Received via email a few facts about China:
- The United States had been the leading consumer of energy on the globe for about 100 years, but this past summer China took over the number one spot.
- In 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech
export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent
- Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is
projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the
U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.
- According to one recent study, China could become the global leader in patent filings by next year.
- Over the past 15 years, China has moved up from 14th place to 2nd place in the world in published scientific research articles.
- China now has the world’s fastest train and the world’s biggest
high-speed rail network.
- China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire globe.
On top of these figures, I came across a report yesterday about the succesful manufacturing and test-flight of Stealth fighters in China. These planes could evade radar and avoid missiles from the grounds and enemy’s planes. It needs very advanced technology to produce this type of plane.
I first went to China in 1994, Beijing to be exact, and at that time people were still very poor, and there were not many cars on the roads. Though people had started to wear colourful clothing in place of the dull Mao tunic, on the whole, they were many times poorer than we Malaysians then.
Within a span of more or less 2 decades, it has progressed so much that in many of the urban areas, the standard of living is higher than us now.
When we talk to politicians about how much the ‘little Red dot’ down South has surpassed us since Malaysia and the ‘little red dot’ separated in 1965, the standard reply from most politicians in power will be that it is much easier to govern a small city-like state than a big area like Malaysia.
But the advance and economic progress of China put an end to this line of argument. If a country about 50 times more populous (and so much worse in infrastructure to begin with) can progress so fast economically and make such big stride in innovation and scientific research, why can’t we, especially when we have started on a better footing?
There must be something there for politicians and planners to think about.