the education system in HK is an absolute joke - it's far too difficult. HK has the highest teen suicide rate in the world.
The reason you see a few really intelligent chinese students is that those who work until midnight everynight and get through the brick sized syllabusses are bound to be very clever. however, other aspects of their lives suffer.
but Donald Tsang is going to get 100% of the 'vote' in the upcoming 'elections' so let's see what he can do.... *rolls eyes*
Wild Grass by Ian Johnson - good book focusing on three normal people who tried to go against the state in legal ways and what happened to them.
yeah, the HK suicide rate is baffling and needs serious attention. Maybe it's a culture difference between HK and China - HK being more westernised and therefore the kids aren't prepared to work as hard... There's always stories in the paper of a gf and bf renting a room on Cheng Chau and killing themselves in the holidays.... crazy.
I wouldn't want to raise my kids in the HK education system. International schools too have their problems.
I'd like to point out that you don't have to be democratic to be a superpower, esp when you have a large population. Totalitarian states, with no obstacles in their way, can also take more expedient actions (eg. the rule of no more than one baby per couple). There may be a great number of people whose lives are terrible, but the government, or a ruling class may be quite powerful internationally.
America has a huge trade deficit with China. China (or Chinese companies) import a load of goods and must get paid. They get paid in bonds issued by the US government, or in US shares/stock etc. They end up owning a nice chunk of the US economy. This is power, no?
It will take ages for China only to become economic superpower. Then perhaps ages again to become militarily powerful. China's economic growth at 8% wont be constant and may decrease or increase. Look at South East Asia. Some years ago South Korea could have become G7 country with one of the leading economies in the world. However now its economy ranked as approx. 20th. Same can happen with China. Its growth can significantly decrease, especially when the new generation will have to feed the present one. This will increase taxes significantly and therefore economy will suffer badly, since not many people will have money to buy goods.
As many people mentioned, USA economy wont decline. In fact at the moment its growth rate at 3-4% is quite high and will increase, because population in America is well educated. Lets not talk about rural areas, lets talk about students who get their degrees from the Ivy League unis.They are the people who will lead USA to prosperity.
China will find it extremely difficult to become an economic superpower while being totalitarian - businesses need clear laws and guidelines in able to function and yet the judicial system in china is controlled by the government. there are no juries. the first 'law' set up in 1979 was to outline business economic practice and how chinese/foreign firms could interact. yet, as has been seen, if you introduce a 'fairer' legal system this will allow the people to challenge the government on other matters - very rarely successfully however.
China could have done much better under democratic regime. It is still quite hard to open companies in China. It takes ages. To make money and get high taxes government should have made it much easier and faster for companies to develop.
Communism doesnt and wont work, unless the country is a paradise and everyone in the country is educated and is clone of another. Without capitalist-there is no prosperity. Perhaps even the politics in Chinese government do no just want to give up their precious places, because they just like to work in a corrupt government, where they can make millions. They dont want to give freedom to other normal people to earn more money.
There is a new video that has been smuggled out of the country showing extreme violence against villagers in Shenyou 60 miles west of Beijing. The news report I saw said it was instigated by "thugs" who had been "hired by the government" to clear the land for a new power station.
It is said to have been the worst case of supression since Tian'nmen Square. I have only seen the video once and many images are unclear but there is some sort of raid going on with many of the raiders carrying sticks and what looks to be flashes in the background.