Analysts: China Must Face Its Need To Reform

Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post admits the refrain that “China is still a developing country” is quite common and oft-uttered. However, he says, what is new are doubts expressed by analysts that the reforms that “the next stages of economic reform will depend on political reform that the Communist Party may not be willing or able to deliver.”

These reforms include reforming China’s land development policies and addressing the nation’s demographics, which is exacerbating a growing inequality.

“But without land ownership rights, local officials’ whims and greed can play a larger part than urban planning or economics in where and how development occurs. There is growing inequality. There is unfavorable demography: Thanks to longer lives and the enforced one-child policy, China will have fewer and fewer workers to support more retirees,” says Hiatt.

An editorial in The Guardian also hits Hiatt’s tone.

“Without changing the system, Mr Xi cannot guarantee the economic growth he needs to meet the growing needs of this vast industrial society. And yet each of these reforms could erode the stability that underpins one-party rule. Delay is no longer an option. China’s output expanded transformatively from 2002 to 2012, but it can no longer rely on giant public works. Even though it is projected to rise by 6.5% a year, the economy can no longer grow its way out of danger,” the paper cautions.

Events This Week

Today — The American Enterprise Institute hosts a discussion today about whether and how much America should stay engaged in the world. The debate was inspired by the new book written by political scientist and former White House senior staffer Henry R. Nau entitled “Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy Under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan”

Tuesday, November 5 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a Global Security Forum with an address by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Other speakers include David Ignatius of The Washington Post, former Ambassador to China J.  Stapleton Roy, and former National Security advisor Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft (ret.).

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