Caixin Bluster

Surplus Surplus Surplus

Pew Research, as well as other credible sources have long back documented the ‘Ghost Cities’ of China. According to some estimates, almost 100 such cities exist in China, by another estimate, these numbers stretch to 600.

What are Ghost Cities?
Ghost Cities are cities that are unoccupied by over 80%.

Irrespective, there is a significant investment that flows into the making of cities. If i may guess, a city may almost have over 10,000 structures of differing sizes catering to different economic strata. In addition to foundational infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water, and other utilities, there is an adequate dispersal of varied shopping complexes, play grounds, social events etc. Each city was built with a vision of migrating the rural labor to the city. If i guess rightly, at least a few 100 billion dollars are gone into the making of such cities. If you count the lower estimate of 100 ghost cities, and multiply it by 100 billion dollar (Chinese equivalent currency), you may easily see a staggering trillions invested into the making of such EMPTY CITIES.

There are two major issues with such Ghost Cities. First, a huge revenue is invested that is making a bad debt for the infrastructure in China. Yes, agreed, China claims that these infrastructures have boosted their GDP. No doubt about that. However, imagine the GDP is boosted at the cost if bad debt, which is like being on steroids. Second, there is a disconnect between the rural communities and the politburo, planning such boardroom cities.

Let us evaluate the title of the news with a lens. This news, though published un Nikkei Asia, belongs to Caixin, a global Chinese news agency. Such bluster can only come from Chinese controlled media and confluences of similar 100 news makes a stock market sensation that Chinese GDP is growing.

Remember, Chinese economy thrives on global customer base. In general, most economies suffered a hit during the pandemic. Naturally, the customer base has shrunk, and so is Chinese revenue inflow. Can we trust these numbers coming from Chinese Controlled Media?

Shashank Heda,
Dallas, Texas

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