China has the fourth largest economy in the world after the United States, Japan, and Germany with a nominal GDP of US$3.251 trillion (2007) when measured in exchange-rate terms. It has the world's second largest economy with a GDP of over $7.1 trillion (2007) when measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. China is the fastest growing major economy in the world contributing the most to global growth in 2007. Since free market reforms in 1978 China's GDP has grown an average 9.9 percent a year. China's per capita income has grown at an average annual rate of more than 8% over the last three decades, drastically reducing poverty, but this rapid growth has been accompanied by rising income inequalities.The country's per capita income is classified as in the lower middle category by world standards, at about $2,000 (nominal, 107th of 179 countries/economies), and $7,800 (PPP, 82nd of 179 countries/economies) in 2006, according to the International Monetary Fund. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, the economic reforms initially began with the shift of farming work to a system of household responsibility to start the phase out of collectivized agriculture, and later expanded to include the gradual liberalization in of prices; fiscal decentralization; increased autonomy for state enterprises that increased the authority of local government officials and plant managers in industry thereby permitting a wide variety of private enterprise in services and light manufacturing; the foundation of a diversified banking system; the development of stock markets; the rapid growth of the non-state sector, and the opening of the economy to increased foreign trade and foreign investment. China has generally implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, including the sale of equity in China's largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets in mid-2000s. As its role in world trade has steadily grown, its importance to the international economy has also increased apace. China's foreign trade has grown faster than its GDP for the past 25 years. As of 2007, most of China's growth came from the private sector instead of exports. Particularly the smaller public sector, which was dominated by about 200 large state enterprises concentrated mostly in utilities, heavy industries, and energy resources. China has emphasized raising personal income and consumption and introducing new management systems to help increase productivity. The government has also focused on foreign trade as a major vehicle for economic growth. China's GDP has increased tenfold since 1978, largely due to economic reforms including liberalization of their economy. Some economists believe that Chinese economic growth has been in fact understated during much of the 1990s and early 2000s, failing to fully factor in the growth driven by the private sector and that the extent at which China is dependent on exports is exaggerated. Nevertheless, key bottlenecks continue to constrain growth. Available energy is insufficient to run at fully-installed industrial capacity, the transport system is inadequate to move sufficient quantities of such critical items as coal,[12] and the communications system cannot yet fully meet the needs of an economy of China's size and complexity. The two most important sectors of the economy have traditionally been agriculture and industry, which together employ more than 70 percent of the labor force and produce more than 60 percent of GDP. The two sectors have differed in many respects. Technology, labor productivity, and incomes have advanced much more rapidly in industry than in agriculture. Agricultural output has been vulnerable to the effects of weather, while industry has been more directly influenced by the government. The disparities between the two sectors have combined to form an economic-cultural-social gap between the rural and urban areas, which is a major division in Chinese society. China is the world's largest producer of rice and is among the principal sources of wheat, corn (maize), tobacco, soybeans, peanuts (groundnuts), and cotton. The country is one of the world's largest producers of a number of industrial and mineral products, including cotton cloth, tungsten, and antimony, and is an important producer of cotton yarn, coal, crude oil, and a number of other products. Its mineral resources are probably among the richest in the world but are only partially developed. China has acquired some highly sophisticated production facilities through trade and also has built a number of advanced engineering plants capable of manufacturing an increasing range of sophisticated equipment, including nuclear weapons and satellites. Please join us an network! Wayne Cook

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