Have been away from this blog for awhile but that doesn’t mean that the problems in China have gone away. What strikes me that in my morning read so many different reports about so many problems in so many different areas indicate a system that is under strain. When and how it breaks is unclear other than unsustainable trends are unsustainable.

Construction stopped around 1998 when the project lost its funding.

Reuters/David Gray

We have Business Insider pulling together a report on what was to be the largest amusement park in the world in 1988 is being torn down and the land reclaimed. This is in the category of paying people to dig a ditch and then fill it in and calling it “GDP” or productive work. At the end, the only work that got done given that it was paid for with China exporting more than it was importing is that the true China export was unemployment to the rest of the world.

In the Economist reports on how most Chinese cities don’t need and can’t afford the subway systems they built. Like the prior situation, building these subway systems “created” work and “GDP” for the country but it was not productive. Given the ongoing operational costs one could well argue that its on-going negatively productive. That is, these subway systems require maintenance and support in excess of the revenue they generate. The cheaper solution would be to shut them down. One might argue that the cities may grow to need them but by the time they do, they may need to be replaced. Which gets to the next data point.

Then over on the blog The Testosterone Pit, the author reports on outsourcing highly skilled aircraft maintenance to China for a lower cost has the little problem of parts going missing when after the workers have “maintained” the plane. So who wants to fly in one of these? When making a ticket booking will one have to ask where the plane was maintained? Or what is the added cost to repair what was supposed to be repaired. By the time something bad has happened, the original workers or company in China could be gone.