Friday, February 26, 2010


Recent humiliating experience of the Toyota Motors, world's largest auto maker is to e viewed against the craze for things made in Japan amongst consumers world over. There was a time not long ago that world believed that Japan can do no wrong and this conviction was reinforced when Toyota over took General Motors of the US as the largest auto maker in the planet. Probably there will be thousands of treatise discussing the reasons for such a collapse in the image of Japan so suddenly, emerging in the coming days. Is there a lesson to be learned from this episode? Fingers are now being pointed to China whose rise in the economic ladder has been quick and dramatic and one will have to watch the developments vis-à-vis China to discern any sign of decline.

"But China's rapid ascendancy carries with it a far greater risk of overstretch and structural weakness than Toyota's. China's problems are more pervasive and threatening than a sticky pedal, lumpy floor mats, or even electronic signaling issues. Bribery and institutionalized corruption have resulted in massive amounts of unsafe construction and inferior products. There is little or no operative regulatory structure. China barely has a functioning judiciary. Growth is raping its environment. The vast urban migration -- the largest in history -- has created profound tears in the country's fabric. And social unrest is being managed by showering capitalist bennies within an autocratic framework that still views the Internet as a threat".

The very fact that some critics do feel that China can emulate Japan in many ways and its ambitious leap to reach the top may also end up like the present state of that troubled nation. The American obsession with China may also be tempered if China does emulate Japan in its slide down to ignominy. World wants China to succeed and wishes to see its people not only prosperous but also freed from restrictive human rights regime that exists to day.


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