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China: Being the "Middle Kingdom"

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2012 09:36 PM
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Assignment three for World Geography GE350 was to discuss China in terms of being the “Middle Kingdom,” population growth issues, and industrialization.  
For thousands of years, the Chinese believed their civilization was the center of the known world, and the rest were barbarians drawn to China because of her wealth, technology, and culture. This belief inspired Chinese to name their country Zhangguo; which means middle kingdom when translated from Mandarin to English.[8] China stagnated in the mid-nineteenth century, and after losing out in the Opium Wars, found herself subject to a quasi-colonial rule by European powers[6]. When the Communists came to power in 1949, China's economy was reorganized and modern industry was greatly expanded, and production increased.[8] Since China's industrialization of market-based economic reforms in 1978, she has become the world's fastest-growing major economy, and one of the world's largest exporter and importer of goods. China also once again has become the, “Middle Kingdom,” or the center of the economic world by supplying low-cost manufactured goods to almost every part of the globe.[5]. After decades of efforts in industrialization, China has become a leading industrial producer in the world, according to the academician. In as early as 1999, China had ranked among the leaders of the world in the outputs of steel, cement, coal, chemical fertilizer, and television set.[9] Although China's development   accomplishments have been considerable, development has not been continuous, and there has been many setbacks primarily from having a huge population.[8]

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