Chenab bridge, touted as soon-to-be world's tallest railway bridge, for instance, was scheduled to completed by 2009. Work halted due to safety concerns, but began again an year later. The date was, then, shifted to 2015 and now, the newer estimate suggest it will be completed by 2019 . I am not sure if we'll be able to abide by that too.
Democracy might give people something to cheer about, but, for a country fraught with inefficiencies, it does make progress awfully slow.
For example, China built 14,000 miles of high-speed rail in about 15 years, with another 10,000 on the way. In America we still haven't built our first line. Every time the discussion comes up, it degenerates into people explaining all the places it won't work.
Not to worry for India, in 50 years it will be better off than today. It might even pass the US.
It's not that we can't get it accomplished reasonably, you'd be amazed at how fast and cheaply major projects can be developed if funding is properly structured. It's rather that we've wasted our treasure on other things. Jack Ma had an interesting comment at Davos - what would the US be like if we had spent the $14 trillion we've wasted on war and wall street bailouts on infrastructure, research, and education in the Midwest?
Source? The Congressional Research Service published a report in 2014 stating $1.6 trillion as the cost of war. Every other article I could find suggests this number is far too low and estimates $2-6 trillion.
* Hillary Clinton's campaign platform included a decent infrastructure bill - allocating $250 billion over 10 years.
* NIH is estimated to spend $8 billion this year on cancer and cardiovascular research - the leading causes of death in America, killing over 1 million people each year.
Accounting is a creative endeavor.
Even moderate estimates put it at about $5 Trillion, the most conservative at $3 trillion, with the high end (reality) at $8+.
One huge cost people completely ignore is the cost of health care for the vets we bring back who suffer from a huge number of physical and mental issues. It's also one we'll be paying for the next 40-50 years.
As I said, you can project all sorts of future costs, or costs to the broader economy. But $14T is a nutty figure to claim was available to spend in lieu of wars and bailouts.
Additionally, to ignore future costs is absolutely how we end up spending incredible amounts war mongering and passing the deficit to future administrations and people. If we correctly calculated the costs it would've been seen as outrageous. What you're saying is analogous to buying a car but not factoring in the cost of interest, when that interest payment is 25%, and the cost of maintenance and repair.
You provide zero proof to backup your claim as well. Show me something to change my mind, or read the linked book and educate yourself. Spouting lies does nothing valuable for society or yourself. Let it be known my degree is in economics, I'm not spouting off some list of bullshit facts from a "documentary" video on Youtube.
Given that the entire war(s) have been funded off-budget I'm not sure I would accept a budgetary figure as given.
The military industrial complex is so out of control and bloated, we can't help but keep fighting wars to feed all these thousands of jobs going.
Very worrying state of affairs.
The money went to friends of corrupt US administrations and military contractors. That is 14,000 billion dollars stolen from American workers and shoved into the pockets of filthy rich white men.
I just don't think you can lament the state of inter regional transportation in the US without talking about our country's very unique obsession and history with the auto industry.
More specifically, CEO's of American corporations with a time horizon of at most 5 years.
Contrary to most western audience's belief, Democracy is also a value promoted by CPP , at least literally. But the meaning of democracy is quite different. The one in India focus on equal voting from everybody , in China such practice is only gradually implemented in some area recently, but what CPP emphasize more is collective decision making by a group of participants not a dominant chief officer.
As to select policy maker/politician , Chinese system evolved to a very different systematic procedure with some democracy factors (i.e. selected by vote, but not by average people). See a TED speech:
The consequence of the difference is "democratically elected" policy makers are good story tellers finally win the voters . Usually they are former Lawyer, Journalist who are very good at articulating and performing to gain higher votes, live in their own alternative reality sometime lead to war. As a comparison, typical Chinese officials are usually not so good looking , even can not speak fluently without a speech note, more likely trained as engineers with better understanding facts , less influenced by ideology. But they are in that position for a better reason: They have some track record of accomplishment.
