What can the world learn from China?

In a short 15 years, China has become an economic force with a year to year GDP growth of almost 10%.  In 2008, the People’s Republic of China had the 3rd highest GDP of $4.33 trillion, trailing Japan and the United States at $4.91 trillion and $14.2 trillion, respectively. (datafinder.worldbank.org) After looking at various GDP projections, it seems that all predict China to surpass the United States in real GDP sometime between 2040 and 2050.  (www.photius.com)  And this has been accomplished under a communist government.  China has proved that a communist government can work, but they still must pass the test of time.  In the past other socialist and communist governments have tried and failed, but I think China has more than a good chance to last.  Fist of all, China has all past communist failures to learn from.  They also exist in a world that will keep their government in check.  With the UN and NATO looking over their shoulders, a sort of “checks and balance” system is in place to prevent China from doing anything too radical.  Even if China eventually falls apart, I think every democratic nation can learn something vitally important.

What took most of the world centuries to industrialize, took China only a few decades.  With the power of their centralized government, China has shown the world what can be accomplished if there is unity.  This feat must not be overlooked.  If there is something to be learned from communism, it is this power.  Furthermore, if China continues to be successful and remain a world superpower, democratic countries might more readily  incorporate socialist aspects into their systems, like universal healthcare.  We have this attitude, especially in America, where we simply dismiss all other forms of government as “wrong” but if we stopped and took the time to look more closely at other forms of government, like communism, and focused on their advantages we might be able to build a better system.

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2 Responses

  1. In your post you write

    ” With the UN and NATO looking over their shoulders, a sort of “checks and balance” system is in place to prevent China from doing anything too radical.

    What would China have to do to be considered too radical? Tienanmen Square was more than just a radical event, it was downright unforgivable in my book. Recently Google decided to pull out their operations in China because of the server censorship issues. I agree with your point about national unity, but in terms of if China communism is right or wrong I’m still on the fence.

  2. Looking through a sustainability lens, we should be quite afraid of what the development of China could to do our planet. However, we can’t blame them…we do not necessarily lead by example when it comes to conscious consumption. It is projected that if the Chinese population reaches a point where they are consuming like Americans, the planet’s consumption rates will DOUBLE. As the world, and particularly China and India, begins consuming like we do, we will have some serious issues in front of us. Is it too late to lead China down a sustainable path?

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