Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calling China “Names”

I have read or heard many labels used to describe China lately.

For example, some call it “the country of contradictions” while others conventionally label it the “Asian Dragon.” Still others view it as “strategic competitor” or “the China Threat.” Meanwhile, the Chinese government calls its country “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The latest one I read comes from the governor of the State of Tennessee, Gov. Phil Bredesen, who just wrapped up a nine-day business trip to China along with some 100 strong business delegates. On his way home somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, he wrote down his thoughts about China, which can be shortened to four items:

First, an insight about America: The Chinese are willing to do big things; we need to rediscover that audacity here at home. I've felt for a long time that we confine ourselves far too much to frittering around the edges of opportunities — in infrastructure, in transportation, in health care.

Second, China is enormous; 1.3 billion people is a quarter of the world…wealth is definitely there and growing exponentially. China is having its coming-out party.

Third, the political system in China is unique and defies labels…

And fourth, we need to work hard to open more doors to China. I want more trade missions, and I especially want more Chinese students here and more American students to go to China…

Despite Governor’s comment that China “defies labels”, he defines China as, “A one party capitalist country with no Bill of Rights.” I thought that is a pretty good one.

Read the Governor’s report here.

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