All roads lead to China

Assignment: Reader Response Assignment

The article "All Roads Lead to China" dated 5th December 2009 in The Star Bizweek focuses on China's rising as the third largest economy in the world. The continuous rapid economic progress has placed China in the position below United States and Japan. After the market-oriented reform programme has been introduced, China became the platform to attract foreign investors from all around the world. Although it is not a classification that the country is proud of wearing, China is now known as the world's manufacturing hub. As the government policies and actions are closely watched, the country's importance of worldwide economic can be reflected. Being the most populated country, its 1.3 billion people serve as an outstanding customer base and a cheap labour force. The main cause behind the commodity boom is the sudden burst of China's manufacturing sector, which increases the demand of raw materials and energy consumption. This has not only transformed the way commodities were traded, but also led to the acquisition of foreign assets and alliances with other resource-rich countries. Putting aside those accusations and allegations made, China's economy can still strongly compete with other well recognised countries.

Over the past few decades, there were clear signs indicating the increase in the standard of living of the people in China. Now named as the world's growth engine, it is undeniable that every country possesses the interest in making their investments in China. Foreign investors begin to flock to China as there is no country that has been progressing as fast and as well-planned as China. Being the world's third largest economy, the country has vast empty land, whereby companies can open factories or do plantations of various crops. Since China is known as a developing country in terms of economy, thus it is not slacking in terms of manufacturing and producing goods in mass production. Especially in times of recession, most of the investors are searching for cheaper alternatives in producing their goods, where raw materials and labour force can be found at a relatively low price. These variable costs can be reduced in manufacturing their goods. Therefore, many companies are opting to base their manufacture and operations at China due to the low cost of production. Having their production based in China, it helps to boost China's economy.

Being the world's most populous country, China has the largest amount of labour workforce. Its huge population provides limitless manpower. When foreign investors have made the decision to invest in various project works of various fields, the unemployment rate of the country can be reduced as there will be new vacancies offered. The increase of employment rate of locals will help to decrease the income gap between the urban and rural citizens.

Since there is a vast availability of manpower in China, having to hire workers is not a big problem. Foreign investors can afford to use a huge number of labours as the wages is of a relatively low price. With such huge number of labours, investors can produce their goods at the maximum capacity. Utilising all the available sources will help to increase the productivity of a manufacturer. In order to gain more profit, manufacturer will just ignore the quality of the products. The quantity produced is being put ahead of the quality assured.

In his article, Lees (2005: 2) stated that:

[t]he State Council has given the go- ahead for a 2 trillion yuan (HK$1.88 trillion) road expansion program aimed at building 40,000 kilometers of new highways, mostly in central and western China, to form an 85,000km network.

Once the road expansion plan has been successfully completed, it will provide China with a more efficient transportation system. Due to the shortened journey time, it will be easier for manufacturers to sell or to transport their goods within the country. Trading would be easier as more goods can be easily obtained as transportation will then be cheaper. This plan will help to further boost the economy of the country and thus increasing the probability of China to be promoted as the world's second largest economy soon.

Despite the advantage of it having rooms for economy improvement, China will also face various pollutions and that might lead to global warming. The increased number of factories and motor vehicles will lead to anthropogenic air pollution as pollutants will be released into the air. Sulphur oxide and nitric oxide, which are two of the primary pollutants, will react in the atmosphere. The reaction will produce hazardous acids and will lead to acid precipitation such as acid rain and acid fogs.

The road expansion plans will lead to the increase in number of motor vehicles on the road as there will be better transportation system. This results in the increase in emission of carbon monoxide. When there is an excess of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, there will be a rise in the temperature. This is because the greenhouse gases will trap heat energy from the Sun and thus, prevents the heat energy from being released away from Earth. Greenhouse effect will be caused by the rise in temperature.

Apart from that, the excessive emission of this toxic gas will also lead to potential catastrophic health consequences. Inhaling a large amount of carbon monoxide might lead to death. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it will combine with the haemoglobin, which is an oxygen transport, to form carboxyhaemoglobin. The carboxyhaemoglobin condition is when the efficiency of accepting and transporting oxygen to various parts of the body is reduced. This will cause the brain to have a lack of oxygen supply and might cause one to fall into coma, or maybe even death.

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