Did Musharraf's Economic Performance Confer Legitimacy on His Rule?

Former President Musharraf's detractors argue that he lacked legitimacy because he came to power through a coup which removed a duly elected government in 1999.

Implicit in Musharraf's opponents' argument is the assumption that the electoral process is the only source of legitimacy for a ruler. It ignores the possibility that the will of the people can also be expressed in ways other than elections to confer legitimacy on a leader. It rejects the notion that a leader can earn legitimacy in the eyes of the people by delivering results to the people through good governance.

Public Opinion Surveys:

Such an expression of people's will can come in many forms, including results of frequent public opinion polls conducted by multiple professional pollsters in Pakistan and many other countries around the world. One such credible survey is done regularly by Pew Global Research.  It shows that the majority of the people believed the country was headed in the right direction in Musharraf years. It also shows that people's satisfaction with Pakistan's direction has been in rapid decline. It has sharply fallen to about 8% in 2013.
Source: Pew Research in Pakistan

Another survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan  in August 2013 shows that 59% of Pakistanis have a positive view of President Muaharraf (31%  say they hold a favorable opinion of him and another 28% say he was satisfactory). 34% have an unfavorable opinion of the former ruler.

Judiciary and Parliament Approval:

Musharraf's actions of 1999 were legitimized by Pakistan Supreme Court in Syed Zafar Ali Shah v. General Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive of Pakistan (PLD 2000 SC 869). In addition to endorsing the coup, the Supreme Court granted extensive powers to the new Musharraf Government, empowering it to unilaterally amend the 1973 Constitution and enact new laws without the approval of Parliament.

Musharraf held parliamentary elections in 2002 and subsequently won a parliamentary vote to confirm him as President of Pakistan.

Good Governance Under Musharraf:

When Musharraf took over in 1999, Pakistan was essentially bankrupt with just a few hundred million dollars in reserves and a heavy debt load which it couldn't repay. Economic growth plummeted to between 3% and 4%, poverty rose to 33%, inflation was in double digits and the foreign debt mounted to nearly the entire GDP of Pakistan as the governments of Benazir Bhutto (PPP) and Nawaz Sharif (PML) played musical chairs. Before Sharif was ousted in 1999, the two parties had presided over a decade of corruption and mismanagement. In 1999 Pakistan’s total public debt as percentage of GDP was the highest in South Asia – 99.3 percent of its GDP and 629 percent of its revenue receipts, compared to Sri Lanka (91.1% & 528.3% respectively in 1998) and India (47.2% & 384.9% respectively in 1998). Internal Debt of Pakistan in 1999 was 45.6 per cent of GDP and 289.1 per cent of its revenue receipts, as compared to Sri Lanka (45.7% and 264.8% respectively in 1998) and India (44.0% and 358.4% respectively in 1998).





So what did Musharraf do to gain the trust of a very large number of Pakistanis who supported his rule after the 1999 coup? He undertook a number of economic and regulatory reforms to rejuvenate the country's economy. Deregulating telecommunications and liberalizing electronic media business, particularly television, immediately brought in significant first wave of domestic and foreign investment and created media and telecom boom in the country. Banking and financial services sector took off and rapidly grew and created lots of jobs. A construction boom followed which more than doubled per capita cement consumption and created millions of new jobs. Exports nearly tripled from about $7 billion in 1999-2000 to $22 billion in 2007-2008, adding millions of more jobs.





Pakistan Savings Rate as Percent of GDP (Source: World Bank)

Source: Credit Suisse and Cement Industry

Per Capita Cement Consumption in Pakistan Source: Credit Suisse and Cement Industry
Thanks to the dynamic economy under President Musharraf's rule, Pakistan created more jobs, graduated more people from schools and colleges, built a larger middle class and lifted more people out of poverty as percentage of its population than India in the last decade. And Pakistan has done so in spite of the huge challenges posed by the war in Afghanistan and a very violent insurgency at home.

