China has made phenomenal material progress. It is very striking and is noticeable, the moment one comes out of the plane. The airport is big but bigger surprises are there is to see in infrastructure buildings and method of working. It seems that China could get good leadership who was wedded for improving the image of China.
It is worth the while if we recall the days of communism in the years of USSR whereas Lenin, Stalin and others were also wedded to the upliftment of USSR but due to cold war in those days USSR started spending money and propping communism by strengthening communist parties of the world financially. This, of course, brought good name to USSR but that help was being given at the cost of USSR people.
I think that they took lot of time in detection of the damage to their economy delay resulted in such grave damage that even USSR got disintegrated. China also adopted communism but followed a different road. Because of communism everybody has to work seriously, honestly and diligently. The money needed for installing new capacities came from capitalistic countries. In a way China had the best of the two system by marrying seriousness of communist workers and capital of capitalism. USA provided a good market. So much so that China was built in a very short span. The floating rail made in Shinghai is running at a speed more than the bullet train in Japan. It is said only 3 countries in the world has this type of technology. They have already sent spaceship in space and make most of the deference equipment in their own country. They feed their population well and show excellent progress.
The Chinese economy is increasing by such figures that the economy is getting heated. Very shrewdly China kept value of currency low and provided cheap goods to the whole world. Chinese started making good products and started getting good markets. Because of mass production they could have the economies of scale. Therefore, today we see very big factories in China with no labour trouble.
Henry Kissenger once said that ?Europe lacked a single telephone number.? It is true for most of the things even today the internal strife among the European countries also strengthened China politically. We find that small nations of Europe cannot stand today against the might of China. Already IMF and World Bank are overwhelmed with the progress of China. The role of China is being increased in these bodies. Chinese women have equal opportunities and play their role equally in society.
Family life is never very strong under communism more so in China when government has made a law not to have more than one child. Single girls without marriage live alone without any fear. We do not see any eve teasing anywhere. China today is getting excellent results in science and technology. I have seen Chinese Scientists and Engineers working seriously and honestly. Because of their honesty, the Chinese science and technology is contributing a lot for the society. Thus, one can see the proof if identity designed so many things on road and in industry. Of course, as in any communist region the initial days were hard and the voice of descent was silenced as in any authoritarian regime. A recent news is that government has blocked foreigners from new brokerage entry and calls it a temporary move.
Today, we see typical manifestation of communist regime in Chinese society. Thus there are limited number of TV channels available to Chinese people. There are only a very few newspapers all loaded with official propaganda. The communist party publishes and controls (a) People'sDaily (b) Qiushi (c) Guangming Daily and an Economic Daily. The China has put an agency known a ?Xinhua?s? as cencer had regulates what appears in print or in electronic media in China. Free flow of information in press particularly foreign press is a point under discussion. Chinese Government says that they don'tdisturb financial news but political is different ball game. There is no religion and no political discussions as in every communist regime. People are so tuned to work that they have forgotten their independent thinking process. One cannot organise a regular meeting without being disturbed by the government officials. Official eye is kept on every activity going on anywhere in China. It can be said that the people are being lured with the high development rate and achievement in Chinese economy. Whenever there is bad happening, it is not reported neither in press nor in electronic media. How long will it last is in today'sworld is beyond anybody'sguess?
We can argue that after material progress one gets the spiritual hunger when that stage is going to come in China, is anybody'sguess. Today they are basking in the sun shine of materialism without any problem. An old country like China should be the giver of culture to the world but actually China is running a huge ?deficit? meaning that Chinese get much more from the world than they offer.
We all know that a country'sstrength is not only economic but also culture. We can call hard and soft powers. The former is easy to calculate while the latter defies quantitative calculations. We hope the two events 2008 Olympic games in Beijing and World Expo 2010 provide big opportunities to show a better picture culturally.
(The author is an ex-national president, Laghu Udyog Bharti; Recently returned from a tour of China.)