In the world today, globalization is the objective trend of economic development. It is marked by a free flow and optimized allocation of capital, information, technology and service in the global context. Since the revolution of information technology, economic interdependence and interaction between countries have become stronger and it has become clearer that no country can develop and prosper in isolation. China has learnt this lesson and over the past decades has experienced remarkable economic expansion, political power and military significance.

China’s decision to open its economy to the world coincided with the US drive for globalization. United States and western corporations opened the economic floodgates to China through direct investment and subcontracting agreements. As western capitalism globalised, China became the factory of the world. China in turn poured resources into areas pivotal for building a robust and competitive economy

The impressive growth of the biggest developing country in the world is a key political and economic issue. In 2010, China’s industrial output exceeded the United States marginally but has now been consolidated into more than 20% lead with the gap still widening. In 2007, according to the UN report, China’s total industrial production was only 62% of the US level. However, by 2011 China’s industrial production had risen to 120% of the US level amounting to an industrial production of $2.9 trillion, this growth in the industrial sector as well as manufacturing, imports and exports are indicative that China has profited immensely from globalization. Its growth was based on a development model that combined a modernization of state-led economic  organizations and regulation with a gradual but controlled neo-liberalization in which foreign companies play a central role. The government introduced industrial export policies, such as tax reforms, currency devaluations and duty free imports which resulted in high productivity gains, especially in exporting.

The ripples of China’s rapid economic expansion can be seen around the world. China has become the world’s largest importer of several important commodities such as iron ore. In 2004, it consumed 40 percent of the world’s coal, 25 percent of the nickel, and 14 percent of the aluminum. This massive demand is beneficial to exporting developing countries. With its industrialization and growth, China has become more prominent in international politics stressing its position and seeking new alliances. In Africa, it has strengthened  its strategic economic relations by committing itself to development projects and aid in order to secure access to primary goods and consolidate its export market.

The effect of China’s globalization is not however well received in certain quarters militarily. China is a big country, with a massive army: the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is still the largest army in the world.  There are concerns about  the gains of its economic expansion being channeled towards the modernization of its army for not-so noble intentions. China has the ambition and is increasingly building the power to become a regional authority with a determined aim to lock America out of the Asia-pacific region. This puts a different kind of strain on the already fragile balance of power.

It is undeniable that economic power translates into political power, if the tide of globalization continues to favour China economically, and then the global powers must realize they have a dragon in their pond. Using its new economic strength, China has been spending its way to the top displacing even the United States in many corners of the world such as Africa, Latin America and even the Middle East. This growing influence will no doubt play a major role in changing the world as we know it.

Written by O Obaremi

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