Chinese citizens on the economic problems of the West

Rob Schmitz Oct 13, 2011

Bai Feifei, financial manager at Standard Chartered Bank, 36 years old.

Why do you think the economies of the U.S. and EU aren’t doing so well?

Answer: “I think it’s related to fast and easy credit. It seems like a trendy thing in today’s market, but I think it’s much better to spend what you know you have than to spend what you think you can make someday. The more debt you have, the worse it gets, and then it gets to a point where everyone’s doing it and the entire economy collapses because of all this debt. In some parts of China, we’re beginning to see this Western style of using credit to buy everything. I think it’s going to create a lot of problems; it’s just a matter of time. You shouldn’t run before you can walk!”

Wang Zongwei, co-owner of an international trade company, 46 years old.

Will the economic problems in the West impact China?

Answer: “It’s 100 percent certain that it’ll impact China. China’s economy relies heavily on exports. This economic crisis means fewer exports. China also has increased competition from countries like Vietnam. This year’s economic growth in China won’t surpass last year’s. The gap left by the international markets won’t be filled with domestic consumption. A big problem now in China is that the gap between the rich and poor is more obvious than before. The rich are getting richer, but more people can’t find jobs.”

Xiao Peijun, logistics company employee, 26 years old.

How healthy is China’s economy?

Answer: “Our economy is growing, but inflation is a serious problem. We need to curb inflation and cool the real estate market. When the government introduces a new policy to do that, though, it changes the entire economy and makes it unstable. I think the global market really depends on the economy of the United States. Emerging markets have to face inflation whenever the economy of the U.S. isn’t doing well.”

Yuan Zhenhua, loan officer, 27 years old.

Why do you think China continues to buy EU and U.S. debt?

Answer: “I think China has confidence in the economies of the EU and the U.S. They know these economies won’t collapse very easily. I don’t really think there are any political reasons.”

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