World Crisis to Adversely Affect China Too – Sison


The current GDP of China is reportedly already USD 3.251 trillion. But China is a huge country with a huge population of 1.33 billion. With a per capita income of only around US$ 2,700, China is still a very poor country, a far cry from the US per capita income of US$ 46,000 in 2007. China and the Philippines have per capita incomes of nearly $2,500 and $1,500, respectively in 2007. Both of them are still ranked below the more than 100 countries with higher per capita income and are among the poor countries of the world. But China has more capacity than the Philippines in coping with the crisis and will more than ever regard the Philippines as a profitable client in the vicinity.

BY NOEL SALES BARCELONA
Bulatlat

As the world’s stocks free fall and the world economy slides towards the brink of a recession comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Peoples’ Republic of China appears to be better prepared than others.

China’s economy grew by 9.9 percent during the first quarter of 2008. During the third quarter, growth only slipped to nine percent, with decreasing demand for Chinese exports being the main reason for the slide.

During the October 4 Kapihan sa Sulo on the melamine milk scandal involving China, Chito Sta. Romana, ABC television producer in Peking (Beijing), shared his insights not only about why the melamine milk scandal in China happened but also about China, its economy and politics.

Sta. Romana concluded that China is Leninist in politics but capitalist in its economy; US-Chinese relations are “tied on the hips”; the economy of China is now expanding and it’s tilting the balance in world economic affairs; and it wanted to bring more muscle to emerging economies in Asia like India and Indonesia so that the “monopoly” of power of America will be lessen or dispersed. Sta. Romana also said that China doesn’t want to become an imperialist, like the US.

Bulatlat interviewed Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, regarding his views on China and his comments on the insights shared by his former comrade Chito Sta. Romana.

Bulatlat: Is there such a thing as capitalist-Leninist China?

Sison: The expression “capitalist-Leninist” is an oxymoron. Indeed, China’s economy is capitalist. But it is not Leninist in politics because state power is not in the hands of the working class.

Bulatlat: How do you see the current relationship between China and the US, both in economy and polity? Sta. Romana said, they’re “tied on the hips.”

Sison: In a sense, the two countries are “tied on the hips”. They can gyrate together in the current global economic and financial crisis. China has become dependent on exports to the US, which are now hard hit by the contraction of US consumer demand. And the values of China’s US dollar holdings, US treasury bills and bonds, US corporate bonds and securities are seriously undercut and damaged by the current crisis.

Bulatlat: By 2010 or maybe later, China’s economy is projected to amount more than US$3 trillion. Considering this, what would be the effect of China on the global economy and the capitalist system?

Sison: The current GDP of China is reportedly already USD 3.251 trillion. But China is a huge country with a huge population of 1.33 billion. With a per capita income of only around US$ 2,700, China is still a very poor country, a far cry from the US per capita income of US$ 46,000 in 2007. China and the Philippines have per capita incomes of nearly $2,500 and $1,500, respectively in 2007. Both of them are still ranked below the more than 100 countries with higher per capita income and are among the poor countries of the world.

Bulatlat: Do you believe that China will become a superpower, economically and politically, while it is said to be “refusing to deploy its army the world over” unlike what the US has done? Or is China now a superpower?

Sison: China has a weak economic base for becoming a superpower. Its military strength is limited to a defensive position. In fact, it is the object of military containment as well as economic engagement by the US.

Bulatlat: What do you think would be the moves of the Chinese government with regards the conflicting claims on the Spratly islands? Sta. Romana was quoted as saying that the Chinese government is now willing to buy the islands for US$2 billion or more.

Sison: The Chinese government seems to prefer the diplomatic approach within the ASEAN-China framework of constructive dialogue and cooperative relations regarding the Spratlys. However, the high bureaucrats and big compradors of China and the Philippines are constantly cooking up deals. The rulers of the Philippines are unprincipled and corrupt enough to sell Philippine interest in the Spratly islands to foreign buyers.

Bulatlat: What do you think of the melamine-tainted milk scandal now hounding China, especially since two milk products, which were found to be toxic, Yili and Mengniu were produced by state corporations?

Sison: The most unscrupulous and worst kinds of capitalist criminals are bred in countries in which capitalism has emerged from the dismantling of socialism by corrupt bureaucrats and their partners in the so-called free market. The US food monopolies have seized the melamine incidents to discourage the purchase of Chinese products in the global market.

Bulatlat: Please give your forecast on the effects of the global economic turmoil and the fast-growing Chinese economy on the Philippines and the Philippine revolution.

Sison: The global economic and financial crisis will worsen at least in the next two years and may extend to as long as 10 years. The Chinese economy will be adversely affected. But China has more capacity than the Philippines in coping with the crisis and will more than ever regard the Philippines as a profitable client in the vicinity.

The worsening crisis generates conditions favorable for the advance of the Philippine revolution. (Bulatlat.com)

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