L’industrialisation chinoise et ses mécontents

TOKYO – La Chine se trouve à un tournant décisif alors que se réunit la 18ème session plénière du comité central du parti communiste chinois à Pékin. Son dernier record de croissance est stupéfiant ; aucun pays ne peut rivaliser dans l’histoire. Mais les déséquilibres économiques de la Chine sont également stupéfiants. Le pays a soutenu la croissance de sa production en investissant la moitié de son PIB, bien qu’aucun pays ne puisse investir de manière productive plus d’un tiers de son revenu national sur une longue période. La consommation des ménages ne représente qu’un tiers du PIB alors qu’elle est de deux tiers dans une économie normale.

Ce faible niveau de consommation est associé à un creusement des inégalités – entre les campagnes et les villes, et entre les élites politiques et les masses. Les diplômés universitaires aux nouvelles aspirations ne parviennent pas à trouver les emplois de bureau qu’ils recherchent et n’acceptent pas les emplois en usine qui leur sont proposés. Et l’on assiste à une montée de l’agitation sociale, qu’elle s’exprime par les blogs ou par des manifestations spontanées.

Les dirigeants chinois comprennent bien tout cela. Ils admettent la nécessité de rééquilibrer l’économie pour la faire basculer de l’investissement vers la consommation, et reconnaissent que cela implique de développer le secteur des services qui proposera les bons emplois aux cols blancs. Ils sont aussi conscients de la nécessité de construire un filet de sécurité sociale et de renforcer le droit à la propriété rurale.

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