The following report shall aim to focus on the subject of China and its economic
development from ancient times that is, after A.D. 1368 to current times. The report will
analyze the following aspects tied to the growth of China, these include, the nature of rule
during the progress of history to present times, the indicators of economic growth in the
country, and the impact of the growth of the economy on its people and their culture.
Therefore it can be asserted that the growth of the economy of China can be attributed to the
rule of the various regimes throughout the progression of the country’s history and this
growth had multiple effects on the country’s culture and society.
The State of affairs in China in A.D. 1368
The ruling dynasty in China at this juncture in history was the Yuan Dynasty which
lasted between 1279 to 138. The emperor at this time was called Kublai Khan. He was
responsible for uniting the country by ending the national song empire in A.D 1297 1 . A major
aspect that is associated with this time in the history of China was the decline of Mongol
power in China. During this time there was widespread chaos and unrest in China. The unrest
took the form of rebellions against the Mongol regime at this time. The reasons that can be
attributed to this are mainly down to economic factors. This can be linked to the insurgents’
attacks in the countryside which was the breadbasket of the empire. The consequences of
poverty in multiple regions dire. The farmers and tenants during these times had to shoulder
the burden of high taxation and hard labor during these times.
Therefore this time in the history of China was marked by rebellions and insurgencies.
These rebellions could be attributed to the fall of the Mongol power during this juncture in
1 Cohen, Paul A. Discovering history in China: American historical writing on the recent Chinese past. Columbia University
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history. The state of the economy could be noted to have taken a downturn at this time as a
result of the ongoing rebellions. Therefore it can be deduced that a major aspect that can be
attributed to the decline of the economy of China as observed during this time was the
weakening of the strength and control of the ruling regime. Therefore it can be posited that
the strength of the Chinese economy can be attributed to the stability of its leadership and its
control over the affairs of the country. The effects of these two factors on the social aspects of
the empire were that it led to widespread unrest in society and an increase in the levels of
poverty in society.
The State of affairs in China in A.D. 1700
This time was marked by the rule of the Ming and Qing dynasty which were between
1368 to 1644 and 1644 to 1912 respectively 2 . The strength of the ruling dynasty was at its
strongest which was marked by its naval strength, its political might, and superior social
order during this late imperial time frame in the progression of the history of the empire. This
was the time of the final two dynasties in the country. It can be noted that from the Tang
dynasty to the present times they created a strong regime that was centralized and operational
civil service. This replaces the aristocracy with regional points of power. At this time the
model of governance in China was regarded to be one to be emulated by governments in
Europe due to the impeccable practice it exhibited and the process of civil service
The Qing dynasty was at the peak of its strength and was under the rule of three
robust emperors were Kangxi who ruled from 1662 to 1722, Yongzheng who ruled from
1723 to 1735, and Qianlong who was in charge from 1736 to 1795 3 . They were responsible
2 Eberhard, Wolfram. A history of China. Routledge, 2013.
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for the expansion of the borders of China to the furthest reaches since the Han Empire. This
time was marked with vast developments in the country that aimed to connect the country's
geographical sites, the systems of rivers and canals which aided in encouraging the trade
within the country. During this time the welfare of the people in the country was noted to
The following deductions can be made based on the analysis of the state of affairs in
China during the A.D. 1700. As a result of the growth and strong leadership that was
experienced during these times through the Ming and the Qing dynasties. There were noted
key facets in the economy of the country. These included significant growth and development
with the seizure of greater territories than during the previous time of the Han Empire. As a
testament of the effect of good leadership on the economy of the country, there was noted the
construction of connecting networks throughout the country, that aimed to establish greater
trade activities throughout the country and ultimately led to the improvement in the welfare
of the country and attracted global attention due to the successes it exhibited.
The State of Affairs in China in A.D 1912 to 1949
This era in the history of China was termed the Republican era; it occurred between
1912 to 1949. In 1912 Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated as the first president of China. In the
same year, China began to use the Gregorian calendar. The time between 1914 to 1918 was
marked by a decrease in European influence in East Asia. China joined World War 1 and
declared war against Germany. During this time there was a significant rise in Japanese
influence in China. During this time a ten-year war ensued between the Kuomintang
nationalist and the communist party led by Mao Zedong. In 1937 China was invaded by
3 Roberts, John AG. A history of China. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2011.
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Japan and the gained control of several vital cities which included Beijing. The Second
World War ensued, and Japan was defeated, As a result of this, the Civil war between the
nationalists and the communist continued.
