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Is China a duck or a gorilla, and should Small Business USA care?

The cartoon character Baby Huey is a duck whose gigantic size is so out of proportion to other ducks that, combined with his clumsiness, he often creates chaos wherever he goes. He’s a lovable creature but also, sometimes a problem.

Here in the real world, planet Earth has a kind of Baby Huey – China. Like the duck, in most ways, China is out of proportion to its peers. For example, one out of every five Earthlings is Chinese. Its middle class is the size of the entire U.S. population. China has more gifted students than the U.S. has students and more Internet users than the U.S. has people. And while China’s GDP is about 20% of the U.S. economy, it produces carbon emissions comparable to the U.S. carbon footprint.

With its economy growing at an astounding rate of 9% to 10% annually for some time, much of the chaos China created can be attributed to growing pains. Externally, some of that pain has been visited on China’s global marketplace competitors. But one man’s chaos is another man’s candy: To global consumers, China is more lovable because the low cost, high quality products it typically delivers has increased their standard of living.

The China expert in my Brain Trust is Ted Fishman, author of China, Inc. Based on what Ted has told us in previous visits, this Baby Huey is likely to transform into another kind of animated character, the proverbial 800 pound gorilla (my metaphors, not his). And as the duck morphs into the ape, Ted predicts the day will come when China will not just influence global trade, it will establish the rules.

Recently, Ted joined me again on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, to talk about how China is doing in the global recession. One of the things he reported was that, as a result of the economic slowdown, “tens of thousands of Chinese manufacturing plants have closed and millions of workers have been laid off.”

We may soon find out whether China is an infantile, overweight duck whimpering with a stomachache, or a gorilla with a dangerous condition that puts itself and others in peril. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear this China expert share his thoughts on this important issue. And, as always, be sure to leave a comment.




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