By Harold Jutajero
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Georgetown University faculty member Dr. Harley Balzer told a crowd of public school teachers, out-of-school adults and students on April 10 in Civic Hall why China is growing more economically and politically than Russia.

The China-Russia reversal lecture takes place April 10 in Civic Hall. By Haroldsid Jutajero, CCC Journalism Program

The China-Russia reversal lecture takes place April 10 in Civic Hall. By Haroldsid Jutajero, CCC Journalism Program

China’s output growth number on the economy was through the roof, Balzer said, however, Russia remained stagnant. While China had auto manufacturers in their industry, Russia no longer continued to have their manufacturers.

“China focused on East Asia production chains and didn’t want to invest in Russia,” Balzer said. “China also invested in modernization/diversification or reinforced Russia’s role as a supplier of hydrocarbons (fuel).” It took China a half a dozen years to learn about the World Trade Organization; however, Russia provoked developed nations. China focused on other factors such as modern theory, urbanization, higher education, media and communications. China was better than Russia in economic performance, too.

In economic performance, one of the contributing factors was initial condition, which is the abundant supply of low-cost labor not covered by a welfare system, Balzer said. There were fewer distortions and China began to reform with agriculture. China’s economic performance was also based on a policy environment that was stability on certain events such as the Democracy Wall in 1979, the anti-spiritual pollution in 1983, Bourgeois Liberalism in 1987 and Tiananmen in 1989. Authoritarian leadership was also part of the policy environment.

State priorities in China were often not achieved; however, it accepted private sectors even though it did not intend to, Balzer said. In other words, China had character of integration with the international economy. China’s thick integration generated coalitions of entrepreneurs, officials and investors and, in this case, it was able to win battles. Nothing comparable existed in Democratic Russia. Chinese elites embraced globalization. Russia did not. Russia’s leaders thought globalization was a threat.

Both China and Russia faced daunting issues, especially with demography, the economy, political feedback and international partners, Balzer said. Russia lost decades for diversification and wasted crisis. It had no public input in policy adjustments. It tried to keep up with rapidly growing technology. It also blamed “others,” he said, specifically Democrats and the West. On the other hand, China had stunning economic achievement because of integration, which is why it became more economically successful and politically stable.

After the presentation, Balzer said he gave the lecture because “this was an interesting topic to talk about.”

Dr. Jack Pesda, who organized the lecture as director of the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility, said, “I was interested in his analysis of both countries and his conclusion that Russia was in far worse shape than China.”

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