Each student on our study abroad trip was assigned to pick a book that's related to China's current meteoric rise in the global market place. The purpose was to enrich our knowledge and our observations made throughout the trip. Our professor provided a pretty long list of acceptable titles for the assignment and I ended up picking China Shakes the World, by James Kynge. Kynge, a journalist, provides a first-hand account of his observations made by touring various locations in the quickly-developing China and the relative regression of other locations throughout the world.
The theme and goal of this book was identifying and explaining how China is, and how they can continue, shaking the world. The act of "shaking the world" can be best described as the reverberations felt by the rest world by each large economic move and decision coming from China. The "shaking" has been felt throughout the world by direct and indirect influences from China, and China has the potential to shake the world in a big way in the future. China's new influence in the foreign market, its affect on the environment, and its governmental complexion all can go a long way in influencing the rest of the world.
China has a long history of rich empires that are well documented. However, outside of the Tang dynasty China hasn't historically been an economic superpower. Its reluctance to actively participate in foreign markets has kept it rather stationary and isolated in terms of worldwide economic dominance. According to a classic quote, China is currently sleeping but when she wakes, she will shake the world. That's exactly is currently happening in the global marketplace. After centuries of isolation, China has finally knifed its way into the global marketplace and reached an unprecedented level of economic growth.
The artificially low labor prices China is able to pay its workers has allowed it to reach a level of economic prominence. Salary-wise the relatively low value of the RMB has already given China an advantage as far manual labor wages goes, and while China is considered a communist or socialist country it doesn't provide as many government benefits as European governments do. So the cheap labor costs allows China complete more work for less, and it has also enticed other companies to export labor and business to China. China is also starting to develop a virtuosic understanding of the technological world, which has enabled to reach levels of economic growth unknown to history. The pace of the economic growth carries plenty of burdens. The speed of industrial and urban development in China is becoming very burdensome to the environment. In order to save the environment, China may have to slow down its level of productivity, which in turn would slow down its economic growth, which according to the book could be disastrous to the rest of the world. The author describes China's growth like an elephant riding a bicycle, it has to ride fast enough to carry its immense load because of if it slows down it could fall and end up shaking the world.
China is on pace to pass the US as the world's economic superpower by the year of 2040 based on its current pace. While the government as a whole will be the richest in the world, the standard earnings for Chinese citizens will be around US citizens in the 1970s or 1980s. The question is whether or not China's growth is sustainable for that amount of time; will surrounding influences force China off track in terms of the pace of its growth, and what does that mean for the rest of the world? These are issues the entire world should concerned with, because the safety of the future global economy may lay in the hands of China.