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A steroid-fuelled example

[ 2009-06-16 14:29]     字号 [] [] []  
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A steroid-fuelled exampleReader question:

In this sentence – “At the centre of the Asian development model, with China providing a steroid-fuelled example, were policies aimed at mobilizing high levels of domestic savings and channeling massive investment into productive capacity” – what does “a steroid-fuelled example” mean?

My comments:

It means that the Chinese economy has been growing extra-fast.

Steroid-fuelled? Fuelled by steroids, as cars are fuelled by oil.

“Steroid-fuelled” is a metaphorical expression here – pointing out that the Chinese economy has been powered by steroids, or chemicals that help people improve performances.

In other words, if the Chinese economy were viewed as a person, it would have been taking drugs – performance-enhancing drugs that enable athletes to run faster and jump higher.

In fact, steroids are most often talked about in sports in the form of performance enhancing drugs. They enable athletes to run unfairly faster and jump unfairly higher.

These drug-taking athletes tend to grow impossibly big muscles, too. Ben Johnson, the former 100-meter world record holder for example had such improbable muscles on the shoulders and legs that he looked suspicious to many even before he was stripped of his medals and records.

You may correctly say that Johnson had a steroid-fuelled career.

Anyways, steroid-taking is unfair. And by referring to the Chinese economy as steroid-fuelled, the author might as well suggest that the Chinese economy has been growing at an unfairly fast rate. Unfair because Chinese and other Asian countries have, for instance, political policies that encourages and utilizes higher savings, “channeling massive investment into productive capacity” – while Western economies simply don’t have such luxuries.

Alright, this is what I have to say about this “steroid-fuelled example.

And a good example it is too – keep up with the good work.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


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