17     China Steps Back onto the World Stage                  


Primary Resources 


Document 17.1


Excerpt from a speech by former premier Zhao Ziyang on the purpose of Special Economic Zones, 1984

Document 17.2

“Shenzhen: Showcase for China's Economic Growth,” China Daily, February 4, 2002

Document 17.3

“The End of Cheap China,” The Economist, 10 March 2012 

Document 17.4

“China’s WTO Entry of Great Impact,” in China Daily, December 3, 2006 

Document 17.5

Excerpt from “China on the Move,” by the RAND National Defense Research Institute (U.S.), 2005


Document 17.6


Excerpts from “Prime Minister’s War Shrine Visits the Issue That Matters, Beijing Tells Tokyo,” in The Australian, November 2005 

Document 17.8

"Peace Breaking Out," The Economist, April 4, 2007 



Supplementary Resources 


Item 17.A

China’s Special Economic Zones and “Open Cities” in 1992

Item 17.B

Changes in China’s economy between December 2001 and December 2006

Item 17.C

Top Ten Economies in the World, 2011



A Closer Look





Activity Websites

Activity 1

Special Economic Zones


Activity 2

“Is Walmart Good for America?”


Activity 3

World Trade Organization

The official website of the WTO gives extensive information about many aspects of the World Trade Organization.


Activity 5

Regional dominance



Suggested Resources




Benewick, Robert and Stephanie Hemelryk Donald. The State of China Atlas: Mapping the World’s Fastest-Growing Economy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.


Bergsten, C. Fred, et al. China: The Balance Sheet: What the World Needs to Know Now about the Emerging Superpower. New York: Public Affairs, 2006.

A look at China’s extraordinary economic growth and its many implications.


Brownell, Susan. Beijing’s Games: What the Olympics Mean to China. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.


Chang, Leslie T. Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2008.

Examines the lives of female migrant factory workers in China, focusing on the experiences of two young women and including the author's story of her family's migration within China and to the West.


Fewsmith, Joseph. China Since Tiananmen: From Deng Xiaoping to Hu Jintao. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.


Gifford, Rob. China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power. New York: Random House, 2007.

Journalist Rob Gifford travels Chinese Route 312 from Shanghai to the border of Kazakhstan where the social and economic changes in the country are apparent all along the 3,000-mile route.


Hessler, Peter. Country Driving: A Journey through China from Farm to Factory. New York: Harper, 2010.

A narrative account of how the development and diffusion of cars and roads have changed China.


Hessler, Peter. Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.

Chapters 2, 4, 7, 11, 17, and 22 will be of interest to readers wishing to learn about the lives of young Chinese adults in the new economy. 




2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony, The Big Picture, Boston.com

Twenty-four pictures from the four-hour opening ceremony in Beijing.


China Country Profile, BBC News

Overview of the country, leaders, and history of China with statistics and a timeline.


China as Host Country, NPR

Articles, interviews, and reports about China’s preparation to host the 2008 Olympics.


China’s Special Economic Zones, Beijing Review

Background information about China’s Special Economic Zones.


Expo 2010, Shanghai, China

The official website of the Shanghai Expo.


Hu Jintao, The Chinese Central Government’s Official Web Portal

Articles about President Hu’s domestic and foreign diplomacy.


Hung Huang, “The Chinese Do Take It Personally,” MSNBC

An interview with Chinese blogger Hung Huang about the controversy in Western countries over the Olympic torch and protests against the Chinese government.


World Trade Organization

The official website of the World Trade Organization provides news, briefs, and extensive information about trade topics.


World Trade Organization and China, The U.S.-China Business Council

The website of the U.S.-China Business Council, an organization of U.S. companies doing business in China, has an archive of all its reports to Congress on the progress the PRC has made or not made in meeting its obligations as laid out in the accession to the WTO agreement.





China Blue (88 mins; 2005)

A powerful documentary capturing the lives of teen girls in a Chinese factory that produces denim jeans. The film provides another perspective on what China’s involvement in the global economy means to one segment of the population and the role Western corporations and consumers play.


Young and Restless in China (106 mins; 2008)

A PBS Frontline documentary following the lives of nine Chinese adults in different parts of the country. The episode documents pressures and decisions they face as they try to balance tradition and modernity and work and family.




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