Putting Up Money Has Its Privileges – Don Lee

From the Los Angeles Times:

When Zhang Rongde ponied up $12 million to build a steel plant in this dusty town in central China, local officials offered the out-of-town entrepreneur tax savings, cheaper electricity rates and the title of "honorary citizen."

In the U.S., an honor such as that might come with a symbolic key to the city. In Qinyang, it came with a red booklet that was like a get-out-of-jail-free card.

...That Qinyang would go to such lengths to reward investors speaks volumes about China's economic development today " and the price that's paid for it. It underscores the extraordinary challenges facing the central government as it tries to slow unbridled growth in many localities, improve the rule of law and get a grip on the widening rich-poor divide. [Full text]


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