My Facebook 新增面書 心空海嶽 by the inner space 歡迎光臨 Welcome in

「我離港前到過一間精神科醫院。當時有位病人禮貌地問,一個以作為世上最悠久民主政體而自傲的國家,如何能夠將此地交給一個政治制度非常不同的國家,且既沒諮詢當地公民,又沒給予他們民主的前景,好讓他們捍衞自己的將來。一個隨行同事說,奇怪,香港提出最理智問題的人,竟在精神科醫院。」彭定康 金融時報

“During a visit to a mental hospital before I left Hong Kong, a patient politely asked me how a country that prided itself on being the oldest democracy in the world had come to be handing over his city to another country with a very different system of government, without either consulting the citizens or giving them the prospect of democracy to safeguard their future. Strange, said one of my aides, that the man with the sanest question in Hong Kong is in a mental hospital.”Chris Patten Financial Times

Non Chinese literate friends, please simply switch to English Version provided by LOUSY Google Translation

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Friday, February 10, 2012



美東的長春藤系列 Ivy League 學府之一《耶魯大學》,資源的投放,知識的追求,治學的嚴格,雖然在經濟低迷時期,仍然是不能抹殺他們的確認真。明報每週六都有增添“外地評論摘要”,2月4日有以下這篇。

中國面對的四大挑戰 作者:Thomas Fingar(史丹福大學學者)








明報講明是外地評論摘要,翻譯只得短短得四小段,嗜悲當然覺得唔夠喉,所以上網查找,原來這只是 Part I,各位有興趣的朋友,有暇可以詳細閱讀,耶魯的學者點睇中國面對的挑戰。發現原來 Part II(烏崁篇)也經已發表,只是明報選擇性不去轉載。這才是我想討論的話題,朋友們可選擇跳閱。

Challenges facing the most populous nation with its fast-growing economy could quickly become global problems. This two-part YaleGlobal series analyzes trends and challenges for China as well as the potential for cooperation. Integration with the global economy, an accomplishment for China since 1978, has the potential for triggering domestic disruptions, and “China may be uniquely vulnerable to developments beyond its borders and beyond its control,” writes Thomas Fingar of Stanford University.

He identifies four trends that require response from China’s leaders: a strategic decision to pursue easiest tasks and procrastinate on tougher ones; scrappy competition from other emerging economies; needs of a swelling elderly population; and a highly centralized political system, overseeing an increasingly complex policy environment, failing to catch mistakes in a timely way.

China and other nations have many common interests, challenges and opportunities for cooperation. Fingar concludes that recognizing the trends and encouraging cooperation, both domestic and global, are early steps to finding solutions that confront China. – YaleGlobal

Global Implications of China’s Challenges – Part I
【YaleGlobal】For the past two decades China has been a poster child of successful globalization, integrating with the world and in the process lifting millions of citizens out of poverty. But China’s integration into the world economy and global trends drive and constrain Beijing’s ability to manage growing social, economic and political challenges.

Global trends affect all nations, but China may be uniquely vulnerable to developments beyond its borders and beyond its control. Chinese leaders recognize the diversity and complexity of the challenges they face but appear determined to confront them individually and incrementally. How – and how well – they respond to those challenges will have significant consequences of China and the world.

Many of these challenges center on rising expectations in the face of increasing competition.

Thanks to a fortuitous combination of wise decisions and good timing, China has made phenomenal progress in the three decades since Deng Xiaoping launched the policy of reform and opening to the outside world in 1978. More Chinese citizens live better today than ever before and many more expect to join the privileged ranks of the middle class. Aspirations and expectations have never been higher. That’s a very good situation to be in, but it also entails enormous challenges for China’s leaders because several trends indicate that meeting expectations could become increasingly difficult.

Specifically, China will find it increasingly difficult to sustain past rates of growth and improvements in living standards.

