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CHINA: THE GIANT AWAKENS : Asia's Emerging Powerhouse

June 15, 1993

Big-League Ranking: Two Views

Is China just behind Japan as a world economic power or far below it? That depends on how you figure it. China ranks high when purchasing power is compared--the latest method used by the International Monetary Fund. China ranks lower under the IMF's traditional method, which uses exchange rate-based weights.

Calculating gross domestic product remains a controversial area. Estimates for China for 1990, for instance, ranged from $419 billion up to $2.945 trillion, depending on the method used.

Percentage of world gross domestic product (Purchasing power parity: based on 1990 figures for goods and services revalued in a uniform price in U.S. dollars.) Percentage of world gross domestic product (Exchange-rate-based weights: based on a three-year moving average for 1987-1989)

Upward Bound

After a brief slowdown, China's economy has taken off again. Over seven years, it has averaged a hefty 8.4% growth annually, the government says.

The Trade Gap

China sells far more goods to the United States than it imports, reflecting its growing economy.

The Two Chinas

Despite its rapid entry into the Age of Technology, China remains a divided nation. Many rural areas, especially, have yet to enter the modern world. Farmers and tradespeople often do business the way they have for centuries.

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