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GLOBAL STUDIES is a unique series designed to provide comprehensive background information and selected world press articles on the regions and countries of the world. Each GLOBAL STUDIES volume includes an annotated listing of World Wide Web sites and is now supported by an online Instructor's Resource Guide. Visit our website for more information: www.mchls.com.
Global Studies: China
Selected World Wide Web Sites
U.S. Statistics and Map
Canada Statistics and Map
China (People's Republic of China)
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Map
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Articles from the World Press
1. The Real China Threat, Robert J. Samuelson, The Washington Post, August 20, 2008
The United States frets about a rising China, but such worry is misplaced. The real concern is an unstable China, along with distorted trade and ruthless competition over natural resources. The United States has seen a prosperous global economy as a means to expanding its power, while China sees the global economy as the means to promoting domestic stability.
2. At the Gate to Greatness, John Pomfret, The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, August 4–10, 2008
Economists expect China's GDP to surpass America's by 2025, and China is poised to become the dominant power of the 21st century. But is China really going to be another superpower? The many constraints that are built into the country's social, economic, and political systems could threaten its ascendancy.
3. Does China Have It Right?, Maurice Strong, Maclean's, August 18, 2008
The China that Western media portrays is different from the China that those foreigners who live there recognize. China has been making progress in building a vibrant, modern society, but inevitably it still has to cope with massive problems. Overall, that progress is remarkable by any standard. The Chinese will be much more influenced by examples than by criticisms.
4. Think Again: China, Harry Harding, Foreign Policy, March/April 2007
It's often said that China is walking a tightrope: Its economy depends on foreign money, its leadership is set in its ways, and its military expansion threatens the world. But the Middle Kingdom's immediate dangers run deeper than you realize.
5. China's Image Sullied by Tainted Milk, Mary Kay Magistad, YaleGlobal, October 1, 2008
More than 50,000 Chinese children have fallen ill after drinking milk products tainted with melamine. The scandal adds to the perception that the label "Made in China" covers layers of warnings: a potentially resentful work force; managers who place profits over safety, striving for quantity over quality in production; minimal quality-inspection procedures and enforcement; and government authorities conditioned to hide rather than expose problems.
6. Where Gas Guzzlers Convey Status, Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, August 4–10, 2008
Auto sales in China are expected to exceed those in the United States in about 2015, when there will be more than 17 million vehicles in the Chinese market. China's booming car culture is helping drive up the global demand for oil.
7. China's Complicit Capitalists, Kellee S. Tsai, Far East Economic Review, Jan/Feb, 2008
There are over 29 million private businesses which employ over 200 million people and generate two-thirds of China's industrial output. Will China's growing capitalist class overthrow the Communist Party and demand democracy in China based on the principle of "no taxation without representation"?
8. China's Living Laboratory in Urbanization, Dennis Normile, Science Vol. 319, February 8, 2008
With millions of farmers moving to its burgeoning cities each year, China is searching for novel ways to expand urban areas while conserving natural resources. China's urban planners realize that eco-cities, redevelopment projects, and green building efforts must be scrutinized to help enhance livability and reduce environmental costs.
9. When China Met Africa, Serge Michel, Foreign Policy, May/June 2008
A growing power looking for markets and influence meets a continent with plenty of resources but few investors. What happens when the world's most ambitious developing power meets the poverty, corruption, and fragility of Africa? Why are African countries that initially welcomed Chinese investment beginning to resent their aggressive new patron? China is just beginning to find out.
10. China's Factory Blues, Dexter Roberts, BusinessWeek, April 7, 2008
The days of ultra-cheap labor and little regulation are gone. As manufacturers' costs climb, export prices will follow. Rising costs forced some companies to close their businesses in China and move to new markets such as Vietnam and India.
11. Bye Bye Cheap Labor, Alexandra Harney, Far Eastern Economic Review, March 2008
Higher taxes, a new labor law and the growing demands of China's increasingly sophisticated workers are forcing manufacturers either up the value chain or toward the exits.
12. Trying to Catch Its Breath, David Aikman, The American Spectator, April 2008
How does one measure if China is moving forward overall or backward on human rights? The answer is that China is going in both directions at once. As the largest and fastest growing religion in China, Christianity poses significant challenges for the authorities.
