China's Political Situation

China is an industrializing nation, growing economically, socially, and politically. Although China is currently the second largest economy in the world after the United States, it’s history dates thousands of years older. China’s rich history dates back to around 3,000 years ago through documented ancient writings. Modern archaeological studies show evidence of even more ancient origins in a culture that thrived between 2500 and 2000 B.

C in what are now central China and the lower Huang He (Yellow River) Valley of north China (CountryReports). Although China has around the same land area as the United States, but China’s current population is approximately 1.34 billion people. China is mainly made up of the ethnic group of Han Chinese, which accounts for 92 percent of the population. Additional ethnic groups include Korean, Tibetan, Mongol, Hui, Buyi, Manchu, Miao, Zhuang and Uygur, which account for 8 percent of the population.

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Languages in China include Standard Chinese or Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghaiese, and various other languages like Korean, Japanese, Hakka, and Vietnamese. The total literacy rate of the population is 92.2 percent, with the male population literate at 96 percent, and the female population literate at 88.5 percent (CountryReports). The current state of the Chinese government is Communist, and its official name is the People’s Republic of China.

China attained its independence on October 1, 1949, and on January 1, 1912 is when the Qing Dynasty was replaced by the Republic of China. China has 23 provinces in total, and 5 autonomous regions. China’s current GDP per capita is around 7,600 USD, and the population of China below the poverty line is 2 percent. Its unemployment rate is 4.30 percent, which is lower than the U.S’ unemployment rate of 7.

9 percent (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics). China’s industrial growth rate is 11 percent, and main industries of China include iron and steel, coal, petroleum, electronics, and other consumer products such as toys, clothes, and footwear (CountryReports) In past years, China’s growth rate has been in the higher double digits, but the Asian Development Bank’s chief economist says, “Growth is slowing down much more rapidly than expected,” (NY Times). Currently, China’s political situation is one that is in inevitable transition due to the social pressures and influences from Western nations such as the United States. Evolving from the ancient dynasties, to “Mao-era communism” and finally to a form of communism with some aspects of capitalism, it has affected the lives of millions of people, in and out of the country. Today, China’s political stance as a Communist state plays a large part in citizen’s lives like the moderating of media such as the Internet.

But most notable of the negative effects of China’s political stance would be the restrictions of self-expression in the citizens, and the extremely large wealth and development gap between the urban and rural areas of China, caused by Mao. China’s authoritarian government has restricted self-expression it its citizens. Ying Ma, a National Research Initiative fellow at the American Enterprise Institute says, “Communism has long denounced religions of many sorts, and the Communist Party in China suppressed all forms of religious observance for many years. Recently, these restrictions have been lifted in some ways, but the suspicion of religion persists.” An example of a human rights issue involving religion would be Falun Gong.

It is one of the most controversial human rights issues in China in recent years (Ying Ma pg. 3). Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that includes exercises and the study of several books. Li Hongzhi founded it in 1992; by 1998 China claimed that there were 70 million practitioners. Michael Lestz, writing in Religion in the News in 1999, argued that the Chinese government was wary of Falun Going because “it represents a large organization independent of the state that violates the unwritten ‘rules of engagement’ that govern the relations between the state and such organizations.” The Chinese government argues that Falun Gong is a cult that misleads its members.

Chinese scientists denounced it as “anti-humanity, anti-society, and anti-science” according to a report on the official government Web site Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN. Unlike democratically free nations, Communism in China limits the citizens from being completely free to practice whichever religion they choose, and it creates a restriction that is discriminating for the citizens. Media, such as Internet is strictly regulated, and protest against the government is strictly limited. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and even Amnesty International are banned for viewing in China. China claims, “illegal websites will be dealt with how we see fit,” and clearly an aspect of Mao-era communism is being represented in this situation (Ying Ma). During Mao’s era, western influence was extremely discouraged and was looked down upon (Ying Ma). According to Ma, “China has aggressively maligned Western styles as chaos-inducing and unsuitable for the country’s current economic conditions.” This is significant because without the freedom of citizens using western websites, it limits each citizen’s privileges, and it infringes upon human rights. Another chief concern is the great wealth and development gap between the urban and rural zones of China due Mao-era Communism, in which much of China was forced to remain rural, and urbanization of cities had not yet begun.

Due to aspect of communism in which “all people are equal”, Mao wanted to keep all of China farmland, and to keep people uneducated and brainwashed and do labor work. In addition, he also desired to have the entire country controlled by the government, but mainly himself (Liu). Although this era of China is in the past, the effects of Mao’s firm rules still affect China negatively. One of the most significant aspects of this would be the lag in development in rural China, and the lack of effective healthcare there. For example, an average rural person in China made around 3,000 Yuan per year, whereas the average urban person in China made around 11,000 Yuan per year, affecting the amount of money that the average person can invest in medical care and insurance.

With the unbalanced incomes and medical care between rural and urban, people living in rural China can find it increasingly difficult to receive medical assistance in a time of need. The urban-rural gap also encourages the migration of those slightly wealthier living in rural areas to migrate to the urban areas, creating even more of a wealth gap. With rapid urbanizations of cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, better living and working conditions provide incentive for those people who currently live in rural areas, but have more money than the average rural person. On the other hand, people living in rural conditions with little money are being overlooked due to the enormous investments towards urbanization of larger cities. Each year, the Chinese government spends millions of dollars building and constructing newer areas for large cities like Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, tourist attractions such as the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Soldiers, and the Forbidden City demand huge sums to cover reparations, maintenance, and everyday upkeep.

With the money being invested in larger cities, smaller cities in provinces like Hunan, Guangdong, and Shaanxi have very little development besides their capital cities. In an interview with the US’ National Public Radio, Song Lingui, a farmer in rural China says, “…When it comes to our problems, they just push us aside. Nobody cares about us farmers.” In conclusion, though China is growing steadily economically, socially, its current political situation is what is holding China back from a great spring forward. Ma says, “Perhaps one day, freedom for 1.3 billion Chinese citizens will arrive, but until then, promoting liberation from the chains of Chinese communist authoritarianism will remain a slog.

” China will continue to grow, but analysts say that China’s growth rate is beginning to decrease in a world with powerful democratic nations such as the United States, and countries in the EU. While China currently has one of the world’s leading economies, without a fundamental political change from its restrictive communism to more liberal democracy. With it’s current political state, China is limiting its capabilities, and will not be able to reach its full potential or power. “China.” CIA. CIA, n.

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