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When China Opened Its Economy

Format: Streaming | Download
Length: 11:20
Grade Level: 4-12+
Closed Captioned:

Streaming: English

How can your economic freedom overcome political obstacles?

For much of the twentieth century, China was a poor communist country. But over the past twenty-five years, 400 million people in China have escaped the dire poverty of living on less than $1 a day. Average real incomes have increased 440% in only 20 years. The city of Shanghai now stands as a dramatic symbol of the fastest-growing major economy in world history. Hundreds of thousands of people work in skyscrapers, some among the tallest in the world. Privately owned designer boutiques line the city's streets.

It would seem that communist China is using free trade to reinvent itself --but not entirely. By meeting Shi Hai and his employees at the internet gaming company Snail Games, it’s clear that they are navigating the delicate path between China's cultural traditions and their bold, new ideas. China still faces many challenges, aggravated by Xi Jinping’s reforms aimed at increasing state control over the economy and implementing selective censorship, which has led to a decline in property rights, a rise in urban unemployment, and diminished consumer confidence. As economic growth slows down, one important question remains unanswered: What impact will these restrictions have on China’s future economic growth?