13. China's Currency Crunch: Why China Needs to Adopt a Floating Exchange Rate, Marvin Goodfriend and Eswar Prasad, Foreign Policy, Jan/Feb, 2008
As the U.S. trade deficit continues to balloon, American politicians are pressuring China to have a floating exchange rate. Until Beijing lets the value of yuan appreciate, critics contend, there is no hope of a more level playing field. But never mind what the Americans think. China has a better reason to adopt a more flexible exchange rate: it would be good for China.
14. The Middle Kingdom's Dilemma, Christina Larson, The Washington Monthly, December 2007
Can a limited form of public participation help China avert environmental ruin? Or are independent oversight, the rule of law, and the ability to vote out bad officials essential components of effective environmental protection? China is facing a dilemma: can it clean up its environment without cleaning up its politics?
15. The Good Neighbor: Why China Cooperates, Lake Wang, Harvard International Review, Fall 2007
With the exception of extreme threats, such as Taiwanese antagonism, it is unlikely that the Chinese government will stray from its path of cooperation and accommodation. If China's relationships with the rest of the world diminish, the Chinese economy could diverge from its current trajectory of growth and stability.
16. China's Spiritual Awakening, Dexter Roberts, BusinessWeek, January 21, 2008
Buddhism is booming in China—quite a paradox given the Communist Party's official atheism and its troubled relationship with the Dalai Lama. The faith's growing popularity reflects a yearning for meaning among China's yuppies, who increasingly are attracted to Buddhism's rejection of materialism and emphasis on the transitory nature of life.
17. Chasing the Chinese Dream: A Growing Number of Immigrants Head East, Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post National Weekly Edition, Oct. 29–Nov. 4, 2007
For a growing number of the world's emigrants, China, not the United States, is the land where opportunities are endless, individual enterprises are rewarded, and cultural differences are tolerated.
18. The China Model, Rowan Callick, The American, November/December, 2007
Economic freedom plus tight political control—this Chinese model seems to be displacing the "Washington Consensus" and winning fans from regimes across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. One wonders, for how long?
19. China's Rebalancing Act, Jahangir Aziz and Steven Dunaway, Finance & Development, September 2007
Despite remarkable achievements, there is growing unease within China and abroad about the state of its economy. The biggest problem with China's economy is that the growth is unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable. China's economic miracle may be at risk unless the country liberalizes prices, reforms financial markets, and relies more on domestic consumption.
20. China and HIV—A Window of Opportunity, Bates Gill and Susan Okie, The New England Journal of Medicine, May 3, 2007
Although China's first AIDS cases were discovered in 1989, the government did not publicly acknowledge the existence of a major epidemic until 2001. The government estimates that 650,000 Chinese people are infected with HIV and hopes to limit the total to 1.5 million by 2010. International health experts remain cautiously hopeful about China's chances of controlling its epidemic.
21. China's Coal Future, Peter Fairley, Technology Review, January/February 2007
To prevent massive pollution and slow its growing contribution to global warming, China will need to make advanced coal technology work on an unprecedented scale.
22. Tibet: Death by Consumerism, Lindsey Hilsum, New Statesman, September 3, 2007
As part of its "civilizing mission" and to deter independence, China is taking control of Tibetan economy. Modernity is being imposed by force, creating ghettos and spreading deprivation across the countryside.
23. Mao Now, Ross Terrill, Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2006
From the time Mao used force to confiscate the holdings of Hunan landholders in 1925, his political life cannot be understood without considering the violence. China's transformation in the 30 years since Mao's death has been breathtaking. But it will not be complete until the nation comes to terms with Mao's complex legacy.
24. Ignoring the Past, Hongsheng and Anren, The Economist, May 20, 2006
Forty years on, the government still avoids discussion of the Cultural Revolution. The Communist Party's unwillingness to confront the horrors of the Cultural Revolution means that for Chinese historians, as well as for millions of victims, that entire period is, in effect, off-limits for debate.
25. Paralympics Bring Forward Plight of China's Disabled, Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, September 9, 2008
Even at the premier global event celebrating handicapped people's achievements, China's 83 million disabled citizens remain almost invisible, victims of a society slow to change its attitudes and a government that only began addressing their needs.
