By P Chong 10 March 2011
The race always go to the swiftest & the fastest. When your engine stalls, others will roar. There is no relenting . . . there is no waiting. There can only be winners or losers. That’s the name of the game. When you’re ahead, you’d race & surge on.
When I wrote “China‘s Leaping Achievements” in November 2009, which article still enjoys a great reading audience by topping the list up to the present, I hadn’t put in much details about how China build & grow from an impoverished economy to its present giant standing, overtaking Japan as the second largest economy & is right on the doorstep of the U.S.
Way back in the early 1960s when I was at the University of Malaya at Pantai valley, Kuala Lumpur, I had learned from our economic geography professor, Dr. Dwyer, one phrase of his famous expression: “The Chinese are the most assiduous in their economic pursuit . . . unshakeable & resilient “. According to him then no race in the world can ever even match or compare. A country maybe rich in its natural resources, but it’s the people that constitute the greatest of all resources, natural or otherwise. There are many countries in the world endowed with great natural resources but not getting anywhere and conversely, there are countries without such natural fortune making their marks in the world. Singapore, the City State, is undoubtedly the best example in this category.
- China has always been an inventing nation right from ancient times. Printing, paper, fork, drum, silk, gunpowder, umbrellas, the plough, rice cultivation, wheels and a whole lot of other things . . . are originally from China. Its history is littered with war and famine, so you can expect the Chinese to be tough and been there and done that sort of thing. After thousands of years under the rule of dynasties and finally under Chairman Mao of Communist China. Deng Xiaoping, the architect of modern day China, began the nation building with these words “Xiang Qian Zou” – The Road To Riches.
Nation building involves fundamentally the national identity using the power of the state by the unification of its people so that the state is politically stable and sustainable for future development. China addresses this problem very well and it has built a patriotic, hard working and educated workforce. The key to developing a nation’s wealth is developing your human resources . . . educating and building up the middle class. Science and technology hold up the base. In just three decades, China has shown the world an unprecedented growth.
China successfully prove what can be achieved when a Communist nation embraces capitalism. As a nation, they have synchronized the chaos into a force to be reckoned with. Even the West has accepted the fact that the Chinese are smarter, more hardworking, obliging and its immense pride to collectively build a nation.
From a nation of million bicycles, China has become a nation of cars. A few years ago there was a survey done by The Economist concerning car ownership in China , India , France and USA . As predicted, USA has more than 1000 cars, France 762, China 11 and India 7 for every 1000 people. Just only, last year China has become the biggest car market in the world!! According to China Daily in the first 10 months car sales were up 34% from last year … BMW has already fulfilled its target of 112,000 cars for this year in September, Mercedes sold over 101,000 units and Rolls Royce sold more of its cars in China than the US and last month Jaguar/Landrover has just open a new dealership in China.
Today’s Communist China is only Communist in name. The demand for luxury goods in China is growing at an exponential pace. Luxury items makers such as LV , Prada, Gucci, Coach and etc. reported more than 100% annual growth for the past few years. It has come to the point where Western products has to customize to suit the Chinese needs and taste like longer leg rooms at the back seat for Rolls Royce coz most of them are chauffeur driven so the bosses need extra leg room !!
The amount of research articles published by Chinese scientist is staggering. It is reported that China has jumped to number 2 – up from 14th in 1995, in the number of articles published in the science and technology journals worldwide such as IEEE, Nanotech & Applied Physics. It is an open secret that the majority of the PhD students in the hard sciences enrolled in elite US universities (Ivy League) are Chinese. It is these PhD graduates that will do most of the research. It should be noted that a lot of the Microsoft patents came from its Beijing Labs.
By far China ’s most successful research institution is the National Institute for Biological Sciences or NBIS, which is responsible for half of China’s scientific publication. The Institute’s 23 main investigators, director and deputy director are all returnees from the United States. Quote one of its principal investigators : “ If I stayed in America the chances of making a discovery is slimmer, here people take risk, they give you money and you can essentially do whatever you want ”. (Refer information on www.economywatch.com. ) Patents are actually a measure of technological prowess and innovation. Nations that file the largest number of patents are the home to innovative corporations and Nobel Prize winners. It won’t be long before you will see Chinese Nobel Prize winners. No wonder there are so many first coming out of China nowadays.
China has the fastest Supercomputer (Tianhe-1A) in the world running at the speed of 2.5 petaflops which is equivalent to the power of 175,000 high-end laptops.
