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China's Eight Treasures (八宝 / Bā bao)

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

There are a lot of reasons to believe in China, but many of them are not obvious. In the following, you can find eight of China's major strengths supported by plain facts.

View from a tea house near the Houhai (后海) Lake in Bejing

一 Growth

China has seen unprecedented growth over the past decades - but it is far from over! The country will continue to grow much faster than any other industrialized nation in the future. Specific sectors, such as online retail, grow even significantly quicker (+25% annually).

二 Innovation

What do gunpowder, paper, umbrellas, the compass, and spaghetti have in common? Correct, all of them have been invented in China. Although we are often unaware of due to certain clichés, China is highly innovative and will replace the U.S. as the largest investor in R&D in just a few years.

三 Resources

China has enormous reserves of essential commodities such as silver, crude oil, gold, and iron ore. Besides, the country has by far the largest share of rare earths deposits in the world, which is particularly demanded in the technology sector. Energy generation benefits from the most substantial hydropower potential in the world.

四 Middle Class

Already today, the world's largest middle class lives in China. Currently, it accounts for around 23% of the total Chinese population (310 million people); in just a few years, it will already be over 30%. The government is promoting this share for more stability, resulting in an increase in purchasing power and consumption expenditure.

五 Demography

Everyone knows that China has the world's largest population. However, even today, still 15 million children are born in China every year, forming a new and robust generation of workers and consumers. This development was additionally strengthened by the introduction of the two-child policy in 2016.

六 Infrastructure

With the establishment of numerous special economic zones and the development of highways, train paths as well as modern airports and seaports, China is already one of the most important trade hubs of the planet. Supported by two of the world's largest river systems and more than 14,000 km of coastline, China has ideal waterways for transporting goods.

Not all competitive advantages are statistically detectable but recognizable though.

For two further significant strengths of China, check out the following.

七 Adaptability

Chinese people are incredibly adaptable, and so, it is not surprising that more than 50 million Chinese live outside of China. This adaptability also brings economic benefits: Compared to other countries, China has greater dynamism and flexibility in many areas. In Chongqing, for example, the lower part of a residential building has pragmatically been converted into a train station to expand the Skytrain line.

八 Human Capital

How is it possible that China is significantly superior to other emerging economies such as Brazil, India, and Russia?

In the end, it is primarily the Chinese people: With their cultural values, motivation, and discipline, Chinese show productivity and customer focus that is not found elsewhere in the world. This attitude is often referred to as néng chīkǔ (能吃苦 ). It literally means to be able to bear hardship and says that one should sacrifice today to have a better tomorrow.

Do you think the eight issues I mentioned above are indeed valid strengths or would you disagree in some sense? Please feel free to share all your thoughts in the comment section.

Besides, if you want to learn more about China's potential and the Dragonfolio project, sign up to my free newsletter now, and join a fascinating journey that will astonish and reward you!

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Meikel Muhr
Meikel Muhr

Educating and well written! Like the examples given to each of the 8 strengths. If on your agenda, I would like to hear more about the challenges of growth (e.g. climate, politics, ...). Looking forward to the next blog post!

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