Russia and China: Economic Development Term Paper

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Economic Development Between China and Russia

Both China and Russia have changed the way they operate in recent years, and that change has been a long time coming. The adjustments the countries have made are overdue, in that they should have been performed years ago in order to keep the countries on track and provide better economic growth for the people who call them home. As such, both China and Russia struggle with economic issues and poverty problems, some of which are more obvious and some of which appear to be more hidden. President Putin has changed the Russian economy and made important strides, but not enough has been done. The same is true with China, and Chairman Xiaoping Deng. Reformation has been strong, but serious economic problems remain for the country. Here, the reasons behind those problems are looked at, in order to show what else may be done to correct the economic problems.

The Population

Both countries have population issues. China is very overcrowded in the larger cities, where the streets and public transit systems are packed with people every day. There is work and opportunity, but there are more people than jobs. In the more rural areas, there are jobs that do not pay well, and fewer resources. The overcrowding is not as bad, but there are still significant problems with having enough work to do and enough money to feed a family and provide basic and necessary care (Castells, Caraca, & Gustavo, 45). That has to be strongly considered when looking at China, because of the size of the population there. People either live in big cities where they are crowded out of a job and cannot afford to live in a nice area, or they choose a more rural life and must scrape by because there are no jobs close to them. There is a lack of balance between the two extremes that is very evident in China (Ruhl, 109).

Russia is less populated based on the number of people and the total land area, as there are many barren, desolate places. However, the larger cities are still crowded, and that can mean there are not enough opportunities to work and make money for all the people needing jobs (Ruhl, 111). It also has a balance problem, much like the one seen in China. The distribution of wealth is very unequal, as is the distribution of social services and programs. Because of the communist philosophy under which China and Russia are both operated, the government essentially has a hand in everything and is very focused on the control of the people (Ruhl, 113). Helping those same people, though, can become a problem because there are not enough social programs in place in either country to provide the kind of relief needed for a population that large. China is trying to control its population by limiting the number of children a couple can have, but Russia has no such requirement for its people. While controlling family size may not be the answer, resources are scarce even for the number of people already living there.

The Social Welfare System

Having the opportunity to get help from the government is an area where both China and Russia are lacking (Puffer, McCarthy, & Boisot, 451). Reforms have taken place, but they have generally not been enough to really keep the countries moving forward when it comes to helping their poorest citizens survive. Social welfare can help the poorest of the poor in both countries, but there are a number of people who fall through the cracks. They are not starving on the streets, but yet they do not have enough for basic necessities. It is these people who really need the help, and they are the ones who are also not getting that help, largely because they do not qualify for assistance from a government that is lacking in social welfare programs. This is true in both China and Russia, although Russia has made more of an effort under President Putin to help people in need and grow the economy of the country (Puffer, McCarthy, & Boisot, 456).

Government Indifference

One of the biggest problems that both countries face is the…

Sources Used in Document:


Castells, Manuel, Joao Caraca, and Gustavo Cardoso, eds. Aftermath: the cultures of the economic crisis. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Puffer, Sheila M., Daniel J. McCarthy, and Max Boisot. "Entrepreneurship in Russia and China: the impact of formal institutional voids." Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 34.3 (2010): 441-467.

Ruhl, Christof, et al. "Economic development and the demand for energy: A historical perspective on the next 20 years." Energy Policy 50 (2012): 109-116.

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