Annual Report from China

The economic growth in China continues to be high, 9.9% according to Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2005 report. The goal for GDP growth in 2006 is 8%.

It is interesting for me to read a document like this that is so full of Soviet style language and formality but the news that is being reported in that language is so positive. Most of the Soviet era documents that I read while a Russian major in the 1980s were attempts to make a really bad situation sound great.

But the Chinese reality is a fast-growing economy and unprecedented global competitiveness. So to see that couched in government language like this is really strange for me. It still doesn’t quite compute for me (a conservative free marketeer) to see Five Year Plans actually working. Are they working because all the Chinese leaders are engineers (and not lawyers like here) and because information technology enables central planning to somehow work; or is the Chinese economy growing in spite of the Five Year Plans from the central government?

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