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Fears of China and its (our) future

Posted by fracardi on April 7, 2007

In this very interesting video-post, Martin Varsavsky points out that Western countries, instead of fearing Chinese lack of civic liberties and its escalating military power, should be much more worried of the ecological impact and of the huge inequalities of the current Chinese economical model. He argues also that the world would be a better place if Western countries will convince / help China to adopt the socio-democratic model of Europe and Japan, instead of the capitalistic US one.

I totally agree. Everyone visiting China could immediately realize that China is today an iper-capitalistic country, with an awesome (and ecologically and socially scaring) freedom for business. No socialist features appear in this society model, as one should expect from a country that still declares itself communist.

However, it is in my opinion impossible to disconnect the building of a socially and ecologically-oriented society from the rise of civic and political liberties. I don’t see how the Chinese Communist party could start adopting social and ecological measures without a clear pressure from the Chinese public opinion. At the end, who can systematically argue on the building of a new dam or the respect of pollution rules in mainland China? Who can teach to 1,3 billion Chinese that they should start adopting differentiated collecting of rubbish or limit the use of their cars? Western countries are just starting doing after 200 hundreds of industrial revolution .Very few countries, US the least, have the moral authority to stand-up.

That’s why I don’t see China adopting, let’s say, a Swedish model, at least until the GDP per capita will grow to 10-15k US$. That’s a very long way to go.

Am I wrong? I hope so, because if not, the future of the current Earth ecosystem has very little chances to survive during the next 100 years.

One Response to “Fears of China and its (our) future”

  1. Although environmentally uncontrolled expansion of chinese industry seem to be unavoidable, it is fundamental that international investors and multinational companies play a responsible role by adopting best practices in both dimension: social and environmental.

    Failing to do that and assist goverment to enforce local competitors to do the same, will bring chances of a sustainable development very close to zero.

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