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China Chooses Change In Ten-Year Outlook

China’s ten-year plan. Economic changes. Social changes. The planned new face of modern China.

A woman leads a child while holding a doll as they walk near mural depicting a child eating in Beijing Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Experts estimate that the first easing of the country's strict one-child policy in three decades announced this month allowing couples where one partner is an only child to have a second baby will result in 1 million to 2 million extra births per year in the first few years, on top of the 16 million babies born annually in China. (AP)

A woman leads a child while holding a doll as they walk near mural depicting a child eating in Beijing Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Experts estimate that the first easing of the country’s strict one-child policy in three decades announced this month allowing couples where one partner is an only child to have a second baby will result in 1 million to 2 million extra births per year in the first few years, on top of the 16 million babies born annually in China. (AP)

Latest poll numbers show a third of Americans are optimistic about their economic outlook.  In Spain, it’s four percent.  In Greece it’s one percent.  In China, 88 percent say they’re optimistic about the economic path ahead.  This month, China’s leadership is laying out its big vision for the next ten years.  The ten-year plan.  Hard to imagine such a thing in the USA. China’s leaders say they’ll end the one-child policy. End labor camps for “re-education.”  Further privilege market forces.  But keep the central authority, the Communist Party, right in charge.  This hour On Point:  China’s ten-year plan.

– Tom Ashbrook


Andrew BrowneChina columnist for The Wall Street Journal. (@andybrownewsj)

Susan Shirkchair of the 21st Century China Program and Ho Miu Lam Professor of China and Pacific Relations at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at the University of California, San Diego. (@IRPS)

Damien Ma, fellow at the Paulson Institute. Author of “In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China’s Ascent In the Next Decade.” (@damienics)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: After Long Wind-Up, Xi Delivers Anticlimax — “The details were almost completely missing, even though the document ticked off many of the items that appear on standard lists of reform objectives for China, both inside and outside the country. These include pledges to overhaul the fiscal system, health care and education. The party has historically signaled policy changes in words and phrases that appear as riddles to outsiders, In that vein, the language of the communiqué does offer a few tantalizing, if murky, clues to deeper reform that may lie ahead.”

NPR: China Sends ‘Peace Ark’ To Philippines Via Choppy Political Seas — “If you look at online polls, actually a lot of people were against giving aid to the Philippines. One of the things that they did was they cited this island dispute. They also – some people don’t think it’s really appropriate. Despite the incredible economic growth here, many Chinese are still relatively poor. And a lot of Chinese feel that the government should spend money on its own people and spend money at home.”

BBC: No siblings: A side-effect of China’s one-child policy — “The result – China’s new singletons were more educated than generations before them. And Chinese education costs soared overnight. In the past, parents would usually choose just one of their children to progress in school. But after the one-child policy came into practice, each single child shouldered this focused pressure from two parents.”

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  • Shag_Wevera

    Two “i” words come to mind when I think of China. Insidious and inevitable. This has become a world of numbers, and China has them. The growth of China as an industrial and economic power has already undercut the U.S. in so many obvious ways, whether it be the disintigration of our industrial base or the plunging fates and wages of American workers. I suspect I won’t live long enough to see the Chinese outright calling the shots in the world, and for this I am grateful.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I just finished reading “When China Rules The World, the end of the western world and the birth of a new global order” by Martin Jacques. Great book. I also can get a live 24 hour news broadcast from Peking. There is a lot of information out there, just look for it. As always, the last thing you should do is depend on the talking heads of the screen in front of you for making any decisions on just about anything.

    • Jon

      sounds like another mimicking story of the book of John. Americans are brainwashed by those closed minded scholars.

      • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

        While in the Navy I was in Hong Kong harbor three times aboard warships. I would look at the lights of China at night and wonder what makes them tick.. I would talk to people and learn all I could. Same for the island of Taiwan. Brain washed by scholars, General Patton read everything he could get his hands on that Rommel wrote. You had better understand your adversary completely. During the Vietnam war, I did not understand our tactics and questioned my superiors more than once. Basic military training and I find it useful today is most areas that I’m interested in.

        • Jon

          to know your adversary go and live among them, not by reading tourist’s diary.

        • Jon

          well living overseas is a tall order unless you’re a retired general. you like reading, read classical Chinese text. it’s the only way to truly understand ‘what makes them tick’ – just like I study bible to understand the American mind. the communists are lost they don’t know who they are anymore – communism is western not native Chinese – just like the Americans. Do you believe in the gay bashing old god or the new human rights pro-gay god?

  • Don_B1

    Of course, the Tea/REpublicans will denounce anyone who takes up the premise of this article:


    though Americans have always been happy to appropriate anyone’s ideas and improve on them.

    But that is why following the Tea/Republican prescriptions for the future in America is worse than foolish.

  • TFRX

    What lessons have the Chinese taken away from the USSR-to-Russia transition “game film”?

    I know the comparison isn’t direct, but boy howdy, seems the last thing China needs is some of the “help” the West sent East at the end of the Cold War.

