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Bridging the Economic Gap

Updated on September 17, 2011


Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge


The Chinese economy is growing fast.

It is estimated that China, in a few short years will become the second biggest economy in the world.

This means that it will take a step to be above Japan and will only second the United States.

Several things are boosting its economy but one of the main things is its work in infrastructure projects.

In 2008 it opened the 3 Gorges Dam, a huge undertaking that will be capable of producing a large amount of eco friendly energy with its turbine generators.

Then earlier this year, in one day, it opened four bridges to the public, two of these being the longest bridges ever built.

Three of the bridges are part of its high speed railway system, in which China must be one of the leaders in this field.

It is now considering building a high speed railway system across Asia, joining Europe to China. It has already started construction on high speed links to South East Asia.

Chinese Trains
Chinese Trains
Rebuilding the Eastern Span
Rebuilding the Eastern Span

Rare Earth Metals

Another reason for China’s growing economy is the need for rare earth in modern technology. China possesses 95% of the Earths rare earth metals.

It would also appear that keeping its distance from the world’s battlefields is also helping.

Whilst a lot of the world were watching the conflict in Afghanistan, China did not stand idle.

Whilst some countries were sending soldiers and diplomats to Afghanistan, China was sending businessmen and engineers.

While the fighting was going on, China secured mining contracts in Afghanistan. Not only for ores but also for the mining of one of the biggest rare earth deposits outside of China.

In these hard economic times, it is sometimes hard to see how the United States economy will stay ahead of that of China.

President Obama has said that America needs to work on its infrastructure in order to boost its economy and even mentioned high speed trains.

The problem is though, even when the Eastern span of The San Francisco Bay Bridge was rebuilt, it still used steel from China. So can America’s recovery take place without equally helping China?


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    • profile image

      Makaila 2 years ago

      Stands back from the keyboard in ameznmeat! Thanks!

    • profile image

      PenMePretty 6 years ago from Franklin


    • CHRIS57 profile image

      CHRIS57 6 years ago from Northern Germany

      You have to look into the Chinese cultural background, Chinese people´s absolute pragmatic approach to situations in real life.

      Take that and the philosophical cornerstones from Confucianism, Daoism and to some extent Buddhism and you get a general mindset to characterize Chinese actions.

      In the current situation Confucian thinking is really helping the Chinese progress. The hierarchical orientation of individuals in serving and taking responsibility created a society with firm cultural rules and the (Communist)party on the top. Daoism with its drive for harmony provides the glue to keep things together.

      This makes Chinese act swiftly and totally concentrated on the well being of their own kin, at the same time neglecting of what is not their "family". That is the "Empire of the Middle" Zhongguo.

      While being very pragmatic, it is the lack of inspiration, of little thinking out of the box that should give the clue of future development.

      As long as China can observe the world and learn from the best, China will use its practical thinking to quickly "copy and paste" with a little improvement. That also implies that there must be someone to copy from, and that still is the west with its individuality and high incentives for ingenuity. That is a kind of conservative, static approach for the Chinese future role.

      But it is also possible to have Chinese culture adapt to western thinking in the future. This will not be Shanghai turning into another New York or Chicago. This will more an absorbing of western thinking, integrating into the Chinese cultural mindset.

      It this happens, western culture should better do the same as China does, open to other, Chinese culture and learn from it. Only - western culture doesn´t have a long history of learning and absorbing other cultures, western culture stepped on other cultures in the past. Now it is time to change.

      As long as we understand what makes Chinese people, economy and leaders tick, it is nothing to be afraid of.

      I recommend reading the books from Lin Yutang. In his book: "The importance of living" he characterizes Chinese people to be: R4-D1-H3-S3. R=Reality (4=strong), D=Dreams (1=weak), H=Humor (3=ok), S=Sentiment(3=ok).

      Americans were characterized to be R3-D3-H2-S2. Figure out what that means.

      Thanks for you hub. You are right, things are happening in China. Apologize for doing a little lecturing, got carried away.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      They are showing what great business men they are in Africa, according to some reports I have read and seen. They are there for Number One only and could care less about the people of Africa nor its wildlife which they denude with impunity. When I see the Chinese at work i sometimes think the aliens have already landed! Bob

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      I will not be surprised if China does not overtake and leave the U.S. in the dust. Our political system is no match for a communist dictatorship. More like a Capitalist dictatorship. They are single minded and have left all the policemans jobs to the U.S. and Europe. They are outsmarting us at every turn. But of course our legislators must argue over prayers in schools and whether to allow gays in the military, while China decides to build a super infrastucture to service their hyper economy. Carry on "children of the corn" as the Chinese take over the top spot.