macrohistory & world report

People's Republic of China

Map of China's cities

China's cities

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Reforms began with the phasing out of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries... China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. The Chinese government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on nuclear and alternative energy development."

China's Communist Party describes the economy as a "socialist market economy." Some Marxists describe it as a planned economy because of the state's command over banks, finances and investment in addition to some free enterprise. It the state wants to banks to lend, they lend. If it wants to invest in infrastructure, it invests. Anti-communists in the US describe China's system as capitalist to explain its success.

Economic growth rate
2013: 7.7%
2012: 7.7%
2011: 9.2%
2010: 10.5%
2009: 8.7% (
2008: 9.8%
2007: 13%
2006: 11.6%

Labor force in agriculture
2008: 36.7%

2011: 6.5%
2010: 6.1%

Import/export ratio
2011: imports 1.743 trillion, exports1.898 trillion – exports 108.9% of imports in cash value

2010, perhaps: Sixty percent of China’s exports are from manufacturing companies that are foreign owned.

Health and corruption
But as bad as Chinas' health figures are, they are not as bad as India's. China appears to be less bogged down by corruption than India. For 2011, China has a 6.1 Corruption Index figure compared to a 3.1 for India – a higher score being better.

Health expenditures
2009: 4.6% of GDP (compared to 2.4% for India)

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 27th among 141 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

October 2007: China is graduating people from universities at twice the rate of the United States. (It has more than 4.38 times the population of the US)

Percentage of GDP spent on military
2006: 4.3%


Births per 1,000 population per year
2012: 12.31, compared to 8.0 for Japan

Living in an urban area
2010: 47% in 2010, up from 43% estimated for 2008.

Ethnic groups
2000 census: Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%

Flag Desecration
China is one of three countries with a law against flag desecration.

March 19, 2012: According to the Los Angles Times, In China, millions in are living in caves. "Some are basic, others beautiful, with high ceilings and nice yards. 'Life is easy and comfortable here,' one cave dweller says." "It's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It's quiet and safe," said another. (A safe place during a tornado said someone from the US midwest.)


China has one legal political party.

Name: People's Republic of China. The Chinese have many elections, with all politics including elections dominated by the Communist Party of China.

Recent History

In 2003 the rules for divorce changed. in China one can get a divorce in ten minutes for an equivalent of one dollar. About 70 percent of divorces are initiated by women. Many women are no longer economically dependent on their husbands. Many dislike their husband's bad habits.

Small farmers in China are complaining about high taxes. A piece on the BBC website on October 4, 2004 stated the opinion that "In effect, China's poorest citizens are subsidizing the modernization of its cities." An article by Tim Luard on the BBC website, on October 13, describes people with annual incomes of less that $77 as having risen to over 3 percent of the population. He describes an economic boom as having taken place in big cities but the countryside as having remained unchanged. Luard describes one women with electricity but without a refrigerator, television of telephone. "For a toilet," he writes," she goes outside with the chickens."

July 2006: A Brit who lives in Shanghai and visited Delhi, India, prefers Shanghai. In Shanghai "the lights never go out." They did in his hotel in Delhi. In Shanghai a high speed internet connection is standard in hotels. In Shanghai there are not the many in rags sleeping on the streets at night that his saw in Delhi.

January, 2008: Murder, tax evasion, smuggling, and corruption. In July the former head of the Food and Drug Administration was put to death for taking bribes. In Guangdong Province, bag-snatching is listed as capital offense. China endeavors to rid itself of pests.

April 2008: According to Robert Barnet in Foreign Policy magazine, "... China has poured money into creating a middle class in Tibetan towns, though there hasn’t really been a dividend for the countryside and the underclass."

November 2008: China does not have the command economy of the old Soviet Union, and therefore it has an unemployment problem as business declines with reduced sales abroad. China's government urges businesses to do their best to keep unemployment down. China is gaining 8.4 million in population per year (0.629 percent) despite its one-child policy. To meet this growth China's economy must grow around 8 percent per year.

October 2009: Figures released this month indicate that China's share in world manufacturing increased from 2 percent in 1980 to 14 percent in 2008, still behind the US at 22 percent – according to a US based Manufacturing Institute.

March 31, 2011: In a white paper, China complains that the US is increasing its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and that there has been a rise in operations directed against China. "The United States continues to sell weapons to Taiwan, severely impeding Sino-US relations," says the white paper.

September 2011:

Residents of Wukan, a village of 12,000 in the southwest rebel against authorities and attack a Communist Party building. Their grievance is the seizing of farmland. The protests intensify in December after one of the village representatives, Xue Jinbo, dies in police custody. A thousand police lay siege to the village, preventing food and goods from entering. Government authorities set up internet censorship against information about Wukan.

March 3, 2012

Residents of Wukan turn to electoral politics in what is described by Al Jazeera as "a bid to win back illegally sold farmland and safeguard future rights." Many residents are described as "backing former protest leaders, including those jailed in December." Wukan's rebel leader, Lin Zuluan, is a 67-year-old Party man and a candidate to lead the village committee. He says, "For the first time in decades, this is an opportunity for democracy. Both myself and the villagers like this."

Al Jazeera reports: " Wen Jiabao, the premier, recently promised to make village committee elections a channel for public opinion, acknowledging China has failed to give adequate protection against rural land seizures."

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.