November 16, 2012 at 9:27 am #9682WillParticipant
I’ve just noticed that a more prevalent amount of movies I’ve been watching lately set in the future feature China in big roles. Namely, Total Recall remake, Cosmopolis, and Loopers. With Cosmopolis it’s the yuan “making a statement” and with Total Recall and Loopers it’s hailing China as the hip new future place to e. So, you know, I guess it’s good we’re all here already, early bird getting the worm and all. Has anyone seen Cloud Atlas? That has some scenes set in the future and I’m curious if they too jump on the Future China bandwagon.November 16, 2012 at 9:32 am #23627
Same exact thing happened in Looper, the movie starring Joseph Gordon Levitt that was in Chinese theaters very recently. In the future, “You want to be in China, trust me”. To me, this is just like everyone fearing in the 1980’s that the USSR or Japan would rule the world. Fortunately awesome relics of this era like Blade Runner and Red Dawn still exist.
I just did an interview with an author of a book about China and he’s very critical of China’s long term growth prospect. I can’t wait to publish it because it pulls these very questions to light. In recent years there has certainly been a trend of people assuming that China’s economic rise will lead to some kind of world domination. That is certainly not going to happen within the next 50 years.November 17, 2012 at 2:08 am #23642MargusParticipant
There are some very basic aspects (sense of logic, service, problem-solving management) to be developed on a grass-root level before anything remarkable starts to happen on the global scale.November 17, 2012 at 9:30 am #23651
I wouldn’t go so far as to say “China is the future”. I would go so far as to say China is going to be an increasingly larger part *of* the future, but there are ‘interesting’ places to be around the world right now where real growth is happening as well..it’s not unique to China 😀
I think that one of the biggest and most important factors here is infrastructure. Historically countries who built heavily into infrastructure grew rapidly and became real stable powers in their sphere of the world – and there’s no doubt China is investing in infrastructure at a cheetah pace (go to China Telecom, btw, see if their new 100mbit Fibre is available to your apartment 😀 600+/month tho). One of the BEST things I believe China has done is not taken part in any stupid wars: rather than nation build abroad, they’ve been nation building at home. As their clout and hubris grows to match their economy and social growth, this may change..hopefully not.
Africa has always intrigued me. I really think the biggest hold-up to East African growth is water and electricity. If technology fixes the electrical and clean water issues in the near future, they have some absolutely key factors to allow rapid foreign investment and hence growth, namely: political support (they’re dying for FDI and will pay companies in land and total tax breaks to get it) and a generally English (in some cases predominantly French or other european languages) speaking population, some locals I met involved in Tourism in Africa speak multiple european languages which is an enormous advantage for companies looking to expand into those places, oh..and, imo, a *really strong* work ethic and interest to get a good job. The real hold-up there is clean water and electricity, both of which I imagine will be solved with new technologies in the next couple years.
Unfortunately many probably wont be able to get a job there teaching English 😉November 17, 2012 at 9:43 am #23652RayParticipant
Funny that I never hear of drinkable tap water being a development goal for Chengdu or other large Chinese cities. You can construct the world’s largest stand-alone building but can’t provide clean tap water? This is fundamental infrastructure. In Spain recently they were staggered when i told them that you can’t drink the tap water in Chengdu (Beijing or Shanghai I’m not certain about)…November 20, 2012 at 6:50 am #23757
China is a super power on stilts. Political will and fierce commerce continue to push ahead, but there exists so deep an absence of unison in China’s growth and development it can only sour. Magnifying this further is the growing pursuit of ‘self’, fueled by the vast fortunes available to the privileged few, with apparently very little accountability after the fact. Unless of course something horrific takes place, then we see the odd lamb sent to the chopping block, before it’s back to business as usual.
China is an epic Hollywood blockbuster with no plot. It has most of the ingredients… a colossal bank roll, is fairly well produced (from the outside looking in), could use a new director, wastes a ton of it’s budget on special effects, and generally makes no sense if you fail to suspend disbelief. And after all that, people will continue to buy tickets for time to come.November 20, 2012 at 7:44 am #23762
Projections about China’s power in 2020 and beyond (around the time it’s set to overcome the US as world’s largest economy by GDP) are based on trends established over the last decade or so. The problem with looking at it this way is that there is no way the next decade will see China growing at anywhere close to the rate that it has been, because history has shown very clearly that bringing an impoverished nation to out of poverty is a far easier task than the next step of economic development which is transitioning into a developed economy (like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong).
