Friday, August 7, 2009

Can China Save The World?

HONG KONG -- A new issue of Time asks if China's roaring market can save the world by creating a "trickle around" effect for economies elsewhere. Of the biggest 10 economies, only China's is growing. The article raises some cautions about an economy dependent on government cash -- sound familiar? -- but notes that China is on track to overtake Japan as the world's second largest economy.
Beijing, before the crisis, was already rising, its global reach and influence expanding. As the rest of the world falters, that is truer than ever. China is not yet the leader of the global economy. But it's getting there.
Hong Kong is not the best place to see China's astonishing evolution. Hong Kong has long been a hustle-bustle city. To see the pace and scale of change, you must visit cities like Shanghai, where the equivalent of a Manhattan has been built in a decade, skyscrapers springing from rice paddies. Amazingly for such change, the architecture is good, a point made long ago by Rem Koolhaas.

Hong Kong nonetheless conveys the pulse of capitalism animating a culture and a nation. Here you see streets jammed with new cars, well-dressed business people crossing streets, jabbering into cell phones, ignoring the honks from impatient taxi drivers. You also notice a culture that sustains, side by side in jarring contrast, ultra modern subways and night markets where fortune tellers read palms and faces for signs of a person's personal and financial fate.

For the bird's eye vantage, Sally and I rode the tram to the top of Hong Kong island. Up there, the August sun broiled my skin. Smart vistors carried umbrellas as personal shade. A haze partially obscured the vista, but the image posted here shows one of the most amazing harbors in the world, China's second busiest in container shipping after Shanghai, only a relative blip in trade statistics 20 years ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.