The above summary is based on volumes of recently released reports and data on job creationeducationmiddle class sizepublic hygienepoverty and hunger over the last decade that offer new surprising insights into the lives of ordinary people in two South Asian countries. It adds to my previous post on this blog titled "India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010".


The PPP government summed up General Musharraf's accomplishments well when it signed a 2008 Memorandum of Understanding with the International Monetary Fund which said:

"Pakistan's economy witnessed a major economic transformation in the last decade. The country's real GDP increased from $60 billion to $170 billion, with per capita income rising from under $500 to over $1000 during 2000-07". It further acknowledged that "the volume of international trade increased from $20 billion to nearly $60 billion. The improved macroeconomic performance enabled Pakistan to re-enter the international capital markets in the mid-2000s. Large capital inflows financed the current account deficit and contributed to an increase in gross official reserves to $14.3 billion at end-June 2007. Buoyant output growth, low inflation, and the government's social policies contributed to a reduction in poverty and improvement in many social indicators". (see MEFP, November 20, 2008, Para 1)

Contrary to what Musharraf bashers dismiss as "aid-fueled " or "consumption-driven" economy in 2002-2007, the economic growth was actually driven by private savings and investments. Private domestic savings rate was over 18% of GDP in Musharraf but has slumped to just 7% in recent years. Pakistan attracted record foreign direct investment (FDI) in telecom, banking, manufacturing and other sectors of the economy. Annual FDI flow into Pakistan reached $5.4 billion in Year 2007-08. As to US aid during and after Musharraf's years in office, it has actually tripled in size from $700 million in 2007-8 to $2.1 billion since 2010. If aid alone were responsible for economic growth, then the GDP growth rate should have accelerated, not plummeted, after Musharraf left office.

Pakistan FDI as Percent of GDP (Source: World Bank)



In addition to the economic revival, Musharraf focused on social sector as well. Pakistan's HDI grew an average rate of 2.7% per year under President Musharraf from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7% per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”.



Overall, Pakistan's human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59% — a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent.

Rising University Enrollment in Pakistan Starting in 2001-2002. Source: ICEF Monitor

Going further back to the  decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP,  the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.

Acceleration of HDI growth during Musharraf years was not an accident.  Not only did Musharraf's policies accelerate economic growth, helped create 13 million new jobs, cut poverty in half and halved the country's total debt burden in the period from 2000 to 2007, his government also ensured significant investment and focus on education and health care. The annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. In 2011, a Pakistani government commission on education found that public funding for education has been cut from 2.5% of GDP in 2007 to just 1.5% - less than the annual subsidy given to the various PSUs including Pakistan Steel and PIA, both of which  continue to sustain huge losses due to patronage-based hiring.

So Why Didn't the Musharraf Miracle Last?

It takes a long time to build and very little time to destroy a beautiful, well-manicured garden with flourishing plants and flowers. A new incompetent, lazy and corrupt gardener can turn it into a disaster by failing to fertilize, water and prune. That's what happened in Pakistan in 2008. A healthy, well-run and growing economy was quickly turned to shambles in a very short time because of policy inaction and neglect. Here's how Pakistani economist Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan explained it in 2010: "What went wrong? Why one of the fastest growing economies in the Asian region until two years ago has been totally forgotten in the region? Firstly, the speed and dimension of exogenous price shocks (oil and food) were of extraordinary proportions. Secondly, the present government found itself totally ill-prepared and clueless in addressing the challenges arising out of the shocks. While rest of the world was taking corrective measures and adjusting to higher food and fuel prices, Pakistan lurched from one crisis to another."

Constitution Not Suicide Pact: 

To those who say nothing should trump the constitution of Pakistan, let me remind them that there is legal precedent to suggest  that there are things more important than the constitution. "The Constitution is not a suicide pact" is an oft-repeated phrase in American political and legal discourse. It refers to the belief that constitutional restrictions on governmental power must be balanced against the need for survival of the state and its people. It is frequently attributed to Abraham Lincoln who is said to have used it in answering charge that he violated the United States Constitution by suspending habeas corpus during the American Civil War. Others who have used it include Justice Robert H. Jackson (Terminiello v. Chicago, 1949) and Justice Arthur Goldberg (Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 1963).

