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   China's Silent Army
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
08 Mar 2013
ton Consensus' are seemingly over, as the world drifts towards what is now being called the 'Beijing Consensus'. China's trade with the world had touched an all time high of US $2.97 trillion in 2010; between 2005 and 2012 Chinese companies invested US$ 460 billion across the globe; and China is biggest global lender (ahead of the World Bank) with a credit portfolio of US$110 billion. All of this occurred when the western world was reeling under severe economic recession.

So overwhelmed it is with a likely world leadership status that Beijing didn't think twice before refusing White House offer of creating a G-2, a Washington-Beijing axis to take the lead in world affairs. To unveil this somewhat mysterious spread of Chinese influence across the world, two-China based journalists flew across 235,000 kilometers; travelled 15,000 kilometers on dangerous roads; and crossed eleven land borders to bring the chilling and largely unknown reality of globalization. From Myanmar to Sudan and from Kazakhstan to Venezuela, around 35 million citizens of Chinese ethnicity have fanned across the world to not only make a future for them but keep the Chinese economy in perpetual motion.

For it to maintain social stability, China needs to achieve at least 8 per cent annual growth, and therefore a constant supply of raw materials is needed to keep the 'factory of the world' and its 'rapid urbanization' from stagnating. With the help of its silent army of millions spread across the globe, the authors reveal, the Chinese development juggernaut is ruthlessly violating political, economic and environment norms in the countries where it is making huge investments for appropriating raw materials of all kind. With a troubled track record in human rights violation, the emerging world order under China sends shivers down the spine. Behind the glitzy world of economic growth is the Chinese model of growth masked by secrecy and censorship.

Not only is it a work of immense courage, China's Silent Army is an amazing book that brings out the disturbing side of China’s growing global influence. A must read book!

China's Silent Army
by Juan Pablo Cardenal & Heriberto Araujo
Allen Lane, UK
349 pages, £25.

 Other books reviewed by Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
Features > Book Shelf
Spoiling Tibet
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

A Journey in the Future of Water
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Yamuna Manifesto
Posting Date: 28 Feb 2014

Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

Yamuna Manifesto

A Journey in the Future of Water

Spoiling Tibet

On Western Terrorism
Devinder Sharma
Carmen Miranda
Pandurang Hegde
Sudhirendar Sharma
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