China as a cipher for anti-development

In: Uncategorized

19 Nov 2006

China is increasingly being used to symbolise the supposed shortcomings of economic development. The advantages of greater development are being ignored, or at least downplayed, while the associated problems are being exaggerated.

The New York Times has a typical piece along these lines today with an article headlined “A Troubled River Mirrors China’s Path to Modernity”. The piece, accompanied by video images and a slide show on the website, argues that:

“For centuries, the Yellow River symbolized the greatness and sorrows of China’s ancient civilization, as emperors equated controlling the river and taming its catastrophic floods with controlling China. Now, the river is a very different symbol — of the dire state of China’s limited resources at a time when the country’s soaring economic growth needs more of everything.”

No doubt rapid economic development is causing problems such as pollution. But it should also provide the resources to solve such problems along with vastly improving the lives of its 1.3 billion citizens.

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