Fastest Growing Countries is a series devoted to examining several countries with rapidly expanding economies today, or that at least have the potential to do so. By examining the historical rise of these countries and how it is happening, we can hope to better understand the variety of ways that we might be able to enliven the economies of where we live, and work towards a more sustainable and profitable future for everyone.

China is a country that underwent more radical changes in the 20th century than perhaps any other country. Inevitably, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the massive expansions that a communist country had been able to make led China to becoming the number one economic adversary of the United States. Today, it is one of three powers in the world that has a GDP above $10 trillion What was it that caused this explosion of growth in a country that used to be largely composed of farmers and peasant in rural areas? Let’s take a look at the newest country in our series...

China’s industrialization

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, China took big steps to reignite its industrial sector, which had remained stale and stagnant for some time. This led to incredibly high amounts of growth throughout the decade, ranging from 10-15%. For a country with the incredibly high population that China has, meant massive gains in industries such as manufacturing, industry, agriculture, and energy.While there was a slight stumble in the early 2000’s, this expansion continued through the 2000’s, with 2007 reaching a rate of 14.7% GDP growth.

Unique needs of growth

While China has continued to grow and increase its economic horizons, there is a strange, unique expectation in China that determines whether it is viewed as a success or not. Leadership in China has outlined that it needs to maintain an 8% rate of GDP growth, in order to sufficiently expand its foreign potential, increase the standard of living for its citizens, and to update infrastructure to keep up with the shifting technology of the world.

Danger of decline

Many economists have expected China to go through a period of decline. Now, it’s important to note that this decline is not a recession, as GDP will not contract. Instead, anything beneath the 8% rise of GDP, annually, is viewed as having negative implications for the economy across the entire region. The problem is that, due to the role that China plays in the economy of so many major countries, that slowing down China’s growth rate can cause economies across the world to fluctuate, unpredictably.