The issue weather china can become the next super power has many variables. Ever since deng sho ping emerged as the supreme leader of the Chinese communist party he set china on a course of economic growth and expansion, military modernization and reform, and profound social and political change. The changes have been dramatic. China is now one of the fastest growing economies on the earth. Along with this exponential growth comes responsibilities and the question arises hot to sustain this growth and whether or not it can be managed.
If china can sustain its growth and remove political and environmental problems china will overtake Japan by 2017 and the US by 2037. China will become a world leader of science and technology, possessing the world’s most advanced space, nuclear, computer, biological, medical, energy and military technologies. During 1978-2006 china achieved an average annual growth of 9. 6% in real GDP. In the last thirty years china’s real GDP increased 13 fold, real per capita GDP over 9 fold, and real per capita consumption more than 6 fold.
High and sustained economic growth has led to rapid industrialization. This has caused china to become the third largest trading nation in both imports and exports. Chinas economic miracle can be attributed to its institutional reforms and adopting appropriate development strategies. Even though china has made tremendous progress in the last thirty years it also has many challenges and constraints: High and rising inequality, corruption and persistency of poverty, environmental pollution and over dependency on non-renewable resources.
These could potentially lead china to a crisis. Some polices have been implemented to resolve these problems such as reducing income inequality and making agriculture more efficient and less dependent on fertilizers. If the current policies are ineffective Chinas growth can slow down, leading to higher unemployment and more poverty. China is still a desperately poor country of the 2. 3 billion people in china and India nearly 1. 5 billion earns less than 2 US dollars per day.
Some argue to say that the substantial part of china’s decline in poverty since 1980 already happened by mid 1980’s before the big strides in foreign trade and investment in the 90’s. Severe structural and institutional problems will hobble them for years to come. Even in china, now considered the manufacturing workshop of the world, less than one fifth of its labor force is employed in manufacturing, mining, and construction combined. China has lost tens of millions of manufacturing jobs since the mid 1990’s and nearly half of the countries labor force remains in agriculture.
Chinas authoritarian system of government will likely be a major economic liability in the long run, regardless of its immediate implications for short-run policy decisions. The west should not overlook the enormity of the economic gap that exists between the two countries. China’s economic reform is the largest project in human history and they have the tools to continuing growing if they can sustain their growth and overcome many severe pitfalls and roadblocks which they have to overcome in the near future before then can become a significant player in the international economic scene.