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中印共同点不多【推荐】

中印共同点不多【推荐】

ASIA'S EMERGING GIANTS HAVE LITTLE IN COMMON

 
By Guy de Jonquieres
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
 
 
According to travel guides, Chindia is a place in Romania where Vlad the Impaler, a bloodthirsty 15th-century monarch who inspired the fictional Count Dracula, watched his victims put to death. But in the argot of today's financial markets, Chindia is a magical land where China's and India's economies supposedly combine to produce untold riches.

It is an alluring vision that has gained lustre from Hu Jintao's visit to India last week, the first by a Chinese president for 10 years, and by both sides' sonorous pledges to set aside past quarrels and stride together into the future. There is just one problem: the idea that their economic destinies are inseparably intertwined lacks any basis in fact.

Their only obvious similarities are that each occupies much of Asia's land mass; each is populous; each is poor; each is growing fast and each is hungry for natural resources. Beyond that, it is no more useful to bracket China with India than with King Vlad, who, when not ruthlessly suppressing dissent, shared Beijing's concern with improving the roads, reining in renegade provinces and periodically purging corruption.

In most ways, the two countries are polar opposites. China is a communist autocracy that has instituted sweeping economic reforms, opened its economy to the world and mobilised vast resources for development. India is an unwieldy democracy whose last big economic reforms were forced on it by financial crisis in 1991, since when political gridlock has frustrated liberalisation. China has thrived because of government policies; India has prospered in spite of them.

China's rise has broadly followed a well trodden east Asian path, being investment and export-driven and fuelled by abundant domestic savings. India, with a more closed economy and far lower savings rate, depends heavily on domestic consumption to sustain growth. China struggles to control excessive fixed asset investment, while India is constrained by scarce capital and woefully inadequate infrastructure spending.

Low-cost production is the engine of China's real economy. Indian manufacturing still generates a small share of national output – as do its much-vaunted software and services industries. India has a reasonably sound banking system and a long-established stock exchange. China's shaky banks have yet to learn how to price risk and lend prudently, and its equity market is primitive.

Furthermore, the two economies interact only at the margins. While bilateral trade has grown fast, India accounts for only 1.3 per cent of China's exports. Almost 8 per cent of India's exports go to China. But, to the former's chagrin, most are low-value commodities, while trade in the opposite direction is dominated by manufactured goods. Two-way investment remains a trickle and each side complains of the difficulty of operating in the other's market. By most measures, China today is more deeply integrated economically with the US than with India.

Those disconnections make it fanciful to suppose that the nascent dialogue between China and India will lead to rapid breakthroughs in economic co-operation. More likely, their governments' primary aim is damage limitation. Both want to prevent old rivalries, quarrels and mistrust interfering with their race to development. But they will continue to take distinctive routes to that end.

The question then becomes which route will prove more effective. Near-term, the main risk in China is that failure to deal with the root causes of wasteful over-investment will turn boom into bust. In India, it is that failure to modernise the country's creaking infrastructure will choke off growth.

On the downside, a global economic downturn would hurt both. India, less dependent on exports, might appear better placed to weather the storm. But its reliance on short-term capital inflows from abroad to finance growth could make it vulnerable if global investors deserted emerging markets.

Tight exchange controls insulate China from international financial turbulence. Weaker exports would hit many of its low-margin producers. But the country can call on substantial financial resources to mitigate the impact of external shocks.

Further ahead, the biggest uncertainties in both countries are political. Unless India's politicians bite the bullet on reform, open up to foreign direct investment and start tackling structural obstacles to growth, the economy will perform below potential and its momentum may fade.

The most pressing longer-term question facing China is whether its authoritarian regime can manage the challenges created by the rapid growth on which its tenuous legitimacy depends; or whether dealing with growing inequality, corruption, popular unrest and, possibly, stronger demands for political enfranchisement will stretch the system to breaking point.

Indian democracy, for all its flaws, has long been renowned for its resilience. But it grew up in an era of rigid social structures, in which everyone was resigned to his or her place in the hierarchy. Faster growth is challenging the old order. While giving hope to many, it is also sharpening the disparities between an affluent urban elite and vast numbers of rural poor eager for a better life.

Meeting those aspirations and maintaining social stability poses a huge test for the country's political system. In that respect, at least, China and India have something in common.