    • Jon

      one thing the Chinese communists learned from Russian colleague is growth is the only straw keeping their rule legitimate. using CNN’s dumb it down question – is this good or bad?

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    What is the tax system like in China? Does it resemble the USA tax system? Do they have property taxes?

    • Jon

      they talk about property tax. and that’s a major reason of corruption and half new buildings unoccupied. call them stupid but they trying another great leap forward in capitalism.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    I may have missed it, but what is China going to do about their massive pollution problem?

    People are dieing, and it will only get worse UNLESS they solve the pollution problem ASAP.

    • Ray in VT

      It seems that one of the main concerns of the government is stability, and the massive pollution problems that they have certainly have the potential to negatively affect stability, so one would think that they are inclined to do something about it sooner rather than later.

  • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    In two or three decades, China will have the largest economy in the world. China will become a super power. Changes are coming, maybe huge ones.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      I’d say they are already a superpower.

      • James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

        Not yet. They are just below the military capability of Japan, but that is definitely going to change. They are in the process of developing a blue water navy.

        • fun bobby

          they have one used Russian carrier

  • TFRX

    Back in the days of the Soviet Union there was almost a science to reading Pravda, and also a creativity required for Western journos given access to places inside the USSR.

    How much more reliable is the info we’re getting from China than, say, 20 years ago?

    • Labropotes

      I don’t know much about China, but as far as financial data goes — such as imports/exports, GDP, inflation, etc. — it is acquiring a very poor reputation for honesty. (Happens here in American too.)


      • TFRX

        And that’s just numbers, which every business newspaper has a vested interest in getting accurately.

        There’s a whole kettle of fish in the man-in-the-street comments from a Beijingite. Is that person telling us the truth, is he government-approved, if he says something unpleasant will something bad happen to him?

  • John_Hamilton

    This is an interesting program to listen to, because it covers topics in a typical Western way – reductionistic. It is as if nothing relates to anything else, but there is money to be made taliking about it. Guests are invited, and they get paid, likely pretty well, and they get attention.

    The conversation goes nowhere, of course, because reductionism by its nature reduces. What we get is a pedestrian view of a number of internal dynamics and contradictions in “China,” a litany of concerns. But no mention of the number one concern everywhere on the planet: climate change.

    The Western mind is not prepared to look at seemingly disconnected phenomena in an integrative way. As such, the Western mind is causative to the impending decline and collapse of Western Civilization. The luxury of know-it-alls appearing in our mass media and talking about isolated “truth” will not be with us much longer.

    Just to pick up the pieces a little, “China” in a condition of global climate change is a country in great peril, as are ALL countries. Storms, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires – all problems we are seeing here – are also happening in “China.” Because of its denser population and mediocre building practices, disasters are more serious in “China.”

    Adding to the context – something that effectively NO economic analysts are willing to consider – infinite-growth economic systems can only make climate change worse. This isn’t idle intellectual debate society prattle. Climate change getting more serious could spell the end of the human species. At the very least it will spell the end to the infinite growth economic order.

    These topics will come up again and again on OnPoint, and in the same way. Tom Ashbrook will ask feverish questions on every topic. Many topics. None of them connecting to any other. Each day is a clean slate, like Etch-a-Sketch. Tabula Rasa. Meanwhile, as Bob Dylan put it, life outside goes on all around you. Look out the window.

    • harverdphd

      I’ve read your “comment” twice and I’m a little “confused” as to why you feel “compelled” to put China in quotation marks as if the discussion was not about “China” but rather about Norway. I have read your polemic several times “now” and come away with the sense you are a little “kooky”.

      • John_Hamilton

        Two reads and still no understanding. Maybe “Harverdphd” is a name suggesting neither Harvard – the first clue, or Phd. If you read the word Harvard enough you might learn how to spell it.

        One thing that is easy to explain is the use of quotes. In general they are used as a way of identifying words and ideas expressed by others. I put the names of all countries in quotes because they are assumed identities, conveniences that people use that reflect limited relaities on the ground, literally.
        The land does not identify itself as one country or another, so the distinctions are imposed.

        Putting quotes around just any old word is evidence of poor literacy skills and/or lower intelligence. This is further evidenced by the reference to “Norway,” which was no part of the discussion or my comment.

        The coup de grace of course is finishing up with name-calling. This, with previous evidence of poor literacy skills and low intelligence, indicates a person who is searching for self-esteem by pretending to be something he is not. I suggest trying it in another forum. Fox News, the “Freepers,” MIchael “Savage” – they will give you positive regard.

        • jefe68

          Ouch, that had to hurt.

    • Jon

      looks like even the communists are convinced by the capitalist growth economy model (or they won’t relax the policy). you’re just super minority. Climate change or even the end of this species? Jesus will hit the reset button anyways.

      • John_Hamilton

        There must be a snark list somewhere that trash talkers go to to find out where to post drivel. I doubt this person listened to the show, but just, hmm, trolls the comments.

        Jesus was a great being, but he was a man, and he lived 2000 years ago. If you make up nonsense about Jesus you are part of a long tradition.

        Were you to have any understanding of Economics you would know that ALL industrial systems are infinite-growth systems.

