18 April, 2006

indonesia’s miracle

IndCoup noted an article last week by ex-World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz praising Chinese planning. Sarapan Ekonomi, an Indonesian economics blog, .

IndCoup ponders Joseph Stiglitz’s praise on China’s miraculous economic development, on which Greenstump speculates that IndCoup “believes China is a model Indonesia should follow”.

Regardless, in terms of economic growth, poverty reduction, and population control, Indonesia is every bit as “miraculous” as China.


Since the late 1960s, both Indonesia and China has been growing fast. Moreover, as shown in the graph above, average Indonesians had been always richer than people of China. Until the 1998 financial crises, that is, when the Indonesia’s economy shrank by 13 percent and has been growing slower since.

Still, Indonesia’s poverty today is in no way worse than China’s; For example, China’s poverty gap at $1 a day (a measure of incidence and depth of poverty) is 4 percent, while Indonesia’s is less than 1 percent.

AsiaPundit also took exception with the Stiglitz article which starts out with this premise.:

Part of the key to China’s long-run success has been its almost unique combination of pragmatism and vision. While much of the rest of the developing world, following the Washington consensus, has been directed at a quixotic quest for higher GDP, China has again made clear that it seeks sustainable and more equitable increases in real living standards.

It surprises AP that Stiglitz, after three years of working with the World Bank, would feign such ignorance. Since the Deng Xiaoping-era China has consistently put emphasis on GDP growth over income equality or social welfare. The shift he is now praising is largely a creation of the newest five-year plan.

That said, AP agrees that much of the five-year plan is reasonable. It’s largely agreed that more even income distribution and stronger domestic consumption are needed. The fallen tigers of ‘97, generally, did not consider the importance of domestic demand until after their export-driven economies collapsed. China is wise to do so now.

The respective rebounds of the victims of ‘97, in part, were based upon how quickly they shifted to policies that stoked domestic demand.

South Korea quickly cleared bad loans and, in a rather insane manner, promoted consumption through personal debt (creating a new credit crisis in the process), Thailand did less but it did extend rural credit and ran a moderately successful asset management program for debt. Indonesia struggled with political turmoil and indecision for most of the post-1997 years. AP will not speculate on how China will fare.

That China is preemptively addressing issues that the rest of Asia did after 1997, and after Japan’s bubble burst, is welcome. However, AP is not confident that the country will do so successfully before its own imminent correction.

China’s miracle is impressive. So too were Korea’s, Thailand’s and Indonesia’s. AP will withhold judgement on how China’s overall economic management rates until after he sees how the country responds to a deep recession. He will give the state some credit, for instance, this is far more sensible than anything he was hearing from the pre-1997 Bank of Korea. But broader comparisons of China and Indonesia will be withheld until the former has its crisis.

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by @ 10:59 pm. Filed under China, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

aol’s chinese content: made in china, but not for china

Following the almost universally damned launch of Google’s censored Chinese service, AOL in February received praise from some quarters for launching a Chinese language portal that would offer uncensored content. However, it said the service would be Chinese speakers living outside of the mainland.

It was announced yesterday that Shanghai Media Group (SMG) had reached a deal to provide content to the AOL Chinese portal. Reuters reports on the deal here and Xinhua reports on it here.

While it had gone largely unnoticed in initial news reports that the original Google Chinese language site () remained available in China alongside the censored , it has gone completely unnoticed that the AOL service has been rendered inaccessible in mainland China.


A SMG spokeswoman said that the company was aware that the service was unavailable in Mainland China and restated that the AOL portal is intended for overseas Chinese.

Essentially, Google is still providing uncensored search results in China while AOL now is buying Chinese content from a state-linked media group to broadcast outside of China.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. AsiaPundit just finds it funny.

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by @ 10:36 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech, Censorship

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