The deductions that can be made from this time frame in the history of China were
that the strength of the regime in the country was on the decline. At this time the country took
part in the First World War, in a conflict between the nationalist and the communists, the
Second World War ensued, and Japan invaded China. It can be concluded that due to the
widespread turmoil and social unrest that went on in the country during these times the
economy of the country declined in strength. This decline in strength could be attributed to
the issues in governance and the control that the government had on the country. A different
aspect can be noted to be the change of the country to a republic and the institution of
Western systems in the country. It could be argued that as a result of this change the country
did not get a chance to employ the new system of governance and as a result the country’s
economy struggled. Therefore a key factor associated with the strengthening or weakening of
the strength of the Chinese economy can be attributed to the nature and strength of the regime
in power in the country during the time of these alterations.
State of affairs in China in A.D. 1949 to date
This time was marked by communists winning the war against the nationalists, and as
a result, the People’s Republic of China was created by Mao Zedong. In the same year, the
nationalists fled to Taiwan put in place their government. There were times of volatility noted
in the progression of Chinese history, with occasions of the “Great Leap Forward” and the
Cultural Revolution which led to the death of millions of people in the country. In 2010,
China became the second-largest economy in the world behind the United States 4 .
4 Moise, Edwin E. Modern China. Routledge, 2013.
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The deductions that can be made associated with this time include that there were
some steps aimed at improving the economy of the republic which was met with negative
outcomes. The reasons behind this can be attributed to the diminished efficiency of the
system of governance in place at this time. However, during the progression of the century
and at the turn of the millennia systems of governance increased inefficiency the outcomes
yielded improvements in the strength of the economy and the welfare of its populace.
Main points and Deductions
The deductions can be made that throughout the progression of the history of China
and in multiple states in Asia the strength of the economy can be attributed to the stability
and effectiveness of governance in the country. China has been noted to have a large
spending power compared to most states in the region. The large spending power can be
attributed to the fact that the percentage of the wealthy is growing to a great extent in the
Asian countries with China, for instance, recording one million millionaires in 2006 and this
number has tripled since 2006. The large populations in Asian countries such as China are
attributed as a major factor behind the strengthening of the economies of the country.
Therefore it can be concluded that the large populations have a major effect in the provision
of a large workforce and the massive size of the workforce resulting in the downsizing of the
wages attributed to this workforce. The number of millionaires per capita in the Asian region
provides the driving force on the high purchasing power of the Asian countries.
As a testament to the effect of good leadership in China and the resultant economic
growth of the country. The US is finding it more difficult to convince its trade partners to
follow its directive. With the establishment of the European Monetary Union, the Eurozone
member states are better protected from US dollar shocks and US bullying in macroeconomic
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negotiations. China for instance with foreign reserves of $2.85 trillion is also capable of
resisting US pressure to revalue the renminbi 5 . China does not want the repeat the mistakes of
Japan. Instead of bowing to US pressure, it has maintained the peg and increased its efforts of
blaming the US
The Europeans and the Chinese have gained greater monetary autonomy from the US.
If we consider Cohen’s conceptualization of macro foundations of monetary power. Cohen
argues that on a more general level the holders of international monetary power need to
develop autonomy and influence. Whereby autonomy refers to the agent being independent in
its macroeconomic policies whereas influence refers to the capacity of making others to
change their macroeconomic policies 5 . Cohen can mention that autonomy precedes influence.
An agent can have autonomy but not influence.
The Eurozone member states have received greater protection against US influence in
macroeconomic diplomatic negotiations. China has acquired greater protection and therefore
higher autonomy. It has enough reserves to withstand any speculative attack coming from
financial institutions operating out of Wall Street 5 . The foreign reserves function thus as a
financial deterrence mechanism that allows China to decide when and what pace to start its
adjustment from an export-led to a domestic consumption-led growth model. The US is
trying through the ‘currency war’ mechanism to devalue the dollar and appreciate the RMB,
but China is eager and capable to resist.
Differences between economies in China and different regions in the world
There have been noted differences in the cost of certain commodities and luxury items
in Asian states like China and different regions throughout the world. Therefore the main
factors that cause these differences in prices are potentially the unfavorable tax margins, and
5 Lardy, Nicholas R. Integrating China into the global economy. Brookings Institution Press, 2004.
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the additional delivery charges are the primary cause of the difference in luxury items prices
in Asia in comparison to the similar goods in North America and Europe 6 . The several taxes
imposed on the goods have the net effect of the considerable increase in prices of luxury
goods. Another factor causing this appreciation is the absence of proper channels that
facilitate the supply of these goods, and the lack of competitors creates a form of price
monopoly that results in the increment in these prices. Therefore the importance of
governance in yielding the desired outcomes in the various economies throughout the world
is seen by the effect that the institution of taxes on key commodities can have on the strength
of the economies of the World.
