China – The Awakened Sleeping Giant Of The World
Napoleon Bonaparte famously said, “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move the world.” Today, China has left its deep slumber behind. It has progressed greatly in its economic, scientific and military capabilities. It also has abundant natural resources, making it a force to be reckoned with on every count.
The soaring ambitions of China in the field of science are evident in the successful landing of its rover on the far side of the moon on January 3, making it the first country to have accomplished this. Space is just one area in which China is pouring many millions of dollars into research. Genomics, quantum, communications, materials – in all of these areas, China is putting colossal efforts into becoming a leading world figure.
China’s economy is the second-largest in the world and it is also the world’s biggest importer of goods. A World Bank report recorded the annual growth in the gross domestic product of China at 9.5 percent, making it the fastest sustainably expanding major economy in history. By the early 2000s, much of what the U.S. consumed was being produced in China. This led to an even greater economic reform under Hu Jintao. Between 2001 and 2004, state-owned-enterprises decreased by 48 percent, and by 2005, the domestic private sector contributed to 50 percent of China’s overall GDP. In 2018, China was officially recognised as the world’s second-largest economy by GDP, number one in Asia by GDP (overtaking Japan), and the number one economy in terms of purchasing power parity. The scale of these achievements becomes even more impressive when we recall that as recently as 1980, China had been an economically backward and poverty-stricken country. The rapid growth of China has astonished observers worldwide.
Moreover, China commands exceptional defence capabilities. All of China’s defence equipment are produced within China, a factor that makes it formidable as an enemy and extremely valuable as a friend. China has a very large army and a highly developed military industry. Its mobilisation resources are the largest in the world. These factors make the Chinese army rank only second to the United States and Russia in the entire world. Many experts also believe that China is creating the most advanced weapons system in the world.
Finally, China is very rich in natural resources. About 10 percent of China is farmland. Its major crops are rice, wheat and corn, and it also produces barley, soybeans, tea, cotton, and tobacco. The country has become a world leader in the production of pigs, chickens, and eggs. China also has large herds of sheep and cattle. However, the country’s population, about 25 percent of the world’s population, severely strains its agricultural resources. While mechanisation is increasing, much of agriculture still uses traditional labor-intensive techniques. China has extensive deposits of coal, oil, and natural gas. Besides these fossil fuels, China is a top producer of aluminium, magnesium, antimony, salt, talc, barite, cement, coal, fluorspar, gold, graphite, iron, steel, lead, mercury, molybdenum, phosphate rock, rare earth, tin, tungsten, bismuth, and zinc. It exports several of these products to the world. China also leads the world in domestic mining of gold, zinc, lead, molybdenum, iron ore, and coal.
By all accounts, China is going to claim its space in all competitive fields of the world, and will command the respect of the most powerful countries of the world. It is widely believed that if China continues its efforts, there will soon be no power on earth that will be able to compete with it.