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China’s Economy: Growth Performance

China’s Economy: Growth Performance

 China’s Economy: Growth Performance

            Thanks to opening up and the implementation of reforms within market structures, China has experienced over 35 years of extraordinary economic prosperity. As of 2012, China was ranked a close second to the United states with regards to its Gross Domestic Product GDP), having risen from $205 in the late 70’s to $6075 in the year 2012 (Hu, Yan, & Wei, 2014). Moreover, China is also currently ranked as one of the major importers and exporters globally having amerced over $3.4 trillion in the form of foreign exchange reserves. With such a booming economy, the state has in the span of two decades received more foreign direct investment thanany other developing country,not only Asia, but worldwide. Analysis informed by outwards foreign direct investments places China in the top 5 exporting countries, which goes to show the successful nature of China’s trade links. In essence, China has experienced miraculous economic growth which is symbolized primarily by its per capita GDP as it has experienced a constant upward trend over the past three decades due to a combination of impressive yet complex institutional reforms and capital based constraints.

Per Capita GDP

One of most reliable ways of analyzing a country’s economicperformance is through its GDP, specifically the per capita GDP. The terminology is used to describe the measure of output a country gives, divided by the total populace. Essentially, this figure represents the amount of output that each citizen gives on average. Productivity of workers and economic growth are some of the factors that per capita GDP is used to measure. A decrease in this figure symbolizes retardation of economic growth and vice versa. In the case of China, there has been a steady rise in Per capita GDP which signifies increased productivity and a constant rate of growth. As of 1980, the per capita GDP of China was at $192, making it the 4th last country with regards to economic health out of the 147 countries listed by World Bank. Economic development at the time was extremely low and so was the general GDP. By 2000, this figure had risen to approximately $990 which made it the 7th highest GDP globally(Fang, 2012). China continued to prosper economically as it further jumped from 7th to 2nd in the following decade registering a GDP of $7.3 million and a per capita GDP of $5,445(Hu, Yan, & Wei, 2014). As expected, this trend has continued show to date as China currently has a per capita GDP of $9,559, among it one of the fastest growing economies iv the world.

One of the main factors contributing towards this economic growth is the manner in which China has gradually managed to implement beneficial policies to its economic structure without tampering with economic equity. Zhang and Yi describe this as the gradualism strategy, whereby a country gradually introduces reforms in anincremental manner so as to avoid getting in the way of the government’s interests(1998). Consequently, a trickle-down effect is felt within the previously established economic system as market forces slowly permeate.

            To a great extent, the main aim of these reforms was and still is to establish a sound socialist market system that attempts to accommodate all major players in the country’s economic well-being. Fiscal reforms are some of the key tenets of this system as they work towards creating a balance between the state’s expenditure and revenues. Experts within the economic field refer to this as de facto fiscal federalism, a system that largely relies on the sharing of local and central taxes for its success.

Also, the financial sector has over the years undergone major reforms. Prior to 1978, the PBC People’s Bank of China) served as the only business bank in the country. Thus, it was also the country’s Central Bank which brought about a conflict of interests between the government’s and public’s economic interest. After deep economic reforms, the PBC was turned into the sole authoritypertaining to monetary matters. At the end of the day, this allowed for the introduction of other modern financial institutions including investment, business, and policy banks, as well as insurance organizations. Today, its duties include implementing and creating monetary policies.


Fang, W. (2012). Characteristics and Prospects of China's Urbanization Development. Retrieved from https://iussp.org/sites/default/files/event_call_for_papers/Characteristics%20and%20Prospect%20of%20China%27s%20Urbanization%20Development--Wang%20Fang_0.pdf.

Hu, A., Yan, Y., & Wei, X. (2014). China 2030.New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

Zhang, W., & Yi, G. (1998). China's Gradual Reforms: A Historical Perspective . Retreived from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/2427900_China%27s_Gradual_Reform_Historical_Perspective



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