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Perekonomian Dunia Tanpa Cina

NEW HAVEN – Apakah perekonomian Cina akan meledak? Dijerat beban utang yang terlampau besar (debt overhang) dan gelembung pasar perumahan (property bubble), ditambah dengan badan usaha milik negara yang ibarat mayat hidup dan perbankan yang sekarat, Cina sering digambarkan sebagai calon bencana di tengah dunia yang rentan krisis.

Saya masih yakin bahwa ketakutan tersebut berlebihan, sebab Cina memiliki strategi, kemampuan, dan komitmen untuk mewujudkan perubahan struktural besar-besaran menjadi masyarakat konsumen yang berbasis jasa, sembari sukses menghindari cyclical headwinds yang menghantui. Tetapi saya menyadari bahwa pandangan ini hanya diterima segelintir orang.

Misalnya, Menteri Keuangan Amerika Serikat Jacob J. Lew berulang kali menyatakan opini yang agak membingungkan bahwa Amerika Serikat “tidak bisa menjadi satu-satu mesin perekonomian dunia.” Sebetulnya ya memang tidak: kontribusi ekonomi Cina terhadap pertumbuhan global diperkirakan setara dengan empat kali kontribusi AS tahun ini. Barangkali Jacob Lew mengira-ngira skenario terburuk bagi Cina menurut penilaiannya atas perekonomian dunia.

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