Guy de Jonquieres has a pithy column in the Financial Times about China’s dodgy economic statistics (subscribers only). The conclusion:
China’s economy has opened up dramatically. But its government has not. A pervasive culture of secrecy inhibits communications even between ministries. At all levels, information is viewed as a resource to be hoarded and as a means to exercise power, not as a public good.
Free and accessible information flows are a modern economy’s lifeblood. Without them, markets will not work properly, nor will rational investment decisions be made. Unless Beijing creates trust in its methods of monitoring the economy’s pulse, by making them more transparent as well as more accurate, they will act as a tourniquet, not a health check.