From Machine learning point of view, India democracy looks like a simple one layer Perceptron with equal weights on all inputs, Chinese "democracy" is a forward feed neural network with a very small hidden layer with the weights somehow adjusted.
Good luck to India people.
> As to select policy maker/politician , Chinese system evolved to a very different systematic procedure with some democracy factors (i.e. selected by vote, but not by average people)
What you are describing is some kind of collegial governance, but absolutely not a democratic government. Contrary to what you are saying, voting systems that exclude the "average people" are literally undemocratic.
Now, you can very well argue that democracy isn't the best or most efficient system, but the Chinese system just isn't democratic, and is not really leaning towards it either.
Well that's somewhat of a moving goal post. Was the US not a democracy at it's inception because only land owners were allowed to vote? What about before black people and women were allowed to vote? Were Britain and Germany not democracies at the outbreak of WW2?
Most importantly of all, were the ancient Athenians not democratic? The average person was a slave, but the did define what democracy meant.
China is a classic communist dictatorship with a few Democratic elements.
China actually has several other parties than Communist party, for example Chinese Kuomintang, China Democratic League etc. But they are small meritocratic ally selected (only 100,000 members and must be intellectual) support parties. Communist party still rules.
In principle people outside the system can be elected. If I remember only one person has been able to get trough in 20 years and all independent candidates are harassed ruthlessly.
The Chinese people work wonders because they believe they can work wonders if they work hard. This is pretty much the American Dream as I understood it. That's why I always imagined that the Chinese government has much in common, and thus can work well with a GOP government. People are urged to work hard for a better life, not relying (too much) on social securities.
It's hard to tell if democracy is fundamentally better than whatever its alternative is. You know, no offense, DT can be elected. With enough manipulation, all Chinese government heads can be elected as well, even under a democratic system.
tl;dr: Planned to open in 2011, it's still in construction with some say it won't open before 2020.
That smoke exhaust system seems absurd - I don't know how the architectural plans even left the design phase. It should have been isolated and designed such that it could be replaced with a conventional approach cheaply.
The rest of the project sounds like a deadline-driven fixed-resource software project with incompetent management - hacks and cut corners everywhere.
(It's a video a few minutes long and worth watching. I rarely watch videos on news sites, but glad I watched this one.)
What China has achieved is truly incredible. For anybody young and commitment free (or even just commitment free), you should go there. Cool people, so much opportunity, and you get to live in the heart of a rising super-power.
Also, that guy speaks Chinese like an excited teenager.
> that guy speaks Chinese like an excited teenager
So, in the modern American documentary interview style even when everyone's speaking English, then?
Are there english speaking startups one could work at? Are work-permit requirements doable?
We are hiring people in engineering, sales and marketing departments https://www.strikingly.com/s/careers
A few years back a friend told me work permit was easy to get as long as you got a sponsor. Not sure how hard it is today though.
Lived there for 5 years, hung out with some great people and some great adventures.
There are a billion people so, of course, YMMV, but perhaps you're the reason for your bad experience?
I agree with the getting the heck out part though. Unless you've a good job, or another way to float above a surface of society still broken from Mao's tragic destruction, China can grind you down.
China is addicted to infrastructure projects to boost its GDP. The problem is that these projects in aggregate produce a poor economic return, so China's debt as a percentage of GDP is growing unsustainably. At some point it will be forced to have a painful adjustment to lower growth, especially for investment spending.
Personally I find Larry Summers analysis pursuasive when he argues that China will most likely achieve 4% growth over next two decades 
In many ways the United States Apollo program was also a white elephant as a space program of that scale was economically unsustainable, however, it had a huge impact on accelerating pace of technology development.
That's my guess.
I can't wait to arrange a trip there.
I don't watch much BBC so i don't know if that changed lately. It's a change for the better imo.
No, he's having fluent and meaningful exchange of words with those interviewees.
> Chinese speaker here
You're definitely not a native speaker.
> almost like mocking the Chinese staff
I'm not sure why you interpreted it that way but there's absofreakinglutely no mocking people in there, hey.
