China has not passed the US yet but do not be in denial that it will and do not sweat the ghost cities

Foreign Policy journal was trying to make the case that China is still far weaker than the USA. They used one of my articles to make that case.

Some make a big deal about China’s ghost cities that could have 64 million empty homes.

Having a lot of overbuilding would be a huge issue for a western real estate market. The difference is that they are not urbanizing at 20-30 million people per year and they do not have a political system where the government can go to the villages and rural areas and say – We have a million buses over there – get on your going to Kangbashi. There are more processes and procedures than that but Chinese leadership has far more flexibility to manage and direct the economy.

In case you missed it –

China has increased its hydropower target to 430 gigawatts by 2020, up from the current 200 Gigawatts. They will be adding the equivalent of a 18.2GW Three Gorges dam every year instead of older targets of a Three Gorges dam equivalent every two years The dammed rivers will be deeper so that large 10,000 ton barges can more cheaply move goods in and out of the interior so that non-coastal cities can also develop.

They will have more highspeed rail (13,000 km) by the end of this year than the rest of the world combined (10,500-11,000 km. Europe + Japan + everyone)

China will also have megabuses so that they can rapidly get more mass transit without disrupting existing roads. The Megabus system will Ten times cheaper than subway systems in china. Less than $2 million per kilometer for megabus system instead of $70 million per kilometer for subway (China will spend $146 billion to add over 2000 kilometers of subway by 2015.)

China’s old target for 2020 for nuclear power was 40 GWe. A new target is 48.5 Gigawatts by 2015. More than the old 2020 target and in half the time.

Things are just different when your economy is going at 300 miles per hour instead of 65 miles per hour.
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