There is no evidence of such doubts in Chengdu, a city of 11 million people located 1,800 kilometers from Shanghai. The skeletons of new office towers are popping up everywhere, and streets are being torn up to build a new subway system.
Chengdu is the home of Sichuan Tengzhong, the new owner of the Hummer brand. Global brands from Motorola to SAP are developing new products there, and Intel is moving its Chinese production facilities from Shanghai to the city -- partly because wages in Chengdu are generally 50 percent lower.
If the Chinese have their way, Chengdu will be the next Silicon Valley. The local software industry already employs 80,000 people, a number that is expected to at least double within the next three years.
From his office on the 10th floor of a modern glass office tower, Xu Liming has a view of the city's high-tech park, an 87-square-kilometer (34-square-mile) zone. He is one of the administrators of the park, one of the tens of thousands of efficient economic managers one encounters in China today. He is passionate about China and the party, but he has also mastered the jargon of the Western investors who are constantly coming to see him.
Xu has been busier than ever since the global economic crisis began. His job is to speed up the pace of China's acquisition of cutting-edge technology. And Xu knows how best to convince Western corporate executives to produce in Chengdu instead of at home.
Air pollution? We are working on this problem very intensively, he says. A Western-style hospital? Already planned, he says. Start-up funding? Our government banks take a professional and flexible approach to examining loans, he promises. Transportation? We can deliver goods anywhere in the world within 24 hours, he says, and we are also building a second, larger runway at our airport.
China's West, says Xu, is a growth market that no one can ignore anymore. "The global crisis is our big chance."
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan