In my last blog I discussed how China emerged from its Communist past and implemented liberalizing market reforms. To conclude the series of China-related blogs, it makes sense to discuss the economic situation in China today. China has increasingly become entrenched within world politics, and is on track to become a challenge to the USA’s economic hegemony.
Today, the economy of the Peoples’ Republic of China is the third largest in the world behind Japan and the United States. When transferred to dollar amounts, the PRC’s GDP in 2009 was $4.91 billion. The country reportedly grows annually at an average of ten percent, though the validity of this statement cannot fully be confirmed.
Even though the country boasts a robust GDP, on average the country has a medium to low GDP per capita count, but the majority of people in the country have experienced a huge increase in wealth. The economic disparity between the rich and poor are one of the negative consequences of market liberalization, as many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the process better than others.
Despite market liberalization, there are still 159 State-Owned Enterprises in the country. This figure is significantly lower than what it was during the Maoist years, but the SOEs are still highly concentrated in the field of utilities, heavy industry, and energy resources (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%27s_economy#History). Because of the recent worldwide economic recession, the Chinese government has, however, announced an expansion of the public sector.
Though China still has a significant public sector, the nation is far from what political scientists would consider a Communist nation. Economically speaking, the country is guided mostly by private enterprises and politically speaking, the nation is only Communist in official name. Although the ideology of Communism is effectively done and gone from the country, the government, in order to maintain legitimacy, never officially renounced the ideology and still claims that the country is Communist. However, take it from this humble student of Political Science that the country, with its several economic reforms and market liberalizations, is hardly in any way, shape, or form, a Communist country.
Whereas during China’s Maoist era, the state mandated economic forces, China today now has a vibrant private sector that drives most of the country’s economic development.