The contradictory phenomenon by which China is able to maintain a high economic growth rate and yet also step up state control over the media and basic human rights is likely to continue for the next 10 years, as Beijing's leadership attempts to build China into the world's No. 2 economic power, a China expert from Hong Kong said yesterday.
Willy Lam, professor of China and global studies at Japan's Akita International University and a veteran journalist, yesterday addressed the European Chamber of Commerce in Taipei on the policies that the Chinese leadership uses in the management of its economic development.
Lam, who previously worked at the South China Morning Post and CNN's Hong Kong headquarters, said that the regime of Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) was trying to transform China into the world's No. 2 power after the US before 2020 by seizing all the economic opportunities available.
Lam said the contradictory phenomenon of China's economic liberalization and its tightening of political control on the Internet and religious freedoms will continue for the foreseeable future.
"There is no light at the end of the tunnel," he said.
Lam said one such contradiction includes an exodus of money belonging to children of high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cadres to Western countries.
"In addition to CCP cadres being the beneficiaries, the US is also a major beneficiary as these contributions from China's high-born children have helped create a real estate boom in California and New York City," Lam said.
He said the reason the offspring of cadres purchase housing in the West is because "None of these high-born kids have faith in the party [CCP] or believe in the `free market with Chinese characteristics' way of development."
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