Download PDF by Prem Shankar Jha: Managed Chaos: The Fragility of the Chinese Miracle

By Prem Shankar Jha

Controlled Chaos reads into the resounding occasions of chinese language politics and economic system, finishing the schizophrenia that the readers have lived with. It delves deep into either components: the commercial narrative that China has sustained a close to 10 percentage progress expense for 30 years and the political narrative that China is an more and more fragile nation, trapped in an incomplete transition from a totalitarian to a democratic industry economic climate. For the 1st time, in his analyzing of China, the writer consolidates this paradox by way of inferring that the reason at the back of either the expansion and the political discontent is the politics of China.

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Since the surpluses of the SOEs were the state’s prime source of revenue, their failure to grow in pace with the economy created a fiscal crisis. State revenues fell from 35 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1978 to 11 per cent in 1993. The state therefore plunged into deficit. In 1990, expenditures were running 10 per cent ahead of revenue. This rose to 23 per cent on an average, between 1995 and 2000. 55 per cent of the GDP. A growing part was being used to finance current consumption (Holz and Zhu 2002: 74, Table 3).

02 Source: China Industrial and Commercial Time 1998. 26 Managed Chaos Not surprisingly, office rents fell from 40 to 50 per cent in Beijing and in other cities too. There was also a huge mismatch between the housing that was being created and the housing that was needed. m of unsold property created in 1997 was residential (Ramo 1998) while the millions of migrant workers who had found jobs in Shanghai had nowhere to stay. Other cities in China were not much better off. A failure to build housing that people could afford and unable to sell what they had built caused provinces and municipalities to run up huge losses.

In an effort to spur consumer spending, the government cut interest rates seven times between May 1996 and May 1999. This brought the rate down from 9 per cent to well below 4 per cent (Xinhua 1999b). The government also reduced the down payment required for the purchase of automobiles and houses to 20 per cent of the sale price (Xinhua 1999b). The worst hit was the real estate sector, where a sizable bubble had developed on the back of rampant land speculation and unrealistic expectations about continued growth.

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