最后编辑2006-12-06 09:15:47.670000000
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中印共同点不多

 
作者:英国《金融时报》居伊•德•容凯尔(Guy de Jonquieres)
2006年12月5日 星期二
 
 
在旅游指南中,Chindia是罗马尼亚一处地名,15世纪时曾出过一位嗜血暴君“穿刺王弗拉德”(Vlad the Impaler),他喜欢看着那些受害者被处死,后来成为小说《吸血鬼德古拉伯爵》(Count Dracula)的创作灵感来源。不过,在当今的金融市场行话中,Chindia(China + India)代表着一块神奇的土地,人们想象中国和印度将在这里共同创造数不清的财富。

中国国家`主`席`胡`锦`涛最近对印度进行的国事访问,使这一迷人的愿景更加耀眼。胡`锦`涛此次出访,是中国国家元首10年来首次访问印度,也是中印双方首次公开承诺,将抛开过去的争端,携手迈向美好未来。只不过,这里有一个问题:有关中印两国经济命运密不可分的说法,没有任何事实根据。

中印两国最明显的相似之处包括:这两个亚洲国家均幅员辽阔;人口都很众多;均较为贫穷;经济增长均颇为迅速,而且都对自然资源需求若渴。除此之外,将中国和印度划为同类,还不如将中国与弗拉德王放在一起——在弗拉德王没有残忍镇压异己的日子里,他与中国关注着同样的问题:发展道路交通,控制叛离省份,定期清除腐败。

在多数方面,中印两国都截然相反。中国是一个共`产`党威权政府的国家,展开全面的经济改革,对外开放经济,并动用大量资源投入发展。而印度则是一个管理不善的民主国家,由于1991年爆发金融危机才被迫进行上一次大规模经济改革,自那之后,政治僵局阻挠了自由化进程。中国繁荣,是得益于政府的政策;印度繁荣,则是克服了政府政策的阻碍。

中国的发展道路,大致上遵循的是东亚经济体普遍采用的模式:以投资和出口来拉动增长,借助充裕的国内储蓄来刺激经济。印度的经济更为封闭,储蓄率也远远低于中国,因此严重依赖国内消费来维持经济增长。中国难以控制过度的固定资产投资,而印度则受到资本短缺和基础设施支出严重不足的限制。

低成本生产是中国实际经济增长的动力。而印度制造业的产值仍然只占国民产出的一小部分——其大力炫耀的软件和服务业亦是如此。印度拥有一个相当健康的银行业体系,以及一个建立已久的股票交易所。但中国尚不稳健的银行体系目前还未学会风险定价和谨慎放贷,其股票市场也处在发展初期。

此外,这两个经济体的交流非常有限。尽管中印双边贸易增长迅速,但中国对印度的出口仅占其出口总量的1.3%。而印度虽然有近8%的出口流向了中国,但令印度懊恼的是,它向中国出口的产品多是低价值大宗商品,而进口产品则以制成品居多。中印的双边投资仍然少得可怜,并且都在抱怨在对方市场开展业务有多么困难。以多数标准衡量,中国与美国目前的经济一体化程度,要比中印之间深入很多。

人们以为,中印之间新的对话将令两国在经济合作方面迅速取得突破,但这些隔阂使这种设想沦为空想。更有可能的是,两国政府的主要目的只是限制损害。两国均不希望让长期的竞争状态、争端和不信任妨碍各自的经济发展。不过,两国将继续采取不同路线,来达到发展目的。

既然是这样,那问题就演化为:哪条路线将更有效。就近期而言,中国面临的主要风险是,如果不能从根本上解决浪费的过度投资问题,目前的繁荣局面将转变为经济萧条。而印度所面临的风险是,如果该国落后的基础设施不能得以改善,其经济增长将陷入停滞。

从负面因素来看,全球经济低迷对两国都会造成损害。出口依赖性较低的印度,似乎能够更好地适应动荡。但印度一直依赖国外的短期资本流入,提供经济增长所需的资金,如果外国投资者抛弃新兴市场,那么,这种依赖性就会使该国变得很脆弱。

严格的外汇管制措施,使中国没有受到国际金融市场动荡的影响。但出口的走弱,可能会对该国低利润的生产商造成冲击。不过,中国能够动用其雄厚的财政资源,来减轻外部冲击的影响。

未来,中印两国的最大不确定性都在政治方面。除非印度的政治家能勇敢推进改革,对外国直接投资开放市场,并着手处理妨碍经济增长的结构问题,否则,其经济将无法发挥潜力,其增长动力也可能减弱。

在中国,共**政权脆弱的合法性建立在经济的迅速增长之上,而它面临的最为紧迫的长期性问题就是,其专制政体能否应付这种增长所带来的挑战;或者说,中国政府对日益严重的贫富差距、贪污腐败、社会动荡乃至人们愈加强烈的政治解放需求的处理,是否会将中国的政治体系推向崩溃的边缘。

印度的民主体制(尽管存在种种缺陷),长期以来一直以其韧性而闻名。但这个体制成长于僵硬的社会结构时代,在这个结构中,人人都从属于自己的社会地位。而经济的加速增长正对旧的秩序提出挑战。尽管经济增长给许多人带来希望,但它也加剧了富裕的城市精英与渴望提高生活水平的广大农村贫困人口之间的差距。

满足这些渴望,并维持社会稳定,对印度的政治体系来说是一个重大考验。从这一方面来看,中国和印度至少还有一点共同之处。
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