Since the 1980s, China's economy has drastically changed. Beginning with Deng Xiaoping, China's leaders have made it a priority to expand the economy and make it as powerful as possible. Under Deng Xiaoping, several Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were set up. These SEZs were located in coastal regions and were areas with less governmental regulation of the economy. Though China is still a strictly Communist state, it has shifted from a command economy to more of a mixed economy, particularly through use of SEZs\. This has led to a massive growth of its GDP, although it remains one of the poorest countries in terms of average wealth per capita. This rapid change can be seen in areas such as Shanghai, where new skycrapers are built each year as wealth continues to flow into the region. China has positioned itself as a global superpower with much impact on the global markets. A financial crisis in China would subsequently lead to a crisis felt around the world. Due to its power over the economy, China has also gained much more political power.
Though China has turned its economy around and led it to an incredible amount of success in a very short period of time, there have been drawbacks associated with the changes. While China's economy as a whole has grown in value, the wealth has been distributed very unequally. With a population of well over a billion people, rampant poverty is still prevalent throughout the country. Coastal cities may be very wealthy, but as one travels further inward, they will find rural areas filled with poverty and horrible living conditions. Many of these citizens in poverty are frustrated with a government that allows some to prosper while others don't, which has led to the problem of the Chinese government having to deal with an increasingly dissatisfied populace that is demanding change. China's government is known to shut down protests, but it is becoming increasingly hard to keep the mounting tensions at bay. The environment has...
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