Globalization of China

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Globalization of China
The past few decades have heightened the tremendous impact that China has shown on the
global stage. Defined as the process where a country integrates the economies between different
nations by increasing the impact and influence of international economic aspects, globalization
has contributed much to China's history. The phenomenon of globalization has continuously and
it still changing the way of living in the country. Due to globalization, people have been moving
to cities since the early 1900s, and the industry of China as a country has expanded beyond the
imagination of other nations (Edward 320). It cannot be denied that China has been active in the
global market ever since the early years. With the aim of getting to the core of globalization in
China, it is essential to ask and answer some questions that highlight some of the terms that shed
light on how the country has changed over time. Some of these terms include economic growth,
the comparison between the time, changes in policymaking, sustainability, production of goods
and services as well as a change in the standards of living.
Some of the Questions
In the light of this, China is put under the question of being able to indeed hold on to the role of
being the leader of globalization. Questions such as “how will China lead globalization?” and
“How will Xi Jin Ping play a role in the realization of China being the trendsetter?” arise along
with the issue.
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After many decades of poor economic performance especially from the historically dominant
country, China made enormous reforms starting from early 1978. For example, the economic
depression of the 1930s left the country down as the ration of foreign trade to GDP shocked
every citizen. Since most of the strong manufacturing sectors relied on the better economy
before great economic depression 1930s, China faced many challenges. As Lowe (653)
highlights, the country went through a hard time including the Chinese Civil War that was
between the communists and their counterparts nationalists. As a result, this worsened the
situation by disrupting any economic recuperation. In other words, it is worth mentioning that
the country was at its worst in most of the social service deliveries.
Not until in 1958-1961 where the country started making some series of economic reforms
which were known as "Great leap forward," the country was in bad shape as far as its economic
performance is concerned. Furthermore, the launch of such reforms under the communist agenda
brought more disruptions as the economy of the country stagnated. In fact, this was primarily
because of the poor quality of life which was characterized by the famine as well as purges
killings that left millions of teenagers dead.
Reforms that Changed China
The rise of an Asian state as the lead of globalization is something new. Emphasizing China as
the lead convener of a more progressive global arena calls for possible changes in the system.
The transition from the West's lead to a country from the East is a context to be considereond.
The idea sparks personal interest as to how will the transition turn out.
In an article "The changing world economy" Steger (635) highlights how Deng Xiao
Ping changed the economy of the country especially after seizing control of China following the
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reign of the gang of four in the late 1970s. Despite the fact that the nation, was under chaos and
thus deviated from presenting its best in the global stage in the years of Mao Ze Dong’s
dictatorship, the Post-Mao Zed Dong China took some time to recover but eventually led to the
development of a fast-paced society that grew more involved in globalization. Following the end
of Mao Ze Dong’s rule was the start of Deng Xiao Ping’s where he initiated a policy that
showed the country opening to the world.
Deng Xiao Ping came up with a policy that to enact ambitious and strategic economic
reforms that opened the gates of the thriving Chinese economy to the world. In other words, this
was the time that the country said enough is enough and embarked on opening up to fix the
broken economy that had lasted for many years (Lowe 645). Deng’s “reform and open up”
policy developed China to be a more active state within the globe. An article from the University
of Cambridge states that this has inherently led to the continuous entry of foreign goods into
China as well as the equally rated exit of goods from their local market to the worlds. Ideas, not
just goods, reached the country and had helped in the massive improvement of China’s
consumption pattern, a way of living and development in their “architecture and spatial
Under the new leadership, China as a country started offering the wealth of cheap
Chinese labor to various foreign countries in a bid to bring foreign investment. Such investment
was projected to boost both urbanizations as well as the living standards of people in general
(Steger 17). In this perspective, it is worth mentioning that offering cheap Chinese labor had in
the past contributed to the boosting of Chinese manufacturing sector. According to Duara (152),
the first round economic reforms witnessed the liberalization of different industries including
agriculture. For example, the sector of agriculture started allowing crops to be sold at what
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Duara called market mechanism price, especially after production quotas. As a result, this
created a room for boosting efficiency as many farmers sought the final profit margins.
In conjunction with most of these reforms, different special economic zones were formed
in various coastal provinces with the aim of allowing special tax incentives, especially for
interested foreign investors. In other words, this strategy was to enable such provinces to depend
on international trade. In fact, this period witnessed different zones relying on foreign
investment for their economic growth. For example, a region like Shenzhen registered an
auspicious time as it witnessed its growth of GDP at an annual average of more than 28%
(Gardels). As Eckes (408) indicates, such increase in GDP was missing for decades in China.
While comparing with the national average of 10%, these special economic zones realized a
transformation from fishing villages and turned to the thriving economic centers. In this
perspective, it there is no doubt that these zones experienced stock exchange business for the
first time.
Like any other catching topic of discussion, the Chinese transformation continues to
attract the attention of many scholars in the modern time. For example, how the creation of
unique zones in China such as those in Shenzhen became the engines of growth for what many
had termed as "stagnant economy." The economic performance of China increased to the extent
of 10% GDP growth rate against the United States which was hovering around 2% (Eckes 415).
