China toured like a growing, for some frightening, dragon
on the world stage in 2010. During the summer, the country
went about Japan as the world's second largest economy. But
the US remained in first place - its GDP was still three
times that of China: $ 14.6 trillion, against 5.7 trillion
for China and 5.4 trillion for Japan.
China, on the other hand, passed the US in energy
consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and is now the
world's largest in both these problem areas. But despite the
country's oil consumption increasing rapidly, the United
States is still the world's largest oil consumer.
China has a population of 1.393 billion (2018). China continues to assert its right to high emissions,
citing that the newly poor empire must grow rapidly in the
world. It is up to rich countries to reduce their emissions
and help others with environmental assistance, Beijing
The UN Environment Summit in Cancun December 6-10 meant
no major change.
WikiLeak's South Korean document showed that China now
regards North Korea as a "spoiled child" and could envisage
a Korean reunion under Seoul's leadership.
With Europe, China formed ties during the fall, when both
President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao traveled
around the EU. Wen Jiabao said in Athens that Greece was
China's best friend in Europe and promised big investments.
Hu Jintao visited France and Portugal. The EU has a large
deficit in trade with China. In 2009, the EU imported €
214.7 billion from China but exported for just 81.7 billion.
Like the United States, the EU was concerned by the high
value of China's currency yuan.
During the summer, China displayed its luminosity at the
acclaimed World Expo 2010 exhibition in Shanghai, with about
200 participating countries and organizations. The number of
visitors exceeded 70 million. The themes in the Swedish
pavilion were sustainable development and wood as material.
The Nobel Peace Prize caused dissatisfaction in Beijing
when it went to human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, sentenced
to eleven years in prison for overthrowing operations. Liu
Xiaobo has participated in the Charter 08 for democracy.
China described the election as a "blasphemy" against the
prize and threatened with "consequences" for the countries
that came to the awards ceremony in Oslo. Nevertheless, all
EU countries as well as the US and Japan agreed. In protest
of the prize, China awarded its own peace prize in the name
The outside world, especially the United States, tried to
persuade China to relinquish control of the currency yuan.
Experts believe it should be valued at about 30 percent. A
currency war threatened in the fall. China, for its part,
objected to the US central bank's decision in November to
lock out US $ 600 billion in the economy, which could keep
the dollar rate down.
US President Barack Obama attended the G20 meeting in
Seoul November 11-12 and the subsequent APEC meeting in
Yokohama. He tried in vain to persuade colleague Hu Jintao
to give way to the yuan course. He promised only to
"progressively pursue a reform of the exchange rate".
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao sharpened at ASEM, the EU-Asia
Summit, in Brussels on October 6, that an upgrading would
jeopardize exports, with major risks to China's stability.
"If the yuan is not stable, it will cause a disaster for
China and the world," Wen said, adding: "If we increase the
yuan's value by 20-40 percent, as some would like, many of
our factories will be closed and society would chaos. "
At the same time, China has shown a clear commitment to
reducing export dependency and increasing domestic
consumption to ensure continued growth and harmony. There
was a concern in Beijing that the economy would overheat and
a financial bubble arise similar to that in the West.
Interest rate hikes sought to curb inflation, which was 5.1
per cent in December. Towards the end of 2010, China's GDP
growth was close to 10 percent, compared with 9.1 percent
the year before.
In August, Chinese Geely completed the acquisition of
Volvo for US $ 1.8 billion (SEK 12.4 billion) and planned to
build 300,000 Volvo cars per year. Geely wants to launch
Volvo as a luxury car and therefore wants to extend the back
seat, as rich Chinese with driver want to sit comfortably.
China went about the United States as the world's largest
car manufacturer in 2009, and this was noticed on the roads,
where car queues became more common. The most extreme of the
year was ten miles long and lasted for nine days between
Inner Mongolia and Beijing.
The richest in China in 2010 was the soft drink magnate
Zong Qinghou. He is good for 12 billion US dollars and thus
cannot be ruled out to have been the buyer of the richly
decorated vase from the Qing dynasty sold during the fall.
An anonymous buyer in China is said to have called it in for
£ 43 million (SEK 473 million).
During the summer, a series of storms drove millions of
people in southern China to flee. Lerras demanded close to
This summer's acoustic torment number one, the vuvuzelan,
was produced like so much else in "The world's workshop". A
small family company in the Chinese coastal city of Ningbo
made the plastic trumpets that put their stunning sound mat
over the soccer World Cup in South Africa.
1978 Forced industrialization
At the third plenary session of the CCP Central Committee
in December 1978, Deng Xiaoping was completely rehabilitated
and at the same time radical changes in the economy were
announced. In the countryside, the peoples' municipalities
were disbanded and the land was distributed to the families
who leased it by the state. The farmers no longer had to
hand over part of their production, but instead paid taxes.
In return, they were allowed to sell their surplus
production in the villages and towns.
China further stated that the gates would be opened to
trade, investment and foreign loans. To attract foreign
companies, so-called special economic zones were
established near Xianggang (Hong Kong). In these zones,
as in the free zones of other countries, investors should be
exempt from taxes and have access to cheap labor and land.
Within the industry, a significant part of the
decision-making power was transferred from the ministries to
the factory directors, who were given the right to plan
production, distribution and choose from which raw materials
they would choose. The young workers were offered contract
work, rather than previously giving them lifelong employment
in a production unit. And finally, it was made legal to open
smaller shops and restaurants. At the same time, the
government initiated a program for the settlement of
subsidies for consumer goods. In future, the price of basic
goods such as food and textiles would have to be determined
via the market. Economic growth had to be stimulated by
As the changes broke through, more goods came into the
stores and over a number of years wages rose. The problem of
unemployment and underemployment was reduced. The
restrictions on travel internally in China and out of the
country were gradually reduced, and the party began to
tolerate greater artistic expression.
But economic changes also started to induce inflation -
especially for food and textiles - and by the late 1980s
wages were falling. In the countryside, the farmers living
closer to the cities benefited from the change. They had an
easier time supplying the large market. The farmers in the
more distant regions, on the other hand, were left behind in
the development. The use of pesticides and fertilizers
increased, which made it possible to increase production,
but later productivity began to decline. It encouraged
increased use of pesticides and fertilizers, reaching
alarming heights and raising prices.
The social safety net during the working class was
reduced and the new forms of employment began to create
uncertainty. On the one hand, the directors were allowed to
hire and dismiss workers based on the production goals they
had set, but the trade union movement was not given the
corresponding rights to be able to act under the changed
conditions. In the light of these circumstances, a debate
was raised about the rhythm and scope of economic reforms
and a clearer separation of party and state.
1986 Beginning political protests
In 1986, a student demonstration was held in Shanghai for
press freedom and political change. Hu Yaobang, the party's
general secretary and relatively young, was forced to
resign, and the hard line launched a campaign against
"bourgeois liberalism" to remove what he characterized as
"western" ideas - fundamentally political liberalism, albeit
the campaign also mentioned consumption and corruption. Many
saw the campaign as an attack on Deng's reform-oriented
economic policy. Especially since Hu Yaobang was one of his
In March 1989, the police pushed for a demonstration by
Tibetans protesting the constant cultural and religious
persecution and demanding more political rights. The
shooting led to three days of extensive demonstrations,
which ceased only when the authorities imposed a curfew,
which was only raised again in April 1990. Tibetans in exile
criticized the arrest of a large number of dissidents and a
number of executions. Tibet had been illegally annexed by
China in 1950 and turned 65 into autonomous territory.