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China’s Economic, Social, Political, and Cultural Issues

Differences Within China

China has several differences within its population ranging from social, cultural, political, religious, and education variations amongst others. Chinese societies have class divisions which have led to the categorization of people based on their work, healthcare services, education, and occupation. China has different languages, with Mandarin being the most spoken language, followed by Cantonese and Wu1. However, citizens of China perceive language variations as dialect alterations rather than distinct language differences. Another distinguishing factor exhibiting differences in the country is religion. Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism are the three pillars of religion in the society of China2. As religions and philosophies, the three pillars have influenced the spiritual and social life of the Chinese3. Although their specific teachings and beliefs have occasionally differed from one another, forming a rift between Chinese communities, there has been room for similarities and overlap.

The education system of China has differences depending on the people’s social and financial status, amongst other distinguishing factors. Moreover, the funding of education provided by provincial and central governments differs across regions within China4. Funding in the rural areas is slightly lower compared to the number of funds allocated in urban areas. In some families, parents have to pay more school fees than other parents and make huge sacrifices for their children to access better education.

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Impacts of China on the Globe

China has a number of both positive and negative impacts on the economy and infrastructure of the world. For instance, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched by China in 2013 to improve interconnectivity and infrastructure across Europe, Asia, and Africa5. The initiative later spread, and the Caribbean, together with Latin Americans, got incorporated into it. Up to date, more countries have joined BRI having multi-billion projects linked to it. In theory, the initiative was formed for the purpose of increasing investment and level of trade in the developing countries. Unfortunately, China has used its political and economic influence to undermine the sovereignty of the countries that signed the BRI program. Apart from BRI’s positive impacts, it has negative effects in several spheres ranging from economic, institutional, and informational across the globe.

Developing countries have highly embraced globalization in the recent years. Annual foreign investments by China have increased rapidly because of the spread of its companies in various parts of the world6. Increasingly, leaders from Africa are strengthening their relationships with China’s government because of its economic success. Collectively, western countries have more power and are considered more important to Africa’s economy. However, Beijing dominated many developing countries in the recent past7. The dominance is challenging Europe and the United States for economic and political superiority across the continent.

Culture Differences in China and the United States

The following are cultural differences between China and the U.S.:

  • In China, people insist on cooperation and group work, while in America, people celebrate individuality. Meritocracy is common in the US, where individuals can rise as opposed to the case in China. Success in China is attributed to the company, family, or team8. Chinese people have a culture of evaluating their actions and their impacts on others as a whole, unlike the US, where they are only interested in themselves.
  • Hierarchy is paramount in China, and the Chinese have great respect to those in power. Such a culture in China promotes respect, and everybody follows the rules in their places of work. In the US, companies have flatter structures, and workers at different levels have access to the top people.
  • How Chinese people treat their seniors is significantly different from American’s. In China, elders are treated with great respect both in the social and business worlds. Several people live with their family members under a single roof9. Chinese people have great respect for everyone including the dead, as opposed to the American people. In the United States, Americans expect their children to be independent and live separately with the parents. In the US, the older cohort people live many miles far apart from their children, which is different from the Chinese culture.

Description of the Article

The book The Price of China’s Economic Development by Zhaohui Hong was published by the University Press of Kentucky in the year 2015. The book’s idea is rooted in the power-capitalism institution which explains the cultural, political, and economic spheres together with key players. The institution elucidates the political transition from supremacy to capital and the other way round. The framework of “poverty of rights” and differences in China are explained. The author addresses many points ranging from China’s political and economic transformations and the impacts the changes brought to the country. The book explores ways which leaders shifted their focus from agrarianism to modern industrialization.

In his work, Hong is an expert and prolific in economic issues and takes a unique interdisciplinary approach in studying development processes in China. Every growth comes at a price, and the author explains how growth in China was achieved through various sacrifices. The developments marked the economic stability of the country over the years and its impacts on other nations, especially the developing countries.

The book meets the standard threshold, and it has been published by a renowned publisher with experience in the industry – University Press of Kentucky. The book is important since it addresses China’s challenges while transforming to its current position of power. China is a powerful country with modern technology and unique cultural practices compared to those of the US. The country has several investments in other countries and is amongst the leading donors globally.

Reference

Hong, Zhaohui. The Price of China’s Economic Development: Power, Capital, and the Poverty of Rights. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

Footnotes

  1. Hong Zhaohui. The Price of China’s Economic Development: Power, Capital, and the Poverty of Rights (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015), 70.
  2. Hong, “The Price of China’s Economic Development,” 161.
  3. Hong, 161.
  4. Hong, 12.
  5. Hong, 60.
  6. Hong, 70.
  7. Hong, 26.
  8. Hong, 3.
  9. Hong, 3.

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