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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
I was out tonight and found a very nice section of my 3rd tier city. Pizzeria with English travel books, two bakeries, a Taiwanese fast food chain Yon Ho of China fast food, several upscale hair salons cleaner than most Chinese businesses, a 24 storey modern high rise with expensive cars parked out front and a cyber cafe. The usual things you see at 9:30 at night on a summer night with people out strolling about and partaking of the night life in any modern city. Are there grimey 3rd world neighborhoods nearby? Sure.
China has a PPP GDP of about 7,392 USD as of 2010 and it's growing at a rate of 7% to 12% a year.
The USA had a PPP of 6500 in 1960, of 10,000 in 1970. That is where China is right now, and it's growing so fast that you can literally see it from one month to the next.
In 1970 the USA decided to clean the air and by 1985 it was clean, and by now you would not believe what suburban WDC or what NYC or LA looked like in 1975 - the photos would make you think of China in 2010, or a 3rd world shithole, that is how bad USA air was then when I was in HS. Expect China to one day, in about 10 years, decide to clean the air, clean the trash, outlaw smoking (all cigarettes are sold by the State), and other items. Beijing can snap its fingers and within 3 days policy is begun to be implemented.
Their current trick is that they have figured out how to bring subways up to the streets with low cost. They are going to build 150 miles of Super Bus lanes which are 2 lanes wide and - get this - straddle the traffic from above so that you would be driving a car UNDERNEATH the bus. No good for trucks or large vehicles, it has to stay on its track, and it travels in mostly straight lines, but a damn clever way to bring subway like service to surface streets at a much lower cost.
It will look like this:
75 Million USD for 115 miles in Beijing, slated to finish next summer.
This is NOT copied tech, folks. This is a whole new idea. So much for China only being able to copy.
Impressive stuff. Wanna see it first hand. China is becoming the infrastructure king. They already have the longest HSR network.
But on the PPP GDP figures, don't forget about the distorting effects of inflation. Nominal comparisons over time are not like-for-like.
Real GDP per capita in the USA based in 2005 PPPs was $15,644 in 1960, $20,789 in 1970, and $43,250 in 2008 according to US Dept. of Labor for a cumulative average growth rate of just 2.8% between 1960 and 1970 and 2.1% between 1960 and 2008. China's figure is still growing faster than the US between 1960 to 1970 but perhaps not 7-12% in real terms. Inflation needs to be factored in.
One thing to note about China's infrastructure: it sucks.
It's very lacking in quality. China is too focused on face value.
It's cities look nice enough but when it truly shines is when there is some minor disaster.
A storm that wouldn't have much effect in any American East Coast city would flood any Chinese city.
As these floods occur every year or two, wouldn't it make sense to make some changes vs getting flooded every year?
Quakes also have a devastating effect in Chinese cities due to the shoddy infrastructure.
And we all know about the shelf life of homes and buildings...70 years wasn't it?
China really needs civil engineers that know wtf they are doing.
It's very apparent when major streets pool water to the middle of the road as soon as it starts raining.
The dumb thing is that China continues to build in the same manner.
There was major flooding in Shanghai, when I was there, and I got the feeling that their storm drain system is woefully inadequate. The main highways between cities impressed me though. They were brand new, well paved and spotlessly clean, like in Switzerland. The minor roads were a totally different matter...
The elevated bus idea is really, really neat. But I don't think it's safe to mix a "light rail replacement" bus with street traffic. Hopefully, the car drivers will recognize that the bus is much larger, and fighting for right of way with something that large is a losing proposition.
It's much more expensive to build subway lines or elevated light rail (MRT), but those are separate from street traffic and much safer. The issue for China is that, despite its many show-case projects, MRT systems are still too expensive for most cities.
When I was in Beijing before the Olympics, I took the subway system and noted that the subway cars were kinda grimy with exposed flourscent light tubes on the ceiling. It didn't look as modern as the ones in Taiwan or Singapore. However, upon closer inspection, you'd find that the MRT cars in TW are imported from Japan or Europe, versus the ones used in China, many were built locally:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_Su ... ling_Stock
They replaced some old subway cars for the Olympics, and donated them to Sichuan as emergency shelters:
http://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2008/1 ... in-Sichuan
http://gizmodo.com/5100683/old-beijing- ... s-shelters
The attitude difference between Taiwan and China is, in Taiwan they want to stuff from abroad, perceived as being superior to locally made. In China they want to import the technology and built it themselves. The Russians wised up and installed 128 bit encryption on the air-to-air missiles they exported to China, so the Chinese couldn't download the code and reverse engineer it. But the Chinese tend to have a domestic project running in parallel, so if the Russians won't give them the code for Vympel R-77, the Chinese will simply mount their PL-12/SD-10 AAM. Won't sell us the A-50I Phalcon? We'll built the KJ-2000!
As a country, China has accomplished more poverty reduction in shorter time than any others. From 1981 to 2004, China's poverty rate was reduced from 64% to ~15%. However, we should not give too much credit to the Chinese government, because Mao's failed economic policy was responsible for much of the problems to begin with. Deng is seen as a reformer, but his approach was actually very slow and cautious, a gradual and incremental move toward liberaizing the economy, while maintaining the "old system" in a dual-track approach. It's the hard-working Chinese people themselves that lifted their country toward economic recovery.
The Beijing line is really old. I think it was started in the 60's (prior to the cultural revolution) and finished in the early 70's. A better look would be at the Shanghai metro which looks better. I haven't been to China in awhile but I do think they will eventually replace all those old infrastructure relics. They are already leading high speed railway development and are now leading a growth industry in foreign railway development. I think one reason why they haven't totally revamped the old lines is because they receive so much foot traffic everyday.
China's technology growth is pretty interesting though. They are definitely taking a "can do" approach by combining and diversifying their expertise amongst a lot of fields to push for self development. It really does remind me of Japan in the 60-70's. Except I think China is developing even more rapidly than that with other external factors against them as well. It's impressive but I still don't really like the PRC all that much.