Posts Tagged ‘Inflation’
Before I begin this brief review of November’s news, or a few pieces of it that I have found of interest, I must just note that it took me 50 minutes in a taxi yesterday to do a journey that only takes 20 minutes on my bike. Although, I promise that after this brief aside I will avoid the issue of traffic for a few weeks, as it has become a too oft-repeated theme here and I am actually beginning to depress myself, let alone anyone else. But for now, back to yesterday, there didn’t seem to be any extra special road problem, it was just the sheer weight of traffic that was holding us up so long.
So, it was with a deep sigh that I concluded my re-reading of this extract from Karl Gerth’s book As China Goes So Goes The World, a poignant title if ever there was one, and one that China Beat picked up on this month. I had only just finished chatting with a friend of mine about the exceptional growth in private car ownership here in Xi’an, particularly over the last year, when I began reading it.
The article in no way contradicted our discussion or in any way led me to any brighter conclusions than the ones we had just dwelt upon. One of which was the almost inevitable sealing of Xi’an’s roads at some point in the near future, particularly in areas outside of the newly built zones in the west and far south, which do at least have somewhat wider boulevards and road junctions.
We seemed to both be acknowledging that the subway system, at least in the short term, is just not going to hit the spot in terms of a practicable alternative for the vast majority of car users out there. And with the increase in car ownership not doing anything like stabilizing, let alone decreasing, it really doesn’t bode well.
Gerth’s book managed to put this situation in a much graver light, by giving it some historical context and a consequential sense of the inevitability and run away, now out of control, nature of it all. To think an alternative, a non-private car based society and economy was actually being considered, or even expected, up until relatively recently. China really could have given its growth and increased global power some fluttering flags of moral leadership, if that is what it or we really wanted, but it didn’t.