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Author: Sumita Dawra
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789385436345
Some years ago the Chinese painted a canvas for themselves, and made all its colors come true. National income multiplied rapidly over thirty years, and millions of lives in the country improved, as China shot dizzyingly to the second slot in world economy.
As growth now slows in China, the world waits for the giant to stumble. The never-say-die Chinese are however busy transforming their economy yet again - in surprising and significant ways - poised to catapult themselves to the next stage of development. The change is slow, seemingly imperceptible, but relentless, unmistakable and innovative.
China: Behind the Miracle reveals the many dimensions of the country's growth phenomenon. The book focuses on telling a simple tale of the Chinese economy, sharing extraordinary models of growth and economic change, while helping the reader develop an insight into critical issues.
One morning in June 2014, as I was on my way to Tsinghua University in Beijing to attend a conference on world peace, I asked the two jotirnalists sitting with me in the car: 'Looking back over the last few years of your stay in China, what is the one media story you would pick that would most appropriately define contemporary China?' I would pick the story on China's real estate, said the younger of the two, 'because no other country's economy is entwined as much with real estate as it is here in China: 'How can you say that?' I countered. `After all, it was the housing crisis in the US that led to a national economic crisis, not to mention the global financial meltdown in 2008: 'Yes, but what I see here is a bigger involvement with the real estate market. People who can afford have invested heavily into the sector, purchasing multiple houses.
What is the real market value of these properties is unknown, and the activity is like what happens in a casino; he explained his viewpoint. I did some quick thinking and recollected having read consistent reports over the past three years on how the property market was a critical driving force for the Chinese economy. Infrastructure investments and real estate had contributed significantly to China's expansion in the last decade. Recent analysis of the slowdown in China held declining real estate activity responsible for sluggish fixed-asset investments, leading to lower growth rates in the country. Property sector related bank credit in China was estimated at 20 per cent of the total banking portfolio', while industries like steel, cement, and electrical appliances were also closely correlated with health of the real estate activity in the country. I had to acknowledge that in reply to my query, my journalist friend had picked up an all-important economic issue, indeed.
Now turning to the other journalist, I asked him for his pick of the most defining Chinese economic moment in his near five years of stay. 'I would say the story of China becoming the second largest economy in the world is the one that really struck me. When China declared its GDP data in 2011, which showed they had overtaken Japan, it took everyone by surprise and showed that China had truly arrived: I remember this story well, as it had burst into the media in February 2011, the very month I had arrived in China on my posting. It had also then been prognosticated that in another ten years, China's economy would be almost as big as that of the US.
Sitting in the back seat of the car, I smiled to myself, and reflected on how my two journalist friends had done a fine job of selecting their one most-defining story on China. None of them seemed to ask me for my most defining story, and I was thankful for that, for there would be so many of them popping in my mind based on my travels, conversations and readings. Some of these stories pertained to how the Chinese macroeconomic data at times seemed bewildering and mysterious, especially when it was growth related. It was no surprise then to read articles like, 'China GDP Release Guide: What to Watch for Beyond the Headlines:
Even after a stay of over three years in China, I was still constantly in the process of verifying the accuracy of my various interpretations of the Chinese growth-data jigsaw. The story, oft quoted in media reports, was how in 2007, much before he was the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang allegedly remarked on his preference for data on real parameters like electricity consumption, volume of rail freight and loan disbursements, rather than man-made statistics to get a realistic idea of economic growth.
`Sumita Dawra is a masterful interpreter of China's miracle...she shows us China as the Chinese see it themselves'
== Andrew Browne, China Columnist, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), China
'This is a fascinating account of China's miracle seen through the eyes of an Indian civil servant. I highly recommend this thoughtful and enjoyable book'
== David Dollar, Brookings Institution, Washington DC, USA; former Country Director, World Bank for China & Mongolia
'Ms Dawra's book provides an insightful glimpse into the diverse growth models adopted by China across different areas. A valuable addition to the existing academic literature on China'
== Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CH) & China-India Friendship Awardee
'In China: Behind the Miracle, Sumita Dawra provides essential insight into one of the most important economic stories of our time, the rise of China'
== Gady Epstein, Media Editor, The Economist, New York, USA; former Bureau chief of The Economist, Beijing, China
`Dawra's personal yet authoritative account offers a firsthand view of the mystery of China's development'
== Michelle Garnaut, CEO M Restaurant Group; Founder Shanghai International and Capital Literary Festival (Beijing), China
‘Sumita’s book is a very interesting read on China’s amazing growth story and what a slowing Chinese economy means to both the country and to the rest of the world’
== Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India
"This is an uncorrected proof copy and is not for sale. All specifications provided are provisional. It should not be quoted without comparison to the finally revised text. This does not reflect the quality, page size or thickness of the finished text"
China: Behind the Miracle
1. Beijing Leads China's Development Model
2. Shanghai: Understanding the Infrastructure Story and the World of Finance
3. Guangzhou: How the Pearl River Delta Powered China's Rise and is Vital for Its Economic Transformation 4. A Famous Lake Show in Hi-tech Hangzhou and Beggar's Chicken
5. Chengdu: Innovative Financial Leveraging and Understanding China's Health System
6. Dalian and Harbin: A Report on China's Industrial Sector
7. Agriculture: Tussle for Land and on Growing Crops Without Soil!
8. The Sweep of China's Regional Development Strategies: Chongqing and Xian
9. An Ambitious Quest for Development: Big Ticket Infrastructure and Urbanization
10. Why are Some Countries Wealthy, while Others are Condemned to Stay Poor?