ISSN 2330-717X

Chinese People Paying High Price For China’s ‘Big Leap Forward’ – OpEd

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It is universally agreed and there is no doubt that China has economically and industrially moved forward by leaps and bounds at astounding pace during the last two to three decades. In fact, China has been generating nearly a third of global growth in recent years. Today, China is the largest producer of steel, aluminium, solar cells and several other products. It has risen fast as world class producer of generic drugs , automobiles and petroleum products.

Impressed and enthused by the Chinese government’s investor friendly policy, most multi-national companies have invested several billions of dollars in China set up factories in variety of fields, brought in updated and sophisticated technologies to produce multiple products in different sector. China has been viewed as a great market opportunity by the multi national companies who have also set up bases in China not only to meet the growing demand in China but also in nearby countries. Large global companies like Dow, BASF and DuPont and others have set up number of research and development bodies in China . In all such activities, the overseas companies have employed large number of Chinese nationals and in the process , China has inevitably gained access to modern technologies with the Chinese manpower gaining considerable technology training and understanding.

With creation of huge infrastructure facilities and large number of factories with massive capacities, China is producing almost the quantity that the entire world market needs for several products. While purchasing capacity of domestic consumers in China and GDP of the country have been growing, the capacity creation is so much that China now desperately depends on the world market for marketing it’s products and sustaining it’s growth.

In this scenario, the present trade war between USA and China has hit China hard, as China’s dependency on export market to US is very high. As a result, the fourth quarter 2018 economic growth in China has become the lowest in the last three decades, that could create considerable tension amongst Chinese people in the immediate future.

While in the last few decades, China has recorded phenomenal growth in industrial and economic sphere, this has not resulted in any growth in the happiness index amongst the Chinese people. As a matter of fact, there is enough evidence to indicate that happiness index has been showing declining trend amongst cross section of Chinese people , particularly in the middle and lower income group.

The big leap forward in economic and industrial growth has happened due to the totalitarian approach of the Government of China and the government imposing it’s will on the people , where people were given no alternative other than simply accepting whatever Chinese government would decide. Freedom of speech has been severely curtailed ,, media independence denied, religious freedom considerably restricted . In the efforts to speed up rapid economic and industrial growth , many citizens have been inconvenienced due to acquisition of land for the projects and subjected to environmental pollution. The totalitarian approach of the government of China is so severe , that couple cannot even decide how many children they could have. A decade back, Chinese government imposed one child family norm and couples just have to accept this directive. Now, Chinese government say that two children in the family is permitted. It is no surprise that happiness index amongst people is declining.