statistics in China: response to Latino2


送交者: gordon 于 2005-5-30, 08:45:59:

It's desirable to have accurate statistics in any serious and constructive discussion or argument. Here I explain why I have doubts on statistics from sources in China.

For many years, I have been interested in statistics in China. I knew from Chinese media(so much) that in 2 decades(starting from 1979), China enjoyed the highest ecomonic development rate (of course, in terms of GDP growth) in the whole world, and I believed in them and felt quite proud of the achievment. But later another report informed me that in 1980 China's GDP was 1/4 of that of Japan, and in 1990 the ratios was 1/5. Still later I had to convince myself the discrepency must be accounted for by the change of the exchange of rate.

Still later, another question puzzled me for quite some time. In 2 decades of rapid economic development, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, not to say the US and Europe, not only transformed their economies, but also fundamentally improved people's standard of living as a whole. What's incredibly ironic is that in China, while we had the highest GDP growth, the majority of the people dont feel they are securely better off, and social conflicts are mounting. So it's high time the Party and the government proposed the "scientific delvelopment perspective", and GDP worship is being countered.

Another discrepancy. Shanghai, the city I live and work in, has supassed the $4,000 per capita line, and is approaching the $5,000 per captita middle-developed threshold, but the average salary-earner's income was only 20,876 RMB yuan(not to mention the 800yuan/month offer for the new graduates now). But reading statistics from developed countries, per capita GDP is basically the same as average income of a salary-earner(am i wrong? comments are welcome).

And the above-menioted discrepancy is found for Shanghai, with a most developed econony in China. Now let's turn to rural areas. With no stable income, peasants' harvested grain, live-stokc, trees are all counted for their aveage annual income per capita, which reaches at least a couple of thousands. But still most peasants lack cach to buy the necessities(including paying their children's education). Can anyone believe in the anual income per capita statistics? or anyone here explains us how the statistics are obtained, anyway.

With even the National Statistics Bereau continously warning against the local statistics inflation, with people already aquainted with "statisitcs lead to upward mobility for officials", Brother Latino, do you really want to base your discussion or conclusions on these statistics?

But I do think that China's GDP rank in the world under-reflects its production and consumption scale, but that's mainly a matter of exchange of rate. When I heard Tony Blair claimed UK is the No. 4 ecomny in the world, I did feel RMB should be appreciated :)



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