By Alexandra Mayhew
Our lives have been impacted by the tremendous growth of China over the past 50 years. The question is: what do we have ahead of us?
Daniel H. Rosen, Jack Wadsworth Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, addressed these questions today at the Asia Society Policy Institute Australian launch of the Institute’s first report: “Avoiding the Blind Alley: China’s Economic Overhaul and its Global Implications”.
China’s growth from 2000 to 2012 has been unprecedented. This growth was championed by Deng Xiaoping, who opened up China to the world from 1992.
The sheer number of people in China moving into the urbanised workforce made a tremendous contribution. However the impact of the one child policy means China’s labour force is destined to shrink — at least for the foreseeable future. Education can make up for this shortfall to a point; however it will not fill the deficit.
Interestingly, the 2000s are referred to as a lost decade for China, in regards to lost productivity. Reform here is key. President Xi Jinping will not weather the next ten years without a crisis unless he does something drastic to change the road China is on. That is, he must take bold steps to institute a new model if the nation is to avoid crisis.
Mr Rosen evaluated China’s GDP outlook and concluded that in the best-case scenario – a soft landing through 2020 – reforms permit the redeployment of capital from wasteful uses to high-return sectors, so capital stock growth and TFP improvements deliver a combined GDP growth rate of 6%. If reforms stall, the productivity gains from adjustment will be lost, and increasingly private capital may or may not continue to invest, leaving China with at most 3% growth in a hard landing scenario or 1% at best in a crisis.
This is why China must open to the world. Yet there is scepticism in China that the country can change its ways. A stark change will be a profound shock to China.
Mr Rosen took apart the 60 decisions made in President Xi Jinping’s economic reform program (announced at the Third Plenum in November 2013) to see if there was a coherent plan. Mr Rosen then looked for evidence that the program has begun implementation.
He found there has been a revised mission statement, which is:
He concluded the Chinese Government is not taking a ‘big bang’ approach. It has instead developed nine principals:
Evaluating this, Mr Rosen came to the conclusion that China is moving ahead much more than anyone expected; however not equally in all areas.
Given these findings, Mr Rosen concluded a GDP outlook of 6 per cent growth.
His report conclusions were:
The discussion then moved into a panel with:
The report – background:
In November 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders announced a bold and comprehensive program of economic modernisation, backed up by political reforms. The degree of boldness indicates that after 35 years of world-beating economic performance, China’s development model is obsolete and in need of urgent, not gradual, replacement. To justify the risks, President Xi quoted an impassioned plea for policy modernisation by his predecessor Deng Xiaoping: the only way to avoid a dead end — a blind alley — is to deepen reform and opening both at home and with the world.
Despite this clarion call, observers in China and abroad have found several reasons to wonder what shape the reforms will take and whether the reform program will set China’s economy on a new path to sustained growth, and bolster its trade and investment relationships, which have great importance for the global economy and for governments and businesses around the world. With its report Avoiding the Blind Alley: China’s Economic Overhaul and Its Global Implications, the Asia Society Policy Institute offers new and crucial insights on the changing profile and prospects of what will soon be the world’s largest economy. The report, produced in collaboration with the Rhodium Group and written by Daniel H. Rosen, clarifies the ambitions of China’s economic reform program, assesses the progress China has made in implementing reforms, and forecasts the impacts the program will have on China’s economy and the world economy.
This article was originally published on the Asia Society Australia website.
A message from Eric Sidoti, Director of the Whitlam Institute
While Gough Whitlam will be remembered well beyond today, the days ahead will be particularly special times for remembering and for sharing stories. They will be times of reflection on the man Gough Whitlam. The Leader. The intellectual. The visionary.
As one former Whitlam minister put it to me this morning after news of Gough's death, 'the memories are crashing over me like the waves on Bondi Beach.'
Gough Whitlam will be remembered in many ways, but after this time of personal memories and recollections, Gough Whitlam will be remembered as the reforming leader who willed a modern Australia into being. His legacy is woven into the very fabric of our daily lives.
His achievements are not simply a matter for history - they are embedded in the living memory of our nation. Gough Whitlam catapulted Australia into the modern world. He claimed a place for us in the region and in international affairs. He educated a generation: funding schools on the basis of their need and opening our universities to all on the basis of their merit. He established universal health care and for the first time, committed the national government to developing the outer suburbs of our cities as well as regional Australia. He sought to right the wrongs of Aboriginal dispossession and he sought a place for all in this land we share. He transformed our country and the way we saw ourselves. Just as he set out to, he 'uplifted the horizons of the Australian people'.
For all the fine words that could be written, for us all here at the Whitlam Institute on this day there is really only the simple reality that Gough is now gone. We had no greater enthusiast and no finer friend than The Leader himself at this institute that bears his name.
Our thoughts are very much with the members of the Whitlam family.
This message was originally posted on the Whitlam Institute website and can be found here.
Stigma isolates 1 in 2 Australians - New youth mental health charity raising awareness to change lives
By Isabelle Walker
Almost one in two people will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime – a figure which is so staggering it is almost unbelievable.
