History and Economics Term Paper

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Economic Development of China and Korea

China and Korea, not exactly highly developed countries, but carry a mystique about them that intrigues everyone in the United States. Two countries, on the verge of emerging into their full economic potential, is at the present time, attracting plenty of media attention. Was their economic bankruptcy influenced by the attack on America? The purpose of this essay is to discuss and compare the differences and similarities of the two countries, including education, culture, religion, traditions, way of living and history, and emphasizing the economic development of these two fascinating countries.

Korea had its beginning, about two thousand years ago, when two nations were in a battle, creating a small independent population area, which we now know it today as the nation, Korea. Korea actually evolved spontaneously, with no planning or organization. Although Korea developed it's own identity and uniqueness, it is the envy of many outside nations, wishing to possess and control the country.

Korea's history has been largely beyond its control. Asia and the West have

Collided in the Far East for centuries, and whether intended or not, Korea has always stood in military interests. More than any other East Asian nation, the strong have envied Korea not only for its rich natural treasures, but for what it represents: An Asian Gateway to Japan and the Pacific, a bridgehead to China, Central Asia, and Russian Siberia" (Caraway, William, 3/2001).

Although isolated, but the center of attention, Korea is a determined nation to stay strong, and keep it's unique individuality and identity, uninfluenced by it's many would be dominators.

To this day, Korea is still struggling to find its own way among completing international political, economic, and military interest. It is a nation with a clear sense of national identity, a strong sense of fatalism, a historically justified fear that its fate has rarely been it its own hands, and a stubborn determination to shape its own destiny" (Williams, 3/2001).

The beginning of China was somewhat different from that of Korea. Korea's existence resulted because of a battle, but China's existence emerged due to some issues with the empire.

Confrontation of the empire, and a severe lack of availability of land space created a secluded area of Chinese society, which were forced to be independent and self-reliant, which explains the unusual independence the country experiences today. Although China had a weak military and government, the ability to survive on it's own, without trading with any other nation, China's true power and undeniable strength loudly speaks out for itself. The country started out with about 300 million Chinese citizens.

Just like the Korean nation, China too, struggles to keep its identity and individuality, with conflict from many other surrounding nations. Other nations have been intimidated by China's strength and stability to stand on its own as an independent nation. Every nation wants to feel needed and depended upon for economic, financial and educational reasons. China proved its efficiency to survive on its own. (Poon, Leon, no date given).

Another recurrent historical them has been the unceasing struggle of the sedentary Chinese against the threat posed to their safety and way of life by non-Chinese peoples on the margins of their territory in the North, and northeast, and northwest. In the thirteenth century, the Mongol form the northern steppes became the first alien people to conquer all China.

Although not as culturally developed as the Chinese, they left some imprint on Chinese civilization while heightening Chinese perceptions of threat from the north. China came under Alien rule for the second time in the mid-seventeenth century: the conquerors -- the Manchus-came again from the north and north east" (Poon, no date).


Now that we know the history and emergence of the two fascinating countries, China and Korea, and we know about their past or where they came from, we will now be able to understand the development of their nations, their cultures, and their present and possibly predict their future economic development. We now know that both countries possessed enough soundness and stability to maintain their true identity, despite the obstacles, and struggles they had to deal with. Their way of living may be the backbone of this strength and determination to remain stable and keep their true identity as a nation. This background information can determine the success, and what degree of their success their economic development potential. As of now, we are going to look into the development of their cultures, values and beliefs, and how these came about.

As we found out earlier, Korea was formed by pure spontaneous consequence, and is surrounded by an island. Just like Chinese culture, when a couple decides to marry, they do not move into their own place, in their own apartment or house, and start a separate family, but instead both cultures, Chinese and Korea, marriages evolve into an extension of their present families. Although the research reveals that the Chinese families live in very small houses, I must assume that these houses are small to America's standards, but until one actually sees China, this is not certain.

Korea's living quarters do not exist of a house or an apartment, but instead a courtyard, which is similar to a hotel setting. The living room, or the dining room is what we would think of as a large 5-star hotel lobby. Each family has their own separate rooms, but they come down to the central area for family events, or watching television, parties, dinner, etc... I also found some contradictory in my research regarding this issue, because in a very different source, it explained that each courtyard owns a chef in Korea, and the chef is responsible for cooking the meals and distributing them to each individual room of the courtyard.

Marriage arrangements, as discussed earlier are an extension of the immediate families, in both the Chinese and the Korean cultures. Korean oldest males are obligated to stay in the same courtyard, and take care of their families, again sort of contradictory to my last findings. Other articles give the impression that all offspring stay with their immediate families, and this one implies that the younger males, upon marriage can leave the courtyard. However, from research we know that it is customary for Korean families to live with their immediate families after marriage.

China marriages are very similar, except that when a couple marries, the married couple lives with the girl's family. In China, it is customary for quite a few large families living in one- bedroom houses. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps one of the most influential reasons is that China's economic independence does not allow sufficient material funds to build housing and allow the separate purchase of land, so that couples can live independently.


There seems to be much disappointment in the Korean education system, because the school system is quite a few years behind in it's learning technologies. Many Korean children who wish to relocate to more developed nations, either after graduation, or becoming an exchange student during the process of their education find themselves not as competitive with other students of their age and/or education level.

Korean schools has been described as an education system with large

Classrooms, rote learning, and a rigid curriculum devised by bureaucrats.

Korean kids do excel in math and science, but critics complain that the schools don't instill in them the creative flair needed to innovate science, and build a knowledge-based economy" (Ihlwan, Moon, 8/2001).

Not many people would argue that the education system of a nation does affect the economic potential of the country. The kids, tomorrow's leaders will invest and act on economic decisions based upon the principles and knowledge gained from their traditional education. For Korea to be more competitive in the economic development, it must improve its school system.

Another problem or complaint with the Korean education system, that although the lack of qualified learning is obvious, when compare to other nations at the same age and grade level, Korean kids are overworked, and exhausted by the schools education system. It is not unusual for Korean children to put in over 18 hours a day in school, in addition to spending more time at home with a tutor. This system has had an impact on the American Public School System, because although American Education Board will not allow citizens of other countries to attend schools in America, many Koreans have been found getting their education in America illegally. However, Korea's education government system does have its defenses, and below is a quote form one of the school boards education directors.

The Korean education system has lots of things to be admired, says

Kim Heung Ju, director general of the state-funded Korean Educational

Development Institute. The problem is only a handful of universities matter in Korea. That leads to excessive competition" (Moon, 8/2001).

Traditions in the Chinese education system are more rigid, and focuses on teaching children obedience and…[continue]

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