China's Looming Crisis: Daunting Troubles Mount

By Brinkley, Joel | World Affairs, March-April 2013 | Go to article overview

China's Looming Crisis: Daunting Troubles Mount


Brinkley, Joel, World Affairs


China's in deep, deep trouble, and its new leaders know it.

The growth of the nation's GDP has continued to slow every quarter since late 2010--though it did tick up slightly in the state's latest quarterly report, published in January. But that's just one of many problems. In the simple words of D&B Country RiskLine Reports' year-end assessment of China, "Trend: deteriorating."

Xi Jinping, the nation's new Communist Party leader, assumes the presidency this March, and the country is hoping, albeit with considerable trepidation, that he will bring positive change. But China's troubles--economic, political, social--are daunting. And as the full government transition approaches, these problems seem to be converging. One significant symptom: Money is flowing out of the state at an alarming rate, a sign that wealthy Chinese have lost faith in the country.

Of course, China does not make public any figures of this capital flight. But reliable estimates from several journalists and economists published late last year estimate that between $225 billion and $300 billion has left the country in the past year, three to four percent of China's economic output for that period. And this has happened even though moving significant amounts out of the country is strictly illegal. The outflow is growing larger every year, just as the GDP continues to fall--not a coincidence.

In fact, wealthy and successful Chinese aren't just moving their money. Many are making plans to leave for the West along with their money, with America being the primary destination. Last year, the Chinese magazine Hurun Report, which chronicles the lives and foibles of the wealthy, published that finding after interviewing nine hundred people in eighteen cities.

The sample was clearly not scientific, but it was given added credibility when many thousands of people responding to the article on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, said they would leave, too--if only they had enough money.

The wealthy who are moving to America most often use the EB-5 visa, which goes to foreigners willing to invest at least half a million dollars in a business that offers new jobs for at least ten Americans. The Chinese call that "investment migration." And the China Merchants Bank, along with global consulting firm Bain & Company, concluded in a joint report that it's "quickly increasing."

The two companies said investment migration from China to the US "grew at a compounded annual rate of seventy-three percent over the past five years." The companies also surveyed wealthy Chinese (one of several organizations to do so) and found that almost sixty percent of them "have either completed investment immigration, applied for investment immigration or are considering it."

The Department of Homeland Security reported that seventy-eight percent of the EB-5 applicants last year were Chinese.

While the wealthy vote with their feet, the lower and middle classes are in open revolt. The Ministry of Public Security estimated that in 2011 the Chinese staged more than 128,000 "mass incidents"--large local protests over corruption, land seizures, pollution, job safety, and a dozen other social ills. The numbers are certainly approximate. But they are almost certainly increasing. In 1993, the official number was 8,709. By 2009, the ministry said the people staged about 90,000 mass incidents. Nearly all the protests are aimed at local authorities, not the national government. For many, the memory of Tiananmen Square apparently remains burned on the brain.

Not surprisingly, the Chinese government has stopped releasing statistics on mass incidents. But Xia Yeliang, an economics professor at Peking University, said the number has risen "to more than two hundred thousand a year"--more than five hundred every day. "We have our own sources in the central security office," he said in an interview.

One of the people's gravest grievances, the motivation for many demonstrations, is the nation's growing income inequality. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

China's Looming Crisis: Daunting Troubles Mount
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.