Here's a video discussion on the subject:


Civil-military Stand-Off on Musharraf Trial; Musharraf Govt's Performance Record from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Musharraf Wants to Face Trial; Military Opposed to it

Saving Pakistan's Education

Political Patronage Trumps Public Policy in Pakistan

Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman Defends Pakistan's Higher Education Reforms

Twelve Years Since Musharraf's Coup

Musharraf's Legacy

Pakistan's Economic Performance 2008-2010

Role of Politics in Pakistan Economy

India and Pakistan Compared in 2011

Musharraf's Coup Revived Pakistan's Economy

What If Musharraf Had Said No?

Human Development in Musharraf Years


Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #cement industry continues growth. Per capita consumption to rise from 147kg in 2015 to 250kg in 2020.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1122920/cement-industry-poised-continued-growth/

Pakistan’s cement industry will continue to grow over the next few years due to strong pricing power and contraction in supply and demand gap, a Topline Securities report said on Tuesday.

The capacity utilisation of Topline Cement Universe – a sample of cement companies listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) – is likely to reach 96% in fiscal year 2018 from 78% in fiscal year 2015.

Gross margins of Topline Cement Universe will reach 47% by fiscal year 2020 (which were 34% in fiscal year 2015) while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) margins will reach 46% by fiscal year 2020 (34% in fiscal year 2015).

Resultantly, Topline Cement Universe’s profitability is expected to grow at 4-year (fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2020) Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24%.

Pakistan’s cement industry has entered into a new paradigm. The turnaround in macroeconomic fundamentals, mega projects under the umbrella of China-Pakistan Economic Corridors (CPEC) and booming private sector spending are accelerating local cement demand.



“We believe economic recovery will continue to bolster domestic demand. Based on past trend, we have applied a factor of 2 times to our average real GDP growth forecast of 6% during fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2020 in order to arrive at average local cement growth forecast of 12% during the same period,” the report said.

This should take per capita cement consumption of Pakistan from 147kg in fiscal year 2015 to 250kg in fiscal year 2020.

Major capacity additions of 19 million ton (42% of current capacity) worth around Rs192 billion are in pipeline (from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2020) in Pakistan. “Despite these additions, we see no price war risk as additional capacities will easily be absorbed due to buoyant cement demand.”

The government in budget for fiscal year 2016-2017 has changed the federal excise duty (FED) on cement bags from variable 5% of retail price to fixed Rs50 per kg while duty on imported coal is reduced from 6% to 5%. “Thanks to strong pricing power, we believe that, the net impact of Rs33 per bag will be gradually passed on,” the report added.

However some developments can change the present scenario including price competition, imported cement, higher than anticipated rise in gas tariff, delay in construction projects and change in economic policy

Riaz Haq said…
Developing countries to dominate global saving and investment, but the poor will not necessarily share the benefits, says report

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/05/15/developing-countries-to-dominate-global-saving-and-investment-but-the-poor-will-not-necessarily-share-the-benefits-says-report

In less than a generation, global saving and investment will be dominated by the developing world, says the just-released Global Development Horizons (GDH) report.

By 2030, half the global stock of capital, totaling $158 trillion (in 2010 dollars), will reside in the developing world, compared to less than one-third today, with countries in East Asia and Latin America accounting for the largest shares of this stock, says the report, which explores patterns of investment, saving and capital flows as they are likely to evolve over the next two decades.

Titled ‘Capital for the Future: Saving and Investment in an Interdependent World’, GDH projects developing countries’ share in global investment to triple by 2030 to three-fifths, from one-fifth in 2000.

Productivity catch-up, increasing integration into global markets, sound macroeconomic policies, and improved education and health are helping speed growth and create massive investment opportunities, which, in turn, are spurring a shift in global economic weight to developing countries.