All of those whom he interviewed were speaking Mandarin with different degrees of accents and apparently the guy has some pretty decent level of command of the language so he can still converse with most of them no problem. The last one he interviewed (starting from 03:30) spoke with a heavily accented version of Mandarin so even I had to pay attention to understand like, 80% of what he was saying; the reporter probably had issues understanding him as well so he just smiled and nodded. Overall I found the reporter's usage of Mandarin as well as his interaction with others to be very natural.
I am a native Mandarin speaker.
I think he's just trying to sound excited, to make the video more compelling.
I think it's perhaps because the BBC does a lot of educational material aimed, at least partially, at children and schools, and the presenters are trained to be very exaggerated and enthusiastic in their reactions. Experts like scientists and engineers can be quite placid in their delivery, and so the presenter's job is to make whatever it is they're talking about seem more "exciting". E.g. some engineering project, scientific experiment, historical fact, etc.
Maybe a bit of pandering, but I think he is just trying to be polite, but I don't see any sign of mocking.
"Man of Race-or-Country Y is exaggerating something in our language? Race-or-Country Y must be looking down on us!"
Sort of like mocking hick accents in the US, real funny until you're talking with someone who actually has a hick accents, and then it's just kinda mean.
But from a certain point of view(where you assume this is just a normal conversation between two people), i can see what you mean.
Don't think there's any malice there, must be hard to context-switch between speaking a non-native language while interviewing for a foreign audience.
EDIT: if you've watched other BBC productions, the level of enthusiasm would be familiar. I think it is a BBC company culture/style thing. Drawing a blank at the moment, had someone very specific in mind, but maybe anything by Clare Balding, Sue Barker or Lizo Mzimba though none of these are the person I have in my mind...
(I'm a native Mandarin speaker.)
I agree with you that this reporter really didn't add to the conversation. Like you said, it is more of repeating/exaggerating.
Programs like this can be paid to make with purpose of showcasing a government project instead of actual "reporting".
All to often TV has an interpreter and is editing together to make the interviewer seem like they understand. Even worse, the interviewer reads the question in English and then the interviewee responds in the native language, clearly having been told the question already.
It's wonderful to see people having a normal interaction in a language that isn't English.
The video is a "Lion Television / All3 Media production for JSBC"
Lion Television is a UK TV production company.
All3 Media are "content creators".
JSBC is Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation.
So, I don't know if we can say anything about the BBC from that interviewer.
We can say the BBC have many foreign correspondents (although their have been drastic cuts), who spend long times in the countries they report on. When you hear reports from foreign correspondents (eg, BBC radio 4's "Letter From Our Own Correspondent") you'll hear them speaking non-English languages and providing a translation.
Complaints about cuts to the foreign correspondents: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/oct/21/bbc-foreign-co...
From Our Own Correspondent page, with many downloadable podcasts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qjlq
That's a beautiful bridge though.
Some of the longest and most used suspension bridges are in China, and they've been in use for years in major cities like Shanghai.
Here is a list of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world, look at how many of them are in China:
It was meant as lighthearted snark, since the bridge collapse only just happened a few days ago. I'm sorry it didn't come across right.
I don't know what's more impressive, their capability to achieve super high quality at low cost or their capability to achieve unsafe quality at even lower cost...
But I've travelled on these bridges and don't think they are unsafe. The expressway ones at least seem to be supervised much more closely.
To grossly simplify it, China is a lot less of a single nation than it claims to be. Historically, it was a collection of states that were bound together into a single empire, but most places still retained local identity over the imperial one, and most Chinese dynasties failed not because external pressures were raised to insurmountable level, but rather because the thin fabric tying the states together fell apart and the empire just disintegrated.
The CPC sees this, not any external threat or national level domestic challenger, as the primary threat and problem facing them in the future. To fix it, they employ a policy of trying to integrate the periphery by building infrastructure in such a way to make it easier to travel between provinces than it is to travel inside provinces, so that new economic structures arise which make the people in one province dependent on people in other provinces, and so that travel and marriage of people across the provinces would in the long term make the distinctions fade away.
