Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A672-W414

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A672-W414


Release Date: Dec. 10, 2011



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part XLV): Changing the Politics is the Premise of Reforming the Economy -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:《中国的出路》之四十五:改变政治是改革经济的前提 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Way Out for China (Part XLV): Changing the Politics is the Premise of Reforming the Economy

-- Wei Jingsheng



The recent railway disasters in China proved the failure of the patchwork plagiarism strategy of technology development that the Chinese Communist regime has used for the past several decades.  That strategy was not a shortcut, but a total failure.  It seemed to have sort of worked for the Communist regime to rely on its Chinese scholars returning from overseas with stolen scientific and technological achievements and do patchwork to produce some so-so minor products inside China.  However, if we want to have systematic progress in science, if we want to improve China's overall technological level, we must rely on a sophisticated social and cultural background.  Such has been proven by the history of the past two hundred years.


Science and technology in China nowadays are profit-oriented only for money.  This attitude has created great obstacles for the development of science and technology.  The authoritarian social system of the Communist Party maintains a devastating hammer on the environment of free thought that is needed for culture and science.  Therefore, if the Communist Party's authoritarian regime does not change, they can only choose a so-called development strategy in a small workshop-style by way of learning secretly and even stealing.  This stealing ends up with an economic system that is only advancing by importing other people's technology, instead of one that is sustainable and independent.


To put it in another way: in comparison to the normal pattern of sustainable development, China's economic system is only partial with both ends missing.  The foreign media calls it the world's factory.  This label is quite accurate, because the Chinese economic system lacks science and technology at its top, and lacks a sufficient market below.  These two ends are in the hands of others, so China has just processing plants.  Relying on Chinese people's hard work to make some money is not development.  Once the global economy is in trouble, this giant processing plant which has neither the technology nor the market will certainly become the one least to be able to take initiatives.


From another perspective, the current global recession has given China a chance to adjust its structure.  By learning from the Western countries after World War II, China can start with expanding its domestic market by improving the income of the working-class, and opening import markets in exchange for the export market.  By doing so, China can gradually achieve market stability, rather than stealing someone else's market for China's own economic development.  After all, stealing as a way to maintain survival is by no means a permanent solution.


While China should shift its marketing strategy domestically, it must also develop a path for its own independent research and development.  It should not only learn from the experience of the United States and Europe, but also get rid of the bad habit of relying on cheap labor as it has in the past three decades.  It should enable enterprises to learn how to rely on technological progress in a difficult environment, to honestly develop business, rather than keep its fantasy of relying on opportunism forever.


China has far away examples such as the United States and Europe, and nearby examples such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.  In the early stage of economic development, they also had to rely on cheap labor and resources to accumulate capital.  However, meanwhile, they also developed their own technology systems, and quickly moved away from relying entirely on imported technology.  At the same time, they also increased the income of their people along with the economic development, and developed their own domestic markets.  Then, their economic development began taking the right track.  It began to become sustainable.  It became able to initiate economic development rather than rely entirely on someone else's technology and markets.


Will the current China start from this wonderful blueprint now?  I'm afraid not.  The autocratic politics of the bureaucratic capitalists does not accept this blueprint.  Free markets and free thought and culture are the best conditions for the development of science and technology.  However, if this autocracy allows people to have so much freedom, how could it maintain the politics of tyranny?  If it allows the improvement of people's income, where could it exploit excess profits?  Without the one-party dictatorship, how could it maintain the corrupt spending of trillions per year?  All these aspects are related to the interests of an entire ruling class.  This is the root reason that the one-party dictatorship is bound to stubbornly resist to the end.


Let me illustrate in an example.  There is an issue that people have been discussing for decades now: why are the Chinese people in the West so much more talented that the Chinese in China?  There are even talented Chinese who already made achievements in the West, yet produced nothing after they returned to China.  The fact is not because the Chinese people are no good, but because the social environment is no good.  The main reason for this poor social environment is the authoritarian politics in China which stifles freedom of thought.  Under the authoritarian system introduced by the Chinese Communist Party, the performance of the Chinese people is even less than that of their ancestors.  So it is not because of genetic inferiority, but because the authoritarian social system made the Chinese people less socially motivated.  No matter how many foreign teachers and foreign materials are introduced, nothing is as powerful as the system.


Let me illustrate with another example.  These years, many Chinese enterprises have accumulated abundant capital by relying on cheap labor.  Some even have more than what similar enterprises in the United States, Japan, Taiwan and other countries had during their take-off stage of accumulating capital.  However, we did not see these Chinese companies put more capital into developing their own scientific research, but instead in an unprecedented way used their capital for the consumption of luxury and corruption, even praising it in the name of "corruption drives up economic development."  The rest of capital spared by this corruption and consumption was transferred abroad by every possible means, due to the lack of drive to improve technical content inside of China.


Why so?  If we look at the living environment of these capitalists, then we will understand.  First, whether these companies make money or not is not due to their technical content, but due to their relationships with the powerful.  Corruption can help you get into the relationships, and the level of corruption will determine if you will make a fortune.  Since the technical content has nothing to do with the relationship with the powerful, then it is detached from the fortune.  Thus, people have lost the drive to improve the technical content.  Of course there will be some entrepreneurs in the minority who are interested in science and technology, but put too much focus on it.  The result is that they will lose out to the people who have good relationships with the powerful in the competition of survival of the "fittest."  Therefore we can say authoritarian policy results in the key factor in market competition not being technology and management, but relationships and corruption.


If we do not change China's politics, then it is impossible to change the basic situation of corruption. Thus it is impossible to develop the two ends of the economy: technology management and a fair market.  The winning path for an individual company is pragmatism -- it is a sensible choice to waste the capital on corruption, or send the money abroad to be invested by the others.  These "sensible choices" guided by the authoritarian politics mean that China's economy will never be able developed normally and the majority Chinese people will never be able to obtain their just benefits from any such economic development.   We could say that, due to this authoritarian politics, it would never be possible for China to develop its own economy, but instead it will remain the processing plant for others' economies, while for sure playing a bad role in damaging those other economies.


Only be changing the politics of the one party authoritarian regime is there a way out for China.  This is a simple truth that has been proven in other countries.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on August 5, 2011.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A672-W414

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A672-W414


Release Date: Dec. 10, 2011



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part XLV): Changing the Politics is the Premise of Reforming the Economy -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:《中国的出路》之四十五:改变政治是改革经济的前提 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生







换一种说法就是:相对于正常的可持续的发展模式来说,中国的经济体系是一个掐头去尾的半吊子体系。外国媒体把它叫做世界加工厂。这相当准确。因为这个经济体系上边缺少科学和技术,下边缺少足够的市场。这两头都在别人的手里,剩下的可不就是个加工厂吗?靠着勤奋的老百姓的劳动挣点辛苦钱,谈不上什么发展不发 展。一旦全球经济有个风吹草动,这个既没有技术也没有市场的加工厂,肯定是主动权最少的一方。































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