Friday, March 18, 2011

J2 Home Based Learning Exercise

Source A Over the three decades of reform and opening-up, China has evolved its own growth mode that aims to achieve development through scientific approaches based upon China's national conditions and the international situation, analysts said. The essence of such a growth mode is to seek a balance between development, stability, equity and clean environment. China has greatly enhanced its overall national strength and "turned out to be an economic giant" through three decades of development, said Prof. Arnold van Zyl, vice president of SouthAfrica's Stellenbosch University. The fact that China has maintained an annual GDP growth of over 9 percent over the last 20 years proves that the nation has found a way of sustainable development, the Colombian ambassador to China, Guillermo Ricardo Velez said. Meanwhile, the country has also managed to create a friendly international environment for its swift development, he added. While sparing no efforts in advancing economic growth, China has also attached great importance to the sustainability of its development and is striving to achieve harmony between man and nature. China's endeavor to enhance environmental protection, energy-saving and gas emission-cut and build a resource-conserving society is of great significance to the world, said Klaus Toepfer, former chief of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore also said at the 2008 Poznanclimate summit that China has mobilized a national effort to introduce CO2 reduction initiatives, and has already begun the largest treeplanting programme the world has ever seen. China's rapid development is attributed to its stable social and political environment, whereas its national stability stems from the Chinese government's efforts to establish a harmonious society.

Adapted from “Commentary : China’s Scientific Development Works to Counter Economic Downturn” in Xinhua on March 8, 2009 Source B As Davis and Henderson (2003) observed, “(u)rbanisation and economic development go hand in-hand as a country moves from a rural-agricultural base to an urban-industrial base”. As a result, infrastructure development has become a fundamental driving force in China’s recent growth.

However, the large scale rural-urban migration also poses enormous challenges for the government. Many small cities and towns are now emerging, sprawling over previously arable land and reducing the amount of this scarce resource available (at 0.095 hectares per capita, China’s level of arable land is already less than half the world average). The absolute decline in the quantity of arable land, coupled with lower growth rates among township and village enterprises (TVEs) since the 1990s, has put further pressure on rural employment and thereby strengthened the ‘push’ forces for urbanization. The growing number of jobless and landless peasants presents a major concern for social stability, demanding firm measures to protect peasants’ rights effectively in economic transition. Those who do migrate into urban areas are often poorly paid and cannot enjoy the privileges that urban residents enjoy, such as state-subsidised unemployment and retirement benefits, schooling and medical care. This is largely because urban governments often view migrant workers as ‘belonging’ to their place of origin. This attitude and the lack of institutional support pose various social and political problems for migrant workers in urban areas, such as general discrimination, constraints on jobs, legal vulnerabilities (lack of social protection) , lack of access to services, and vulnerability to crimes.

Adapted from “Rapid Urbanisation and Implications for Growth” by Ligang Song and ShengYu Answer all the following questions. (a) With reference to Source A, explain the advantages of the China’s development model.

(b) To what extent are Sources B and A useful in showing that “China’s economic rise is too rapid for the country to cope”?

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