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Presumed Leader: China GDP Is Made Up

From a disbelieving Reuters:

China’s GDP is "man-made," unreliable: top leader

Mon Dec 6, 2010

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s GDP figures are "man-made" and therefore unreliable, the man who is expected to be the country’s next head of government said in 2007, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

Li Keqiang, head of the Communist Party in northeastern Liaoning province at the time, was unusually candid in his assessment of local economic data at a dinner with then-U.S. Ambassador to China Clark Randt, according to a confidential memo sent after the meeting and published on the WikiLeaks website.

The U.S. cable reported that Li, who is now a vice premier, focused on just three data points to evaluate Liaoning’s economy: electricity consumption, rail cargo volume and bank lending.

"By looking at these three figures, Li said he can measure with relative accuracy the speed of economic growth. All other figures, especially GDP statistics, are ‘for reference only,’ he said smiling," the cable added.

This should not be a surprise to anyone who has ever studied closed regimes, be they communist or fascist or simple strong man dictatorships.

The statistics from such countries are used, just like everything else, to advance the interests of those in power. Much like what is happening in our own country, with the manipulation of GDP reports, unemployment numbers and inflation figures.

Li is widely expected to succeed Wen Jiabao as premier in early 2013, a position that will put him in charge of policy making in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Maybe China is the world’s second biggest economy. Maybe it isn’t.

A news official in the Chinese foreign ministry declined to comment on the specific cable and referred to comments last week in which a ministry spokesman called on the United States to resolve issues related to the leaks.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy to China was not immediately available.

Chinese economic numbers, especially at the provincial level and lower, have long been viewed with suspicion by analysts…

Li has also gone on the record before to ask for more from the government’s statisticians.

During a 2009 visit to the National Bureau of Statistics, Li asked whether China calculated GDP on a monthly basis.

Li pressed on when he was told that data was gathered quarterly and that monthly calculations were difficult.

"Do Western nations make monthly calculations?" he asked, according the NBS website.

The U.S. embassy memo, sent on March 15, 2007, described Li as engaging and well informed. It said that he was trying to create a "harmonious society" by providing new housing to the poor and creating jobs for every household.

In truth, there are really two Chinas. The China of the people who are allowed to live in the cities, who are gradually growing more prosperous, thanks to working in what often amounts to slave labor camps.

But the vast majority of the Chinese still live in the countryside and in unimaginable poverty. They are kept out of the cities by force, and so have no hope for themselves or their children. China has no ‘open borders’ lobby.

Li noted public dissatisfaction with education, health care and housing but said that official corruption was the biggest source of anger, the cable said.

We can’t wait for him to ‘drain the swamp.’

He was reported as saying that the most effective way to combat corruption was to create transparent rules and to ensure adequate supervision, while also educating officials.

"Part of this education involves prison tours that force bureaucrats to visit incarcerated officials convicted of graft in order to witness first-hand the consequences of malfeasance," the cable said.

This is not a bad idea. We should try this in our country.

But of course the only officials who are incarcerated are Republicans. So the lesson would be lost on the Democrats.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 6th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Presumed Leader: China GDP Is Made Up”

  1. Chinnubie says:

    Democrats have no fear of prison, jail, or any other kind of incarceration. They are always sorry enough to get out of trouble. That’s the problem with Republicans they are never sorry enough.

  2. proreason says:

    Oh how our little boy king envies these Chinese Super Leaders.

    Over there there are no ankle biters to question the Uber-wise diktats of the Supreme Leader. Here our playful fuhrer must still contend for a few more months with such annoyances.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Secrecy Begets Tyranny

  4. NoNeoCommies says:

    I’m sure a lot of our stats aren’t to be trusted either.
    GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)

  5. mr_bill says:

    Our own GDP numbers (as well as our unemployment) numbers are no less spurious than those of China. The only difference is that we “revise” our numbers after they have served their purpose.

    If we could just embrace the Chinese method of keeping the fraudulent numbers instead of revising them when the new fraudulent numbers are released, we could save a lot of money and we wouldn’t have to get the media involved in so many Orwellian history revisions. Of course, the current inefficient method “saves and creates” jobs, which are conveniently “reported” in these statistics every Thursday.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    Hang on a second, fellow scrummage …. EVERYTHING is Psyops. I suggest that quite possibly everything that appears in the media is manipulated to the point that it can rightfully be seen as psychological operations. To whit …

    … locally Kroger is shuttering a high volume store on the pretext of it’s poor performance. Even as they open a giant super store in another part of the town. Terrible economy, right? tens of millions on a new store in a terrible economy.

    At the closing store, instead of clearing the shelves of merchandise and shipping it to other stores Kroger has posted deep discounts on product and letting the public clean house.

    A checker informed me that it was amazing to see people he knew as Regulars and poor, on welfare and disabled going through the lines with shopping carts that rang up $300, $500 even $1000 on the registers. From shoppers who usually pull lint and moths out of their pockets, counting pennies. SUDDENLY they got cash.

    Between this and the Chinese GDP bovine scatology … I conclude that the media have been instructed to hammer it home to us how bad the economy is in hopes that we’ll react appropriately and MAKE it a bad economy … just as a psyops would design a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • proreason says:

      Mrs Reason noticed that immediately after the 2008 election, the malls and restaurants were filled with people who you would ordinarilly see skulking around Walmart. I didn’t particularly see that since my blood pressure deals better with hermitage, but I don’t doubt it.

      And your remark that everything is psyops rings true with me. We won’t ever know what the Assange thing is about. The only thing we will really know is that the “consensus” viewpoint won’t be the truth.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Pro – I understand completely your view of Hermitage. That said, my FBI pal is always saying to me when I quote something newsy to him …. “Yeah? Who told you?”

      That is the truth – Who told you? That right there stops all this BS in its tracks.

  7. Johnexo says:

    The issue is that the nation-wide boom in Chinese mining sector is hugely redirected to these building projects, many of which do not have a soul living in them.

    The good news for the government is that only 40% of housing is debt-financed. So people have the money to pay for them, but ultimately these private buyers will find themselves with large, empty developments. The bubble will pop, but they won’t experience a mortgage crisis on the level of the US…in China, even debt-financed acquisitions require 30% down payment.

    Its surprising to see so many naive people thinking its sustainable, even for 5 years.
    China GDP

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