One visible trend results from the strategic decision to take on the easiest tasks first in order to produce an “early harvest” of tangible benefits that build experience and confidence to tackle the next set of challenges. By design, each successive set of challenges is more difficult than the ones that preceded it. There are many different manifestations of this phenomenon, including the decision to focus on the more developed coastal areas and move inward to less-developed regions characterized by less infrastructure, poorer nutrition and less education. Other manifestations include the consequences of joining international production chains as low-cost assemblers of goods that are designed, manufactured and marketed elsewhere. Sustained success requires moving up technical and managerial ladders to perform more demanding and better paying tasks. Other daunting challenges result from policies that have deliberately constrained domestic demand with predictable consequences that include increasing inflationary pressures and a nationwide property bubble.

A second category of challenges results from the fact that China now has, and will continue to have, more competition than in the past. When Deng announced the decision to pursue the longstanding goal of self-strengthening by following the model of Japan, Taiwan and other rapid modernizers, he was responding to a de facto invitation from the Carter administration for China to take advantage of “free world” economic opportunities without becoming an ally or having to change its political system. This gave China a 10-year head start with virtually no competition until the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended. China made good use of this opportunity and has since taken advantage of experience and ties forged with foreign partners before Central European states and the states of the former Soviet Union joined the game.

India, Brazil, Indonesia and other “non-aligned” states stayed out of the game for a few years longer, thereby increasing China’s advantages. Now there are more players and potential competitors climbing the learning curve more rapidly than they otherwise might have done because they can learn from China’s experience. Foreign investors and international production chains now have far more options than they did when China was essentially the only large developing country in the game.

A third set of challenges centers on demographic trends and implications. One is the oft-cited but nonetheless extraordinary challenge of being the first country in history to have a population that becomes old before it becomes rich. Many countries have graying populations – Japan and South Korea in Northeast Asia and most of Western Europe – but the others are much more highly developed than China and have extensive social safety nets to meet the needs of their senior citizens. China’s one-child-per-couple-policy has accelerated a demographic shift that normally occurs in response to higher standards of living, greater educational and employment opportunities for women, and the independent choices of millions of people.

China must put in place an extensive and costly system to support its elderly – reducing the amount of money and other resources available for other goals – or live with the consequences of making individuals and couples responsible for the wellbeing of parents and grandparents. This challenge is compounded by the broader consequences of becoming a society in which there are few siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles or other relatives beyond the nuclear family.

A fourth challenge derives from the highly centralized character of China’s political system. For three decades, China arguably has been able to develop as quickly as it has because it is a unitary state – not a federal system in which the provinces have significant independent authority – with a single-party regime. This facilitates timely and decisive action in response to perceived needs and opportunities and makes it easier to coordinate multiple components of an increasingly complex system. There are advantages to this type of system, but also risks and costs. One set of risks results from the fact that “all” key decisions must be made at the apex of the system by a relatively small number of officials who have only finite time, attention and knowledge. As China has become more modern and prosperous, it has also become more diverse. Different locales, sectors of the economy, interest groups and other constituencies have diverse expectations of the political system. Keeping the many concerns and requirements straight, and successfully juggling and balancing competing demands, will continue to become more complex and difficult.

As this happens, it will intensify another challenge, namely, the challenge of being “right” most of the time with little to no cushion for error. Systems with distributed authority are more cumbersome, but they avoid single points of failure. The danger of single-point failure increases as the complexity of issues, number of competing viewpoints and volume of information increases. Logically, the chance of mistakes increases as decisions become more demanding. Theoretically, there exists a point in any system at which the system can be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. The eurozone crisis may be a cautionary example.

Recognizing these challenges should not be read as a pessimistic prediction of inevitable failure. Indeed, the fact that looming but not yet imminent challenges are already the subject of study, deliberation and debate around the world increases the likelihood of avoiding the most negative or disruptive consequences; mitigating those that cannot be avoided entirely; and capitalizing on the many positive trends toward greater cooperation, acceptance of interdependencies and ability to learn from others’ experiences.

Clearly discernible trends point to common interests and opportunities for cooperation as well as to challenges of unprecedented complexity. Whether China continues to eschew active engagement to address challenges at the global level in order to concentrate on domestic problems will shape possibilities for international cooperation. So, too, will actions of other nations that help or hinder China’s ability to solve its problems.

