Globalization can be defined as the process of worldwide integration through the exchange of products, ideas, and other aspects of culture. Globalization increases the development of a global economy through free trade, free flow of capital, and cheap foreign labor markets. Globalization began with the settlement of new land. Communication and transportation advances have impacted this process. Globalization can have a positive or negative impact on a culture. It can positively impact a culture with economic growth, prosperity, and democratic freedom. On the other hand, globalization can leave a culture environmentally devastated, exploit their developing world, and suppress human rights. Two non-western cultures that have been greatly influenced by the impact of globalization include China and India.
Recent advances in technology have created a unified global marketplace for capital and labor. China is one of the largest manufacturers worldwide that have impacted globalization. It has increased China’s trade market which gives them foreign exchange but also allows other cultures some insight into China’s culture. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping established leadership of China. Unlike Mao Zedong, Xiaoping embraced globalization and demanded economic change that he believed would ensure the safety of communist rule. The Chinese government adopted a series of strategically significant policies that addressed the challenge of economic globalization. These policies included economic restructure, speeding up the development of a high technology sector, and transformation of economic growth with proper education and trade development.
One policy addressed was the Open Door Policy in 1978 which granted China with equal trade from all countries. “Beginning in 1978, economic reforms cautiously increased China’s economic engagement with the rest of the world, resulting in unprecedented growth rates and pulling hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. The country still faces an abundance of challenges such as corruption, an increasing wealth disparity, and human rights concerns, however, the fact of the matter is, China has achieved impressive progress thanks to its economic reforms and global engagement.” (Jaffe 2012) As money is being poured into China from the creation of these new policies, the Chinese have greatly been able to increase their standards of living, decrease poverty, and increase employment.
One of the negative aspects of globalization in China is that it has adopted aspects of western culture. Their clothing choices have become westernized. People prefer wearing jeans and a t shirt as compared to the traditional coats. China has also westernized their food options. They have strayed away from the traditional cuisine and added foods such as cheese to their menus. Another negative effect of globalization in China is the effect it has had on its workers. China currently does not have any labor laws thus putting their citizen’s lives at danger. There is no minimum wage, age requirements, or laws made for the protection of their employees.
India opened its doors to globalization during the twentieth century following an economic crisis in which the country almost defaulted on its loans. Before globalization, India isolated itself from other world markets and was put in a state of economic stagnation. This stagnation left India in poverty with no economic growth. In 1991, the Narasimha Rao Government started the new economic reforms for globalization in India. Their finance minister, Dr, Manmohan Singh initiated the economic liberalization plan. (Malik 2014) This new plan included opening for international trade and investment, deregulation, tax reforms, and inflation controlling measures. Globalization gives India access to other producers, and goods and services which it may not be able to produce internally.
Things such as high technology and oil may be imported more efficiently than produced internally thus contributing to rapid modernization. India’s manufacturers and service-providers have access to more markets effectively increasing demand for Indian goods and services beyond what it can generate within its boundaries. Its economy can continue to rapidly expand raising the standard of living for its citizens. India has been able to expand greatly due to their information technology sector. They are one of the top communication centres worldwide for technology services in Europe and the United States. This has led to an increase in employment in India.
The benefits of globalization in India include improved telecommunications and television systems, improved share of global trade, and the reduction of inflation. The negative impacts on India are that growth is not up to its expectations, jobs are only provided for the educated, and globalization has only been beneficial to the urban communities and not the rural ones. Although, globalization is progressing rapidly in India still problems such as rural poverty, corruption, and political instability remain unsolved.
There were many events that led to the stagnation of China’s economy prior to the economic reform taken place in 1978 by leader Deng Xiaoping. International trade had collapsed in the 1930’s after the great depression, and the economy was heavily disrupted by the wars following. This decreased Chinese citizen’s standards of living and forced many into poverty. After Mao Zedong’s death, the communist party of China looked towards market-oriented reforms to save the failing economy. (Wikipedia 2014) In December 1978, China began to implement policies to change their economy. The Open Door Policy set China up to trade internationally with other countries and changed their economy forever.
Globalization in China was direct and intentional. When Deng came into power, there was wide spread support from the elite for economic reform. Deng’s policies created controversy amongst some, but were extremely successful in increasing China’s wealth. Deng’s policies first focused on agriculture. He divided the land amongst farmers, and gave each their own private plot. These farmers were expected to share a portion of their profit to keep their land. This in turn boosted agricultural production. Reforms were also implemented in the urban industry to increase productivity. China began opening up to foreign investment and joined the World Trade Organization in 1990 (Wikipedia 2014). Shortly after, China became the engine for growth for the national economy.
Different cultures within China responded differently to the influence of globalization. The elite embraced the change realizing that this would stimulate revenue and bring capital to the country. China has been able reap the benefits of current technology without undergoing many of the growing pains associated with development of these technologies. Globalization has also blessed China with the opportunity to learn about different cultures from their food to their music, movies, and clothing. Globalization has boosted their economy, provided millions of jobs, increased the standards of living, and pulled millions out of poverty.
There are citizens who approached globalization with a reformist approach, who later began to accept the concept. Others feared globalization stating it is a trap that would crush Chinese domestic industries and agriculture. One negative aspect with globalization in china is that there is little international regulation, an unfortunate fact that could have dire consequences for the safety of the people and their environment. China is now able to interact with many different cultures, but they are beginning to meld. This causes individuality in cultures to fade.