A further boost is being provided by the youth bulge. By 2020, less than 7 years from now, growth in world’s working-age population will be exclusively determined by developing countries. With developing countries on course to add more than 1.4 billion people to their combined population between now and 2030, the full benefit of the demographic dividend has yet to be reaped, particularly in the relatively younger regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

GDH paints two scenarios, based on the speed of convergence between the developed and developing worlds in per capita income levels, and the pace of structural transformations (such as financial development and improvements in institutional quality) in the two groups. Scenario one entails a gradual convergence between the developed and developing world while a much more rapid one is envisioned in the second.

In both scenarios, developing countries’ employment in services will account for more than 60 percent of their total employment by 2030 and they will account for more than 50 percent of global trade. This shift will occur alongside demographic changes that will increase demand for infrastructural services. Indeed, the report estimates the developing world’s infrastructure financing needs at $14.6 trillion between now and 2030.

The report also points to aging populations in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which will see the largest reductions in private saving rates. Demographic change will test the sustainability of public finances and complex policy challenges will arise from efforts to reduce the burden of health care and pensions without imposing severe hardships on the old. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa, with its relatively young and rapidly growing population as well as robust economic growth, will be the only region not experiencing a decline in its saving rate.
Riaz Haq said…
General Musharraf granted nearly $9 million to finish the building. He opened the gallery last month and toured the exhibitions, which include a large number of irreverent and anti-military pieces, but did not visit a room of nudes by some of Pakistan’s best painters.

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/world/asia/26islamabad.html

It may be the towering black burqa-clad figures that stand at the entrance, or the brickwork, portholes and curved aluminum skylights of the building itself. Either way, the National Art Gallery, which opened last month, has brought new texture to this otherwise sterile, highly planned capital.

The biggest surprise for most Pakistanis is that the National Art Gallery ever opened at all. It took a marathon 28 years to develop and build, and was a victim of financing shortfalls, bureaucratic inertia and repeated shifts in power under alternate military and civilian governments, which often undid what their predecessors had started.

For the gallery’s architect, Naeem Pasha, 64, it has been a long labor of love for the sake of art and what the building represents for the country.

“An art gallery sends a very strong message to the world that we are creative and peaceful, and I want this to be stronger than the act of a suicide bomber,” Mr. Pasha said as he toured the gallery on a recent morning. “His act is one and we are many, and the so many have to be heard, and that is the message that this gallery must make.”
Riaz Haq said…
General Musharraf granted nearly $9 million to finish the (National Art Gallery) building (in Islamabad). He opened the gallery last month and toured the exhibitions, which include a large number of irreverent and anti-military pieces, but did not visit a room of nudes by some of Pakistan’s best painters.

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/world/asia/26islamabad.html

It may be the towering black burqa-clad figures that stand at the entrance, or the brickwork, portholes and curved aluminum skylights of the building itself. Either way, the National Art Gallery, which opened last month, has brought new texture to this otherwise sterile, highly planned capital.

The biggest surprise for most Pakistanis is that the National Art Gallery ever opened at all. It took a marathon 28 years to develop and build, and was a victim of financing shortfalls, bureaucratic inertia and repeated shifts in power under alternate military and civilian governments, which often undid what their predecessors had started.

For the gallery’s architect, Naeem Pasha, 64, it has been a long labor of love for the sake of art and what the building represents for the country.

“An art gallery sends a very strong message to the world that we are creative and peaceful, and I want this to be stronger than the act of a suicide bomber,” Mr. Pasha said as he toured the gallery on a recent morning. “His act is one and we are many, and the so many have to be heard, and that is the message that this gallery must make.”

