Some data and very basic information about the world's oldest
CHINA IS THE MOST populated and third largest country in the world.
China is so vast and its geographical, topological, and climatological
contrasts are so great that it is a continent rather than its traditional
designation of "country." Two of the world's greatest rivers lie
entirely within China, the Yellow (Huang He) and Yangtze (Chang
Jiang). The climate ranges from tropical to subarctic. In the west
there are steppes, vast deserts, and high mountain ranges including
the Himalayas. In the center there are huge river basins and in
the east plains, deltas, and hills.
China has an elaborate administrative structure with roots in
approximately 2,000 counties (xian), many of whose boundaries
were determined around 800 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty.
Above the counties are 23 Provinces (including Taiwan),
5 Autonomous Regions, and 4 provincial-level municipalities. The
four municipalities are Beijing (Peking), Tianjin, Shanghai and,
since March 1997, Chongqing (Chungking).
China has been an economic powerhouse for much of world history.
Over the past century, as the Chinese struggled to redefine their
great nation, the economy of China and business in China suffered
Since the establishment of the Peoples's Republic of China in
1949 economic growth has been tremendous. There were, however, extreme
setbacks in the 1960s and 1970s as the path of development was debated
and the country was split by ideological extremism.
Beginning in 1978 China cautiously embarked upon economic reforms
that are ongoing to this day. The reforms are changing China's centrally-planned
form of "state capitalism" to what is now referred to as a "socialist
market economy" in the language of China's political ideology.
Ideological considerations aside, the changes have transformed
the country and the lives of the Chinese people. In the brief time
since 1978, China has once again emerged a significant economic
power and throughout much of China today, business is booming.
China is surprising all analysts, including many on Wall Street,
with the continued strong growth and stability of its economy.
There is a distinct possibility that China is experiencing an
accelerated growth phase during which its economy, and the standard
of living of the majority of its citizens, is increasing exponentially.
Such an explosion of growth by a large economy has, of course,
happened before most recently in Japan between the mid 1950s and
mid '70s. It happened in the USA too, although much longer ago,
roughly between the years 1880 and 1929.
As China grows so do the chances for businesses all over the world
to participate in the process. American businesses can look to the
bilateral trade agreement for
WTO membership signed between the two countries. The trade deal
will allow for nearly all types of businesses to directly work within
the Chinese economy. European Union member countries will have the