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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Global Times, May 10, 2017
 

China has shown the world it is capable of "heavy lifting" in a wide sense, and there are several examples of this.

First, the surpassing of several Millennium Goals before the target date of 2015, thus lifting millions of its citizens from poverty. This was through the provision of remunerative work both in the special economic zones and in the countryside by allowing innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive. This created two main outcomes: personal wealth was increased so individuals were able to save more, and if working away from home they could return larger remittances to better support their families, especially their children's education. Their hard work also created goods for export, thus bringing into China much-needed foreign cash. These benefits raised the country's GDP rapidly, gaining better scores from the international credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor's and enhancing inward investment, as well as easing other financial limits that bedevil poorer nations.

The government coffers were filled, allowing for greater investment in infrastructure - in better transport systems, communications and enhancing public sanitation. China invested very heavily in its rail and then road infrastructure, easing the twice-yearly predicament faced by the Chinese railway service as millions of migrant workers moved between work and home for the major public holidays. As the ministries designed fast rail services along new routes they freed older railway lines to be renovated and to be used to boost freight service capacity. This has also allowed regular freight train services from China across Central Asia into Europe - cheaper than air freight; not as voluminous as shipping yet much faster than their long trips.

New twin-road highways were also constructed with greater capacity than the old roads with increased safety through the separation of opposing traffic flows. Recent accords have been struck with the Transport International Routier (TIR) that accords the truck and driver simple cross-border passage from anywhere in China to anywhere in Europe without customs inspections. This has greatly reduced the potential for fraud, hijacking and delay - the TIR organization suggests trucks are much more flexible than railways, offering vast benefits for the import/export of certain goods.

Airports have not been ignored in China's transport revolution. International passenger airports have been renovated, new air-freight hubs created and many city airports built. The latter have created the concept of an "aerotropolis" as a metropolitan region, where the infrastructure and economy are centered on an airport. This development is paralleled by the building of a few hundred new towns across China to house the vast demand for rural to urban migration that is now underway.

David Donaldson, a professor at Stanford University, and colleagues, who studied the impact of building railway networks in the US from 1870 to 1890 and in India from 1870 to the 1930s, showed that the benefits can be substantial. In the US the real increase in income was about 16 percent, and in India 22 percent, though in both cases the gains were not immediate as local infrastructure and modes of work took time to adjust. Further analysis of US data suggests that transport network integration led to a substantial increase in worker output - both in agriculture and manufacturing.

This bodes well for China in the coming years as more food will be required from fewer workers to feed its increasingly elderly population while its manufacturing output needs to be maintained if not lifted.

The second area of "heavy lifting" has been re-linking China to its neighboring nations by extending roads and railways into Central Asia and to Europe as part of the "One Belt and One Road" initiative. New enterprise hubs along the Road will demand further innovative "heavy lifting" as different inter-personal and inter-regional pressures will have to be absorbed. The Belt is a very important development for China, and the world, as it will provide a new mechanism for international trade across what might become a relatively free trading region - Central Asia plus Europe, dynamically connected to Asia via China's innovation capacity.

Another aspect of the "heavy lifting" is really out of this world. China has just launched its Long March 7 space rocket. This will allow a Tianzhou 1 robotic craft to dock with the Tiangong 2 space laboratory, providing supplies to this orbiting station to increase its functionality prior to the launch of its main module, Tianhe-1. These launches illustrate increasing cooperation in space between the few space-capable nations, incidentally providing security back-up if one nation's launch fails with consequent issues deep in space. We note that China's launch comes at a time when US space agency NASA is delaying its heavy rocket launch into 2019. Meanwhile it has been confirmed that China and the European Space Agency (ESA) have talked about joint plans to create a human-occupied moon village.

Finally, there is regional diplomacy. The old East Asian order was formed between the late 19th century and the early 20th century when China was weak and poor. But now there is a different order as China is the world's second most powerful economy. It seems pertinent to look at how China has responded to world events through the last few decades with various forms of "heavy lifting;" I am confident that a new lift will follow in due course.

 

The author is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community.

 


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