We are barely entering the stage where China is beginning to hit rough water, because the lynchpin of everything in China is its growing economy. I’ve heard that the government needs to provide at least 7-8% annual economic growth to maintain social stability and that is basically the exact figure of growth that we are looking at currently (coincidence?).
As far as infrastructure, the emerging rail system in China is incredible but there are signs of shoddy infrastructure everywhere in China which all of us see everyday. As Ray mentions, potable drinking water coming out of the tap in a major Chinese city is more or less a distant fantasy, that I doubt many people think is likely within the coming decades or even possible. I really doubt it’s a priority considering all the other issues that China is dealing with at the moment.
I am really fascinated to see how China develops in the coming years. I also want to see what changes Xi Jinping’s leadership brings since the CCP is well aware of the threats to its rule (social unrest brought on by corruption and economic stagnation).November 21, 2012 at 5:17 am #23806MargusParticipant
Nicely written guys !
Pleasant reading.November 21, 2012 at 6:51 am #23824Tracy LeeParticipantQuote:The problem with looking at it this way is that there is no way the next decade will see China growing at anywhere close to the rate that it has been, because history has shown very clearly that bringing an impoverished nation to out of poverty is a far easier task than the next step of economic development which is transitioning into a developed economy (like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong).
Im very happy and surprised that you guys are interested in my country’s future. I totally agree with Charlie. In next 20 years, China will absolutely face many chanllenges. Actually, I think that poverty is not the most aweful thing for China, we are looking forward to getting freedom and justice. BTW, do you guys really think that the data of economic growth rate is true and reliable? 🙂November 28, 2012 at 11:13 am #24048
RE: drinkable water, what sort of information do you have that Chengdu tap water isn’t safe to drink?
I recall during the earthquake, a German? company sent a massive amount of water purifiers and filters with the presumption the water would be highly contaminated/undrinkable – only to test it and find it was not only drinkable but better than you’d expect in many modern countries, and the purifiers they sent weren’t necessary at all. I was curious to find some information either way re: whether it’s safe or not so hit google. I can’t find anything other than a message board posting or presumptuous opinion on “Well since the water is undrinkable” – to support that it’s undrinkable, while any measured or tested material indicates Chengdu’s water is actually perfectly fine.
So, I’m curious, am I missing some recent studies indicating the local water supply is bad? Or is it just more incorrect presumptions being spread as if they were facts 😀
RE: “As Ray mentions, potable drinking water coming out of the tap in a major Chinese city is more or less a distant fantasy, that I doubt many people think is likely within the coming decades or even possible.” — well, the only real information I can see is that recently tested, 83% of urban areas across all of China have drinkable tap water that meets modern standard tests.November 29, 2012 at 6:58 am #24070WillParticipant
I just figured it was common knowledge, but never conducted any research myself to verify. That is, any research besides all my Chinese friends restating the “No you can’t drink it” sentiment.
You can always just fill up a glass from the tap yourself, chug it, then sit down and fold your hands over your lap and wait anxiously for something to happen, taking minutes like a scientist and thus proving yourself a nice pair of empirical balls in the process, regardless of the result.November 29, 2012 at 7:07 am #24072Quote:RE: drinkable water, what sort of information do you have that Chengdu tap water isn’t safe to drink?
Aside from all Chinese people saying “Do not drink the tap water”, I’ve received several text messages from China Unicom saying things like “Due to a chemical plant nearby, you shouldn’t drink the water”. There are news reports about it online, like this: Water Supply Resumes After Pollution Removed in Chengdu.
“Tap water supply to parts of Chengdu was turned off for hours after Songmu River, which is a source of the city’s drinking water, was found polluted by garbage Friday noon.”November 29, 2012 at 7:23 am #24075BrianParticipant
Hmm…trash in the water…that’s weird. I’d like get some kind of water quality data, since I plan to make beer out of it. The only data I’ve got is that my wife’s mother drinks it, and no problems so far.November 29, 2012 at 7:43 am #24077
I read about that article Charlie, it was a single incident and after a few hours, they cleaned it up and tested the water indicating it was once again safe to drink. All evidence on normal water tests I’ve found shows that Chengdu water is not only safe, but beyond minimal standards for drinking and actually perfectly fine – the reason I looked into this and questioned it at all is because my friend, a foreigner, was pouring tap water from my place into a water bottle to drink rather than bother getting a new bottle at my place…and I was like, “don’t you want to boil it first?” – he told me the thing about the german company during the quake who tested the water and found no issues several times, in disbelief..and told me to actually look it up and realize that the “word of mouth” regarding tap water here is nonsense.November 29, 2012 at 7:53 am #24079Lucy KnowlesMember
Succumbed to drinking the tap water within a week, due to waking up with a raging hangover and not being able to face the walk to the shop. No negative effects thus far…November 29, 2012 at 7:59 am #24081Quote:the “word of mouth” regarding tap water here is nonsense.
Dumping garbage and industrial waste into rivers and lakes in China is an everyday affair, Rick. It happens all across the country and has been well documented. If you have evidence that Chengdu’s water is clean, please present what you have.
In the summer of 2011, the government reported that 43% of state-monitored rivers are so polluted that they’re unsuitable for human contact. A study by China’s EPA found that water pollution levels were twice what the government predicted because they didn’t include agricultural waste. About two thirds of China’s population (500 million people) use water contaminated by human and industrial waste.
If you want to drink the tap water, suit yourself. Personally, I think that is nuts. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t breathe the air, either.November 29, 2012 at 8:04 am #24083
“Water supply in the region is provided by Chengdu tap water factory with 200 thousand tons of daily supply; the hydraulic pressure is over 0.14 Mpa; the water quality is higher than the national drinking water standard (GB5749-86), and reaches the standard of EEC (98); the groundwater resource is abundant, supplied by precipitation and surface water; the water level in rainy season is 1 to 3 meters, and in dry season is 3 to 5 meters; the upper water-bearing layer is 12 to 25 meters, and the depth of the lower water-bearing layer is about 85 meters. “
I can’t find any actual test data showing poor water quality in Chengdu. Maybe need to do searches in Chinese..
RE: “every day affair” – sure, there are a couple stories. The story you posted – if you look into the results of that – resulted in 3 people being arrested/caught for the dumping. I could probably find illegal dumping and tap water stories in any country, especially the USA (like tap water that lights on fire due to fracking?), but that doesn’t mean that the tap water in urban centers is unsafe.
I’m not arguing that there are lots of polluted shitholes all over the country with horribly polluted water supplies, or that dumping in rivers isn’t happening – chemicals etc, whatever.. I’m arguing that the evidence I can find regarding *Chengdu* urban water seems to indicate it’s perfectly fine. I didn’t drink it in the past, but now I’m thinking it’s not a big deal, and I’m asking if anyone who is so sure of the poor quality of the water here has any evidence to support the claim 😀 That’s all.November 29, 2012 at 8:12 am #24084Quote:All evidence on normal water tests I’ve found shows that Chengdu water is not only safe, but beyond minimal standards for drinking and actually perfectly fine…
Have to say I looked into this myself on arrival, and had it confirmed by a very reliable source that the tap water here is in fact well above standards. It’s really difficult to obtain any transparent info on this, and I did try. It’s definitely still a concern of mine how the waterways are policed, I think we can all as good as assume there’s ‘probably’ the occasional infringement/spill/other, but the water is by all reckoning good. I can add that the ground water coming from my project site (downtown) for the last 14 months is crystal clear, and has been for the entire duration. I drink the water regularly myself and have found it to be nothing but clean. I use a water filter, with cartridges lasting longer than usual, and see virtually no scaling on my kettle after almost 2 years usage. I’d imagine pipe-works to be an issue for some, especially in older buildings, but I’ve only lived in new construction so this doesn’t apply to me. New apartment complexes will also likely be incorporating filtration systems into their main. Without any access to unbiased and transparent info, all of this is anecdotal, I can only say personally this has not been a concern for me given the above.November 29, 2012 at 8:22 am #24085
Got to add…
I always see guys fishing from the stretch of water by LKF, and my thought is always the same… WTF!! I’m happy with my tap water, but no way in hell would I want to come into contact with anything coming from that stretch of water, or countless others I see across Chengdu for that matter.November 29, 2012 at 8:40 am #24086
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