Le cercle vicieux de la croissance chinoise

LONDRES – La plupart des économistes ont une raison de s’inquiéter de la santé de l'économie chinoise – que ce soit la faible consommation et les importants excédents extérieurs, la surcapacité industrielle, la dégradation de l'environnement ou certaines interventions gouvernementales comme les contrôles de capitaux ou la répression financière. Pourtant, ce que beaucoup ne parviennent pas à reconnaître, c'est que ce ne sont que les symptômes d'un problème sous-jacent unique : le modèle de croissance déséquilibré de la Chine.

Ce modèle est, dans une certaine mesure, une construction politique et le résultat d'un biais profond en faveur des secteurs de la construction et de l’industrie en tant que principaux moteurs du développement économique. Cette prédilection nous ramène au Grand bond en avant de 1950, quand la ferraille était refondue pour atteindre des objectifs de production d'acier trop optimistes, faisant ainsi progresser le rêve de Mao d’une industrialisation rapide.

Aujourd'hui, l’inclination de la Chine pour la production industrielle se manifeste dans de grands projets industriels et d'infrastructure, encouragés par des subventions publiques directes et indirectes. En stimulant les investissements et en générant des recettes fiscales pour les gouvernements locaux, cette approche a un plus grand impact positif immédiat sur le PIB que les efforts visant à développer le secteur des services.

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