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China: Economic Growth and Reform

Autor:   •  February 28, 2011  •  Term Paper  •  2,022 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,661 Views

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China: Economic Growth and Reform

China has been the fastest growing economy in the world for more than 30 years. From 1978 to 1998, China's GDP quadrupled and in that time has become the second largest economy in the world (Washington Post). China has seen rapid industrialization and economic success that has far surpassed that of the United States and Great Britain during their industrial ages. While one may be impressed with the progress that China has made over these short years, most do not understand the implications that go hand-in-hand with their economic success. China is one of the last major countries of the world to modernize and in turn face these common problems that associated with rapid industrialization. Along with looking into the facts and numbers of China's industrialization, we need to analyze how this has affected the country's population, how politics have remained constant in the mist of change, and how political rights have been affected. We need to analyze these topics in order to conclude whether China has overall benefitted from this economic growth.

In 1978, China sold only 8% of its agricultural output on the open market, whereas by 1990, 80% of its agricultural output was sold in these open markets. China didn't begin its economic revolution until the country opened its borders to foreign trade and investment. From 1990 to 2000, foreign investment in China grew by over 37 billion dollars or by over 1100%. Furthermore, China's foreign trade increased from 36 billion dollars in 1978 to 474 billion dollars in 2000 (China's Opening to the Outside World). Another reason for China's thriving economy is privatization. Corporations in China began to become more and more privatized which allowed them more freedom to do profit maximizing business. According to the lecture notes, the private sector in China contributes an estimated two-thirds of the total GNP. Furthermore, China created special economic zones in the country where business and trade could be conducted more freely amid the socialist system. In a world that is working tirelessly to find less damaging, renewable resources, China is the leading producer of coal which has been a major key to rapid industrialization. The last of the major aspects of China's booming economy has been improvements in technology and transportation. China has been committed to a major highway construction project since the 1980's as well as developing canal systems and improving existing water transportation systems (Washington Post). With the influx of foreign companies pouring into China over the past years, the country has been able to capitalize on the new technologies that have been brought in because of these multinational corporations.

Although China has enjoyed enormous financial achievement, there have been related socioeconomic side effects that have plagued the population. First


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