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The People's Republic of China at 60

ByJohn Sexton
China.org.cn staff reporter

Tian'anmen surrounded by beautiful flowers under the clear sky. [Xinhua]
Tian'anmen surrounded by beautiful flowers under the clear sky. [Xinhua]

As China celebrates the 60th anniversary of its communist revolution, the country's international standing is the highest it has been for at least 200 hundred years. China has the world's third-largest, and will soon have the world's second-largest, economy. Its major cities are forests of gleaming steel and glass skyscrapers, and even small towns often have smart housing estates of the sort we normally associate with north American suburban life. China is the biggest automobile market in the world. It is almost impossible to talk to ordinary urban Chinese these days without the subject of buying a car cropping up. 中国庆祝共产党革命胜利60周年时,这个国家的国际声望也达到了200多年来的顶峰。中国已经成为世界第三大经济体,并将很快跃居世界第二。大城市里高楼林立,钢筋玻璃明亮耀眼,小城镇里的漂亮房子则让人想起了北美的乡村生活。中国还是世界第一大汽车市场,现在和城里人聊天,几乎每次都会谈到购车的话题。
This is also a society where people use the most up-to-date technology to stay in constant touch with one another. There are at least 300 million regular Internet users and an astonishing 700 million out of 1.3 billion people have mobile phones. The old “sick man of Asia” with its famines, wars, divisions, grinding poverty and backwardness is becoming a distant memory, and a convenient setting for television soap operas. 在这里,人们使用最先进的科技随时互相联络。在全国13亿人口中,互联网固定用户达3亿人,手机用户更是达到了惊人的7亿人。过去的“东亚病夫”饱受饥荒、战争、分裂、贫困和落后的折磨,但这些苦难现在已成为遥远的回忆,只能作为肥皂剧惯用的时代背景。
China's modernization, economic growth, enormous size and population mean that no major problem facing the world, whether it is global warming, the financial crisis, or issues of international security, can be solved without its cooperation. Beijing's place at the top table in international affairs is assured and its voice is increasingly heard and, more importantly, listened to. 中国的现代化建设、经济发展、庞大的国土面积和人口数量意味着世界上所有重大问题,不论是全球变暖、经济危机还是国际安全,都离不开中国的参与。中国政府理所当然地成为国际事务的最重要参与者。这个国家的声音越来越响亮,更重要的是,它的意见也越来越受到重视。
Naturally, not everybody is comfortable with China's growing influence. Every year a new crop of China books is published with the word “Dragon” in the title. Some warn that, behind soothing talk of “international harmony,” China's ruthless and shadowy government is planning to take over the world. Others predict the imminent collapse and break-up of the country. Some books manage to creatively combine both scenarios. 当然,不是所有人都能安心接受中国力量的不断壮大。每年都有一批标题里带有“龙”字的关于中国的书籍问世。有些书警告大家,在安抚人心的“国际和谐社会”论调背后,“冷血又神秘”的中国政府正在谋划掌控全球,另一些书则预测中国马上就会土崩瓦解,还有一些书干脆更有创意地把两种观点结合在一起。
Leading economists (a title that belongs with “leading clairvoyants” or “leading witch doctors”) have been saying for decades that the Chinese model of development must fail. This is rather like aeronautics experts insisting that bumble bees cannot fly, while forgetting it is their job to find out just exactly how they manage to fly so well. 在过去几十年里,著名经济学家们(这个词和“著名先知”、“著名巫医”差不多)一直强调中国发展模式必将失败。这就像航空学专家坚称大黄蜂飞不起来一样,他们忘记了自己的任务是研究大黄蜂到底是如何飞得那么好的。
China has by trial and error (including not a few grievous errors) arrived at a sensible economic system that mixes Maoist state ownership and planning, with the private sector and the market introduced by Deng Xiaoping. Both the state and private sectors are dynamic and use the most modern technology thanks to embracing globalization. Chinese state-owned firms include some of the world's biggest and most successful banks and multinationals. In many ways the Chinese economy resembles the idea of a mixed economy once defended by European Social Democrats, although they were never able to implement it successfully. 中国经过反复试验(中间犯过一些严重的错误)建立起一套切合实际的经济体制。这种体制融合了毛泽东式的国家所有制和邓小平引入的私营经济和市场机制。随着中国走向全球化,国有经济和私营经济都在运用世界上最先进的科技进行生产,迸发出勃勃生机。有一些国有企业已经是全球最大、最成功的银行和跨国公司了。从很多方面来看,中国的经济体制都很像欧洲社会民主党当初大力倡导但未能成功实施的混合经济体制。

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