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Is China's economic growth good for the world?

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 13:30 UK time, Monday, 14 February 2011

Photo of a woman holding up a 100 Yuan note

On Monday China became the world's second biggest economy, overtaking Japan. It now has an estimated worth of $5.8 trillion.

Japan's fiscal policy minister, Kaoru Yosano, said:

We welcome, as a neighbouring nation, that China's economy is advancing rapidly. This can become a foundation for development of the regional economy, including East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Today President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia said that it is considering a trans-national railway to rival the Panama Canal, which will be built by China.

The move will boost trade between the two countries and further open up Latin America to Chinese investment. This is one example of China's eagerness to invest abroad.

Chinese investment in Africa is also increasing. George Fang, Standard Bank's Head of Mining and Metals China said:

The%20African%20picture%20is%20changing.%20Spearheading%20Africa%27s%20aggregate%20growth%20performance%20are%20the%20relatively%20low-cost%20providers%20of%20natural%20resources%20that%20have%20benefited%20from%20the%20surge%20in%20Asian%20demand.%20Along%20with%20this%20demand%20has%20come%20the%20reciprocal%20development%20of%20infrastructure%20by%20the%20likes%20of%20China.%20Physical%20infrastructure%20is%20essential%20to%20propel%20agriculture,%20manufacturing,%20services,%20trade%20and%20even%20human%20capital%20enhancements,%20while%20rising%20incomes%20and%20rapid%20industrialisation%20drive%20demand%20for%20electricity,%20transport,%20telecoms%20and%20housing.%20Resource%20and%20infrastructure%20investment%20will%20leave%20a%20legacy%20that%20will%20continue%20to%20build%20and%20enhance%20the%20economic%20status%20of%20the%20continent,%20drive%20economic%20growth%20and%20ultimately%20benefit%20the%20continent%27s%20people.
Picture of people looking up at the stock exchange board

Not everyone is so positive about China's growing economic influence. This article says it will erode Western influence in Africa.

Because China is strictly doing business and not poking its nose into governance issues, most African leaders are drifting towards China. Unfortunately, the influence of China will only make African leaders more arrogant and undemocratic. The net effect is that they will perpetuate themselves in power and alienate their citizens even more. They will also listen and take the West less seriously- slowly diminishing Western influence on the continent.

So, is China's economic growth good for the world or should the West be concerned? Would you like more Chinese investment in your country? Post your thoughts and comments here.

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