China is both a developing nation groping with the ways of the modern world and an ancient civilization. China began the 20th century attempting to fight off the imperialist designs of Europeans, suffered through a civil war that would lead to its present communist regime and then a Japanese invasion beginning before World War II. Today China is moving toward a market economy while maintaining the vestiges of its communist regime.
Since the 70’s, China began a series of free market reforms that would result in economic growth of 8-9% per year. Freeing itself from the self imposed restrictions upon the economy; average Chinese have seen their income go up. Discontent among the general population has increased as well as nearly 74,000 demonstrations and violent riots have occurred in the past year. Chinese leaders are to sitting on a power keg for many Chinese wants more political freedom to go with the economic freedom they are beginning to possess.
One major Chinese dilemma is that free market economics have freed many of her citizens of the grinding poverty but the income disparity survives throughout China. There is the prosperous China that exists in Beijing and on the coast. Then there is the hinterland, where prosperity has reached more slowly. Through the Internet, the average Chinese know that greater freedom exist outside of their nation. China does have serious economic problems that need to be solved. The banking system is presently undercapitalized and often allocates credit based on political patronage as oppose to market efficiency. China is posed to be one of the world’s economic super powers but there are obstacles that still derail China rise to being one of the world’s elites.
While Chinese begins its push on the world stage, it has searched out foreign investors to help fuel its economic expansion. China has allowed more foreign investors into its economy than its rival Asian giant India and because of its reform began earlier; the Chinese has taken a lead over India in overall economic growth. While India limits foreign investments, the Indian own liberalization has closed the gap between India and China. India has another advantage- the ballot box. An Indian government can be voted out of office but presently the only way to remove the present Chinese regime is through bullets and bombs.
China rise to superpower is a fact that can’t be denied but the real issue is what will China do with its emerging military power that is accompanying its economic resurgence. America has adopted the strategy of the old British Empire, which included that no one power would be allowed to dominate Eurasia continent and the trade lanes kept open. The English opposed the French effort to dominate the European continent in the late 17th and 18th century and joined alliances to stop a German hegemony over Europe in the first half of the 20th century.