On the economic side, the population and the strong government makes China ready to be the next economic superpower in a near future.
China’s economy is huge and expanding rapidly. In the last 30 years the rate of Chinese economic growth has been almost miraculous, averaging8% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year. The economy has grown more than ten times during that period, which Chinese GDP reaching 3.42 trillion US dollars by 2007. In Purchasing Power Parity GDP, China already has the biggest economy after the United States. Chinese economic boom started in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the economic reforms implanted in order to collectivize theagricultural activities of the country. In other words, the leaders of the Chinese economy were trying to change the center of agriculture from farming to household activities. The sectors outside the control of the state government of China grew at a rapid pace as a result of these new reforms. Furthermore, China started to open its economy to the world for the purposes of trade and directforeign investment. By consequence, China is having an even bigger role to play in international trade.
With just over 1.3 billion people, China is the world’s largest and most populous country (more than 20% of the world’s population). In 1979, the Chinese government introduced the one-child policy in order to alleviate social, economic and environmental problems in China. Indeed, this policyprevented more than 250 million births from its implementation to 2000. China’s total fertility rate is 1.7, whereas the necessary total fertility rate for a stable population is 2.1. Nevertheless, China’s population is expected to reach 1.4 billion by the late 2010s. China seems to be able and control very well the growth of the population in its country, a very good indicator of power.
After thedeath of the first generation of Communist Party leaders such as Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the People’s Republic of China began implementing a series of political and economic reforms advocated by Deng Xiaoping that eventually formed the foundations for China’s rapid economic development starting in the 1990s. However, the PRC has complete control over politics, and continually seeks to eradicatewhat it perceives as threats to the social, political and economic stability of the country.
However, China presents many defects, which will only hold them back from becoming a superpower, such as its environmental disasters and the instability of the relationships between China and its neighboring countries.
As the UN Climate Change summit in Copenhagen showed us, along with the globaleconomy, the environment is one of the ultimate “international” issues. The state of its environment is a crucial problem for China and some form of commitment to the environment is a must for any nation claiming superpower status in the 21st century. One of the serious negative consequences of the PRC’s rapid industrial development has been increased pollution, smog, and degradation of natural...