采访/朱智善 编辑/周平 后制/钟元
CCP's Statistics to “Serve Its Political Needs”
China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
recently announced the latest economic data.
This included last year's GDP, the Gini coefficient,
and the working-age population' figure.
Economists question the authenticity of those numbers,
saying “they are more fictional than fantasy stories.”
Other experts remark that China's NBS has to “adjust”
the statistics to accommodate the truth of “economic slowdown,” yet to avoid giving an inflated number.
In other words, the statistics have to meet
the political needs of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Lately, some media reports queried again how real
the CCP's official economic data is.
The article presented the following questions: Is there
any complex political considerations about “China's special national situation” behind the statistics?
Has it reflected the boastfulness and the selfishness
of the CCP's bureaucracy?
According to the data published by China's NBS,
three numbers were reported to have dropped.
They are annual GDP growth, the Gini coefficient,
and the figure for working-age population.
Analyzing these statistics in depth, the economic circles
have noticed the regime's real political purpose behind it.
The NBS officially announced that China's GDP grew
by 7.8% in 2012.
Taiwan-based China Times newspaper cited an incumbent
mainland Ministry official that most provinces had estimated a double digit GDP growth.
However, the final number for the whole nation
dropped below 8%.
This clearly suggests that the political factors behind it
require the number to look more like a “steady advance.”
NTD special Economic Review Expert Jason Ma remarked,
all China's economic data are given by the CCP regime, and thus lacks independent resources to compare with.
Jason Ma (NTD special Economic Review Expert):
”In the second half of 2012, the CCP dusted off its old tricks to stimulate the economy.
That is, to start more infrastructure local governments'
projects, like building roads or other unnecessary urban constructions.
This is the only approach it can think of.
The government continuously pours money into China's
Economy, or simply prints more money as a stimulus.
As a result, very nice-looking economic data are produced
but the inflation becomes worse for ordinary people.
On the contrary, if you turn to solve the inflation issue,
the economy will be weakened.”
In recent years, the gap between rich and poor has widened
in China, leading to more intensive social conflicts.
The Gini coefficient is the index that measures
the level of inequality.
It is officially reported that China's Gini coefficient of
national-wide personal income was 0.479 in 2003, then it increased to 0.491 in 2008, and dropped again after that.
In other words, the CCP authorities deny
that income inequality is growing in China.
Chinese economist Xu Xiaonian wrote on his microblog site,
“That (the official) Gini coefficient is more fictional than fantasy stories.”
Most Chinese civilians also show little faith
in the CCP's statistics.
A China household finance survey performed by
Southwestern University of Finance and Economics,
reported that China's household income' Gini coefficient
was 0.61 in 2012, which was much higher than the global average of 0.44.
Some thus remarked that the CCP regime consciously
underestimates the Gini coefficient,
which obviously aimed at hiding the worse social conflicts
resulting from the larger gap between rich and poor.
Jason Ma: ”The first reason (for worse income inequality)
lies in the housing market.
Under the economic stimulus, there was a boom
in the real estate industry around 2008 and 2009.
This definitely increased the gap
between rich and poor.
In addition, during the excessive issue of currencies, people
with more available investment channels were capable of making more money.
In comparison, the working class who keep their money
in the bank suffered the most.
This also indicates that the gap between rich and poor
should have become larger in China.”
Jian Tianlun (PhD in Economics, senior economic analyst):
”In fact, China's domestic consumption' GDP contribution has been consistently dropping since the 1960's-1970's.
Now it has dropped to right over 30%.
I think the main reason for this drop is unfair distribution
of income, or income inequality.
In particular, the housing price is too high, and civilians
have to spend most of their income on buying a house.
There are also similar problems in other fields,
like health care and education.”
China's NBS also reported that China's total population
reached 1.354 billion in 2012, with an annual increment of 6.7 million.
Yet, the working population between the age of 15 and 59
had dropped by 3.45 million, reaching 0.937 billion.
This is the first time that China sees
a decline in working population.
Jian Tianlun: ”In other words, China's GDP growth
used to benefit from the one-child policy.
Now its negative effect shows up as the working-age
population starts to decrease.
It is very probable that such a drop
will be a lasting trend.”
Expert remarks that the decreasing working population
and the increasing aging population has become a big challenge to the CCP.
It is especially worrying how the regime will take care
of those old people, as the population over 60 has totaled 194 million in mainland China.