《经济学人》:中国经济-竹节资本主义
日期:2011-03-25 14:04

(单词翻译:单击)

英文文本

事实上,中国经济在国家干预最少的领域取得了进步。“中国特色的资本主义”取得今天的成就,不是因为中国特色,而是因为资本主义。

China’s success owes more to its entrepreneurs than its bureaucrats. Time to bring them out of the shadows

FEW would deny that China has been the economic superstar of recent years. Thanks to its relentless double-digit annual growth, it has become the world’s second-largest economy and in many ways the most dynamic. Less obvious is quite what the secret of this success has been. It is often vaguely attributed to “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”–typically taken to mean that bureaucrats with heavy, visible hands have worked much of the magic. That, naturally, is a view that China’s government is happy to encourage.

But is it true? Of course, the state’s activity has been vast and important. It has been effective in eradicating physical and technological obstacles: physical, through the construction of roads, power plants and bridges; technical, by facilitating (through means fair and foul) the transfer of foreign intellectual property. Yet China’s vigour owes much to what has been happening from the bottom up as well as from the top down. Just as Germany has its mighty Mittelstand, the backbone of its economy, so China has a multitude of vigorous, (very) private entrepreneurs: a fast-growing thicket of bamboo capitalism.

These entrepreneurs often operate outside not only the powerful state-controlled companies, but outside the country’s laws. As a result, their significance cannot be well tracked by the state generated statistics that serve as a flawed window into China’s economy. But as our briefing shows, they are an astonishing force.

The Mittel Kingdom

First, there is the scale of their activities. Three decades ago, pretty much all business in China was controlled by one level of the state or another. Now one estimate—and it can only be a stab—puts the share of GDP produced by enterprises that are not majority-owned by the state at 70%. Zheng Yumin, the Communist Party secretary for the commerce department of Zhejiang province, told a conference last year that more than 90% of China’s 43m companies were private. The heartland for entrepreneurial clusters is in regions, like Zhejiang, that have been relatively ignored by Beijing’s bureaucrats, but such businesses have now spread far and wide across the country.

Second, there is their dynamism. Qiao Liu and Alan Siu of the University of Hong Kong calculate that the average return on equity of unlisted private firms is fully ten percentage points higher than the modest 4% achieved by wholly or partly state-owned enterprises. The number of registered private businesses grew at an average of 30% a year in 2000-09. Factories that spring up alongside new roads and railways operate round-the-clock to make whatever nuts and bolts are needed anywhere in the world. The people behind these businesses endlessly adjust what and how they produce in response to extraordinary (often local) competition and fluctuations in demand. Provincial politicians, whose career prospects are tied to growth, often let these outfits operate free not only of direct state management but also from many of the laws tied to land ownership, labour relations, taxation and licensing. Bamboo capitalism lives in a laissez-faire Bubble.

But this points to a third, more worrying, characteristic of such businesses: their vulnerability. Chinese regulation of its private sector is often referred to as “one eye open, one eye shut”. It is a wonderfully flexible system, but without a consistent rule of law, companies are prey to the predilections of bureaucrats. A crackdown could come at any time. It is also hard for them to mature into more permanent structures.

Cultivate it, don’t cut it

All this has big implications for China itself and for the wider world. The legal limbo creates ample scope for abuse: limited regard for labour laws, for example, encourages exploitation of workers.

Rampant free enterprise also lives uncomfortably alongside the country’s official ideology. So far, China has managed this rather well. But over time, the contradictions between anarchic opportunism and state direction, both vital to China’s rise, will surely result in greater friction.Party conservatives will be tempted to hack away at bamboo capitalism.

It would be much better if they tried instead to provide the entrepreneurs with a proper legal framework. Many entrepreneurs understandably fear such scrutiny: they hate standing out, lest their operations become the focus of an investigation. But without a solid legal basis (including intellectual-property laws), it is very hard to create great enterprises and brands.

The legal uncertainty pushes capital-raising into the shadows, too. The result is a fantastically supple system of financing, but a very costly one. Collateral is suspect and the state-controlled financial system does not reward loan officers for assuming the risks that come with non-statecontrolled companies. Instead, money often comes from unofficial sources, at great cost.

The socalled Wenzhou rate (after the most famous city for this sort of finance) is said to begin at 18% and can even exceed 200%. A loan rarely extends beyond two years. Outsiders often marvel at the long-term planning tied to China’s economy, but many of its most dynamic manufacturers are limited to sowing and reaping within an agricultural season.

So bamboo capitalism will have to change. But it is changing China. Competition from private companies has driven up wages and benefits more than any new law—helping to create the consumers China (and its firms) need. And behind numerous new businesses created on a shoestring are former factory employees who have seen the rewards that come from running an assembly line rather than merely working on one. In all these respects the private sector plays a vital role in raising living standards—and moving the Chinese economy towards consumption at home rather than just exports abroad.

The West should be grateful for that. And it should also celebrate bamboo capitalism more broadly. Too many people—not just third-world dictators but Western business tycoons—have fallen for the Beijing consensus, the idea that state-directed capitalism and tight political control are the elixir of growth. In fact China has surged forward mainly where the state has stood back. “Capitalism with Chinese characteristics” works because of the capitalism, not the characteristics.

