Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Importance of Being China

Der Spiegel International offers a panegyric to China and its economic miracle.

It is on the face of it an uncritical account. But the facts set out about the country are amazing.

"In 2005, China leapfrogged over France and Great Britain to become the world's fourth-largest economy. The country's new spot in the rankings came as the result of an omission on the part of its communist bosses: Already blessed with so much growth, they had simply forgotten to include a large portion of their giant service sector in China's economic statistics.

American sinologist Roderick MacFarquhar is astonished by China's performance. "Never before," says MacFarquhar, "has so much wealth been created by so many people in such a short time span."

If China continues to grow at the same pace, it will oust Germany as the world's third-biggest economy in only two years."

But it does point out in the article and the text accompanying the pictures certain drawbacks : the democratic "deficit" being only one.