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china rising

Something I read last week that has stayed with me: an article in the Washington Post, Booming China Devouring Raw Materials. Quote:

The China Syndrome, as it known, explains why as many as one-fifth of the bulk freighters in the world are effectively unavailable on any given day and why the cost of moving bulk freight has more than doubled in just over a year. The same ships that sit stranded outside Newcastle, or at iron ore ports in Brazil, India and western Australia, must line up again for as long as three weeks to unload at congested Chinese ports such as Qingdao and Ningbo.

The construction frenzy that is crowning China's cities with skyscrapers and laying the works for modern industry has transformed it from a minor consumer of raw materials into a country that -- according to its official statistics -- absorbed roughly half the world's cement production last year, one-third of its steel, one-fifth of its aluminum and nearly one-fourth of its copper. Last year China eclipsed Japan to become the world's second-largest importer of oil after the United States.

Wow. A couple of weeks ago The Economist had an article on this from another point of view: The greal fall of China, which started with "If China's soaring economy has a hard landing, the rest of the world will feel the bump". One way or another, we're in for an interesting few years...

Oh, and related (and a little alarming): China warns over Taiwan moves.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on May 25 2004 at 6:44 PM

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