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S. private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP I a deal that marks the country's long-anticipated move to expand how it invests its massive foreign exchange service." (AP, 1) China has shown itself to be increasingly less isolated than it had been in the years immediately following the end of the Cold War. However, it appears that today, China fully understands its role in the world and had facilitated its own growth within the framework of global systems initially sponsored by western powers. Its growth suggests that it has adapted to the extent of eclipsing many of its western counterparts while simultaneously assessing capitalism according to its own terms.
As the Reich article points out, drawing in one of the core ironies of capitalism and its relationship to globalization, "for years, we've assumed that capitalism and democracy fit hand in glove. We took it as an article of faith that you can't have one without the other. That's why a key element of American policy toward China has been to encourage free trade, direct investment, and open markets. As China becomes more prosperous and integrated into the global market -- so American policy makers have thought -- China will also become more democratic." (Reich, 1) the article goes on to denote that this has simply not occurred, pointing instead to the lavish lifestyles of China's corporate leaders and privateers as directly and severely contrasting the lives of the laborers on whose backs such growth has been achieved. This points to the nature of Chinese capitalism, which helps the nation to grow even as it defies the alleged philosophical aims of free market competition.
As to these terms, China poses an interesting case for the duality of its relationship with the U.S. economy, where its investment in the American dollar has come to tie it closely with the fate of its value and where, nonetheless, the growth which that has afforded the communist superpower is now allowing it to reshape the basis of its economy. For China, investment in foreign private equity represents a mode through which it can today transfer its substantial holdings in the U.S. dollar into more robust currencies. Thus, can seen an actualization of this strategy, with the eventuality being that the $3 billion invested into the American firm will ultimately be disseminated at a higher cost to the public buyer. This is a demonstration of one way in which "the Chinese government had been set to shift some of its foreign exchange reserves of more than $1 trillion into other world currencies because of the sluggishness of the dollar." (AP, 1]) in the coming years, such a private equity venture will likely prove beneficial to the Chinese government, which will cull a favorable monetary expansion as a new and separate phase from its dependence, heretofore, upon the value of the once far more comparably merited U.S. dollar. This is a leveraging of assets with deeply capitalist allowances, and suggests that, successful or not, China's adoption of capitalism has most certainly been full-fledged, which is a commitment that is not without its consequences. Just as the patterns of growth which have marked its last few years are a credit to this relationship, so is this relationship at the root of China's current crisis.
Today, as capitalism hits a serious snag in the form of global economic crisis, it is not even sufficient enough to criticize Chinese capitalism for its failure to take up the cultural or political values of other nations. Instead, there is a pattern which demonstrates the very cause for China's long-standing isolation, its wariness of the imbalance in capitalism and its insistence even still of maintaining its autonomy from global conventions on human rights and political orientation. To the point, the connection which its global capitalist emergence has forged with the United States is as much today a stumbling block as it has been a stepping stone. As an article published in the Washington Post in 2008 denotes, "for better or for worse, economists say, China and the United States are like conjoined twins. 'The two economies are mutually reliant and mutually influential,' explained Hua Min, director of Fudan University's Institute of World Economy in Shanghai. Once the envy of the nation for its abundant jobs and high wages, Shenzhen -- the birthplace of China's experiment in capitalism -- is experiencing an economic downturn in tandem with the United States." (Cha, 1) Certainly, for those in the labor class who have now been thrust out of work and whose industrial towns have been devastating, the patterns of globalizations are sadly reminiscent of those in places like Detroit, Michigan or Mexico City. The philosophical and practical objections to capitalism and its inherency of exploitation of the labor classes had long persisted as a justification for China's totalitarian maintenance of a communism threatened by Cold War hostilities. Today, this philosophical motive has dissipated, leaving in its wake a totalitarian nation with capitalist inequalities.
Most significantly, China is today a breeding ground for nepotism and corruption. The commitment of its government to a cronyist delegation influence suggests that any intent toward the economic mobility implied by capitalism will be met with various structural obstacles. Included among these is a government and corporate atmosphere highly susceptible to corruption and abuses of rights, leaving the question over its merits as a truly capitalist nation subject to significant scrutiny and doubt.
AP. (2007). China to invest $3 billion in private equity firm. MSNBC. Online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18770710/
Cha, a.E. (2008). Young Chinese Rethink U.S.-Style Capitalism. Washington Post. Online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092903214.html
Cheung, Clare. (2006). China May Draw $6 Billion in Private Equity in 2006. Bloomberg. Online at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000080&sid=apZUAoSnRyF8&refer=asia.
Ewing, R.D. (2004). Private Equity in China: Risk for Reward. The China Business Review. Online at http://www.chinabusinessreview.com/public/0407/ewing.html.
Gregory, N. & Tenev, S. (2001). The Financing of Private Enterprise in China. Finance and Development, 38(1).
Reich, R.B. (2006). China: Capitalism Doesn't Require Democacy. Common Dreams.org.
Roberts, D. (1999). China's New Capitalism. Business Week. Online at http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_39/b3648087.htm[continue]
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