The author notes that “the most startling and intense aspect of today’s China” is the proliferation of manufacturing facilities that employ a substantial number of the nation’s billion-plus population. Affecting the visual and cultural landscape of China, factories are a glaring reminder of China’s social, cultural, and economic evolution. In terms of sheer scale, factories employ about one-fifth of China’s population. Dependency on factory jobs profoundly impacts the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Moreover, the blossoming of large-scale factories in China impacts domestic political decisions, which in turn affect the global market economy and political balance of power in the world. As the author points out, “China’s success in manufacturing is what has determined its place in the world.”
Problems with China’s rapid manufacturing boom include environmental degradation and economic downturns in nations with formerly strong industrial backbones like the United States and Germany. Furthermore, China’s currency has been kept artificially low to stimulate investment. Any sudden shift or revaluation of the yuan renminbi might have disastrous effects on the global economy. China’s labor rights practices also raises eyebrows but as the author points out, the nation is now at a place similar to the United States’ position in the 19th century during thefirst industrial revolution.
The author suggests embracing China’s power with caution. He warns, “Americans need not be hostile toward China’s rise, but they should be wary about its eventual effects.” The United States has the most potential power to influence the outcome of China’s economic growth and development. So far the trade partnership between the United States and China has proven fruitful.
The story of Shenzhen shows how rapid China’s transformation has occurred and will continue to progress. A small town just a few decades ago, Shenzhen has become a booming industri…