Focus Point - China's Long MarchCommentary by Pete du Pont
August 01, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. There was a cautionary story recently in the New York Times regarding China's "march" toward free enterprise. The news is that it's going to be a long march.
We've read for a decade China's bubbling free market is ready to take over the country. But in fact, the state still dominates the economy. Private companies -- not counting foreign-owned -- account for less that 20 percent of output. Even the hundreds of millions of farmers - supposedly independent operators -- really work state-owned land and have to sell grain to state-owned companies.
And this situation isn't accidental. Access to capital is severely restricted for entrepreneurs. If they don't get the money, they can't flourish and provide new jobs. As there was in the old Soviet Union, there's a thriving underground business, but without official sanction, China's private economy will be mostly the province of foreign owned companies.
And as long as that's true, China will be a fossil. A big, hardline Marxist fossil that will never catch up with the world.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, gnats and sledgehammers.