What do you know about China?
How do you imagine this country once you hear its name?
We bet that for the majority of you, China is a wealthy and advanced country that offers a lot of great opportunities for its citizens as well as expats and is a great place to live.
You’ve probably made this decision on the basis of China you saw on the pictures online.
Numerous skyscrapers, futuristic architecture, fascinating lit-up city views at night, and high-speed trains create an image of an extremely wealthy and developed country.
That’s right to some extent. China is really rich, but not everywhere.
That’s why there are still a lot of contradictions when it comes to determining China’s status.
On the one hand, success China gained in numerous spheres in the past years makes us think the country is a developed one.
It is the world’s most populated country with more than 1.4 billion people living there.
Moreover, the country is the world’s second economy after the USA.
On the other hand, China itself and some international organizations agree that it is a developing country.
So, what’s the truth?
We’ll try to figure it out in our article.
What is the difference between a developed and developing country definition?
Developed and developing nations are totally different worlds.
Although one might sometimes confuse the two countries because of the rich and stunning appearance of a developing nation, external factors aren’t the ones that determine the level of development.
What really matters is the situation inside a country and the way people feel living there.
To cut a long story short, all people in a developed country are satisfied with their lives while only a little percent of citizens in the developing world can say they are happy.
So, what’s actually the difference?
A developed country is a country with a strong economy, high income of its citizens, and well-developed infrastructure.
The main part of a country’s income is generated in an industrial sector rather than a service one.
People in such countries can afford high-quality education and healthcare.
Plus, they have good living conditions and long life span with low levels of infant mortality and death rates. And what’s more important, all welfare is divided equally among country citizens.
As for developing countries, their description is completely opposite.
Well, there might be separate areas (most frequently, capital cities) that do boast high economy, infrastructure, educational and healthcare levels. But this welfare is divided unequally throughout the country.
Thus, there is usually a large gap between the rich and the poor.
Is China a developing or developed country in 2019?
The income of a country’s population is one of the factors that determine whether a country is developed or developing.
It might sound surprising and even ridiculous, but the average income of Chinese citizens is a far cry from salaries people get in developed countries.
Despite the fact that China is one of the strongest competitors on the international market, and the whole world can watch rapid Chinese development, not everybody in China can afford a luxurious, or at least, decent life.
It turns out that a great part of the Chinese population lives in suburbs and all they can afford to spend a day is about two dollars.
There are other issues that don’t allow us to call China a developed country. For example, it’s a well-known fact that Chinese healthcare system leaves a lot to be desired.
Not every province in the country can boast access to high-quality drinking water.
The state of the roads is satisfactory only in tier-1 and tier-2 metropolises.
With that said, the Chinese government, as well as Chinese citizens, have a lot of work ahead to gain the status of a developed nation.
What is the status of China in the WTO?
China joined the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2001 as a developing country.
The WTO’s policy is that they don’t divide countries that enter the organization into developed and developing. They give the right to decide on it to countries themselves.
Thus, China claimed itself to be a developing country when it entered the organization. The reasons were obvious as China was rather poor at that time.
Nowadays though, some members of the WTO don’t agree with China’s status of a developing country. In spite of this, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, confirmed this status repeatedly in 2017.
Is China First World country?
As we’ve already defined China as a developing nation, the answer is no. China isn’t a First World country.
However, belonging to the First, Second, or Third World countries isn’t always determined by economic status. It’s more about political and social matters.
First World countries are the ones under American and European influence, plus, Japan and some former British colonies.
Second World countries are mainly eastern countries – former members of the Soviet Union and several Asian countries, including China.
Third World countries are the ones that can’t be referred to the ones described above.
Why is China still considered an emerging market?
An emerging market is a market that has all the chances to become developed in the future.
In other words, this is a country that has some traits of a developed market but hasn’t succeed enough to get this status.
As we’ve already mentioned, being a developed country isn’t about outer characteristics, but about inner matters.
Thus, there are the following reasons to call China an emerging market:
- It integrates with the Global Market gradually. One can find a lot of Chinese products all over the world. At the same time, a lot of foreign goods are imported into the country.
- Standards of living are improving. Although one can think that all Chinese people live like Beijing citizens, it isn’t the case. Chinese are still building railways and pavements on the roads. But they’re moving forward and developing this way.
- The middle class is expanding. Actually, if you have a look at the map of Chinese social classes distribution, you’ll notice that the larger part of Chinese territory is inhabited by middle-class people. However, China has to work more to eliminate the gap between the poor and the rich.
With that said, China is still an emerging market, but the biggest one in the world.
What are the best examples of China being a developing country?
We have already determined China a developing country. One can say so because it lacks proper development in some social spheres. Plus, its economic growth isn’t spread evenly over all regions.
What are other examples of China as a developing nation?
GDP per capita
GDP, or gross domestic product, is one more indicator of a country’s assessment when it comes to deciding on its development.
Having a look at a country’s GPD, it becomes clear how strong its economy is.
The higher this number is, the richer the nation is.
In China, this number is about 8000$ per capita. It’s six times less if compared with the USA and Canada, and three or four times less than in the majority of the world’s developed nations.
Thus, income per capita in China can be estimated at the level between low and middle.
Level of Poverty
It is a paradox, but with the largest number of millionaires and billionaires in the world, about 10% of its population live in poverty.
Once you go beyond the borders of the richest tier-1 and tier-2 cities, you’ll find yourself in Chinese suburbs. And they are a far cry from the pictures of prosperous China one can find on the Internet.
Currently, the Chinese government is implementing a plan to put as many people as possible over the poverty line.
For example, it has managed to help more than 50 million people to overcome poverty in 2013-2016.
Yet, even with a positive tendency for improving living conditions, the poverty level in China is considered too high for a developed country.
Level of environmental pollution
No need to mention that China is one of the most polluted countries in the world. Air is especially polluted in the country.
In some areas, the air is so foul that people have to wear masks to eliminate health hazards.
But what does the air quality have to do with the level of a country’s development?
Well, it is believed that increased pollution is an indicator of a developing country since the industry is growing and a great number of industrial waste is quite a natural occurrence.
The Chinese government itself claims the level of environmental pollution determines China as a developing nation.
However, there are some political and economic reasons behind this.
Have you been to China? What would you say about the Chinese economy and development? Share your thoughts in comments.