I think Chinese political and economic leadership is absolutely world class and may some day be viewed by historians as the best the world has ever seen, especially if you consider both the breadth and speed of their accomplishments.
Are they really though? Indeed they abuse political dissidents and disallow free speech, but are there really that many people that violate these rules any more?
It's a valid worldview to say "that doesn't matter", but not everyone agrees with that stance. A (mostly) benevolent dictatorship is a perfectly valid form of rule if you ask me.
A kidnap victim getting Stockholm Syndrome doesn't make the kidnapping OK.
Bad rules are a problem even if people follow them.
And "bad" (often a matter of philosophical opinion) rules may be a problem, but how big of a problem, and should also be compared to the relative success of alternatives, such as "freedom" as enjoyed in the USA, and it's current trajectory of aggregate economic success and personal happiness. Personally, I think China doesn't have very much to be ashamed of, and much to be proud of.
I don't think you can categorize each bridge for its commercial or strategic value. Before it took you X hours to get from location Y to Z now it is less. It's not about connecting two potatoe farmers it is about connecting the county and modernizing its infrastructure.
A comment made in an a recent NYT article on these new Chinese bridges: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/10/world/asia/china-bridg...
> "If you don’t build roads, there can’t be prosperity,” said Huang Sanliang, a 56-year-old farmer who lives under the bridge. “But this is an expressway, not a second- or third-grade road. One of those might be better for us here.”
Expressways are sexy and useful if you are driving thru. But...I have the feeling they are overbuilding it in many places while not caring much about the less sexy roads that might improve local lives more. But then, such roads would never be talked about abroad and wouldn't do much for China's prestige (and therefore the official's in charge promotion).
The cars on the expressway have little bearing on the farmers below it. A rice farmer isn't going to be driving a new Audi or even a Toyota, even in rich Zhejiang, but definitely not in guizhou or Hunan.
In the video, the farmer interviewed talks about walking 15 min across the new bridge instead of the old way of walking 4 hours on the mountain paths with 30-40 kg of potatoes. And even if it wasn't suitable for walking, 50 farmers together can load their sacks of potatoes into an old pickup truck, pay a driver, truck owner and the expressway toll, and still all be better off.
Even if it was intended mainly to improve long distance transport, what would be the point of pricing the local farmers out of using it? It's unlikely to be capacity constrained.
IMHO you're having this backward. Without the major infrastructure spearheading the development of this region, there won't be interest (money) to overhaul the local roads and bridges.
Not that out of the way if people are using it so much
One of China's strategic goals is to rely more and more on internal demand for the products it manufactures, rather than on export markets.
That is only possible if regions are well connected, and is part of the reason the Chinese government is spending billions of dollars on highways, high-speed rail, tunnels, bridges and more.
Several years back I remember reading a statistic that for some products (I think it was flat screen TVs) that are produced in the south west of China, it was costlier in both time and money to transport the finished goods from the factory to Shanghai (a major port city) than it was to then ship them from Shanghai to the US.
This is just one of many bridges with remarkably similar construction. It looks like the Chinese have mastered how to put massive bridges wherever needed on schedule and to budget. They are building an interstate highway system and high speed rail out across the whole country, not letting the mountains get in the way. With the exception of ridiculously wealthy oil states, expect China to have the best roads soon.
So sure locals can benefit, but that's a side effect.
Not sure how sustainable it is over 50 years. The US did this 50 years ago. We made miles and miles and miles of highways. The the burbs did this 20 years ago. We build miles and miles of road to each and every house, even if the road gets 20 cars a day.
We are starting to pay the price now, as the maintenance bills come due. The federal gov't paid for the building, but the local is responsible for most of the repair. We can't afford to maintain them.
I do not know the lifespan of this bridge. 50, 75 years? At some point some repairs will be due, and it might cost a lot...