Four Ways of China’s Transformation
First, the government of China decided to move its economy from the socialist business model
that blocked the growth of the country for many decades. During the socialist model, the
economy of the country was stagnant especially under the inefficient “State-owned enterprises
(SOEs). In this case, the government of China embraced the brand of capitalism of what they
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prefer calling "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics." Second, the country moved from being
an agricultural economy and welcomed the industrialized economic model. In fact, most of the
rural peasant-based business was transformed to urban-based societies.
Third, since China was previously focused on the domestic economy, most of the reforms
changed the focus to trade-oriented model. Besides, this was highly integrated with the ideas of
the global economy in a bid to utilize the opportunities of globalization. As a result, this allowed
the country to strengthen its manufacturing sector with was down for decades to start exporting
to different countries with wealthier consumers (Duara 173). In other words, these reforms
allowed China to gain the global stage in business. Lastly, research shows that China as a
country became one of the world's economic power through contributing to global output, trade
investments as well as economic growth which allowed the state to utilize its international
power through the creation of beneficial trade factors which were in its favor including trade
Impact of Globalization on China
According to Steger (23), the influence of globalization, especially to the economic performance
of China, has been much significant. While looking at the economic growth that was hovering
around 8-10% around the 1990s to 2000s, there is no doubt that the drivers of such economy
were the business investment as well as the net exports (Steger 23). In fact, a significant
contribution of this growth has been the influence of foreign direct investment. In their research,
Eckes and Alfred (420) indicate that foreign direct investment contributed to more than 45% of
GDP by 2007. Furthermore, this was primarily because of the encouragement that Chinese
government brought through the concessions that witnessed the creation of special economic
zones to attract foreign business. However, various reports show that overdependence of foreign
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investors by China has sometimes been unfavorable since the country in one way would drop in
growth as a result of Asian Financial Crisis and in most cases the poor investors confidences.
For the past few years, the government of China under the leadership of Xi Jin Ping has
been working on the restructuring process of the country's economy. One of the strategies has
been concentrating on the wage increment as well as pulling middle class into an increased
expenditure with the aim of reforming economic growth. The idea has been to let the economic
growth hinge on consumption instead of overdependence on foreign investment (Duara 182).
More so, this has been dramatically on the consideration that is given to labor force when it
comes to Chinese population age. As research shows, these reforms have been partly because of
the Chinese economic growth decrease as the country registered drops roughly from 10% to
approximately 7%. Besides, many companies started to seek for dirt and cheap labor which as
well dropped the standards of living.
Economic Growth.For decades, the country's economy made leaps as well as bounds especially
regarding human development and non-material indicators of living standard. For example, the
last 30 years indicate that China’s economic growth resulted in more than 600 million people in
the country to jump the poverty line of living on a less than $1 in a day. Despite the fact that
China's reforms significantly reduced poverty, it still leaves a vast gap to be closed when it
comes to the total number of Chinese citizens who are still struggling with debt by the great leap
forward (Edward 327). For example, millions of people in China are still unable to access clean
drinking water, and this indicates that the rapid growth of China through the creation of special
economic zones benefited a few in the global scale. Therefore, who benefits and who does not
have recently been politicalized in one way or the other.
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Increase in Inequality.Among other things, globalization has created inequality among the
citizens of China. In comparison to former governments, the gap between those in government
and private citizens have been increasing. Furthermore, the creation of special economic zones
to became prosperous left most of the other provinces behind. Despite the good intentions, these
reforms created an inequality that was not there before (Edward 329). As a result, the standards
of living and economic status of some people became batter at the expense of other millions of
Chinese population. Therefore, globalization in China brought adverse effects despite the
opportunities that came with such elements.
Unemployment.As Lowe (653) highlights, unemployment is one of the severe economic
challenges that came with globalization in China. As the country underwent various reforms
especially those that focused on opening up liberal internal markets, most of the SOEs were
undermined as the private sector was preferred. As a result, many people lost their jobs since
most of the positions in the new model required advanced skills.
My Opinion
In my opinion, the impact of globalization as far as China's economy and standards of living are
concerned, there is no doubt that globalization has been good for the country. For example, the
economic growth was lifted than never before, and this resulted in better outcomes for
development in different aspects. In this case, living standards of millions of people got better,
personal income was increased, and international relations between countries has been
strengthened in one way or the other. Despite the adverse effects of globalization in China
including unemployment, inequality to mention but a few, it is undeniably true that globalization
lifted the country from a lower level to one of the leading economic leaders in the world.
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Works Cited
Duara, Prasenjit. "History and Globalization in China's Long Twentieth Century." Modern
China, vol. 34, no. 1, 2008, pp. 152-164.
Eckes, Alfred E. "Globalization." A Companion to International History 19002001, pp. 408-
Edward, Wang, Q. "Globalization, Global History and Local Identity in ‘Greater
China’." History Compass, vol. 8, no. 4, 2010, pp. 320-329.
Gardels, Nathan. “China Is Now The De Facto Leader Of Globalization.” The Huffington Post,, 11 Jan. 2017,
Lowe, Norman. "The changing world economy since 1900." Mastering Modern World
History, 2013, pp. 635-666.
Steger, Manfred. "2. Globalization and history: is globalization a new
phenomenon?" Globalization, 2013, pp. 17-36.

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