Riaz Haq said…
The Greater Thal Canal project was inaugurated by former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf on August 16, 2001, at Noorpur Thal, adjacent to Adi Kot Chashma Jhelum Link Canal. The estimated cost of the project was around Rs30 billion.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2134724/greater-thal-canal-willfully-ignored

The project was to be completed in eight years, and after completion, it was expected that almost Rs1.73 million acres of land would be irrigated in Bhakkar, Layyah, Khushab and Jhang districts. Apart from this, approximately 1.97 million acres of arid land would be converted into fertile land. So far, the first phase of the project has been completed with the cost of Rs10 billion.

The project was conceived in 1836 when Queen Victoria ordered a survey of the area. The survey was completed in six months. However, the project could not be initiated due to the opposition of the Hindus who alleged the British of giving undue favours to the Muslims living in the area.

ADB TO PROVIDE PAKISTAN $1.055B FOR NINE PROJECTS

Former military ruler General Ziaul Haq also made an unsuccessful attempt to initiate this project in 1979.

Although, the construction of phase I has affected farmers' fertile land

After Musharraf's regime, the democratic governments shelved the project which could have brought an agricultural revolution in the country. The network of canals has vanished under the mounds of sand. The canal escape of the project has also turned into a forest of shrubs and wild bushes.


The government has allocated a fund of Rs250 million for the cleaning of the canal. Reportedly, the phase II and III comprise of Dhingana Branch, Mankera Branch and Noorpur Thal Branch which have been ignored for the last 19 years.

The completion of phase II and III would irrigate millions of acres of land in the area of Thal, Bhakkar, Jhang, Khushab and Layyah and change the fate of poor farmers.
Riaz Haq said…
Performance legitimacy in the age of COVID

How regime type and governance quality affect policy responses to COVID-19: A preliminary analysis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7898984/


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has slowed down economies, upended societies, and tremendously affected the daily lives of ordinary people throughout the world. In the international context, various government responses have thus given rise to many political debates and discussions centered around the handling of these impacts and the novel coronavirus itself. Here, emphasis is often placed on how regime type (i.e., democratic or non-democratic) and governance quality influence policies aimed at responding to the ongoing crisis. By examining relevant scientific resources, including the COVID-19 Global Response Index (developed by FP Analytics), Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), and Bjørnskov-Rode regime data, this study found that regime type was indeed related to governmental policy responses to COVID-19. Results specifically showed that governance quality (especially effectiveness) had moderate impacts on how well these policies were implemented. Due to several limitations, however, these findings should be regarded as preliminary evidence.

As a worldwide pandemic, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had already caused more than one million deaths fewer than nine months after the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China. Still, the number of infections continues to increase at an unprecedented rate due to the dangerous transmission speed of the virus (Harb and Harb, 2020). As with many previous pandemics, scientific research has been pivotal in fighting COVID-19 through the development of drugs and other treatments. By contrast, political discourse has contributed very little to these life-saving measures, but has nonetheless resulted in the formation of targeted policy responses. However, little is currently known about how related political factors have impacted government responses to the pandemic.

Given this situation, Greer et al. (2020) called for synergistic collaboration between individuals working in comparative politics and scientific research. They further identified four variables that require continued investigation in order to explain how nations are responding to COVID-19, including (a) social policy, (b) regime type, (c) political institutions, and (d) state capacity (Greer et al., 2020). A variety of political science studies have addressed issues related to COVID-19 and past pandemics, particularly in regard to the debate on regime type, state responses, and how good governance affects outcomes.

Recent political science debates have focused on a possible link between regime type and national response to the COVID-19 crisis. Judging the timeliness of various government responses, Alon et al. (2020), Cepaluni et al. (2020), and Piazza and Stronko (2020) have argued that authoritarian regimes more promptly impose stringent public health measures, compared to democracies. Indeed, research has shown that nations with stronger democratic institutions tend to implement measures for combating coronavirus at a slower pace (Sebhatu et al., 2020). This tendency is also evident in historical events (Stasavage, 2020), such as the SARS outbreak of the early the 2000s (Schwartz, 2012). In contrast, while authoritarian regimes can more rapidly impose stringent health measures, they may also exercise their power to devise cover-ups that turn local contagions into a global pandemic (Alon et al., 2020). Frey et al. (2020) provided a contrast to the abovementioned studies, contending that democracies mount more effective responses to control the spread of COVID-19 by reducing its geographic mobility.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's public #debt stands at 78% of #GDP. Annual interest payments to use up one-third of the Rs. 8.5 trillion ($54 billion) 2021 federal budget....90% of debt payments are for domestic debt & 10% for foreign debt servicing. #economy #Budget2021 https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Interest-payments-consume-one-third-of-Pakistan-s-budget


https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1408212855741030400?s=20


