Why Is China Still a Developing Country?

When I recently referred to China as the world’s largest developing country to some of my European friends, they thought it was a humorous understatement since they have been to many Chinese cities and have the impression that some are on par with cities in developed countries in terms of convenience. Over the past years, China’s economy has grown rapidly, making it the second largest in the world, after the United States, with high-tech companies such as Tencent, Huawei, and Alibaba also emerging. Many recent Western media reports on China-U.S. trade frictions describe China as a rapidly rising developed country which may challenge the status of the United States as a leading power in the world. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The nation has indeed made great progress over the past decades. But it’s still a developing country, with a long way to go before it becomes a developed one. First, the urban-rural disparity in China remains a prominent problem to be addressed. Currently, the urbanization rate of the country is about 58 percent, lower than that of developed countries which stand at about 80 percent. The income gap between urban and rural residents needs to be narrowed since the per-capita disposable income of the former is 2.7 times that […]