GDP ranking does not equal international status

  We often say that modern China was “poor and weak”, but if according to the data provided by economic historians in the past two decades, modern China has always been an economic power. “The Rise and Fall of Great Powers” quoted the statistics of economic historian Berrock that China’s economic output was not taken away by the United States until 1890. But China was not regarded as a big country throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, and was not regarded as a big country again until after 1950.
  Both see the total economy, it also depends on the economic structure of
  the establishment of new China, from the Opium War to a hundred years, why a far cry from China’s international status and China’s GDP ranking? There may be many reasons for this. If only from an economic point of view, it is related to the fact that China’s GDP structure at that time was very different from that of other major countries.
  In modern times, the status of a major power was established by war, and the economic sectors most closely related to war were industry and transportation. The book “The Rise and Fall of Great Powers” believes that the economic aggregate itself is of little significance. “The material output of hundreds of millions of farmers can eclipse the output of 5 million workers, but because most of their production is consumed, so far It is impossible to form surplus wealth or a decisive military strike force. Britain was strong in 1850, and its strength lies in its modern, wealth-creating industries and all the benefits derived from it.”
  According to calculations in the book “The Rise and Fall of Great Powers”, in 1860, Britain’s pig iron production accounted for 53% of the world’s total, coal and lignite production accounted for 50% of the world’s, and its modern industrial production capacity was equivalent to 40% to 50% of the world’s %, the per capita industrialization level is 15 times that of China.
  The Qing Dynasty not only lacked modern industry and transportation, but also a high share of its GDP was royal gardens and the priceless artworks stored in them. The countless treasures in imperial gardens such as the Old Summer Palace, the Summer Palace and Chengde Mountain Resort are living specimens of the manpower, material and financial resources that could have been invested in modern industry and transportation by the rulers of the Qing Dynasty for luxury activities. These wealth not only did not become a war resource for the Qing Dynasty to resist aggression, but made it easier for the Qing Dynasty rulers to surrender to the outside world. In 1895, the Empress Dowager Cixi failed to endure the war against Japan. An important reason was that she was worried that Japanese invaders would invade Beijing and make her beloved Summer Palace a repeat of the destruction of the Old Summer Palace.
  In 1936 before the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan, China’s GDP was still higher than that of Japan, about 1.9 to 2.8 times that of Japan. However, the Japanese government, the Chinese government, and Western observers all believed that Japan was significantly stronger than China. Because China’s industrial power is not on the same level as Japan. In the early days of the Anti-Japanese War, China did indeed lose out.
  Railway transport a major impact on the war
  and gradually optimize the structure of China’s economy, laid the material foundation for China to get rid of the weak-power status. Let’s first compare the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the War of Resistance against US Aggression and Aid Korea. In these three wars, whether the country can produce enough munitions and deliver these munitions to the front in time is an important factor in determining the outcome of the war.
  Before the Sino-Japanese War of 1890, China’s modern manufacturing industry only accounted for 0.1% of GDP. In addition, modern transportation and commerce only accounted for 0.5%. Weapons relied heavily on imports. This extremely backward economic structure was an important factor in China’s continuous failure. the reason. In addition, the operating mileage of China’s railways in 1890 was only 10 kilometers, and Japan has reached 2,349 kilometers.
  In 1933, before the start of the all-out war of resistance, China’s modern manufacturing industry increased to 2.5%, and modern transportation and commerce accounted for 4%. In 1930, China’s railway operating mileage increased to 13,411 kilometers. At this time, Japan was 21,593 kilometers. The gap between China and Japan has been significantly reduced. This is the material for the Chinese government to mobilize the army to the front in time during the Anti-Japanese War and evacuate industries and universities to the rear. basis.
  During the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea in 1952, China’s modern manufacturing industry reached 4.3%, and modern transportation and commerce accounted for 7.1%. This is the Chinese government’s ability to basically guarantee the logistics supply of the volunteers on the Korean front and quickly restore the national economy during the war. Material basis.
  Advanced productivity is more important than GDP
  In 1950, China’s GDP fell by about 1% compared to 1913, which was only 18% of that of the United States. At this time, China’s GDP accounted for only 4.5% of the world’s total, and the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries that supported China’s war to resist U.S. aggression and aggression accounted for only 17.6%, while the United States participating in the war in North Korea plus its Western European Union countries and Japan, total GDP The amount is as high as 59.9% of the world. On the Korean battlefield, however, China was able to draw a tie with the United States and its allies under the banner of the “United Nations Army” and sign an armistice agreement. Some people believed that China’s international status was higher than that of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China.
  In 1978, China’s total GDP was lower than the rankings of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China. However, China, which possesses cutting-edge defense technology, has obviously improved its international status-China was one of the “big triangles” of the world at that time.
  In short, judging from China’s historical experience for more than 100 years, neither the total GDP nor the ranking and share of GDP in the world can necessarily reflect the level of economic development, and it is even more difficult to reflect China’s international status. GDP statistics are only a narrow aspect of the comparison of national strength. Whether it has advanced productivity and a modern economic structure is often more important than GDP.

error: Content is protected !!