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China: The Global Grab for Resources

Daniel Gross

China announced Monday is it set to invest in a $1.7 trillion stimulus program over the next five years to ensure economic growth amid fears of slowing growth at home and abroad.

"Global economic conditions remain grim, and ensuring economic recovery is the overriding priority," said Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, Reuters reports. "[And] an unbalanced recovery would be better than a balanced recession."

Gross domestic product averaged 9.7% in China from 2008 to 2010, but growth has been slowing since the beginning of this year. The country's GDP slowed to 9.1% in the third quarter, from 9.5% in the second and 9.7% from the first.

There's been much discussion by economists — even here on The Daily Ticker — over whether China can maintain those near double-digit growth patterns. Evan Smith, co-manager of the Global Resources Fund at U.S. Global Investors, worries about a so-called "hard-landing" in China.

But should GDP in China slow further, the demand from the country's billion-plus population is not going anywhere. In the accompanying video, Smith and The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Daniel Gross discuss China's impact on global resources.

From coal to corn to iron ore, China is "impacting the price of almost all commodities," he says. And in terms of oil, the implications are rather concerning. "There is not enough oil on the planet if they continue grow like they have been growing." See: Oil Hits $100 Per Barrel. It's All About the Pipelines

There is something Americans can do about China's global grab of resources, suggests Dan, who just returned from a week-long research trip there. "As China's 1.3 billion people start to consume like Americans long have, we'd be well advised to figure out how to do more with less." (See: China's Overwhelming Demand for Resources)