China leads globally in number of internet users, varsity graduates, billionaires

“China has been said to now lead globally in the number of homeowners, internet users, college graduates and billionaires,” according to Punch, summarizing a special report in the New York Times.

“A New York Times special report claims that extreme poverty has fallen to less than one percent, in China; while an isolated, impoverished backwater has ‘evolved into the most significant rival to the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union.’

“The Times noted that the Chinese economy has grown so fast for so long now that it is easy to forget how unlikely its metamorphosis into a global powerhouse was, how much of its ascent was improvised and born of desperation.

“’The proposal that one of the students and researchers attending the Academic Symposium of Middle-Aged and Young Economists in 1984, Mr. Xu Jing’an, took from the mountain retreat, was soon adopted as government policy, and was a pivotal early step in this astounding transformation,’ the report said.”

The Times’ special report is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

One thought on “China leads globally in number of internet users, varsity graduates, billionaires”

  1. Steve Frisch had some good points to make about this series (the second part is this weekend) on his Facebook page:

    “I have probably read 20 books over the last 10 years on the modern history of China. This series in the NYT does a phenomenal job laying out what the rise of the new China is likely to mean to world politics, global competition, and geopolitics.

    If you aren’t reading modern Chinese history, and don’t have a grounding in the 19th and early 20th century Chinese collapse and revolution as a basis to gauge its rise against, you will be unprepared for what comes next. And what is likely to come next is a struggle between the east and the west (and western liberal democracy) for global economic hegemony, and I hope ultimately a new form of global collaboration, if we can avoid competition leading to conflict.

    BTW, if one wants to be present at the creation of the new China I highly recommend reading “Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China” by Ezra Vogel. It is utterly amazing to see how Deng, aging revolutionary and outsider, was so prescient about what China needed to do upon the death of Mao and how skillfully he executed it. His legacy is permanently stained by the reaction and massacre at Tiananmen, but his steps to create the conditions for modernization were nothing short of one of the most remarkable ‘decisions’ in world history.”

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