The model experiment thinking about reformsYemen and change [Archives:2004/770/Opinion]

September 6 2004

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Tarb
For the Yemen Times

It seems that the deteriorating situation of the country and the near-collapsed condition of all aspects of life in Yemen, (as evidenced by the security incidents in Saddah governorate and the constantly increasing prices of major commodities, consumer goods, products and services) have persuaded all to talk about the need for immediate change and reform.
But the lingering question remains, when will talks turn into deeds? The answer to this question is in the hands of the President of the country. He is solely capable of launching the move towards the required reform and change.
I imagine that the situation would not be able to tolerate much more aggravation. The transition from talking to taking on practical steps is wanted today, more than ever. Any further delay or hesitation, may inadvertently lead all of us to a disaster, the effects of which, God only knows.
I recently retuned from abroad after attending a conference that dealt with development issues, international relations, contemporary economic movement and the challenges of globalization. Many of the issues were discussed candidly and clearly according to scientific methodology. Among the issues discussed that were highly appreciated by the attending audience, were the outcomes of the Chinese and Indian experiments. Despite the different political tactics that were adopted by each of these two countries, the common element between the two experiments was the level of seriousness in terms of concerted plans and visions to guide the leaderships in both countries.
My personal assessment would be to closely examine and study both experiments. However, I will try to briefly highlight the Chinese experiment.
After the WWII, over half a century ago, China was one of the least developed and most backward countries. It was encountering problems that could be characterized as too difficult to resolve.
Then the Chinese Communist Revolution took place. The political and economic systems began to develop rapidly. Old and historic political leadership was replaced with young leadership peacefully within the framework of a genuinely organized party.

The astonishing thing that I want to emphasize here is that China has been considered one of the most attractive countries in the world for foreign investment. According to official and unbiased reports, China had revenues of about 50 billion USD from just foreign investments in 2003. I wonder what the answer of the Yemeni government would be on the volume of the foreign investment in Yemen for the same year.
After the Second World War, more than fifty per cent of Chinese people were living under poverty. Today according to an international report, only 8% live under the poverty line. Those are serious people and that is the difference.