原來耶魯大學的網頁有埋中文版,所以以上的文章有 簡體版 可供閱讀。

所謂:「知彼知己,百戰不殆。」 這位 Thomas Fingar 先生(史丹福大學學者)寫出的四點挑戰,只屬一般見識,很多關心中國的朋友,都察覺得到。原來明報沒有翻譯出由 Borje Ljunggren 先生書寫的 Part II 下篇 才是精要所在。Borje 的文章一開頭,就把近日中國面對“烏崁村事件“,指出最嚴峻的挑戰產生在中國內部。

1月18日耶魯全球在線,就發表了 Part II 執筆者是 Borje Ljunggren 前瑞典駐中國大使。

Speculative bubbles and problematic governance in large economies can quickly spill over to disrupt other economies. This two-part YaleGlobal series analyzes global and local challenges facing China and their impact. In the second and final article, Borje Ljunggren, former Swedish ambassador to China, writes that a protest over corruption in the village of Wukan, Guangdong, shows in a microcosm China’s current problems.

Increased connectivity via the internet helps expose common complaints as well as patterns in the Chinese government’s response through repression and adaptation. “In sum, the Wukan incident and the ad hoc manner in which ‘mass incidents’ are handled raise fundamental questions about accountability and governance,” Ljunggren suggests.

Research on Chinese authoritarianism since the 1990s typically falls into one of three schools of thought – the democracy school, the collapse school and the resilient-authoritarianism school – with the latter view prevailing in recent years. Ljunggren concludes that great agility is required by China’s next generation of leaders to manage change coming at ever accelerating speed. – YaleGlobal

Global Implications of China’s Challenges – Part II
【YaleGlobal】During the last few weeks of December, the Guangdong village of Wukan, located some 200 miles northeast of Hong Kong, earned a place in the history books. Outraged by the death of a local leader in police custody following angry protests against land grabbing and corruption, villagers drove out Communist Party and government officials, refusing to yield unless their demands were met.

In a sense, there is nothing unique about the Wukan event – one of the tens of thousands taking place in China – but it catches in a microcosm multiple elements of China’s evolving drama and is a serious reminder of the widening gap between the CCP and the people. As the protests spread to other towns and with the whole world watching, the party had no choice but to negotiate a compromise and Guangdong’s reform-minded Party Secretary Wang Yang, dispatched his immediate deputy to reach an agreement with elected protest leaders.

After a deal was reached, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing declared: “We can no longer sacrifice farmers’ land ownership right to reduce urbanization and industrialization costs.” The prime minister was touching a raw nerve in the system. According to recent estimates, land grabbing may generate 40 percent of local government incomes, in addition to being a major source of corruption. The problem has grown more serious as construction has expanded to levels rarely seen anywhere in the world. Recent estimates put China’s property construction at 13 percent of GDP.

As a consequence, land prices have been rocketing, as developers have acquired ever more land for investments, creating their own land banks. However, during the last few months the bubble has begun to burst as housing and land prices have fallen, leaving land auctions without bids. For local government, a major source of income is threatening to dry up.

In sum, the Wukan incident and the ad hoc manner in which “mass incidents” are handled raise fundamental questions about accountability and governance.

The number of what the Chinese authorities call mass incidents has risen from 84,000 in 2005 to some 180,000 in 2010. The CCP’s policy has been to isolate such protests and contain any attempts at larger scale organization. This strategy is, however, becoming increasingly difficult. The digital culture – the internet, and in particular Weibo, a micro-blogging site similar to Twitter, and cell-phone cameras – is tearing down boundaries in time and space. In the last two years, the number of micro-bloggers went from few to more than 300 million. A convergence between what’s happening off and on line seems inevitable, though the Communist Party is doing its utmost to block this connectivity.

In the light of these developments, it’s useful to examine the three schools of thought on Chinese authoritarianism among sinologists since the early 1990s: the democracy school, the collapse school and the resilient-authoritarianism school.

In recent years, the third school of thought has come to prevail. According to this school, the system has simply proved itself to be much more flexible, and efficient than its critics have claimed when predicting its collapse. More than 30 years of growth at an average of 10 percent speaks for itself.

