China's Growth Comes With Consequences Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

China is still regarded as a developing country, its rapid growth has put it in a position to compete with the top players in the world economy. With the advancement of technology and globalization, for example, China has been able to communicate and do business around the globe. This has enabled the country and its people to benefit from prosperous partnerships. Although China has advanced to a top position in the world economy, it is also true that the country faces severe problems, which could affect this position in the long-term. Chinese officials and businesses will have to give urgent attention to problems such as the water shortage, the economic strength of its local currency, and the drug problem in the country if China is to keep up its long-term success.

One of the most important impacts that the rapid development in China has had is the environment. In addition to severe pollution, one of the most threatened natural resources in the country is water. This limits not only the ability of individuals and households to remain economically viable, but also, on a larger scale, businesses. Industrial and agricultural output is already limited, according to The New Agriculturist (2004). One of the main problems leading to this shortage is China's geography and population. It is estimated that 44% of the country's nation lives in the northern and north-eastern provinces, where 58% of its cultivated land is also situated. On the other hand, only 14% of total water resources are in this region. Adding to the problem is the country's rivers. Irrigation for crops and dams for flood control have severely impacted China's rivers. The Yellow River, for example, has dried to the extent that its water no longer reaches the ocean for about 200 days of the year. (The New Agriculturist, 2004) Global warming has also contributed to temperature rises, which could further impact water resources and crop production. Harvests have declined and water levels dropped, partly because cities are favored in terms of water supply. Another problem is wastage and pollution. A large amount of irrigation water is lost by evaporation. Water pollution makes the problem worse, with China having a total emission of organic water pollutants that amounts to those of the U.S.A., Japan, and India combined. Water quality is not only poor; in some regions, it is even poisonous.

According to Barr (2010), a second problem that China faces is its economy, especially in its trade relations with the rest of the world. At the heart of the issue is that China has used the weakness of its local currency, the Yuan, to derive benefits from its exports. According to its trading partners, such as the United States and other European Union countries, this has provided China with an unfair and unsustainable economic advantage. In part, this practice could be considered as part of the reason for the country's rapid economic growth. However, like its water, the country will have to change its practices if it is to maintain not only its growth, but also its economic health. An issue that China faces now is its vulnerability in global demand for goods, which has diminished as a result of the recession and debt.

Finally, one of China's major problems is drugs. (Beech, 2006) According to the author, there has been a steady increase in the culture of drug use in the country, particularly among the youth. At the time of writing, more than 80% of Chinese under the age of 35 are drug addicts, of whom more than 70% are heroin users. There are several reasons for this problem. One is the national consciousness that responds to an only recently found freedom of choice. Drugs represent this freedom. Another reason, according to Beech (2006), is the corrupt system that includes police officers, the law, and rehabilitation centers. Although some of these sincerely try to address the problem presented by drugs, most are simply swallowed by the size of the problem or the temptation to become part of it. In addition, there is the desperation of poor communities whose only hope is selling drugs.

There are currently some policies in place to begin to address China's water problem. Modernizing the country's irrigation system has been mentioned as a possible solution.…

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