Posted by: mulrickillion | January 8, 2012

What China Can Teach Europe

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Farmers cover vegetable plants with plastic film in the Chongqing municipality in China in April 2008. China Photos/Getty Images.

By Daniel A. Bell, Jan 7, 2011 —

Shanghai

FROM the outside, China often appears to be a highly centralized monolith. Unlike Europe’s cities, which have been able to preserve a certain identity and cultural distinctiveness despite the homogenizing forces of globalization, most Chinese cities suffer from a drab uniformity.

But China is more like Europe than it seems. Indeed, when it comes to economics, China is more a thin political union composed of semiautonomous cities — some with as many inhabitants as a European country — than an all-powerful centralized government that uniformly imposes its will on the whole country.

And competition among these huge cities is an important reason for China’s economic dynamism. The similar look of China’s megacities masks a rivalry as fierce as that among European countries. . . .

What China Can Teach Europe – NYTimes.com

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