A few months ago, Elisabeth Perry and Sebastian Heilmann, both belonging to the resilient – or “adaptive” – school, released a long awaited edited volume, Mao’s Invisible Hand – The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance. The title is explained by their argument that a Maoist-inspired “work style,” a “guerilla policy style” based on ideological control and mass mobilization, still is playing a role. Their point of departure is that no explanation of Chinese resilience thus far has been very convincing. They assess that “far from decrepit, the regime – having weathered Mao’s death in 1976, the Tiananmen Uprising in 1989, Deng’s death in 1997, and large-scale ethnic riots in 2008-9 – seems over time to have become increasingly adept at managing tricky challenges ranging from leadership succession and popular unrest to administrative reorganization, legal institutionalization and even global integration.”

The authors are eager to stress that they don’t claim to predict the future, just explain the past. Still, during the next few years, their views will be tested, as China enters complex years of leadership transition and mounting domestic and international challenges.

In their book Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundations of China’s Extraordinary Rise (2011), Carl E. Walter and Fraser J. T. Howie, argue that the Chinese party-state is increasingly dominated by “special interest groups,” foremost by a “National Team,” a “gamechanger in China’s political economy.” At its core, this team consists of elite party and commercial interests centered around the large, monopolistic state-owned enterprises, SOEs, or National Champions.

These “National Champions, their family associates and other retainers plunder the country’s large domestic markets and amass huge profits,” according to the authors. Former premier Zhu Rongji’s vision of a country opening up to international competition has, as they see it, “faded from sight.” The authors do not predict a collapse, but paints a picture of a clearly unsustainable state of affairs.

It is difficult to believe, that the two writers and Justin Jifu Lin, the Chinese chief economist of the World Bank, are writing about the same country. In his 2011 book, Demystifying the Chinese Economy Lin – the first Chinese to hold such a high position at the Bank – concludes that “China has great potential to continue the current dynamic growth for another two decades or more.”

Lin bases his argument on the theory of the potential advantages of backwardness and the fact that Japan, Taiwan and South Korea grew at such pace for two decades from the time when they were at China’s current per capita income. While expressing deep concern about the lack of state-enterprise reform and China’s growing disparities, Lin is confident that the CCP will navigate the pitfalls, clearly regarding the system as resilient.

There is obviously a great need for comprehensive efforts to explore China’s future, and David Shambaugh, one of the world’s leading authorities on China, has done so by editing Chartering China’s Future – Domestic and International Challenges (2011). Though rich in content, the volume still leaves a feeling of not being entirely on the pulse of current complexities: Regarding the CCP, Kjeld-Erik Broedsgaard writes that “in recent years a renewal has taken place.” Rod Wye seems closer to current realities when talking about an increasing “air of divorce from reality about the political system.” Rachel Murphy has an excellent grasp of civil society and media, but suggests that “the party-state maintains a firm grip on the parameters of permissible conversations in the public sphere.” A reader must wonder why micro-bloggers go unmentioned. Two years from now, their number may exceed 500 million.

Shambaugh concludes the volume by writing that “the only thing that is completely predictable about China’s future is the unpredictability.” Still, he does share one safe prediction – the adaptive capacity of the CCP will be profoundly tested in the next few years.

At a recent Harvard event, China scholar Tony Saich described change in China as “like a ball bouncing down a hill, moving faster and faster.” The fifth generation taking over power in China in 2012 must show great agility to keep pace.

耶魯在線也有《中国所面临的挑战对全球的影响~~下篇》的 簡體版 可供閱讀。



烏莰村的將來,受到外國人的關注,看來不似是好事,按堅決左派一向方式,敵人多談多說的,就一律反反反。孤勿論今次老外又重提“烏莰”,是善意還是惡意,基於拔苗助長,會把脆弱的“烏莰”民主~ 早夭 premature death!

外地評論摘要﹕中國面對的四大挑戰 雅虎新聞網
Global Implications of China’s Challenges – Part I yaleglobal online
中国所面临的挑战对全球的影响~~上篇 yaleglobal online
Global Implications of China’s Challenges – Part II yaleglobal online
中国所面临的挑战对全球的影响~~下篇 yaleglobal online


嘿嘿 said...



the inner space said...

嘿嘿兄:小弟 Google “毛澤東的預言”得出很多不同結果!


嘿嘿 said...




the inner space said...