China and the World Economy

The People’s Republic of China is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia ruled by the
Communist Party of China with a one-party regime. It is the world’s most populous country
with approximately 1,400 billion and the second-largest country in terms of land area with 9.6
million km2. When we look at the structure of the country, we see twenty-two states, five
autonomous regions, four directly governed cities, and the special administrative regions of
Hong Kong and Macau. China also claims sovereignty over Taiwan. In this article, we will
talk about China’s place in the world economy.
Up to the Deng Xiaoping term, The People’s Republic of China did not have an open
economy. Considering the year 1977, although it brought a lot of restrictions to the Chinese
people, it became the 30th largest economy, and this situation brought limited freedom and
controlled liberalism with Deng Xiaoping, who came to power in 1978. This was the first step
of openness which can be seen as a critical tool in a strategy for getting development. China
got 2 percent growth after this, and before liberalization, China got just 0.7 percent growth.
Namely, openness provided adding double growth. So, how did openness reveal that
situation? Because openness has four important positive effects: domestic monopolies’ market
power can be limited, opportunities to seek rent are reduced, technologies and organizational
methods are learned, and production scales become large. (Of course, there are disadvantages
which are living destabilizing shocks and getting economic sanctions from trading partners;
but we do not see for China these so much clearly).
With the openness strategy that has been used, there have been changes in the commercial
field. The rate of export materials increased, and the export rate became 14 percent which was
resulted in increasing the income of the export firms in China. This situation was the first
since the 1920s. Also, China got more money, began to manufacture and export to
manufactured goods, such as clothes, toys, machines. In line with all these results, China has
shown very rapid development. Looking at China’s trade with the USA in 1998, while the
USA had a trade deficit, China had a surplus. In addition to all these, China became the 4th
the country in world trade in 2009.
The worldwide financial panic experienced in 1997-1998 did not affect China much due to
its closed economy yet; However, as the measures to be taken in the transition to an open
economy were not paid attention to, some problems arose later. Foreign investors
concentrated in the south of China have also preferred Taiwan, Hong Kong (the former

British colony can be seen as a financial center), and Singapore. While the people living in the
south earned the negative effect in the factories opened as a result of the investments, the
people living in the north made a living from agriculture, which led to in-country migration
after income inequality. There have been many developments in technology and business
management as a positive effect on foreign investment.
China joined the World Trade Organization, which was established in 1995, in 2001. With
this participation, foreign investors’ access to China’s market would be easier and more
secure, and China would make it easier for foreigners to find a business environment, and
reduce customs taxes. Although these things may seem like a burden for China, they actually
contributed to China’s income at first. Because with the formation of the free market, growth
and prosperity have been realized in the economy. The only problematic situation is the
increase in the unemployment rate after the privatization reforms were postponed. However,
these were easily overcome and China is now the second-largest economy in the world.
Today, China is very advanced in technological terms both in civilian and military are.
Because China provides a contribution to its engineers with opening institutes.
Consequently, when we look at the history of the state, which was named the People’s
The Republic of China in 1948, the increase in the country’s earnings with the open economy and
foreign investment can be seen quite clearly. In addition, we see with the example of Hong
Kong that there are certain criteria in the selection of the cities where investment is made.
This region, which was a financial center during the British colonization, was also chosen by
the People’s Republic of China. In addition to these, China, which joined the World Trade
Organization in 2001, has had a lot of duties (reducing customs tax, supporting foreign
investors, etc.) and as a result, it got very good results. Today, it is the second-largest
the economy in the world and is highly developed technologically.

This article is written by Buse Bakkaloğlu

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COVID masks vs. face recognition programs

At the moment, all eyes are on the demonstrations in the USA and the course of the COVID epidemic. But Hong Kong has been hosting similar protests every weekend for months. Moreover, they are struggling against the Chinese administration, which has no regard for human rights. They are fighting against the Chinese police force, face recognition, and labeling programs without any equipment other than cell phones, masks, spray paint, and umbrellas.

Therefore, Hong Kong demonstrations are like an experimental area for the demonstrations that the world will face much more frequently in the coming period.

George Orwell, who had fought against the fascists in Spain, wrote what the oppressive regimes could do in his novel 1984. If he was alive, he would observe what was happening in Hong Kong on the spot and made great additions to his book.

Playing hide-and-seek with “Big Brother”
The Hong Kong authority under the administration of the Chinese Government is trying to identify the activists with its full force, while the activists are doing their best not to get caught. The activists believe that if they are caught and flagged in China’s criminal database, their lives will be over. Measures such as China’s social credit system feed this fear. It will be impossible for any citizen whose social credit grade has fallen in the system, which China started in 2014 and aimed to finish in 2020, to work in a decent job, to get a loan from the bank, to buy a house, or to get a good education. Those who live in Hong Kong are aware that if they are caught in protests, they will be downgraded at the social credit system. So they respond instantly to every step that the government takes. The Big Brother described by George Orwell is chasing, the protesters are dodging.

Trying every way to capture
This hide-and-seek game continues both in the physical world and the virtual world. The Hong Kong administration is trying to use everything from drones, cameras, police force, pepper spray, pressurized water, dyed water, mobile phone information, and credit card information to capture the demonstrators.

Demonstrators have some basic rules to avoid getting caught in the virtual world. First of all, they turn off the facial recognition and fingerprint reading functions of mobile phones. Thus, the police can only search for evidence on their mobile phones, legally if the captured demonstrators show consent to enter their passwords. They do not install any apps that they think are cooperating with the government on their mobile phones. They prefer Telegram and similar applications to speak encrypted. They connect to the Internet via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). They also use their phones’ Bluetooth and airdrop features to exchange information when they come side by side. They never prefer Istanbul Kart-like city card (Octopus) when they go to their homes, they buy disposable tickets and arrive at their homes through a different station than they always use. They either leave their credit cards and all cards with chips on them, or if they take them with them, they cover them with aluminum foil. They think this will prevent the police from accessing their cards remotely.

You can’t blame if you can’t record
Of course, the most dangerous thing for protesters is getting caught in the act. Virtual evidence may prove that they were where the protest took place and that they have anti-Chinese views, but it may not be able to fully document their participation in the protest. That is why it is very important to hide their identity at the time of the protest.

For this, they usually start by removing the “smart poles” equipped with various cameras at the location of the demonstrations, or they spray paint their cameras. If the cameras are up high, like on a drone or on the shoulder of a police officer, they disarm that camera either by building a wall of umbrellas or by holding hundreds of laser lights towards the cameras. That’s why the Chinese government is trying to qualify laser lights, which can be bought from any market for $ 10, as assault weapons and to prohibit its sale. They have not yet attempted on umbrellas, but they also want to ban the masks altogether.

Is Corona mightier than Big Brother?
The use of masks in Hong Kong has turned into complete chaos. In October 2019, the administration banned wearing masks at the demonstrations. However, in December this ban was rejected by the higher court. Then there was a series of different orders until the final decision in April 2020. According to the final decision of the higher court at the beginning of April, it was announced that the mask could be worn in legal demonstrations and it was forbidden to wear it in unauthorized demonstrations. The COVID epidemic was cited as a reason for this decision. The court delegation stated that the government cannot take away the right to wear a mask for anyone who wants to demonstrate while there is a pandemic threatening public health. So, in the last case, COVID has overcome Big Brother.


This article taken from Yetkinreport.

Written by Ersu Bulak.

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