Chinas Growing Economy
After North America, Europe, and Japan, the area of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
"is a fourth growth pole in the world economy" (Jue 108) which in 1994
was expected to double in size by 2002. Today, the growth rate is still on track
to fulfill that prediction. Recent Chinese economic policies have shot the
country into the world economy at full speed. As testimony of this, China’s
gross domestic product has risen to seventh in the world, and its economy is
growing at over nine percent per year (econ-gen 1). Starting in 1979, the

Chinese have implemented numerous economic and political tactics to open the

Chinese marketplace to the rest of the world. Chinese reform measures even
anticipated the rush of foreign investment by opening newly expanded industries
to out-of-country investors. As trade expands globally and countries within
geographical proximity and of similar cultural descent and philosophies ally
themselves in order to better compete on a world level, we are seeing the
development of increasing number of geographical trade alliances, whatever the
underlying reasons behind each. The alliances that have been in place for a
while are proving to be very successful in competing in the international
markets, stimulating the economies of nearly all of their member states. Effects
of this change in economic strategy by a world power can be felt by practically
every nation of the globe involved in international trade. The change in the
amount of imports and exports to and from China will increase the demand on
countless markets. Also, with all the foreign investment China is receiving, the
socialistic republic will only grow more and more interdependent upon the world
economy. However, the impressive growth rate of China’s economy is not without
its shortcomings. Problems such as inflation and inefficient state-owned
enterprises plague the rise of the Chinese economy. When China opened its
economic borders 19 years ago, environmentalists spoke of the
"efficiency" of their farming systems and how they used hardly any
organic fuels in the production of food for their people relative to some of the
other countries of the world-most notably the United States. What they neglected
to mention, however, that one farmer at the end of one rake struggling to feed
his family kept fuel consumption very low indeed. It was not, by any stretch,
"efficient." Matching conditions still exist today. Rumors of the
wonderful prosperity of the south and eastern provinces have reached the more
isolated-and less prosperous-interior provinces. Those current farmers who would
travel in order to be more prosperous themselves are often stopped at the
borders of industrial growth and made to turn back. Everyone in China seemingly
wants a share, but the industrial provinces can physically support no more drain
on their existing housing and infrastructures, and they are finding themselves
unable to enhance their current positions despite their economic prosperity.

When examining an issue, it is imperative to honestly look at all sides, and not
all of China’s "sides" are forthcoming. The country has indeed
become more open toward foreign investment, and in fact openly courts it. China
have been known to have placed several restrictions on the multinational
companies that have opened operations within their borders, but they are
generally not so restrictive as to be prohibitive. For example, after IBM
accepted China’s conditions regarding the true ownership of IBM’s facilities
and environmental rulings, it seemed that all of the rest of the world wanted to
join in. Deng Xiaoping called China’s entrance to and courting of the
industrialized world "crossing the river by feeling for the stones"
(The Economist 26). In "feeling for the stones," China’s already
realized economic transformations have "vastly improved the lives of
hundreds of millions of people" (The Economist 26)- Chinese people.

Economic measures instituted by Deng Xiaoping have been grouped together, under
the general term of gradualism, but many observers now say that in order for

China to continue its double-sized growth over the long term and to rectify the
problem of the state industries that are losing billions of dollars, economic
"shock therapy" needs to be administered, and quickly. But the current
plan of China’s President Jiang Zemin and his advisors includes no such shock
therapy. It does include, however, divesting the government of all but one
thousand of the more than three hundred thousand state-owned businesses that
have cost the Chinese government $85 billion in looses over the past ten years.

The following chart shows the distinctions of several of China’s economic
indicators, and their changes since 1987. Table 1. Selected Economic Indicators
(Billions of dollars) Factor 1987 1997 Change Gross Domestic Product 300 610 610