Taking China's (Cuba's) Statistics at Face Value

Saturday, May 17, 2014
If this is the case with China, just imagine totalitarian Cuba.

From Christopher Whalen's "The Truth About China's Economy" in The National Interest:

The World Bank just put out a report suggesting that the Chinese economy would overtake that of the United States by next year to become the world’s biggest economy measured by its currency's purchasing power [...]

Even the Chinese government itself expressed reservations about the methodology used by the World Bank. But the more fundamental issue for analysts should start with the nature of the Chinese political economy and the veracity of economic data in China. There is no separation between church and state in China. There is only the state.

The economic statistics issued by the Chinese government are designed to help maintain the control of the Chinese Communist Party in a political sense, not to better inform China’s people or foreign investors. The fact that the World Bank, foreign news agencies and investors are willing to take Chinese statistics at face value says more about the credulity of foreign audiences than it does about China’s authoritarian government.