参考译文

竹节资本主义

中国的成功更多的归功于企业家而不是官僚。是时候将这些企业家推到幕前了。

很少人会否定中国式近年来的经济超级明星。多亏了持续的每年两位数的增长,让中国成为世界第二大经济体,在很多方面甚至是最强劲的。

中国成功的秘密亦并不显而易见。经常含糊的归因于“中国特色的资本主义”——通常表示官僚沉重的有形的手施展魔法。当然,这种看法是中国政府乐意去鼓励的。

但是这事真的吗?显然,国家的活力是巨大和重要的。这在摧毁自然规律和技术障碍很有效果,通过建设道路,能源计划和桥梁;技术使得转移国外的知识产权变得便利(通过直接的和肮脏的方法)。然而中国的元气更多归功于那些由下而上同样也是由上而下的发生的事情。正像德国有很活跃的中小企业,作为他经济的脊梁,同样的罪过也有他多元的力量,(很多)私人企业家:快速增加的一群竹节资本主义。

这些企业家经常管理超出范围,不仅超出政府管理下强大的公司,而且超出了国家的法律。结果就是,通过国家生成的一组统计数据,他们的重要性不能很好的追踪到他们充当了中国经济的一个突破口。但是,我们的简报显示,他们是一股令人惊讶的力量。

中小企业王国

第一,他们有一定规模的活力。30年前,在中国大部分商业都受到某一级别的政府或其他部门的管制。现在有人估算,中国国家控股的企业创造了该国70%的GDP,这一估算也只是一种尝试。浙江省工商局局长郑宇民, 在去年的一个会议上说中国4300万的公司中超过90%是私营的。创业的中心区域集中在相比较而言被北京的官僚忽视的地区,例如浙江,但是这些生意开始广泛的在全国开展。

第二,他们有活力。香港大学的学者刘桥和Alan Siu估算,全部或者部分国有控股的企业的收益利率仅有4%,未列入表格的私人公司收益利率比这个数字整整高出10%。在2000到2009年期间,注册登记的私人公司的数字平均每年增长30%。伴随着新的道路和火车,工厂迅速成长起来,全天候运行,满足全世界的各种需求。在这些企业背后的人没完没了的调整生产内容和生产技术来应对残酷的竞争(通常来自本地)和需求的波动。省领导,他们的职业前途跟经济的增长息息相关,通常他们不仅让私营企业不受到中央的直接控制,而且在土地关系,劳工关系,税,许可证等方面给私营企业一路开绿灯。竹节资本主义活在一个自由主义的泡沫中。

但是,让人更担心的第三个企业的特点:他们的脆弱性。中国管理他的私营部门通常被认为是“睁一只眼闭一只眼”。这是一个美好的灵活的体制,但是没有一个始终如一的法律规章,公司只能根据官员的个人偏好来行事。随时可能发生打压。对中国的企业来说也很难去深思一个更固定的结构体系。

培养,而不是切掉

所有这些对中国自己和全世界都是一个重要的启示。法律的不稳定,为滥用权利创造了大量的机会:例如,忽视对劳工法会鼓励剥削工人。混乱的自由企业也不适应国家官员的思想意识。目前为止,中国管理的相当不错。但是随着时间的推移,混乱中的投机主义和国家的发展趋势(两者都是中国崛起的重要因素)的矛盾将产生更大的冲突。党中的保守派希望砍掉竹节资本主义。如果他们试着给事业提供更正统的法律结构结果会更好。很多企业家害怕这样的详细审查:他们讨厌脱颖而出,免得他们的业务运营成为调查的焦点。但是没有一个固定的法律基础(包括知识产权法),将很难创造大企业和品牌。

法律的不确定也使得阴暗的资本增加。这个导致一个灵活的融资系统,但代价昂贵的。抵押品被怀疑,政府管制下的财政系统部奖赏承担非国家控股的公司风险的在债务人。于是资金大部分来自非官方的渠道,代价非常高。所谓的温州利率(因这中金融模式而出名的城市)起点在18%,最高可以超过200%。贷款期限范围超过2年。外人常惊讶于中国经济的长期计划,但是中国经济下最活跃的制造商像农民一样被限制只能在农作季节播种和收割。

所以竹节资本主义将会改变。但是这将改变中国。来自私营企业的竞争比任何新法律更能拉动了工资和福利——帮助创造消费者需求(和这些企业的需求)。早先的工厂员工发现,资产回报来自于流水线而不是流水线上的一个点,于是自己做起了小本生意。在所有的方面,私营部门在提高生活标准上扮演了一个非常的角色——带动中国经济朝着内部消费,而不只是出口国外。

西方应该为此而感到欣慰。同时应该颂扬竹节资本主义更加广泛。很多人,不仅仅是第三世界的独裁者还有西方企业的大亨,被“北京共识”欺骗,以为国家宏观调控的资本主义和严格的政治控制是经济增长的灵药。事实上,中国经济在国家干预最少的领域取得了进步。“中国特色的资本主义”取得今天的成就,不是因为中国特色,而是因为资本主义。

分享到
重点单词
  • financingn. 融资,资金供应 动词finance的现在分词
  • thicketn. 繁茂处,丛林,草丛
  • vigorousadj. 精力充沛的,元气旺盛的,有力的
  • equityn. 权益,产权,(无固定利息的)股票,衡平法 n. 公
  • technicaladj. 技术的,工艺的
  • constructionn. 建设,建造,结构,构造,建筑物
  • ownershipn. 所有权
  • cultivatevt. 培养,耕作,栽培,结交(朋友), 促进增长,教养
  • controln. 克制,控制,管制,操作装置 vt. 控制,掌管,支
  • exceedvt. 超过,胜过,超出界限 vi. 领先