chapter  25
10 Pages

The rise of China

ByLoren Brandt

Introduction Since the onset of economic reform in the late 1970s, China has enjoyed rates of growth in real GDP in the vicinity of 8 percent per year, and the Chinese economy today is nearly 15 times larger than it was 35 years ago (NBS 2010). Of course, on a per capita basis, GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms is still only one-fifth of that in the most advanced countries.1 However, with a population of nearly 1.3 billion, the Chinese economy is on track in the next few years to surpass that of the U.S. as the world’s largest. By fact of its size and high growth rate, China’s economy is currently the source of around 20 percent of the annual growth in global GDP. Today, China figures prominently in nearly every pressing international issue from global recovery to global warming.