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What will happen if China suffers from famine?

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- China is home to the world's largest population with a number of 1.37 billion according to a 2010 census. It is also the world's third largest country with a surface area of 9.6 million square kilometers.

With the Communist Party of China (CPC) at its helm, China is successfully pursuing the market economy, and it is also growing irrepressibly in terms of its harsh military power. According to China's English newspaper, China Daily, Beijing is one the largest advanced technology product exporters to Western countries thanks to its developmental strides in military and civilian technologies. In 2012, China overtook the US and Germany in becoming the top supplier of advanced technology products for the Netherlands. Given the rising power of China and the increased potential for instability in Asia, the US has recently changed its priorities when it comes to addressing issues concerning the Far East.

China is the world's most rapidly growing economy and, with a gross national product (GNP) of $8 trillion, it is the second largest economy around the globe after the US, which has a GNP of about $16 trillion. According to the statistics provided by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US has a foreign borrowing of $15 trillion, which is grave in terms of macroeconomic balances, but China's foreign borrowing is only $780 billion. Within China's reserves worth of about 3.3 trillion, the US treasury bonds amount to $1.6 trillion. In other words, China has the power to influence the value of US dollars. Given these economic indicators and its rising military power, Beijing is a major contender against the US, which has remained the sole superpower after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) disintegrated and Russia has failed to recover its former glory.

As I said above, China is the world's most populous country, and as a Turkish official notes, no country is capable of accommodating such a large population. With its economic policies, China saved 300 million people (roughly the population of the US) from poverty over the last 30 years, and it has made it its target to save 120 million people more. In this context, it should be noted that by saving people from poverty, Chinese authorities are actually referring to their target to boost the per capita income of 120 million Chinese people by over $1. As a comparison, Turkey's target is to raise per capita income by over $4 to save people from poverty. In China, the per capita income has risen from $270 in 1978 to about $6,000, and today the population of the middle class is about 300 million.

China, with its highest population density, has the potential to emerge as a source of stability or instability for the world. If Chinese people cannot earn sufficient income or are not provided with satisfactory education facilities, they may start to migrate to other countries, which will change the balances across the globe. Likewise, if Chinese people start to eat more than they used to eat, this will create famine across the world. It is for this reason China should hold on to its "world's factory" status provide employment for another 9 million Chinese people every year.

Having become an economic and military rival to the US, China represses demands for freedom and turns a blind eye to political reforms in order to keep its massive population under control. 23 years have passed since the killing of thousands of youths who had gathered in Tiananmen Square demanding political freedoms, the access to this square is still under control. Indeed, the Chinese administration is trying to keep separatist Tibetans or other groups away from this square.

Under its Single China policy, Beijing has reacted very harshly against the policies which may undermine its territorial integrity. It is perhaps for this reason that China has long been cold toward Ankara on the grounds that the Turkish governments and certain civil society organizations are provoking the Uyghur people living in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

During his visit to China as the guest of the CPC, Turkish main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kylycdaroy-lu is being accompanied by a delegation of CHP deputies, businessmen and journalists. And the Turkish-Chinese relations, boosted in recent years, mark Kylycdaroy-lu's visit. A Turkish official who asked to remain anonymous noted that China has already accepted Turkey's strategic strength and credibility in its region and added that the CHP's visit to China should be considered within this context. "We need to think how Turkish- Chinese relations will be shaped in the next 50-75 years," he said.

The CHP delegation was officially received by top CPC officials in Beijing, and they will visit Shanghai, China's business hub, and the final destination of the delegation will be Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where 12 million Uyghur people live, and which is no longer a source of tension between Ankara and Beijing.

While Turkey leaving behind its Cold-War reflexes, which some might consider included the incitement of the Uyghur people against China, China has also lessened cultural pressures exerted on Uyghur people. The same Turkish official noted: "Contrary to what is widely believed, a bilingual education model, in which students are taught academic subjects both in Chinese and Uyghur has been implemented in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and Uyghur people can fulfill their religious obligations without being subjected to psychological pressures. While there are 40,000 mosques across China, there are 27,000 mosques in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

However, Turkish politicians should act responsibly while making comments about the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, which is a soft spot of China. Otherwise, China which has granted the Uyghur people many cultural rights that are not guaranteed to the Kurdish people in Turkey, might lend support to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as it did in the past.

China has reserved a land of about 6,000 square meters located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for Turkish investors to boost Turkish investments in the country. Turkey and China can have very beneficial commercial relations as long as Turkey does not abandon its moderate policy of not intervening in China's ethnic issues.

LALE KEMAL (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Jan 16, 2013
Words:1062
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