26. China's New Prosperity Fuels Fitness Craze, Didi Tang, The Associated Press, September 7, 2008
Their lives transformed by breakneck economic growth, many Chinese are embracing creature comforts which would once have been denounced by their communist bosses as bourgeois indulgences.
27. Confucius Makes a Comeback, The Economist, May 19, 2007
The Communist Party has never been kind to the sage who lived more than 2,000 years ago. Now, some in China even argue that Confucianism should become China's state religion. Many official policies and slogans such as "harmonious society" and "xiaokang shehui (a moderately well off society) also have Confucian undertones.
28. The Beautiful and the Dammed in China, Matthew Knight, CNN, December 11, 2006
When completed in 2009, at a total cost of $25 billion, the Three Gorges Dam will be the world's largest hydroelectric dam. It will churn out as much power as 18 nuclear power plants. But the monumental task of constructing the dam has come at serious ecological, social, and humanitarian costs.
29. Privatisation Would Enrich China, Zhiwu Chen, Financial Times, August 8, 2008
China has a huge untapped source for further growth: its vast state-owned assets, including enterprises, resources, and land. Privatizing these assets would transform China's growth model from being investment- and export-driven to being led by domestic consumption. China needs to shift towards growth driven by domestic demand, not exports, and one led by services not industry.
30. Chinese Muslims Join Global Islamic Market, Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, September 16, 2008
Impoverished and isolated, the Huis (Muslims) in Ningxia Autonomous Region are rediscovering Islam and developing an international sense of community. More are going on the hajj and see Muslims outside. The government supports economic links but has a cautious attitude to cultural and religious links.
31. Forced Harmony: China's Olympic Rollercoaster, Dali L. Yang, Current History, September 2008
The Beijing Olympics have indeed defined 2008, but not in ways anticipated by the Chinese leadership, which is caught between the demands of populism and internationalism. Again and again, in order to win international approval, the government has had to buck public sentiments that the party propaganda machine itself has helped to foster.Taiwan and Hong Kong Articles
32. Taiwan's Liberation of China, Randall Schriver and Mark Stokes, Current History, September 2008
Taiwan has played a central, yet often unacknowledged part, in China's liberalization. There is reason for guarded optimism that as long as Taiwan's process of democratic consolidation continues, the island will continue to exert influence over China's peaceful transformation.
33. Beijing and Taiwan Try Their Hand at Détente, Sandra Schulz, Spiegel Online, July 25, 2008
Both Beijing and Taipei seem to understand that "soft power" carries more influence than "hard" military power. Part of the reconciliation stems from strong cultural and business ties as well as Taiwan relaxing its stance on labels: The president permits Chinese negotiators to address him as "Mr." and the Taiwanese Olympics team competes as "Chinese Taipei." Soft power is a two-way street: While China's leaders fret about losing power, critics in Taiwan are wary about losing democratic freedoms.
34. More than a Game for Taiwan, Kathrin Hille, The Financial Times, August 15, 2008
Taiwan is a baseball giant and cannot afford to lose to China at the Olympic Games. Few events contain the political undertones present in this encounter between the nationalist host and the island that increasingly sees itself as different from China.
35. China's Taiwan Dilemma, Michael Yahuda, YaleGlobal, February 18, 2004
Pushing the Taiwan issue politically or militarily would stimulate hostility abroad and cause an economic downturn at home, possibly leading to the demise of communist party rule. By keeping Taiwan low on its agenda, China could postpone dealing with the independence issue while soothing nationalist tensions on the mainland, especially within the military. If China is to allay anxiety abroad and at home, it must focus more on appealing to Taiwan's people and less on coercion.
36. Hong Kong Tests Art Buyers' Courage, Justine Lau, The Financial Times, October 4, 2008
In the face of the growing turmoil in the global financial markets, Sotheby's, the auction house, is testing global investors' appetite for high-end works of art with a five-day sale of paintings, sculptures, jewels, and watches in Hong Kong.
37. Hong Kong Poses Threat to City, Brooke Masters, The Financial Times, October 6, 2008
Out of the three Asian financial centers—Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong, Hong Kong is the strongest contender to dominate Asia because of its historic roots in finance and its ability to tap the Chinese market. It poses the greatest threat to the dominance of London and New York as the top world financial centers.
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations