From some of the xenophobic, protectionist-inspired criticism you read about Chinese imports into the US and Australia (from what some blogs write, you'd think every product coming out of China was made from toxic waste and designed to maim or kill western consumers) you may doubt the reality of the Chinese "economic miracle" - don't. As reported in this SMH article China has gone from no serious private wealth 30 years ago, to one billionaire in 1999, 14 in 2006 and 106 billionaires as of last October (according to the Hurun rich list).
While it may seem somewhat obscene for an economy that still includes a couple of hundred million people living on less than US$2 a day to be sprouting a crop of billionaires, there can be no doubt that over time this sudden influx of domestic wealth will help boost the overall wealth of the Chinese population. Even if Chinese private wealth is currently largely the result of the unscrupulous combination of speculation and political power (very similar to the situation in Russia I suspect), in the near future we are going to see a massive rise in size of the affluent middle class in China.
Copyright Enough Wealth 2007