China Is A Sleeping Lion Essay

China Is A Sleeping Lion Essay

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Napoleon once warned – “China is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world”. Now, nearly 2 centuries later, this lion is not only awake but roaring. China is an emerging superpower and as of 2014 the second largest economy (nominal GDP) in the world totaling US $10.4 trillion (Imf.org, n.d.). China also is seeing an increasing importance in multilateral organizations such as G-20, BRICS, WTO, SCO, APEC.

China’s incredibly quick rise to global power over the past 30 year has not been restricted to only its economy. As an emerging economic giant, “it is also becoming an increasingly important geopolitical and cultural force in the world” (Liu, 2015). If the 21st Century is projected to be the ‘Asian Century’, then global interests in China’s traditions and values will increase.

This paper tracks China’s development from the formation of the Communist Party of China to the country’s current role in the global economy.

1930 – 1976: Mao Zedong and the Rise of the Communist Party of China
Ending over 2000 years of imperial rule, the Republic of China (ROC) began a new era in Chinese history (Ye, Fei and Wang, 2007) in 1912. During the Nanjing Decade (1927-1937) China started to progress in its industrial sector, mainly in its military section in an effort to catch up with the west and prepare itself against an impending Japanese invasion. Chinese agriculture during the ROC time still reflected the Qing dynasty’s, however, it was completely focused on producing cash crops for foreign consumption (Sun, 2000). Chinese industries continued to develop though this time with the arrival of the Nanking decade in the 1930’s with political leaders finally unifying the country and brining political stabilit...


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...not reopen until 1972 (Andreas, 2009). The Cultural Revolution inhibited China from growing economically and politically.

After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping lead new reforms in hope to get China back on track. In 1981, the CPC stated that the movement was “responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the party, the country, and the people since the founding of the People’s Republic” (Chinese Documents: Resolution on CPC History (1949-81), 1981).

The implementation of ‘maoism’ in China could have potentially been responsible for over 40 million deaths (Akbar, 2010). With the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, millions perished under Mao’s rule. Malnourishment and famine caused by the Great Leap Forward resulted in birth rates rapidly dropped (Figure 1). With Mao’s failure in governance, duties were handed to Deng Xiaoping

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