So this is very good, and although it’s long (although, not as long as I thought it would be; I was reading it this morning on my phone and emailed it to myself to finish later because I thought I was less than halfway but it turned out I had one paragraph left and the rest was comments), it’s very easy to read:

Prospect Mag – You’ll never be Chinese, by Mark Kitto

Obviously, read the whole thing, but there are a few things worth pointing out. First, the section where he compares the costs/benefits of China being the dominant superpower compared to the British and the Americans is really interesting (but it’s a theme running throughout so no point in quoting).

Second, in a section discussing the two scenarios for how all of this unsustainable growth might come to an end, sparked by a property crash:

Everything the Party does to fix things in the short term only makes matters worse in the long term by setting off property prices again. Take the recent cut in interest rates, which was done to boost domestic consumption, which won’t boost itself until the Party sorts out the healthcare system, which it hasn’t the money for because it has been invested in American debt, which it can’t sell without hurting the dollar, which would raise the value of the yuan and harm exports, which will shut factories and put people out of work and threaten social stability.

Directly after that he talks about the educational system, where unless you live in the city breathing the pollution so you can send your kids to an international school, you’re stuck with Chinese schools:

And then there is the propaganda. Our daughter’s very first day at school was spent watching a movie called, roughly, “How the Chinese people, under the firm and correct leadership of the Party and with the help of the heroic People’s Liberation Army, successfully defeated the Beichuan Earthquake.” Moral guidance is provided by mythical heroes from communist China’s recent past, such as Lei Feng, the selfless soldier who achieved more in his short lifetime than humanly possible, and managed to write it all down in a diary that was miraculously “discovered” on his death.

Anyway, there’s a ton more about the schools so I’ll stop now.

(Incidentally, The nationalism thing reminded me a lot of that really interesting series of posts Leo Lewis (Asia Correspondent with The Times) wrote about the two Koreas a couple years ago when they had that big leadership meeting.)