The fastest bullet train belongs to the Chinese (CRH360) with a top speed of 262 miles per hour leaving the Japs and Germans far behind. And these are indigenous technology. With all the money throwing into the national car industry after 20 over years, we ended up being a ‘BETTER CAR ASSEMBLER’ than our neighbours.
China hold the whole world at ransom in July this year by banning all its Rare Earth Materials. Rare earth materials are a collection of 17 minerals found at the bottom of the periodic table. China controls 95% of the world supply. These rare earth includes cerium, scandium, yttrium, lanthanum and etc are used in our daily lives such as handphones, laptops, camera lenses, flat screen tv, x-ray machines, guided missiles systems, oil refineries and etc. By banning, the exports of these materials China indirectly impede the growth and development of many things. Fortunately, there are 2 other companies in the world that will have the capability to produce some to offset the Chinese ban. One is the Lynas Corp from Western Australia which have a mine in Kuantan, Malaysia and it will start production by end of next year, while the other is Molycorp from California . How their combined output added up to around 40-50,000 tons which is still way below the global demand of 250,000 tons. Unsurprisingly the shares of both of these companies jump multiple folds since the July ban. Lynas was trading at some where 38cents in July and the high of the year was $1.69 (ASX) and shares of Molycorp are more than double now.
It is also a misconception that China’s success is due to its Cheap Labour; yes, that was probably 15 years ago. However, the next megatrend will be the growth of the Chinese Research & Development. The Chinese will be able to apply the same cost advantage in its manufacturing towards Research & Development in no time. If you notice currently the global telecoms equipment sector is now dominated by 2 Chinese companies (about 65% of new installations) notably Huawei. Western countries are buying this Chinese equipment not because it’s cheap but also it is good!! In a recent electric car, trade show in Shenzhen there is this Chinese R&D company that reinvented the battery. Their battery last twice longer, much more power, half the existing battery weight and 100% recyclable. This is going to change the face of the global automobile market. With its low cost R&D, product development and manufacturing, which country can match China? It will continue to dominate the world for decades to come!!! In the End, it is the Communist China that won the battle of capitalism.!!
So when will China overtake US as the number one economy in the world? As predicted China will overtake Uncle Sam ‘s economy in two years in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) It won’t be long as China’s opponent is embraced with an insolvent banking system, high unemployment rate , homeless population, high foreclosure rate and with 40 million people on food stamps and its Federal Reserve printing money out of thin air. Over here in China , its economy is growing at a 10% pace annually. And if you think, it’s easy for you to access the Chinese Market. Think again. If your company owns certain patents they will demand access to them and furthermore train their people on how to use your technology so that they can reverse engineer it the moment you open shop. Just ask car manufacturer Peugeot on the difficulty and pain in working with the Chinese.
China is also quietly building up its military and I believe it is currently making use of the financial crisis to extend its geopolitical and economic sphere of influence in Asia and beyond. China is already refurbishing an ex Russian aircraft carrier (Varyag) due to completed in 2012 and building 2 other 50,000 to 60,000 ton carriers due to complete in 2015. When completed China will have what they called a ‘BLUE WATER NAVY’ . This means Chinese navy are capable of operating across deep waters of the oceans and also able to launch a nuclear attack from anywhere in the world. Moreover recent developments in the Chinese missiles technology caught most western powers off guard. For example, a few years back China conducted a successful anti satellite missile test. It used a modified DF-21 (Dong Feng) ballistic missile mounted with the kinetic kill vehicle to intercept the satellite. Another recent development is the Chinese ASBM or anti ship ballistic missile the DF-21A which is designed to launch from land and can penetrate the most advance defence from any moving aircraft carriers. The carrier battle group used to be the ‘untouchables’ will no longer hold and it will make the US aircraft carrier battle fleets a sitting duck. With these multiple warhead ballistic missiles homing into these battle groups, there is nothing they can do to stop it. Even if it explode in mid air, imagine a nuclear warhead explodes in the vicinity of the fleet, it will just vaporize the entire fleet.
There are so much more happenings that are ceaselessly unending. To list them all would not be possible here. Some of the great & would-be achievements are inescapable:
1. China’s Great Engineering Feat: The Three Gorges Dam
2. China – World’s Biggest Megapolis with 42 Millions!
3. China’s Engineering Might: Bullet Trasin
4. World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge – The Pearl River Delta Bridge
Read in my blog “Who Owns The U.S.?” together with the above 4 topics, you’ll be amazed & astounded beyond all reasons to realise just how great & mighty China is and will be in the very near future.