Online Extra: Backing Up Broken China

As numerous as the country's problems are, more numerous are the books, articles, and Web sites analyzing them

For our cover story, "Broken China," BusinessWeek's team of experienced China hands plunged deep into their pool of sources to bring readers insights from leading figures from the worlds of government, academia, and business. The thesis of our story—that China's growth model is deeply flawed and could keep the country from becoming the next superpower—is sure to spark debate, and even controversy. Surely, we will not have the last word on the subject. For those who would like to delve further, there is a wealth of new material analyzing everything from China's environmental and social challenges to attempts to reform its capital markets. We have provided some of the Web sites, books, and academic articles that were useful sources for this article.


  For general news on China, visit the English-language Web sites of Xinhua, China's central media agency, Another good source is, the Web site of China's largest official English-language newspaper, China Daily.

China Digital Times, a Web site run by the East Asian Institute at University of California at Berkeley, compiles news on politics and social issues in China. The site is often blocked in China,

The English-language section of the Web site of the National Bureau of Statistics of China is a useful reference for key statistics on China:

Former China-based journalist Graham Hutchings has written a voluminous reference book called Modern China: A Guide to a Century of Change. The tome has alphabetical entries starting with agriculture and ending with Zhu Rongji, along with a recommended reading list and a chronology of modern China.

Another very good compilation of documents on modern China is entitled The China Reader: The Reform Era, edited by Orville Schell and David Shambaugh. The book has sections on everything from inner-party politics to the social consequences of economic reforms on Chinese workers and the environment.


  In China: Rebalancing Economic Growth, China expert Nicholas Lardy argues that the country has been too slow to revamp an outdated economic model. This is a chapter in a book titled China: The Balance Sheet, a collaboration between the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

How China Grows: Investment, Finance, and Reform by James Riedel, Jing Jin, and Jian Guo was published this year by the Princeton University Press. This book, whose authors include a vice-governor of the China Development Bank in Beijing, does a great job of demystifying how China finances its growth, where companies get their money, and the progress and shortcomings of reform. It argues that to sustain its development, it now is crucial for China to develop efficient, open capital markets that can fund private companies, rather than state-linked enterprises.


  For a window into the environmental dystopia that is China, read Scorched Earth: Will Environmental Risks in China Overwhelm Its Opportunities?, a Harvard Business Review article penned by a couple of noted China scholars, Elizabeth Economy and Kenneth Lieberthal. Here's just one eyebrow-raising stat: More than 400,000 Chinese die every year from health complications related to air pollution.

China Energy: A Guide for the Perplexed, a paper by China hands Daniel Rosen and Trevor Houser explains why Beijing will have a hard time meeting its goals of cutting emissions and improving energy efficiency.

China's State Environmental Protection Agency is less than 10 years old. The ministerial-level body has its work cut out for it. According to SEPA's own estimates, environmental degradation and pollution cost China the equivalent of 10% of gross domestic product each year:


  The scandal over tainted Chinese exports of seafood and other products has put the spotlight on a little-known agency, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The English-language site is pretty bare-bones, although the agency has recently begun publishing the names of Chinese exporters that were shut down because they're products violated health and safety norms.


  The official site of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the mainland's biggest bourse, publishes rules for listing and trading, plus information on the various indexes.

For the best coverage of corporate governance issues affecting Chinese stocks, go to Though the site's creator, David Webb, is a Hong Kong minority shareholder activist, many of the companies he names and shames have dual listings in China and Hong Kong.


  The premier research organization in China is the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The English-language section of the Web site has an interesting CAS News tab where you can access stories touting China's R&D achievements.

For technology news from China, Shanghai-based research firm Pacific Epoch does a great job trolling through the Chinese media and providing English-language summaries. Top stories are free, others are by subscription only.

The U.S. Information Technology Office in Beijing, a private-sector group representing U.S. companies, has a "China Tech Zone" Web site at

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