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Rozelle, Scott



Invisible China is a concise and remarkably prescient prescription for China’s failure to meet the twin challenges of rising wages and decline in foreign investment.

Without heavy investment in human capital including early childhood education, health, and nutrition, China faces massive unemployment, social upheaval, and possibly rising levels of organized crime as jobs move to lower cost manufacturing countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia.

Authors Rozelle and Hell are sceptical that the elites can move quickly enough to address the crisis brewing in rural China.

And their failure could prove devastating not only for the Chinese economy but the global economy as well.
… (lisätietoja)
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MylesKesten | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 23, 2024 |
This book brings together a massive amount of action research and field action by the REAP (Rural Education Action Program) of the authors at Stanford University. The book drives home a central hypothesis: that having reached middle-income levels, China now needs a much better educated and skilled human resource, to get through the 'middle-income trap' and break into the upper-income levels with new types of industries that require new skills and capabilities. The authors' program has identified some pretty basic factors keeping the massive rural child population underproductive: iron deficiency leading to anemia and stunted mental growth (in India iodine deficiency has been stressed), worm infestation, the houkou (permit) barrier that denies the benefit of urban high schools to the children of migrant labour, and surprisingly, neglect of vision testing or provision of spectacles (glasses) for the children. All this makes for a hard-hitting, fast-paced text, but this is somewhat mollified by the unnecessarily long 'tail' of the concluding sections and the after-words (it looks like the authors were just reluctant to let go of the exercise). The diagnoses, hypotheses, experiments, and recommendations obviously have enormous relevance to other countries as well; coming from India, I wonder how these will apply (the book seems to avoid mentioning India in its many comparative table and discussions, except at the very end of the concluding chapter).… (lisätietoja)
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Dilip-Kumar | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 12, 2023 |
My agenda in picking this book was as a check on Peter Zeihan's arguments that, as the globalized economy breaks down, that the PRC has a particularly bleak future. While Rozelle is considerably more optimistic in terms of Beijing muddling through, he does deal with one of Zeihan's seeming blind spots in some detail; human capital. As Rozelle sees it, if Beijing wants to avoid the "middle-income" trap of a developing country flaming out after experiencing rapid growth, they are going to have to invest a great deal more in rural education and welfare. This is if Beijing wants to have the skilled workforce that can continue the long march towards China being an economy of the first rank.

Rozelle is quite convincing, but, like a lot of current-affairs books, the train might have already left the station. Rozelle was lucky to touch on COVID briefly in his conclusions, but events have been much worse than he might have foreseen, never mind the unraveling of the world economy; accelerated by the impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war. As for his most negative projection, Rozelle notes the surplus population of Chinese men, many of whom are not well-educated enough to thrive in a transition to a changing economy, and sees a future rife with major organized crime and chronic civil disorder.
… (lisätietoja)
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Shrike58 | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 10, 2023 |
An amazing and eye-opening book about the developmental challenges faced by a majority of China’s children, those who live in rural hukou

The author clearly loves China and his good-faith commentary on the struggles these people face makes for interesting reading. It is shocking that 40% of China’s rural youth suffer from invisible ailments like anemia
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btadie | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 12, 2022 |

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