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China's Emergence As A Superpower

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"The 19th century belonged to the British. The 20th century belonged to the United States. But the 21st century belongs to China,"

-- Jim Rogers, Hedge fund manager

China's population is one of the greatest natural resources on the planet. Its citizens are becoming more educated, diligent, aspiring and comprise nearly a quarter of the world's population. The combination of China's massive size and rapid modernization is creating the framework for an emerging superpower.

China's growing economy is not only gaining international prestige, but its confidence has soared as it continues to be the world's fastest growing economy for the past three decades. "China's rise as a manufacturing base is going to have the same kind of impact on the world that the industrialization of the U.S. had, perhaps even bigger," stated Andy Xie, a Hong-Kong based economist with Morgan Stanley.

It is particularly important to note both the causes and the impact of the emergence of China as a superpower. Although, in order for the impact to be assessed, the underlying causes must be analyzed first. Thus, the purpose of this argument is to critically examine the causes of China's emergence as a superpower. In doing so, a retrospective analysis of China's history will be conducted so that the appropriate transitions underlying the causes of China's growth can be analyzed.

Most importantly, it should be understood why it is important to learn and become educated about the causes of China's emergence as a superpower. The growth and emergence of China as a superpower has many implications/consequences that can be beneficial or detrimental depending on how the situation is approached. Furthermore, it is important to maximize any opportunities that may emerge from China's growth. However at the same token, if not handled or understood appropriately, challenges could exist that could hinder the growth and future, of opposing nations.

As China continues to grow as a superpower, its people, modernization tactics, and Western influence and global influence of the country will be the underlying factors governing China's growth. Firstly, the people of China and their Confucianism values, also known more stereotypically as "Asian values", will continue to play an important role in the growth of the Chinese economy. Secondly, the modernization and reform tactics created and implemented by both Mao Zedong and particularly Deng Xiaoping, allowed for the creation of a planned economy and more successfully, the shift towards a market economy, under each respective ruler. Lastly, Western influence and China's international influence, will continue to play a significant role in the emergence of China as a superpower as Chinese citizens and the country as a whole, continue to strive for a Western lifestyle based on materialism. (LAVISH GOODS AND RESOURCES:OIL)

The people of China will continue to play a vital role in the emergence of China as a superpower. This is due to a combination of factors such as openness to competition, high level of literacy and education and the principle/incentives for savings and investments. All these factors have one underlying theme--"Asian values". These values possessed by Asians have origins from Confucianism. The emphasis of diligence, education (obedience), savings and investments, and the sense of communal (state) growth, all are principles of Confucianism.

The emphasis of education and diligence can be seen in multiple ways. As Mark Twain said, "They [Chinese] are quiet, peaceable, tractable, and free from drunkenness." He also stated, "A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist." This was stated in regards to the Chinese immigrants in the United States working on the railroad project despite their unjust wages and unreasonably low social status. These Chinese immigrants in America worked prudently with one aspiration--to send money back to China to support their family. This duty and loyalty to family is a common theme in Confucianism. It is often common that first generation Asians exhibit utmost diligence so that their fellow second generation can be educated. This is consistent with China's addition of 3.5 million graduates each year to their market, versus the 1.9 million1 added to the United States market.

An education is a lifelong companion. From personal experience, I was always told that people can take away all of your riches and pride, but they can never take away your education. It is this very value of an education, which Asians realize and strive to allow their children to have such an opportunity, as to be educated. This opportunity of an education is sometime more arduous to achieve in some environments than others. Hence, this can be seen as China's literacy rate was once extremely low. With the advent of China placing more arduous stipulations on their primary school education, China has improved its literacy rate substantially and has even improved other aspects of education. This aid by the Chinese government, along with the "Asian value" of education, has allowed China to use this educational growth and turn it into economic growth.

Economic growth has occurred as a response to educational growth supported by Asian values in a couple of ways. One way is that the Chinese, particularly women, have become more literate and thus has helped shift the labor force sector so that women are now equally qualified to perform jobs which were originally only available to literate men. Another way that economic growth is a function of educational growth is that due to the rise in the literacy rate, China is able to create a more productive work force. Simple reasoning shows the correlation between productivity and economic growth.

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