Source Pravda.Ru

Andrei Krushinski: China at fateful crossroads

From ancient times, the Chinese had a clever strategic maxim – to occupy a position of invincibility, preferred by many politicians and commanders to risk of fight for victory. And now, at international forum in diminutive Arab state Kathar China officially becomes 143rd member of World Trade Orgainization (WTO), what is a real risk for China. China’s fight for official membership in WTO has been continuing for about 15 years. The main trouble was, that China pretended to a privileged membership (as a developing country, with certain protections), while Western countries did not want to indulge and regarded China as a big fancy cake to sate big transnational corporations. The WTO membership promises to China a possibility to overcome discrimination barriers and to penetrate to world markets more freely as before. While the risk is, that China turns into an open unprotected market, so it will be demanded to cancel, partly or completely, customs duty, as a result, flow of cheaper goods from developed countries could destroy its industry, undermine its currency and financial system, or, at least, strengthen its dependence on world conjuncture. In other words, it could imperil so heavily kept social stability of the most multinational country of the world. And it would have been namely so, if China had been leaded by such politicians like Gaidar, Kirienko, Chubais, Gref. There is, however, a hope, China will develop according to another scenario. In particular, this hope is based on a detailed preparation in all fields – from economical, administrative and legislative, to that ones of foreign policy (including a kind of mobilization of foreign businessmen of Chinese origin). As a reserve way an agreement could be regarded, concluded recently in another diminutive Muslim state – Brunei, about creation within 10 years of a free trade zone ASEAN-China, a kind of alternative to WTO. Although this step is really risky, China does not embark on shady enterprises. Even in this decision, China’s policy has a solidity reserve.

Andrei Krushinski PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/12/33687.html

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