Interest payments consume one-third of Pakistan's budget
Over-reliance on loans bodes ill for fiscal sustainability and domestic needs

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Interest-payments-consume-one-third-of-Pakistan-s-budget

Fiscal sustainability has become a major issue among political and economic analysts after Pakistan revealed early this month that servicing debt accounts for more than one-third of its federal budget.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen in the National Assembly on June 12 announced the fiscal 2021 federal budget of 8.48 trillion rupees ($54 billion). Interest payments on debt, which are expected to grow by 3.9% from the ongoing fiscal year, account for 3.06 trillion rupees, or 36% of budget expenditures. In contrast, the government is only spending 600 billion rupees on subsidies and 100 billion rupees for COVID-19 vaccinations and emergencies.

The budget also reveals a deficit of 3.99 trillion rupees. The federal government plans to borrow 3.74 trillion rupees to finance this deficit, which makes up 94% of the deficit.

Pakistan's reliance on debt is a violation of the country's Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act 2005, which states that the government must limit debt to 60% of gross domestic product. Currently, the ratio stands at 78% of Pakistan's $303 billion GDP.

Hasaan Khawar, a public policy analyst based in Islamabad, says Pakistan borrows heavily not only to finance current expenditures but also to service existing debt. "Pakistan is a having a primary fiscal deficit. That's why the [International Monetary Fund] has been demanding a primary budget surplus so that it starts reducing debt."

"Resources that could have been spent on essential sectors like health, education or public investment are now being dedicated to interest payments," said Naafey Sardar, a senior research associate at Texas A&M University in the U.S., emphasizing that increased debt financing presents a trade-off for Pakistan. "Since increased public investment and expenditures on education and health are associated with improvements in economic growth, higher debt financing expenditures reflect a missed opportunity," he said.

Of the 3.06 trillion rupees earmarked for interest payments on debt, 2.76 trillion rupees, or 90%, will go toward servicing domestic debt.

A senior official involved with the government's development planning told Nikkei on condition of anonymity that domestic borrowing is unsustainable. "Domestic borrowing is always at high commercial rates and external borrowing is mostly at concessional rates. That's why domestic borrowing costs the economy more," the official said.

---

Experts believe that a combination of reduced government spending and a tax increase is the solution.

Sardar believes that the way out is to increase tax revenue. "Higher tax receipts can be earned by increasing the corporate tax rate from 29% to 35%," he said. Sardar added that at a time when corporate profits are surging, increasing corporate taxes could be a viable option.

Khawar believes that Pakistan can accrue surpluses by controlling fiscal waste. He says there is a multipronged strategy to deal with the problem. "Government needs to widen the tax base using technology for tax enforcement while reducing expenditures in loss-making state-owned enterprises," he said. "There is no quick fix to this. That's the bottom line."

Riaz Haq said…
Could #China’s model of growth be its biggest global #export ? #Beijing’s reluctance to define its "model" makes it difficult for others to follow. It prefers alternatives such as “Chinese path”, “Chinese experience”, “Chinese wisdom” & “Chinese approach” https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3139351/could-chinas-model-be-its-biggest-export-world