Edward Martin believes raising awareness of this statistic will not only encourage more people to become involved in supporting mental health services, but will help to remove the stigma attached to mental health and in turn will encourage those affected by it to seek help.
This is why the 27 year old created UinMind - a charity committed to youth mental health.
Edward kicked-off his fundraising efforts this Saturday (18 October) in Sydney with all event proceeds going to a reputable mental health provider.
Rob McGeoch AM – whose own family member was affected by depression – was the guest speaker. Mr McGeoch has been instrumental in organising programs in schools and organisations to address mental illness, and stressed the importance of talking about mental health in the community.
Channel 7 Newsreader Mark Ferguson MCed the event and encouraged people to get involved in the silent auction and to continue their support of the burgeoning charity.
It was heartening to see such a large group of young professionals support such an important cause.
I believe UinMind will prove to be an important player in the mission to treat mental illness, and to bring mental health issues to the fore to end the stigma.
Well done Ed!
If you or need help: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/gettinghelp/overview.cfm
By Isabelle Walker
With the American Congressional midterms just around the corner (November 4), attention has been drawn to a series of campaign videos that hit the airwaves and TV screens recently. The Republican Party, notoriously unpopular with female voters, has tried to appeal to the apparently hostile demographic.
And, it appears the Grand Old Party has finally tapped into the minds of American females everywhere. Or not.
In what could be a brilliant display of satire but is unfortunately totally genuine, GOP affiliates (namely, the College Republican National Committee and Americans for Shared Prosperity) have released ads akin to dating shows and lonely hearts columns. The ads liken the candidates to potential romantic partners, with the Democratic candidate always represented as overbearing, financially irresponsible and nosy (a la reading emails and text messages without permission). Whereas, the Republican candidate is represented as the values-driven, economically strong and determined suitor with the promise of a bright future. One woman talks about Obama as her boyfriend: “I trusted him”, she says, as if she is revealing the truth about an unfaithful spouse. Another is choosing wedding dresses, with the candidate's name being used in lieu of the designer's name.
The ads are laughable, but unfortunately, represent a much more serious problem in American politics. The GOP is attempting to woo women voters by what can only be described as a patronising attempt to ‘meet them at their level’. There is no attempt to encourage meaningful dialogue about real-life issues - like access to reproductive freedom and equal pay - because, after all, all women want is to find the perfect man.
There is little wonder the Republicans have a consistently bad track record with female voters.
To watch a brilliant take down of the ads by comedian Kristen Schaal of The Daily Show fame, click here.
By Alexandra Mayhew
What’s the number one killer of our young people?
A while back, I guessed motor accidents.
I was shocked and upset to find out what it really was. Not because I was wrong, but because the answer was truly devastating.
For Australians aged 15 to 24 the truth is, the leading cause of death is suicide. And the rates are increasing.
This has been brought to the forefront of my life recently for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, a friend’s brother took his life earlier this year.
Secondly, we started working with the Black Dog Institute. Black Dog Institute is a world-leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression, bipolar disorder and suicide.
That’s why in the wee hours of this morning, John Wells and his trusted companion Millie - not a black dog but a brown Border Collie (image right) – headed off to Taronga Zoo. Prime Minster Tony Abbott had donned his lycra, jumped on his bike and was headed west for the Black Dog Institute’s Zoo2Zoo ride. The aim of the event is to raise funds for a depression treatment facility.
While the Prime Minister won’t make the whole 400km to Dubbo's Western Plains Zoo, his efforts to raise awareness and funds are much appreciated, by me, by people working in mental health, and by the many thousands of people who are touched by suicide every year.
If you need help: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/gettinghelp/overview.cfm
By Isabelle Walker
Yesterday saw one of Australia's biggest retailers make a rookie error - its website crashed following the launch of a much advertised product. Was it poor tech planning or simply naivety about the popularity of online shopping?
Popular for its cheap prices and staple clothing and home wares, Target has come under fire for poor planning in the wake of its launch of Italian design house, Missoni.
The company website crashed yesterday when it was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of online shoppers wanting to be the first to snap up the cheap designer clothing, kitchen, dining and living items.
Easily avoidable, and definitely foreseeable, shoppers are coming down hard on the company saying the crash is not a ‘badge of honour but a failure to forecast’.
Savvy eBay users then took advantage of the site’s crash to on-sell their shop-bought items at a hugely inflated price. It was reported that “A Missoni for Target Multi-Wave A5 Set of Notebooks [was] selling for $45 on eBay versus $30 at Target online; a beach towel for $129.99 versus $40 online at Target; and a hand towel for $69.99 versus $20 on Target’s website.”
Online shoppers were livid at the site crash, insisting that management should have been prepared for the unprecedented volume, especially in light of the fact the same thing had happened during the launch of Missoni for Target in the United States.
By 10.30pm, the site was still down and many had given up. One only imagines the sales Target missed out on during this time and whether there could have been anything they could have done to prevent the crash.
So while online shoppers were kicking themselves that they preferred shopping in the comfort of their own home rather than braving the stores, and Target licks its wounds after a barrage of criticisms, those who took advantage of the crash to on-sell their items are laughing all the way to the bank…
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