exacerbates global warming also poses serious threats to our national security and the world’s security.”

Yet, there is little to no sign that the U.S. government is moving to break its addiction to foreign oil. Instead, the partnership between America’s federal government and big oil appears stronger than ever.

If China continues down the same expressway toward a consumer car culture that mimics the US, it too may face a similar fate with a middle class addicted to gas and diesel powered cars and trucks.

However, Shai Agassi’s Better Place, a company that had its start in California, offers a solution.

Continued on August 9, 2011 in China’s Expressway Dilemma and the Solution – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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3 Responses to China’s Expressway Dilemma and the Solution – Part 1/2

  1. merlin says:

    I heard I THINK when the economy began to tank, people began buying stock in a small concrete company in Chengdu. Now with all the building projects going on, I’m sure stock in the concrete market will be on the rise for a few more years.

  2. merlin says:

    There’s many points to dispute that China will never be an American car driven country.

    1) US we have houses, lawns, GARAGES. China has apartments. If everyone drove a car and their grandma, they would need to rip up ALL apartments to build a massive underground parking lot.

    2) I really dont think China will become an OIL DEPENDENT country in comparison with the US. Even if it does, it still has the plethora of resources in it’s neighbors. DPRK has some resources, BUT just north of Mongolia is the grand Siberian ice land of Russia. I was taught in geography class few years ago in college that Russia is actually PAYING people to move to Siberia and develop just so they can get to the oil buried in the cold frozen wasteland. So, different from the US, China would have to either do massive trade with it’s 2 allies, or go into all out war with them.

    3) Building all these expressways only connects the farmers easier to the cities. It’s a good thing to link the farms easier to the city (more consumerism), but I feel it will only increase the problem of the shrinking farm laborers in China to the point it could end up like Japan. One of the main reasons the US and the western world still has farmers today is because we use heavy machinery to do the work in 1/10th the time it would take to do by hand. By having this capability our farmers can either be full time (farm HUGE amounts of acreage) or go to the city for a second job. The problem in China, as in Japan, is usually the farms are all planted, cared for, and harvested by hand. Machinery is too expensive for the average farmer. Also, some of the plants grown in Asia (tea) has to be picked by hand. I know a guy whose father-in-law owns a tea plantation and I asked why not just use machines and the work will be done in less than a week. He explained tea leaves are very delicate. IF you use machinery to harvest the tea, you end up getting poor quality. In a country where the tea market is competitive, people would rather focus on the quality of their crop rather than the speed of getting it to market. I just want to throw in a piece of information comparing western farms with Asian farms. Asian farms focus on the quality of the product. The west focuses on the quantity since the more you send to market, the more you receive in payment. Same goes for speed, the faster to market the faster you get paid. This philosophy applies to both the crops and the livestock. That’s why in America most cattle are fed corn. It’s not healthy for the animal, but it fattens them up faster to send them off to the butcher. Crops are genetically engineered now in Iowa. I’ll share a story about one crop near my late grandfather’s farm. Corn traditionally has 1 ear for every stalk (plant). Well, Iowa State University does some bio-engineering and on the field next to grandfather’s, my dad and I came across a stalk with 6 ears. Sure it doubles the quantity, but you have to beg the question how “Playing God” affects we humans. Compare this with Asia. I know for a fact that Japanese beef is the most prized in the world because the quality is near perfect. The reason for this is because as funny as it sounds, the Japanese let their cattle eat grass, give them massage, and sometimes slip them a beer or two on weekends. To us Americans, we laugh at the thought. A cow getting a massage and drinking beer!

    4) My last point I’d like to make is, WHERE is China finding all this concrete? Everything they build is out of concrete. Concrete is from the earth. If one continually takes parts of the floor out to build to the sky, pretty soon you will have no floor to support your structure! I dont want to twist any Environmentalist tree lover’s pants by saying wood is an excellent substance to use as building material. The reason for this is because wood is a plant. You can always plant more. Humanity has just been lazy for a few millenia by not replacing what we take. I believe it is Taoism that claims that living WITH nature, not against it, is what makes life balanced. If you continuously take without giving back, it’s like loading 1 side of the Yin-Yang and soon everything collapses. Too much weight on 1 side of a balance, and the fulcrum tips and everything falls on the floor. Basic physics even a 2 year old can figure out.

    • “Building all these expressways only connects the farmers easier to the cities. ” Good point.

      As for the concrete, China is buying it from all over the world — Africa, Brazil, Australia. China is buying so much concrete that they caused the global prices to go up and shortages for construction in countries in Europe and the US.

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