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Index Names China Second Most Responsible Nation; U.S. Dead Last


By Eric Fish

China is the second most responsible nation in the world next to Sweden, according to a Chinese Academy of Sciences study. The United States is dead last. 

The academy, a State Council-affiliated think tank, this week released the “Nation Health Report (国家健康报告),” which analyzes the health of countries based on their national “metabolism, immune system, nervous system and behavior.”

The “Behavior” portion of the report included a “State Responsibility Index” that ranks 100 countries based on how well they’ve fulfilled their domestic and international responsibilities. Domestic responsibilities included things like poverty rates, infant mortality, gender equality, unemployment rates and drinking water safety. International responsibilities included arms reduction, resource conservation, environmental protection and development assistance. Economic Observer did not have access to the report, so it could not ascertain exactly how these metrics were measured.

Sweden, China and Luxemburg rounded out the top three most responsible nations on the index, with the United States at the very bottom.

Yang Dougui (杨多贵), a researcher at the academy and head of the report’s research group, addressed the gap between China and the United States saying, “Our evaluation is based on United Nations standards because it demands different international responsibilities for developed and developing nations. So when we evaluate these 100 countries, we use different standards. America did terribly in what it’s supposed to do, so it was ranked last.”

The report said that while China isn’t wealthy, it’s a responsible developing country and honors its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals. It cites 2008 World Bank data that allegedly shows 67 percent of global poverty reduction over the past 25 years came from China. The report also says that in recent years, China has always been willing to provide assistance to other developing countries without political preconditions.

As for the United States, the report focuses on high military expenditures while the poverty rate has been trending upward.  It also notes that the United States makes up only five percent of the world's population, yet it accounts for a quarter of the world's energy consumption and has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol and other environmental protection agreements.

“Compare a young man and an old man,” Yang said in an interview with China News. “America is the old man – rich and enjoys high social status. China is a young man who’s not rich, but healthy.”

Yang says that the study’s research data and methods meet international standards. “We just looked from a different angle,” he said.

According to Yang, research was done by himself and seven or eight other researchers (including post-graduate students) on an initial grant of less than 50,000 yuan from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Yang deemed the grant very little and largely symbolic, and says he rejected further funding from other government departments. “We rejected it because people abroad would say this report is government-backed, which wouldn’t be objective and neutral,” he said.

This isn’t the first time China has sat atop an international index with the United States coming in dead last. In 2011, North Korea's Chosun Central Television reportedly put out a global happiness index ranking China as the happiest nation on Earth with the U.S. bringing up the rear at number 203.

Links & Sources
People’s Daily Online -中科院报告:中国国家责任“盈余” 美国排名垫底
China News - 报告提“2049年中国超美” 课题组回应质疑



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