By Howard W. French
International Herald Tribune
November 2, 2007
BEIJING: What if the doubters have been wrong all along?
Big government and an all-powerful state are good, not bad.
What if the business cycle, hitherto thought to be inevitable, if completely unpredictable, could be repealed? After all, China’s economy is growing at an 11.5 percent annual clip, after years and years of similar performances, and inflation, though up a bit, still seems well controlled.
If that’s not impressive enough, consider what the Shanghai stock exchange has done. Since the beginning of this year, stocks are up twofold, and over the last five years, the total increase has been nearly fourfold.
These thoughts came to me as I drove the streets of central Shanghai the other days, only half listening at first as a driver mumbled, mostly to himself, about the new buildings going up there. He caught my attention when he started pointing out city government office towers I’d never given a second thought to.