Alternatively, a different argument could be presented that could aid to explain the
differences in the strength of economies in various regions of the world. The population
demographics in the Asian countries are one of the key agents causing the differences in the
total cost of labour 6 . A larger percentage of the population in Asian countries languishes in
poverty. The same population is highly skilled due to several factors in the manufacturing
industry. This set of factors creates a large workforce with and perhaps due to the great size
of this workforce the resultant downsizing in the cost of labor occurs. Therefore the effect of
the differences in states of the economies could be attributed to alternative aspects of the
economy not essentially tied to the system of government but instead to different attributes of
the demographics of the various states.
Social issues in China and recommendations
Filmmakers and activists in China employ various methods to depict social issues
affecting the society they serve. Several problems emerge continually in China, and they
6 Su, Biwei, Almas Heshmati, Yong Geng, and Xiaoman Yu. "A review of the circular economy in China: moving from
rhetoric to implementation." Journal of Cleaner Production 42 (2013): 215-227.
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elicit adverse reactions on the populace in general. The first social issue in China is that of
censorship in films and social media 7 . This social issue has undermined the freedom of
expression by the Chinese people and has led to the emergence of activism to counter this
trend. The first way that this criticism is carried out is through the application of critiquing
techniques such as the formalist approach which aims to identify the facts presented in the
film and since they want to understand how these facts come into play in society. Examples
of films that have been censored in China include for example Django Unchained and when
night falls. For instance in the movie when the night falls, the filmmakers express the theme
of government oppression possibly through film portrayals and its effects on the citizens in
the country. The filmmakers can express the ills that can emerge in society if oppression is
left unchallenged. In the instance of the film, a developing adult who responds upon going
through mistreatment from police entered went into a police station killed six officers in
response to this. This film portrays an activist attempt to depict how social issues like
censorship if left unchallenged could result in social unrest that would undermine the stability
of the country.
The second social issue that is prevalent in China is the high population density and
the legislation that has been established to counter this issue. This issue has led to the
government instituting a one-child policy to stem the rapid population growth 8 . The result of
this has been the occurrence of abortions of female babies which has led to a spike in the
population of males in the country. Filmmakers and activists have created multiple
7 King, Gary, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. "How censorship in China allows government criticism but silences
collective expression." American Political Science Review107, no. 2 (2013): 326-343.
8 Shambaugh, David L. China goes global: The partial power. Vol. 111. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
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presentations to depict this issue and have utilized several strategies in their critique of these
works which include historical criticism. An example of a film showing this issue is the
presentation called overpopulation – the human explosion explained. This form of criticism
shows how the problem of overpopulation has emerged through the progression of history. It
aims to analyze the historical ramifications of the social problem of overpopulation and the
various forms of activism intended to counter its effects. The recommendations that can be
made include the leadership to employ less draconian means in ruling its citizens and to be
more open to criticism from authoritative sources of the society.
In conclusion, the following report shall aim to focus on the subject of China and its
economic development from ancient times that is, after A.D. 1368 to current times. The
report will evaluate the following facets tied to the economic growth of China, these include,
the nature of the regime in power during the progress of history to present times, the pointers
of economic growth in the country, and the impact of the growth of the economy on its
people and their culture. The report presents the facts of the progress of the economy of
China by outlining the facts and the deductions behind the regimes, economy, and wellbeing
of the ruling powers during these times in history.
Cohen, Paul A. Discovering history in China: American historical writing on the recent
Chinese past. Columbia University Press, 2010.
Eberhard, Wolfram. A history of China. Routledge, 2013.
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King, Gary, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret E. Roberts. "How censorship in China allows
government criticism but silences collective expression." American Political Science
Review107, no. 2 (2013): 326-343.
Lardy, Nicholas R. Integrating China into the global economy. Brookings Institution Press,
Moise, Edwin E. Modern China. Routledge, 2013.
Roberts, John AG. A history of China. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2011.
Shambaugh, David L. China goes global: The partial power. Vol. 111. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2013.
Su, Biwei, Almas Heshmati, Yong Geng, and Xiaoman Yu. "A review of the circular
economy in China: moving from rhetoric to implementation." Journal of Cleaner
Production 42 (2013): 215-227.