Wednesday, January 05, 2011

China, then India.

A “Wikileaks” cable has provided a look at how China will be run after 2012. According to the UK’s Telegraph, future paramount leader Xi Jinping is "exceptionally ambitious," had "his eye on the prize" of becoming China's leader from "early adulthood," and made sure he’d get there by devoting himself to Marxist ideology in order to "become redder than the red."

The quoted U.S. embassy cable describes Xi as a true "elitist" who believes that "dedicated and committed Communist Party leadership is the key to enduring social stability and national strength.” Xi is “of average intelligence,” says the cable’s source, and blessed with a strong sense of entitlement, believing that “members of his generation are the 'legitimate heirs' to the revolutionary achievements of their parents and therefore 'deserve to rule China.'”

Xi, you see, is a “princeling” whose father ruled Guangdong in the late 1970’s (Xi is 57), and in fact set up China’s most successful export zone, Shenzhen. Xi himself was, really, a prince born and raised in Beijing. According to another cable,
the compounds in which Xi Jinping's generation grew up were "ironically the most precisely class-based mini-society ever constructed". Everything from which kindergarten or supermarket a leader could use to what car he could own was determined by Party rank. "The children of this revolutionary elite were told that they, too, would someday take their rightful place in the Chinese leadership."

Xi’s wife is a famous Chinese folk singer.

As China’s strength grows, it will inevitably bump up against India, Asia’s other population giant. Kevin Rafferty, writing in the Japan Times, points out the struggle is uneven:

➢ India is a difficult place to do business, according to the World Bank Group's annual report Doing Business 2011. India ranks 134th out of 183 economies, while China is 79th.

➢ China is an exporting giant that took over from Germany as the world's biggest exporter in 2009, with exports of $1.2 trillion, 9.6% of global exports and a trade surplus of almost $200 billion. India is in 21st place with only $136 billion exports in 2009, 1.3% of global exports and a trade deficit of $114 billion.

➢ Trade between China and India will top $60 billion for 2010, making China India's biggest trading partner. China has made big inroads into India's consumer markets. India has not had anything like the same success in selling to China. Iron ore alone makes up about half of India's exports, and the rest consist mostly of basic commodities. Beijing's surplus in trade with India will probably reach $24 billion in 2010.

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