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Look out, China!

March 14, 2007

This is great stuff.  The cover of the little red book held aloft by the heroic worker reads “Property Deed”.

Living up to one’s name poses something of a problem for the Chinese Communist Party, which dictates the laws the NPC will pass, and whose name in Chinese literally means “the public-property party”.

To such a party it must be an ideological embarrassment that China has such a large and flourishing private sector, accounting for some two-thirds of GDP. So one law due to receive the NPC’s rubber stamp this month, giving individuals the same legal protection for their property as the state, has proved unusually contentious. It was to be passed a year ago, but was delayed after howls of protest from leftists, who see it as among the final of many sell-outs of the ideas of Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong, to which the party pretends fealty.

The party’s decision to enact the law in spite of that resistance is a great symbolic victory for economic reform and the rule of law. Clearer, enforceable property rights are essential if China’s fantastic 30-year boom is to continue and if the tensions it has generated are to be managed without widespread violence. (Emphasis mine)

Take your time, China.  Really I don’t care if it takes 100 years for a full turnaround if it can be done nonviolently, and China is on track to do it a lot faster than that.  This is a pretty good example that there are better ways to overcome destructive ideologies.  It is exposure to market economies that has undermined communism more than any military threat ever could have.  For an example closer to home, if we’d been trading with Cuba all these years, communism would long since have eroded away to “in-name-only” there.  (Plus, I could get really great cigars)

Categories: Economics, Politics
  1. Ted
    March 18, 2007 at 12:07 | #1

    I don’t know man.

    I was reading the VOA a few days ago, and they seemed pretty agitated that China keeps raising their military budget by double digit percentages. Double digit sounds ominous to me.

    For more than a decade, the Chinese military has received double-digit increases in its other major nations.

    This year, Beijing announced an even sharper increase in defense spending – a rise of 17.8 percent, to almost $45 billion.

    At the recent opening of China’s parliamentary session, Premier Wen Jiabao said the funding increase will help speed up the transformation of China’s armed forces into a high-technology fighting force.  “We must to continue to increase the troops’ ability to fight a defensive, high-technology war,” he said.

    Days after Beijing’s announcement, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed concern at what he called China’s lack of openness about its military expenditures and intentions.

    So now it’s up to $45B they say.

    One of these day’s I’m going to look up what our military budget is. Than I’m going to add up the Iraq supplementals because I hear that’s being carried on the side. Then I’m going to compare how that stacks up to the sabrerattling that the nefarious Chinese are doing.

    One of these days. As soon as I get to it. Hold, on—I got to set my TiVO to record Heroes.

  2. micorserf
    March 19, 2007 at 13:57 | #2

    I seriously doubt that the Chinese government seeks out the original property owners from pre-1949 China.  My assumption is: The original owners are unknown or dead, and the records have long since been destroyed.

    Nice – except that high ranking party officials are selling public land under their jurisdiction and are pocketing the money.
    How else does government-owned land become privatized?

  3. March 19, 2007 at 14:09 | #3

    high ranking party officials are selling public land under their jurisdiction and are pocketing the money.

    Yep, there’s probably a lot of that going on.  Though China executes people for taking bribes and I imagine they’re not too keen on that scenario either. ;-)

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