China Paper - Accelerated Growth In China The Negative...

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Accelerated Growth In China: The Negative Social and Environmental Externalities 21072035 Soc. 102 Jamie Small November 29, 2007
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What has accelerated growth in East Asia meant to the world economy and the citizens of these developing countries? In his book, Making Globalization Work , Joseph Stiglitz proposed, “Globalization—in the form of export-led growth—helped pull the East Asian countries out of poverty” (30). Due to the involvement of the government and increased national savings, East Asian countries were able to grow without sinking into debt. Stiglitz compared the growth of these countries and other poor nations—pointing out the negative effects of borrowing from the World Bank. The success of East Asia has not relied on foreign funds, despite the Washington Consensus’ theory that this is a key component for developing a nation (Stiglitz). “Governments in East Asia played a large role in planning and in advancing technology, choosing which sectors their countries would develop rather than leaving it up to only the market to decide” (Stiglitz). To answer the initial question, growth in Asia has been a very positive movement for the world economy and has significantly raised the standards of living for East Asians. Still Stiglitz neglected to ask the question: have there been any negative externalities resulting from the rapid change of economic conditions in these countries? Even though China and other East Asian Countries have had successful growth, Stiglitz fails to mention the negative externalities on the environment and the social impact on the global population. To narrow my topic of interest, I have focused my research on the growth of a remarkable East Asian country; China. Yet in order to understand the country’s recent rapid growth rates, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of China’s economic history. The Chinese state from 1949 through 1978 created a legacy of a strong state developed in the context of the Cold War, fomented a strong nationalist sentiment and goal of creating a wealthy nation, created rural infrastructure and local institutions and did all of this without creating a large foreign debt… (Ciccantell and Bunker 567). 2
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The decision of communist leaders in China to construct a self-sustained nation separated the country’s future fate from other underdeveloped nations which relied on borrowing money from the World Bank and IMF. Similar to other communist countries, China maintained a closed market economy; meaning very little foreign trade or investment took place. When the opportunity unfolded in the 1980’s, and the economy was strong enough to compete, Chinese policymakers lowered trade restrictions and began a slow privatization of the economy which is still to this day reeking the benefits of rapid growth (Stiglitz). “Since 1978, the Chinese state has implemented reforms…taking advantage of the state autonomy and capacity created in the earlier era to carefully control and adjust the process of change in order to achieve high economic
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