China Environmental News Digest

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

World Bank: China's Economic Boom Is An Oppertunity to The World

Highlights of the interview with David Dollar, the World Bank Country Director for China and Mongolia, are as follows.

Question 1: With China’s size as both a producer and consumer and considering China’s high speed of growth, some view China as an opportunity; some view it as a threat. In your opinion, is China’s economic boom a threat or a contribution to its neighbors and the world at large? Mr. David Dollar: " I understand why some interest groups think of China as a threat, because there are groups producing clothing or television sets in other countries, and China is very efficient that creates a lot of competition. So other countries do have to make some judgments, and that may create some political problems. But I think the world would be better if we can create an open trading system." Question 2: How far should the world go in controlling or to accommodating China? Is there enough room in the world economy for another superpower? Mr.David Dollar: "I think a common mistake is the thing that somehow the world economy has fixed sizes if China grows, someone else has to shrink, but that’s not true."

Question 3: More about China's economic strength. It's true that China has enjoyed high-speed growth for quite some time and it’s become an economic power. But China's development is uneven. Millions are still under the poverty line. From your experiences working in China, does this unevenness weaken China?

Mr. David Dollar:" In the last ten years, the income of urban population has been rising a lot faster than the income of the rural population, so there is a growing imbalance in China. The leaders in China talk about the five balances, and one of the important ones is between the rural population and the rural population. So I think there are measures China could take to try to make its further development more balanced.” Question 4: What if China's growth were to falter? Will this have a negative consequence for the region and the world? Mr. David Dollar: "China is creating a lot of demands for other countries’ products, and China is a very efficient producer of many things. So whenever a big economy like United States, or China, slows down it growth, that is a problem for the rest of the world, it’s bound to happen someday." Question 5: As China grows, it is also facing some major challenges with its population topping 1.3 billion. What do you suggest that China can do to deal with challenges in its development including a shortage of resources, especially energy, and environmental pollution?

Mr. David Dollar: " The issues of energy efficiency, using water treating it as a scarce resource, and using it properly, cleaning up air pollution, I think these are some of the most important challenges facing China in the next period. They have a big effect of welfare of people in China." Question 6: Your organization has been actively involved in stopping poverty in China, what has been the focus of your work? How are your projects helping China? What are you planning to do next? Mr. David Dollar: " A lot of work now really focuses on different types of environmental issues, both in the rural areas and in the urban areas. But we are also do a lot of work on poverty alleviation. The primary objective of World Bank is to help developed countries to reduce poverty."

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