Diary

An Answer Within A Question

Sometimes the most profound questions come from the most unlikely places. And hidden within those questions are the actual answers. In Davos, Switzerland at the annual Economic Forum, it seems that the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, was unusually optimistic. Ask the question why, and get a million different answers. China hasn’t been hit like the rest of the world so far in this economic dowturn. Ask the question why again, and you could still get many different answers.

The only bright spot, as the conference got under way came from Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier. Eager to calm concerns that his country’s economy would not avoid recession, Mr. Wen struck an unabashedly upbeat tone.

“I can give you a definitive answer,” he said. “Yes, it will; we are full of confidence.”

Mr. Wen, in a rare appearance by a top Chinese official at Davos, said that the Chinese government had set a goal of 8 percent growth in 2009, which he called “an attainable target through hard work.” He reeled off statistics that showed bank lending and investment, after slowing sharply in the fall, picked up in December and January.

So it seems that Premier Jiabao tried to answer those questions himself. I found the answer the other day when I was outside working in the yard with my kids. My daughter, seven years old, is at that age where she is learning to read. So of course she reads everything now. I was taking care of some tall grass that I had been meaning to get to for months when I heard the answer within a question; “Daddy, why does everything say made in China?” Like I said, the answer within a question. A pretty profound one at that.