Traditionally, Japan has been the home of high end technological manufacturing. But over recent years China has been expanding its manufacturing capacity so that it is comfortably the second most productive nation in the world, behind the USA – and an increasing number of China’s factories are producing high specification technological goods.
Although the current recession is leaving large swathes of China’s manufacturing capacity empty, many of the world’s most famous brands still have a large quantity of their most popular goods coming out of China. As is well documented, Chinese based factories have significantly lower overheads than many other nations.
In terms of higher end manufacturing capacity, the Chinese government got one of the crown jewels of global industry, when they took receipt of Hong Kong in 1997. Though the British clearly would have liked to keep this highly lucrative island, there was the small question of a 99 year lease which had to be honoured.
Back in 1997, it may have seemed surprising to some observers that the People’s Republic of China would have allowed Hong Kong so much autonomy. As a result of this happening, however, Hong Kong has remained a global powerhouse of capitalism, with its own currency and its own governing bodies.
With this ‘One Nation, Two Systems’ Hong Kong remains as impressive and influential as it ever was. If Hong Kong was allowed to merge fully with China, it would have been overrun with economic and social migrants. An area with such a small landmass would not have been able to cope, so it seems a wise step by Beijing to keep the state somewhat separate. This means that Hong Kong’s high tech manufacturing base remains the envy of many nations.
It also means that all western nations have no problems with doing business in Hong Kong – and indeed China – realising that after 12 years of looking after Hong Kong’s interests very well, the Chinese government is, in its own peculiar way, subscribing to many of the global capitalist principles which prevail today.
Although there are some societal creases that western states wish China to iron out, China remains a swelling flagship of international manufacturing – and many more of our high technology goods are likely to come from this ancient yet progressive land in the future.