The Chinese model gained favour as Africa wearied of the free-market capitalism and deregulation that characterised Western-style neoliberalism.
The failure of neoliberal economic policies in fostering social and economic development across the continent has caused political reorientations in Africa
Tim Zajontz
Tim Zajontz, a research fellow at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, said China positioned its model as an alternative to Western-style democracy, which became a source of inspiration for other African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.
“The failure of neoliberal economic policies in fostering social and economic development across the continent has caused political reorientations in Africa, with China’s economic trajectory frequently being invoked as a viable alternative development model,” Zajontz said.
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross director of the New York-based Asia Society’s Centre on US-China relations, agreed. “China has provided a successful authoritarian developmental model that has worked at home, and is thus seductive to other developing countries that have had difficulty organising their body politics, catalysing their economies with growth and keeping social order. The ‘China model’ has produced economic progress … if people are willing to live in an authoritarian, even totalitarian political environment. There is a trade-off,” Schell said.

China’s Ethiopian ambitions suffer setback with telecoms decision
29 May 2021
However, as Beijing pulls out all the stops to mark the centenary of the ruling party’s establishment on July 1, there is still no consensus on what the China model actually is.
Just over a decade ago after the global financial crisis in 2008, the Chinese government even refused to acknowledge the existence of such a model, or weigh in on the discussions about whether the China model was reality or just something possible.
Instead, a number of retired officials, including former vice-president of the party’s Central Party School Li Junru, cautioned against using the term, citing its possible negative impacts on China’s relations with the world and its domestic development.
In a commentary on Study Times, the school’s flagship newspaper, in December 2009, Li said the notion of China model was factually incorrect and dangerous because it led to “self-satisfaction and blind optimism” and tended to stereotype the country’s ongoing reform experiment.
The ‘China model’ has produced economic progress … if people are willing to live in an authoritarian, even totalitarian political environment
Orville Schell
In the decade since, a group of Chinese academics and intellectuals have also questioned the validity of the Chinese model. Renowned economists Zhang Weiying and Wu Jinglian warned against promoting it, saying it would undermine reform at home and fuel divide and confrontation with the West. Tsinghua University historian Qin Hui argued in 2010 that unlike the rise of China, the rise of the China model, featuring a low level of human rights and welfare, was by no means good news for the country and the world.
It was not until after President Xi Jinping took office in late 2012 that the “China model” finally won official blessing.
“With the rise of China’s national strength and global standing, discussions and studies on the ‘Beijing consensus’, ‘Chinese model, and ‘Chinese road’ have gathered pace in the world,” Xi told senior party cadres at an internal meeting in January 2013.
Riaz Haq said…
Look at the #economic growth trend in #SouthAsia! #Pakistan #economy grew rapidly in 2000-2008 during #Musharraf years!! And then the bottom fell out!!! Bitter fruit of kleptocracy disguised as "democracy"??? #PPP #PMLN #PTI #PandoraPapers https://www.economist.com/asia/2021/10/05/pakistan-got-its-way-in-afghanistan-now-what

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1445398625698336770?s=20

Mr Khan’s current diplomatic offensive comes in the context of the dwindling options bequeathed by his country’s feeble economy, hypocrisy over Xinjiang and long history of double-dealing. “Pakistan is trying to use Afghanistan to rehabilitate itself,” says Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center, an American think-tank. “Its message is that we were right all along, there never was a military solution, so it is wrong to blame us.” What Pakistan now wants is for other countries to lend a hand, and help shore up the Taliban government as the only way of sustaining regional stability. The trouble is that just as Pakistan’s leaders imagine the country’s strategic significance to have grown because it holds unique influence over the Taliban, the West’s withdrawal has entailed a steep decline in its interest in the region.

Mr Khan may well be right that the best hope for preventing a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan now, and for keeping a grip on jihadist groups that linger on its blood-soaked soil, is to help the Taliban keep a lid on things. “If Afghanistan destabilises, the spillover effect comes to Pakistan,” says Moeed Yusuf, Mr Khan’s national security adviser. “After Afghanistan we are the biggest victim of the past four decades and we are not interested in going there again.” But coming from a country that has for so long run with the foxes while hunting with the hounds, as Pakistan has, such words carry limited credibility. ■

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