Last update 12/21/2010 9:30:00 AM (GMT+7)

What to do to prosper together with China? - The story of ant and elephant

VietNamNet Bridge – The rise of China as the second biggest economy in the world is really a big challenge, but this also should be seen as the opportunity fo Vietnam to prosper, many Vietnamese people think

After VietNamNet published the article “What should Vietnam do to prosper next to the giant China, a lot of readers have emailed the editorial board, writing that the rise of China is a big challenge for Vietnam, but should also be seen as an opportunity. “If Vietnam has both feet on the ground, it will win,” they wrote.

The story of ants stinging elephant

Commenting on the relation with the neighbouring giant, Nguyen Gia Hao, one of the readers, recalled the allegory about the ants and elephant.

Despite being small, the ants by crawling into the elephant’s ears were able to sting it, causing the elephant to growl in pain. The elephant shook the leaves before eating them, but some ants were still able to sneak into its stomach and bite it. Normally, the elephant would fight with the monkey over fruit. However, having been bitten by ants, it had to give up , because only the monkey could help the elephant to ease the pain by gently patting it on the back.

In the real world, small countries have to continue to exist next to bigger countries. And they need to make friends and cooperate with many other countries in order to build their strength and gain the respect from bigger countries. The cooperation helps the world maintain peace and stability.

Small countries should understand their conditions well, but they should also understand that they have their own strengths. Small countries should not have any inferiority complexes. On the contrary, they need to bring up the national pride and behave wisely.

Agreeing with Nguyen Gia Hao, many other VietNamNet’s readers think that Vietnam needs to develop key industries and apply the Japanese “flying geese” model. “The development of key industries will bring about the development of other industries, thus having positive impacts on the national economy,” wrote another reader, Dangdinhquynh.

Meanwhile, ToiyeuVN emphasized that Vietnam needs to understand the weak and strong points of every country, especially of its closest partners.

“China has been studying Vietnam and Vietnamese enterprises very thoroughly. Why do we still have only a vague knowledge about Chinese enterprises?” he questioned.

bababa1972, believes that Vietnamese enterprises should make the products that Chinese consumers need and keep their original values, instead of trying to compete with China in making cheap products, because when it comes to making low cost products, no other country in the world can do better than China .

“It is necessary that the exporters unite in order to create reasonable policies. It is necessary to export processed products instead of exporting raw material,” he stressed.

Another reader, named Hanh, has suggested that the Government should introduce non-tariff barriers in order to prevent cheap and low-quality Chinese products from flowing into Vietnam. At the same time, the Government should strongly encourage enterprises to boost exports to China (by reducing taxes and assisting them in popularizing their brands in China).

“China is a big market with 1.3 billion people, with the growing living standards. Therefore, the consumption demand has been increasing. If Vietnamese enterprises have reasonable policies, they will be able to take full advantage of the development of China,” Hanh said.

A “clean” apparatus needed

Most readers agree that the impressive development of China in the last decades has been the result of many great efforts.

Reader Ninh Khac Thanh believes that China began preparing for its development right in the early 1970s, and that the country has been following the development policies based on its people.

“The Government of China encouraged young people to go abroad to study and work. After that, the country has been encouraging the talented people to return to the home country to work, by creating best conditions for them,” Thanh said.

In order to do these things, Thanh believes, Chinese government has been trying to “clean” itself. All officials and people who commit wrongdoings, have been heavily punished. Many high ranking leaders have been condemned to death or life sentence for their crimes.

Therefore, Thanh thinks that the important thing Vietnam needs to do now is to improve the government apparatus. Only talented and virtuous people should be chosen for the high positions.

Lan Huong