In what I presume was a coincidence on how the two articles were laid out in Tuesday’s Times newspaper (paper edition), there were two almost-conflicting articles on China’s formidable growth side by side.
The first article covered the ‘ghost town’ of Dandong New District. Dandong has 60 high rise apartment blocks, a shopping mall, and a basketball stadium. Home buyers can choose any apartment on any floor in any block. Because all of them are empty.
Economists are divided between Dandong being a demonstration of rapid and excess growth and good strategic planning. Interestingly, all economists agree that at some point the town will be full – it’s a question of whether the timing is necessary to have built the town (and other similar ones) so rapidly.
The second article, facing the first, showed a report from Global Marine Trends which predicts in the next 17 years, the World’s shipping fleet will need to more than double in size just to deliver natural resources to China. Conservative estimates are up from the current 9 billion to 19 billion.
Environmentalists can note that China currently has 900 offshore wind turbines, and estimate the need for 90,000 by 2030.
China doesn’t receive enough media attention in the West, perhaps because the Western countries (and we’re all at fault here) are in denial of its growth and strategy. I would challenge most people living in Western cities whether they recognise or can name the new Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Most people under 40 can only remember the World with a single super power. I have a feeling that in 45 years’ time, our children will also remember only one super power.