Demographic factors

  • China's population is the world's largest, with about 1.3 billion citizens. With the global human population currently estimated at about 6.5 billion, China is home to approximately 20%. Because of the One Child Policy China is able to control its own population, although this may already have a detrimental effect on China's demographics.

Political factors

  • UNSC - As the only Asian country which holds a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, China has considerable influence in the foreign affairs.
  • Foreign Relations - Its military and economic aid for Pakistan has led to a permanently strong relationship with the Islamist States. It has been noted for providing direct aid to Pakistan's nuclear bid, although this has not helped its relations with some other nations. China's non-ideological approach to foreign affairs offers African and Latin American countries a desirable alternative when they seek foreign aids and potential allies. This means China is gradually increasing its soft power in areas which are traditionally dominated by the influence of western countries. Its ties with these countries have become closer through economic cooperation and trade.

Economic factors

  • China's GDP - has grown at a rate of at least 9% per year for more than 25 years , the fastest growth rate for a major economy in recorded history [1] In 2005, China became the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of nominal value [2] and the second largest when measured by purchasing power parity, with a GDP (PPP) of US $7.124 trillion in 2004. In the same period of time, it has moved 300 million people out of poverty and quadrupled the average Chinese person's income.
  • Shanghai - also known as "Paris of the East", is moving to become Asia's financial centre and transit port for manufacturing companies [3] . trade - China’s share in global trade is 5.2%, a rapidly growing number. China is also the world's third largest trading power (after the United States and Germany) [4]. Reports have shown that China is not only a major manufacturing export country, but also moving up to become a high-tech product export country. During 2005, China's high-tech export was about 80 million US dollars. The Chinese government also put great efforts to push for exporting medical supplies and software. [5] 80% of all goods in Wal-Mart are made in china.
  • Technology - Studies show China is progressing rapidly in science and technology research. The Chinese government has spent billions of dollars in fields such as biotechnology and information technology. The R&D spending by the Chinese government more than tripled since 1998. Moreover, the numbers of the scientific research paper doubled in the same period. Many foreign companies are setting up R&D centres in China due to the low costs, government support, and skilful researchers. [6)
  • Exports - China to claim global export crown from United States by 2015 .By 2015 China will overtake the US and Germany to become the largest exporting nation in the world, indicates latest research by the Alliance Trust Research Centre. At present the US is the largest exporter, accounting for almost 10% of total world exports. China is currently the third largest exporter of goods and services in the world, and is destined to become the largest ‘goods’ exporter several years before becoming the largest exporter in total.

Socio- cultural factors

  • Soft power - China has always had an attractive traditional culture, but now it is entering the realm of global popular culture as well. Chinese novelist Gao Xingjian won China's first Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000, and the Chinese film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became the highest grossing non-English film. Many Chinese actors/actresses and motion picture makers such as Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyi, and Zhang Yimou have gained international recognition. Yao Ming, the Chinese star of the U.S. National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets, is rapidly becoming a household name, and China also hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. The enrollment of foreign students in China has tripled to 110,000 from 36,000 over the past decade, and the number of foreign tourists has also increased dramatically to 17 million in 2004. Mandarin, being the most spoken language in the world, will likely increase China's soft power. China has created 26 Confucius Institutes around the world to teach its language and culture, and while the Voice of America was cutting its Chinese broadcasts to 14 from 19 hours a day, China Radio International was increasing its broadcasts in English to 24 hours a day [1].
  • History - China has a long history spanning 5000 years. During the times of imperial China, China held some of the most advanced technologies in the world. The Chinese invented the gunpowder, paper, the printing machine, compass, the mechanical clock [2], and introduced the world's first paper money. Trade and learning occurred between the Chinese and the ancient Roman Empire, the Indians, and the Arabs.

cultural spread - The Chinese culture carries an important place in the culture of Vietnam, Korea, Japan and other south-eastern Asian countries. The Korean kingdom absorbed much of the Chinese essence in philosophy, language, technology as well as gaining military protection. The ideas of Confucianism, originated from China, holds great influence on the lifestyles of the Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, the Chinese in China.

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