China, the Middle Kingdom Loosely translated, the term middle kingdom comes from the word Zhongguo, a Chinese word meaning central country. The Chinese people look at themselves as advanced and way superior in comparison to their neighbors. They strongly believed that they were the chosen people who were to exercise dominion over adjacent lands. They had no knowledge whatsoever of western civilization, and firmly believed that they were the center of world civilization. This term Middle kingdom dates back to between 1000B.C to 600B.C. This could be the reason for China’s resurgence evident in the world today. This gets portrayed in their continuous exponential growth, increasing military strength and the continued antagonism towards their neighbors Taiwan.The Chinese population best justifies the reference to China as the Middle Kingdom. This is because China is a highly populated country with near alarming demographics. Recent population figures put China’s population at more than 1.3billion people, making it the most populous country in the world. China alone accounts for a fifth of the world’s population. The Middle Kingdom’s population grows by between 12 and 13 million people each year, a figure that beats the population of countries such as Greece, Ecuador or Belgium (Lamson, 2007).With this huge demographic, almost all social problems get magnified. For instance if 10% of the Chinese population gets unemployed, the figure of people out of work equals half the United States population. The monstrous population in China has led to an increase in competition for all the available resources. However, the Chinese economy is a booming partly because a majority of the population, over 70%, is in the working bracket. Analysts say that this will drastically change due to the graying of the population. The advent of the one child policy in the 1970s requiring each couple to give birth to one child has led to the shrinking of the working age population. Though the margin of Chinese population increase has reduced, the effect of reduced working age population has not been felt yet. China’s economy keeps growing presently due to the large existing working population (Goldman, 2006).China did not experience early industrialization. The Middle Kingdom belief focused on relationships that made the family unit way influential than individuals. This could explain why industrialization did not occur in China until the Mao Zedong era between1949-1960. During this period, China’s economy got reorganized and experienced a significant increase in production and modern industry. A plan called ‘The Great Leap Forward’ got enacted to accelerate the industrialization rate by manufacturing industrial products like steel and iron (Lamson, 2007).China became the world’s fastest growing economy and the largest importer and exporter of goods after the 1978 market based economic reform. China’s Middle Kingdom status is evident in the economic field as it is the largest supplier of low cost products world over. After years of effort in the industrialization field, China has become an industrial producing giant in the world ranking among the top in cement, chemical, steel, electronics and fertilizer manufacturing (Goldman, 2006).China is now the center of the world’s economy and politics and can no longer be ignored. The Middle Kingdom status, which implies dominance over others, is now taking shape as China curves its image as a force to be reckoned with. ReferencesLamson, H. D. (2007). Social pathology in China. New York: The Commercial Press.Merle Goldman, J. K. (2006). China: A New History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Discuss China in terms of being the Middle Kingdom population growth issues and industrialization