Just recently, China overtook Japan as the world’s second largest economy. That should have been big news in most countries that would have gotten the attention of most journalists. Unfortunately, it did not get as much attention as it deserved.
For so many years, Japan was the number two to the United States. That meant a lot since Japan is a very close ally of the United States. Though they were bitter enemies during World War Two, Japan has made complete turn around and has taken on so many things from its conqueror. The fact that the two biggest economies in the world are allied to each other meant a great deal for world stability.
The Rise of China
China has always been a player on the global stage. The fact that it has culture and has a national identity for thousands of years is hard to forget. Its influence in world culture can never be ignored and then there is the fact that there are more Chinese than any other nationality in the planet is always worth considering.
In modern times however it has been seriously hampered by its backwardness. It was torn and made into a battle ground towards the end of the 19th century and it was not until the end of the Chinese Civil War that the fighting really stopped. Western powers, Russia and Japan have tried to tear away chunks from Chinese territory.
When the communists took power over China, there was some concern already. It did not take long before they became a nuclear power, but the fact that the country was still poor and backward kept it from being a major world power. But in the 1970s, a major change took place. It started to implement capitalist principles in its economy while still having a tight control on the country.
The results were quite dramatic. Because of the cheap labor that can be found in China, manufacturing there became attractive. As more and more companies decided to do business with China its economy began to expand and it experienced a growth that has never been seen in recent years. It took on double digit growth for years. Its cities began to boom and expand at a fast pace that people could hardly keep up. Under a situation like that, it really is not surprising that China was able to overtake Japan as the world’s second biggest economy.
The American Chinese Showdown
Now the next target for China is to become number one. It still has a lot of work ahead of it. Though it is the second biggest economy, the gap between it and the United States is still too vast to even think of it overtaking the US in the coming years as a possibility. But experts predict that within the next 20 to 30 years it would be able to overtake America as the biggest economy. Will the United States just sit idly by while its throne as number one is wrestled away from it?