In China, an economic modernisation programme of unprecedented magnitude is fully underway. But while the?
In China, an economic modernisation programme of unprecedented magnitude is fully underway. But while the West has seen the opening up of China as an almost limitless market for its goods, the Chinese leadership is having to cope with a new economic policy, the success of which could be crucial to the survival of the present leadership.
SYNOPSIS: This is Whampoa Dock is Kwangchow and what has been a quiet port for the last thirty isolationist years is fast becoming a busy importation centre. Ships docking here carry goods from overseas. They could bring in ten times that amount but the Chinese are being cautions about their meagre foreign currency reserves. Although offered credit again and again by western firms anxious to exploit the new market they remain reticent until long-term plans for the repayment of the loan are worked out.
These imports from Kuwait and the United States, typify the diversity of China's imports. They collectively contribute to the new "programme of Four Modernisation", as the Chinese call their improvement plan. The Four Modernisations are military, agricultural, industrial and modernisation in science and technology. These cargoes, consisting of anything from chemicals to machine parts, are vital to the success of the programme.
The imports being carried on this forklift truck are the visible evidence of the parting of the "bamboo curtain". But other evidence exists. Next month (April 1979) will see regular flights start between the British crown colony of Hong Kong and the cities of Hangchow (Hangzhou) and Nanking (Nanjing). The services are aimed at boosting tourism and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (C.A.A.C.) has already opened air links with Hong Kong after a thirty year break.
The opportunities for improvements in China's economy are mind-boggling In a country that depends on steam trains, and where village mines provide a third of the coal, the "great leap forward" looks well underway.