The Role of Globalization in the Growth of China’s Economy
There are many types of LEDCs; I will be using China as my main focus point, being that it is the country I live in. China’s economic growth per year is among the highest in the world, this is mostly if not entirely because of Globalization. Before 1979 when Deng Xiaoping created the Open Door policy, China’s Economy was almost a straight line going down. It was because of lack of globalization that the Chinese lost the Opium War, the Chinese thought that everything they need is within their boarders, and well obviously they were wrong, because from the Opium War on, as long as they kept their doors closed, they suffered.
This just shows that China cannot survive without Globalization. China’s economy grows fast, but this growth is mostly experienced in larger cities such as Beijing or Shanghai. This is because, though there are many factories outside, the wealth is centrally distributed, and most of this wealth ends up in Beijing or Shanghai, turning China into 2 counties, a LEDC (inner regions) and a MEDC (costal cities). From a report from BASF, it is shown that the costal areas, only a small percentage of China’s total area, with 375million people, has a GDP of $550 billion, where as the inner regions of China, almost 80% of China’s land with only 200million people, has a GDP of $110 billion. China has an urbanization rate of 10 million people per annum. This is because most of the foreign factories move near the big cities. It is a common argument that factories such a Nike and Gap force slave labor.
It might seem this way since an average worker in one of these factories is likely to work around 60 hours a week and get paid around $80 US a month. But if this was considered slave labor in China then no one would come to work here, the urbanization rate would not be that high, and the turn over rate of Nike (10%) would be much greater. The fact is, the local prefers much more to work in a multi-national company than a local Chinese factory. Mr. Fang, a worker in an Adidas factory right out side of Dalian city was interviewed once, he said, “In Adidas, I have my rights written on the walls, when I complain people listen, true I have to travel 7 hours by bus to get here from my home, but there is a dorm provided for me here and I get to go home every 4 months. This is paradise compared to the place I used to work in. Feng Huang socks, it was only 20mintues by bike from my home, but I was not allowed home, and my family was not allowed in to see me.
Sometimes I felt very nauseous, that usually happened to me in the afternoons when they were preparing the paint. When I would go to talk to the supervisor, he would just look at me and tell me to go back to work.” Not only do the workers in these companies get jobs, but they also get certain amount of training, which puts a man above another in an instant. The government funds schooling until the 9th grade, in the villages, a 6th grade education and you are considered smart. “The money that is made from the foreign investments often goes to building up the infostructure.” Well, that is what Mr. Zhang had to say, the chief of the department of construction in Fu Lai district in Zhe Jiang province. After saying So, he gets back into his Mercedes Benz SLK 600 and takes us to the newly built airport. “See, if it wasn’t for the factory here this would never be possible.”
True, but he says this in a district where there are 2 schools, one elementary and one junior high for about 5000 children. 5% of them proceed to High school, 1 or 2 then are accepted into universities. The value of family has seem to be fading as well, the younger generations rather live only with their spouses and leave the parents in an old folks home, something that would not have been allowed only a few decades ago. The way the children are looking now, there is no way they will be growing up to look after their parents. Walking down a street, you see many chubby kids begging their parents to go to McDonalds or KFC, wanting to buy expensive Nike shoes; this would have not been tolerated a few decades ago. It was always the eldest that had the power, always a top down structure, but now, it is the bottom commanding the top. Globalization has brought in money into the country, but it has also broken down family values and traditions, besides this money doesn’t always go to the people that actually need it, that is one common trait of globalization all around the globe.