The Chinese Economy Introduced
The Chinese economy is one of the fastest growing in the world and is likely to become the world's largest in the not too distant future. Technically China is a communist country although in a lot of ways they have abandoned the ideals of communism. The real growth in Chinas economy occurred when they started to allow for private ownership. This dramatic change occurred during the seventies and it has made China one of the most unique economies in the world. Although private ownership is allowed it really isn't what you would call a free enterprise economy. Almost all business is done as a partnership between private companies and the government. This gives the government a great deal of control over the businesses that are being run in the country.
The Chinese economy is one of the most uneven in the world; some of the wealthiest people in the world live in China while at the same time there are a large number of very poor people. There is however a rapidly growing middle class in the country so that is a positive sign. The Chinese economy is a little bit funny because there are some very high tech companies and at the same time a great many small scale farmers continuing to use old fashioned methods. There is also a great deal of difference in the wealth of the people from region to region. Some areas of the country have booming economies while others remain very poor.
The biggest issue facing the Chinese economy is a lack of resources. For a country the size of China they have surprisingly few natural resources. This is especially problematic given the massive population. The goal of the government is to bring everybody in the country up to the same standard of living as the middle class in a Western country. How this is going to happen is a major question. For example the goal of car ownership for every family seems unlikely given that the entire global production of steel is insufficient to build that many cars and the total global oil supply would be insufficient to fuel them. In large part China is dependent on resources imported from other countries. However so are a lot of other countries. The competition for those resources is likely to be a major issue in the future.
The other big issue facing the Chinese economy is environmental. The massive growth of industry has resulted in a lot of pollution. There has also been the issue of destroying the land to build hydroelectric plants to power the growing economy. These are issues that are going to have to be addressed. The population of China is so massive that if steps aren't taken the damage to the environment will soon massively overshadow that done by all other countries combined. Part of the problem is that while the Chinese economy is still developing they don't really have the money to spend on reducing pollution.