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standing of the pros and cons of rural reconstruction through their work were also invited to hold a dialogue with the writers, which resonated so strongly with the
villagers that some of them surrounded the speakers afterward hoping to expand their discussions.
He Wei, assistant professor at the school of architecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, w
ho has been leading several projects in the countryside, thinks a major problem is the conflicting demands between the elite class
of city dwellers, who tend to seek spiritual comfort in village life, and the villagers themselves who naturally want to i
mprove their quality of life. However, many of the rural traditions have been lost during the process.
“Once they leave the countryside, it’s hard for people to come back and settle, both in person and spiritually,” he says.
Four Chinese banks were among the world’s top 10 most profitable companies over
the past year concluding at the end of March, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank achieved a net in
come of $45 billion and $38 billion respectively over the past year, closely following Apple Inc, which retai
ned its title of world’s biggest moneymaker for the fourth straight year with a net income of $57.2 billion.
The Agricultural Bank of China and the Bank of China were respectively ranked at the
seventh and 10th places in the top profit list, with $31 billion and $27 billion in net incomes.
While financial service companies claimed nine spots among the top 10 most profitable compa
nies, no drugmakers or automotive firms appeared in the list for the first time in eight years, the report said.
ople. However, neither the US nor China can expect to keep, much less get back, low-wage, low-skilled manufacturing jobs.
Many people have the impression that Chinese goods are dominant in US markets. That is true only in a few highly com
petitive, low-profit sectors. According to US Commerce Department data, China has more than 50 percent of the
US market in such items as umbrellas, toys, prepared feathers, footwear, straw products, and bedding.
Chinese exporters have from 20 to 50 percent of the US market in ot
her low-value-added markets, plus electrical machinery and equipment, mechanical app
liances, and iron and steel. In most other categories, China has less than 20 percent of the US market.
China also assembles and then exports a lot of phones, computers and other gad
gets to the US. But, most of the profits and wages go to Japanese or South Korean componen
World Trade Organization was being negotiated, China’s economy was ti
ny as a portion of world GDP. It was clearly a poor, less-developed country that, except in a f
ew areas, was not able to compete with Western companies in high-value-added products.
As Alexander Hamilton, the first US Treasury secretary, argued, a developing country may need to p
rotect its “infant industries” from already established foreign competitors. This was the policy foll
owed by the US in the 19th century and by Western Europe, Japan, and South Korea in the years after World War II.
China is no longer a poor country. It can no longer compete by using low-wa
ge labor. Fortunately, it has now developed world-class companies that are incre
asingly developing new products and services that can compete successfully in many foreign markets.