        A person can’t be a minority. One can be a member of a minority, but not the minority itself. So to be a superlative of an impossibility is a super impossibility. It’s sort of like being the son of a barren woman, a favorite term in the East.

        And, of course, to understand that climate change will spell the end of our infinite-growth economic system is to be inherently part of a minority. If it were a majority, we would be doing something about it.

        • Jon

          hey it’s called virgin birth. ss state, sounds like engineer? I’m with you. the sad reality is politicians not engineers calling the shots.

  • Ray in VT

    It looks like the Pentagon has flown two B-52s through some of the airspace that the Chinese have claimed in the East China Sea:


    • Jon

      the US has long claimed in the world. somebody ought to do something about it, martians perhaps?

    • fun bobby

      they need to have more children for a war?

  • marygrav

    Why should Americans wish the government and governance that we presently have in the United States? We are the richest country in the world, you our Congress represented by men like Steve King and Paul Ryan have cut food stamps to hungry children and seniors.

    Every evil that “experts” blame on the Chinese government, African Americans and other non-white minorities have lived through. Even our riches minority, Jews, have had their turn of living under the oppression of the US government’s Christianized oppression. We don’t recognize our own socio-political history when we see it in others.

    China was removing its government corruption by executing those who cheated and defrauded the people. But the West objected so soundly. Unlike here in the US, the Chinese don’t allow War Criminals like PNAC to serve in governance bodies like the American Enterprise Institute. where they join hand with the US Chamber of Commerce to destabilize any reforms the Obama administration need to improve the economy.

    The 1% here in the US is just as corrupt as it is in China, but at least the Chinese Commit is afraid of the Chinese people, where as the T-Party holds the American 99% in contempt.

    Our Congress belongs more to AIPAC and the Israel Lobby than it does to the American people. The House can leave the farmers hanging and the people starving without discussion, but they can decide at a drop of a hat to tighten the sanctions on Iran and Israel’s request.

    When will the internal problems of the United States come first? As Avaham Burg states, The Holocaust Is Over, but Netanyahu wants to continue it, not on the Germans and other Europeans that ran and invented the Gas Chambers, but on the people who sheltered them: The Arabs and the Iranians.

    Using the Bomb is no excuse because a bomb without a delivery system is useless and Netanyahu knows this. He rants because of Israel is going through the same economic problems that the US is suffer from: The 1% has everything and the 99% live hand to mouth. What does this have to do with China? Perhaps nothing, but it has everything to do with the US ability to respond to China.

    Pure food laws will come to China just as it did to the US. Upton Sinclair’s Jungle should be a historical model. As the middle-class increases in China, it will make demand on the government that it cannot refuse and survive.

    If you look at what freedom of religion has done for the US government by taking over its foreign policy, you can see that religion is a plague used by the West to infiltrate and control the so-called Third World. It was the Right-wing religious fundamentalist that brought on the so-called War on Terror.

    In 1995 a Christian Convention was held in South Korea. At the meeting the christians decided to celebrate Jesus’s 2000 birthday in every part of the world, especially in the Middle East. This kick off a religious fundamental war in the Middle East which spread worldwide.

    Religion has always mean an overthrow of the Chinese government. They are not as stupid as George W. Bush and believe that The End Times Are Here. As Sartre wrote, “Life is absurd and the only certainty is death; there is no future.”

    We here in America need to first put our own house in order before trying to predict China’s future.

    • harverdphd


    • Jon

      W is not stupid. it’s called faith. Have you heard self fulfilling prophecy? the end of the world will happen or christians make it happen. it’s faith.

  • Jon

    isn’t bit ironic those scholars are criticizing the Chinese govt while American govt doesn’t know how to run its economy correctly?

    empowering the individuals? that’s precisely what gets America in this trouble both politically and economically.

  • Jon

    I’m impressed by Susan Shirk who used to call the Chinese commie amoral and weak, now pragmatic. What a progress!

  • Jon

    here is a question from me. Why those scholars hope the Chinese reform and imitate the US democracy while the American political system is so dysfunctional?

    anybody? do Americans truly believe they’re exceptional or the chosen one?

  • Jon

    Susan Shirk – the Chinese commie will not hold the power forever – what a prediction!

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Give it time. Free Markets will win. Let’s talk in 20 years.

    China is slowly becoming a more democratic country because its people will continue to demand it. As they transact more business with the West and the people of China get more exposure to our lifestyle and freedoms they will want to be a part of it.

    This will take time and those in power will resist the need to give up their corruption and influence. The rapid expansion of China really begun in the 1970′s with Nixon’s effort to reach out. Forty years have passed since then and now China is a world power and growing.

    It may take another forty years before China’s politics and economy becomes more like the west but it is inevitable. Unfortunately, we seem to be on a path of greater centralization of power and wealth. This power grab is coming not from the government but rather from our wealthy class and their conglomerates who are controlling more and more markets and politicians as a result of buying them with campaign contributions.

    Here is a peek of what the year 2030 will look like …. http://lstrn.us/YD28hL

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