Why did China become a world factory


Heinrich Kreft

To person

Dr. phil., born 1958; Ambassador and special representative for the dialogue between cultures in the Federal Foreign Office. [email protected]

The rise of China leads to a power shift from the Euro-Atlantic area to Asia with China as the new center of power. The "West" must adjust to this competition politically and economically better.


The economic and, as a result, political rise of China is the megatrend of our time. We are contemporary witnesses of a geopolitical power shift from the Euro-Atlantic area to the Asia-Pacific region with China as the new center of power. From the US perspective, China is the only serious future rival. Therefore, some are already seeing a new era of bipolarity (G-2) approaching - which would not only meet with skepticism and rejection in Europe. Since China's reform and opening-up policy began in 1978, the "Middle Kingdom" has moved from the periphery to the center of the world economy thanks to mostly double-digit growth rates. According to its own statistics, China outperformed Japan in the second quarter of 2010 and established itself as the world's second largest economy after the USA. China's share of world trade has risen from less than one percent 25 years ago to over six percent today. Last year, the country replaced Germany as the "world export champion". The per capita income in the country increased more than tenfold from 1980 to 2008. This means that poverty in the country has also decreased significantly.

As the world's largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, China is also playing an increasingly important role in the world currency system. The growing importance of China on the world financial markets is evident from the fact that the first four of the ten largest banks in the world are based in the "Middle Kingdom". Foreign direct investment continues to pour into the country - nearly $ 150 billion in 2008 alone. Chinese companies have risen to the top of the world league and not only export, but are also increasingly appearing as foreign investors themselves (around 100 billion US dollars in 2009). Due to the global financial and economic crisis, the importance of China for the world economy has increased further. While economic output in the OECD countries contracted significantly in 2009, China was able to maintain its growth path thanks to considerable economic stimulus. In 2010, the Chinese economy is expected to grow by over nine percent, making China, as it was last year, the most important of the few remaining growth poles in the world economy.