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Introduction: For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population,...
Economic Overview: Until its recent slowdown in 2009, China had experienced a sustained period of rapid economic expansion, with GDP growth averaging about 10 per cent over the last two decades. Although growth slowed to 8.7 per cent in 2009, this growth rate remains highest by international standards (the world GDP contracted by 2.2 per cent in 2009). China is the world's second largest economy in purchasing power parity terms (3rd largest in exchange rate terms). At the end of 2009, China overtook Germany to become the world largest exporter of goods. Despite this growth, China's per capita GDP, at around US$3,566, remains relatively low.
History: Dynastic Period
China is the oldest continuous major world civilization, with records dating back about 3,500 years. Successive dynasties developed a system of bureaucratic control that gave the agrarian-based Chinese an advantage over neighboring nomadic and hill cultures. Chinese civilization was further strengthened by the development of a Confucian state ideology and a ...
International Relations: Relations with the International Community
China has said that it wishes to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace in order to preserve its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The concept of ‘harmonious’ development, at the heart of China’s domestic policy, has been extended to its foreign policy as China aims to create a favourable international environment to continue its agenda of reform and opening up. To date, China has focused on developing close relations with its neighbours, major partners and international organisations.
In support of its desire to promote a ...
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