Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 13, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
The Lethbridge Herald FOURTH SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, June 13, 1973 PAGES 37-44 Do-it-yourself China shops world market PEKING (CP) China Is moving quietly but swiftly into a program of imported indus- trial development that reverses long-standing policies of eco- nomic self-reliance and debt- free trade. The program of importing on credit entire factory systems from non-Communist countries may tend to dictate the pattern of China's foreign relations and internal politics far years to come. Within a few months, Chinese authorities completed a series of dea-'s to purchase complete factory systems to produce such materials as synthetic textiles, chemical fertilizers, highly re- fined fuels and petroeum feed- stocks. The purchases, mainly from Japan, include unprece- dented payment arrangements, with credit terms of five years. Hitherto, espscially since the Chinest felt weakened by de- pending on imported Russian technology in the 1950s, Pe- king's policy stressed do-it-your- self industrial development and cash terms in trade. To help feed the new pet- rochemical plants, Chinese au- thorities are also engaged in talks about importing equip- ment and technology to speed development if petrolsum re- sources, notably in the north- east and offshore near Tientsin In the Po Hai Gulf. Orders expected Canadian petroleum-industry interests, who completed a two- week, high-level visit to China earlier this month, expect or- ders for oil extraction and transport equipment. Western observers, watching China's dramatic shift in eco- nomic policy, see impart impli- cations for politics as well as commerce. The program is clearly an ef- fort to make a quick leap in ex- pansion of home production and eventually reduce dependence on imported foods and the ne- cessity of cloth rationing. When petrochemical plants are fully operational five or six years from now, synthetic tex- tiles will be available both to augment and perhaps replace natural sources and imports. Si- multaneously some cotton lands will be freed for food produc- tion At the same time, fertilizer output from the new plants should reduce reliance on im- ports and improve productivity on farms. In another direction, the new plants will produce fuels an expanding airtransport system and for a greater use of farm machinery. The cost of plant purchases already negotiated and others expected soon has prompted Chinese commercial authorities to relax the past policy of pay- ing cash on the barrelhead for imports. Western authorities would not be surprised if repay- ment plans stretching beyond five years are arranged in fu- ture purchases. The venture into longer-term credit arrangements will tend to reinforce China's recent drive on the diplomatic front to develop smooth relations with foreign governments of all ideological persuasions. China's accelerated economic drive may have profound im- pact on her foreign relations. Self-sufficiency is giving way to buy- ing on the cuff. And that means a bigger Chinese market for Canadian and other exporters By CARL MOLLINS Just as important, it suggests that China will be intent on maintaining a placid political atmosphere at home. That means avoiding economically disruptive developments such as the 1966-69 cultural revolu- tion, which stalled productive advance in the interests of pur- ging Chinese society of West- ern-style individualism and pu- rifying political ethics and work styles. The need or political stabil- ity, induced by new industrial policies, comes during a decade when changes in political lead- ership are expected and at a time when authorities may feel inclined to relax formal ratio- ning and other supply restric- tions oncertain foods, clothing and other consumer goods. Large sum In the next few years current or new leaders will be required to test to the utmost the histori- cal Chinese tradition of balance and compromise. They will have to mesh the demands of economic development with sometimes-conflicting social pressures while trying to main- tain the impetus towards Maoist communism. At the centre of the problem is China's new commercial rela- tions with the outside world. Outside observers estimate China will need to pay out at least million a year for the next several years to finance its purchases abroad. Deals since the beginning of this year include two ethylene petrochemical plants from the Japanese valued at more than million; three fertilizer plants worth about million from Kellogg Continental of the Netherlands, a subsidiary of M. W. Kellogg Corp. of Houston, Tex.; a f27-million synthetic textiles plant and a chsmical fertilizer plant from Japan. Also believed by Canton trade fair sources to be virtually com- plete after negotiations with U.S.