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Myth of China’s Manufacturing Prowess

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Regardless of whether the market is locally driven, China is going through what most every other developed nation went through with the first generation of large-scale industrial manufacture. The workers are minimally skilled and about as well off as their subsistence-farmer parents. It is the next generation, who grow up living by the clock rather than the sun and whose minds grow up thinking as mechanics rather than farmers, who start to innovate.

Yes, popular memes exaggerate the speed at which China is changing. Foreign-aimed Chinese government propaganda encourages that perception. But anyone doing long-term thinking about the world had better factor in the nonetheless real and rapid development of a nation that comprises a quarter of the world's population and ample natural resources.

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