Author: John FARNDON

Publishing House: Litera Internaţional, 2007

China is the country where a quarter of the population of the globe is living, and the world is still fascinated by it. When Europe was still in the dark Middle Ages, China was by far the most developed civilization. His evolution stopped for like five hundred years, but now many specialists say that China's transformation pace is stunning, and this country has been ready to dominate the world starting with the 21st century.

In the introduction called "The New China", the author brings us several statistic arguments: "China is the world's biggest producer of coal, steel and cement; it is the second energy consumer and the third biggest oil importer. Two thirds of the photocopiers, microwave ovens, DVDs and shoes and almost all the toys in the world are produced here. Over half of the cranes on the entire globe work in China, helping to build the biggest megalopolises ever seen. Just one of these cities can shelter more people than the entire England. It is true, the Chinese people are migrating from the rural environment to the flourishing cities on the coast, in a process that constitutes, no doubt, the greatest human migration of all times".

From the strategic and political perspective, there are quite a few opinions according to which China can become a big threat to world peace, bigger than Russia during the Cold War. China is a nuclear power, it has the most numerous permanent army, and its defense budget increases by at least 10% every year.

The book is structured in 11 chapters, and in the first chapter "China's developing economy" we have the prediction that China will be more powerful than the USA by 2041. The secret to this development is its vast labor force and the massive investments made by the Chinese government and the foreign investors. In the other 10 chapters we find information about China's politics, made by the Chinese Communist Party, which has over 70 million members and wishes to create "a harmonious society of prosperity", within an economy where the market calls the shots. This economy has to consider the migration from the village to the city, the pollution, the need for resources, the relations with Taiwan, Hong Kong's position, place and role in China, the relations with the neighbors, especially with Japan, Beijing's preparations to host the Olympics, the rapid development of media means and the education within Chinese schools for the 4 million students in China. The last part of the book is dedicated to the "Historic Background", stretching over 2 million years.

China has been and still is an extremely complex country. Predicting its future would not only be wrong but also venturesome, but there is no doubt this country has felt its time has come and Chinese people will do everything possible to occupy the place they think they deserve on the world stage.

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