Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 5: China’s developing country identity – challenges and future prospects
Xinquan Tu and Huiping Mo
China has achieved extraordinary economic and social advances since it launched its economic reform and opening-up policy nearly four decades ago. Its emergence as an indispensable actor in the world economy is among these advances. Its aggregate economy has accounted for a steadily rising proportion of global economic activity; although affected by the financial crisis in 2008, China’s average gross domestic product (GDP) growth has held at around 8 percent much higher than the growth rate of most other countries. In 2010, China surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy in the world; in 2013 it overtook the United States as the world’s top goods trader. Alongside these accomplishments, Chinese companies and citizens have gained an international reputation as lavish buyers of capital and material assets, luxury goods – indeed, of almost everything. The growing number of cities in China that appear as or even more advanced than those in many developed countries also offer evidence of China’s astounding economic gains.
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