Stupendous Economic Development of China

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Ghazala Anbreen

The 1839 -1949 period was called a century of humiliation in Chinese History. 40 years ago the poverty rate in this country was more than 90 percent.  But now China has proved its mettle. In 2021 GDP of China was 17.73 trillion dollars. Today China is the world’s second biggest industrial economy, and it has proved itself to be a country with the biggest foreign reserves in the whole world. In 2018 China’s share in export of domestic products all over the world was 18.66 percent.

 China’s economy has grown faster than any other country in the world and this progress is unsurpassed. All these facts invite the need to analyze Chinese development scientifically and find the reasons for its progress. Deeper scrutiny will reveal that certain factors contributed to this tremendous success and they are enumerated below,

“Sincere leadership, Self-reliance, and indefatigable work”.

Under Mao Zedong’s leadership, China flourished without war, weapons, or the use of force through the army. An indication of this is the reality that you go anywhere in any part of the world and you will find things made in China. Simplicity was Mao’s hallmark. He used to wear simple clothes, lived in a humble house, and used a bicycle. He very rarely went on foreign visits to any other country in his life (only twice in fact for state visits to the Soviet Union). Mao declared capitalism as exploitative and decided that China would manufacture the products itself to avert dependence. The theory is termed as Mao’s Great Leap Forward. The campaign was centered on a shift from an agrarian system towards an industrial society through the formation of people’s communes. In 1966 Mao Zedong initiated a cultural revolution. As a result, China got isolated from the rest of the world. However, the Chinese now had realized that this had pushed China to the brink of destruction from economic point of view. Chinese leadership then decided to adopt the capitalistic system for foreign investment. In 1972 the first step towards Chinese development started when USA President Richard Nixon visited China. In this way the relations of both the countries flourished. The next visionary leader was Deng Xiaoping. Under his rule, Chinese Textile Revolution saw its boom. TVEs (Township and Village Enterprises) flourished. These were used to produce toys, furniture farm tools and fertilizers and they became foundation of the Chinese economy in the 1990s along with the textile industry. These were a part of reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping. The top-down policy had not addressed the local problems and failed because of state control. Deng introduced the private and joined stock ownership and he adopted the bottom-up approach instead. It is pertinent to mention here that cheap and skilled labour also enabled China to become the world’s factory.

Chinese economic policy evolved from time to time with changing and emerging technology. The echo system for special Economic zones was developed which included massive infrastructural investments. These investments included high-speed railways and electricity grids. Factories were built under private ownership with minimal taxes. Manufacturing, outsourcing, and conditional foreign investments were also introduced by China in the 1990s. Ali Baba, an e-commerce company incorporated elements of Google, eBay, and Amazon. Similarly, Baidu (a Chinese search engine) is referred to as a copycat of Google. Today its network has expanded to almost 80 countries. From 1990 till 2010 China grew rapidly. Xi Jing Ping adopted the go-global policy and through Belt and Road Initiative Chinese investments reached Asia, Europe, and Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic and the escalated policies as a nationwide lockdown impacted its economy significantly. However, China has proved resurgent and fought the menace. China serves as a potent and worthwhile example to emulate and follow suit by all the developing and underdeveloped countries of the world.

Xi JinPing’s book, “The Governance of China” is a four volume collection of speeches and writings by Xi Jinping. This collection highlights the cultural and economic development, reforms, socialist rule of law etc. Following are some of the extracts from this book, enunciating the importance of youth in the nation-building process. Xi Jinping is trying to make this world realize the significance of education and he is also bringing home the idea how hard work can enable the educated Chinese youth play a pivotal role in the economic reform process of China and contribute to the national development:

“Hard work paints a bright backdrop for a young life, and action is the best way for young people to hone their skills”.

“For China’s youth in the era, the timing is ideal to do great things since you have a vast stage to display your talents, and brighter prospects than ever before of realizing your dreams”.

“Young Chinese in the new era are more confident and capable of self-improvement, and think more critically. But when you come under the influence of diverse ideas, it is inevitable that you may become confused about matters such as ideals and reality, doctrines and practical issues, egoism and altruism, personal interests and the common good, and China and the world”.

“More pertinent, meticulous education and guidance are needed to help young people observe society with a keen eye, think about life with a sober mind, and create the future through your wisdom”.

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