China is a country that shows great diversity in its geographical, ethnic, gastronomic and social structure. Due to its ever-expanding suburbs and large cities expanding at an unprecedented speed in human history, logistics and construction are in a great race. Continuously growing cities are constantly trying to connect to each other with high-speed train networks and roads. China is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.4 billion. The first thing that everyone who visits China feels is the density of the population. Villages, towns, and cities seem to span forever along the highways that resemble the gray arteries of a port.
Another competition in the country is between 5 thousand years of history and present: skyscrapers rising between historical buildings, modernity, and rising digitalization … But what makes modern China so fascinating is the contrast between this “change” and “continuity” and yet, togetherness. Despite this, cultural values play a major role in China’s rise as a global leader. The “harmony” philosophy, which forms the basis of the traditional culture of China, plays a big role in the establishment of this ideological system that tries to reach a harmonious balance in the world.
This policy of harmonization and modernization, which China has established as its overseas expansion policy since the 1980s, has yielded its fruits today. So much so that China has come a long way in becoming the biggest power of the 21st century.
A “Traditional and Modern” Adaptation
Tourism makes up almost 10 percent of China’s GDP. According to the data prepared by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, China is the fourth most visited country in the world. In 2018, it was visited by 59.3 million people. Finally, with the addition of Liangzhu Ancient City near Hangzhou city last year, the number of buildings and places in China’s UNESCO World Heritage List has increased to 55. China, which has come to the forefront with Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Army, Historical Silk Road, Yangzi Straits, panda areas in Chengdu and tourist attractions in Shangai such as Three Gorges Dam, Summer Palace, Mogao Caves, and Temple of Heaven Park, contains the best examples of human and nature cooperation that was born in the ancient time and has remained until today.
In addition to ancient China, modern China promises a lot visually. The silhouettes created by innovative architectural projects and artistic efforts of the country create a great admiration. The route to understanding everyday life is to visit quiet temples, back streets, public parks, and traditional tea houses. For this, you should take the slow pace and timeless pauses.
The cuisine of China, which has a very deep-rooted history, has a cuisine worthy of its history; it is considered to date back a thousand years. In the cuisine, where sauces, rice, pastries and vegetables dominate, almost every ingredient is used. The kitchen, which may not attract many people, actually has such a wide range that it is impossible not to find something that suits you.
The success of China –one of the rising powers of recent years in production offers a wide range of shopping and gift options for those who visit the country. You can find anything you can think of for a good price.
In China, which has developed itself in terms of industry, service, production, and social life in the last 30 years, you can see this development anywhere you look. The huge geography dominated by the human crowd and continuous production resembles a giant beehive.
Number Two of the Global Economy
China is the second-largest economy in the world after America. There are almost no products and services that we buy today and do not see the words “Made in China”. This applies to all parts of the world, including America. Because China is the world’s largest exporting and trading country. It grows 10 percent more than the growth rate of other countries each year.
China continued its economic rise, which started with the five-year development plans that it launched in the early 1950s, by stopping collective agriculture and turning to industry. Thanks to this, China, which has also changed its closed economy, has taken its place among middle-high income countries with this move.
China, the world leader in production, realizes half the world steel production. It displays a strong image in the field of coal, gold, salt, gas and oil. The superpower, which is quite dependent on coal, is trying to turn to renewable energy sources. On the other hand, it is predicted that the use of gas will become widespread in the near future, and the presence of oil reserves and unused gas deposits in the country are also known. China is also one of the world’s most important candidates for hydropower generation. The world’s largest dam, the Three Gorges Dam, which was completed in 2012, generates electricity for all southern cities, including Shanghai.
Being the largest exporter in the world, China is also very popular in terms of foreign investment. When the growing middle class and the crowd of people merged, an enormous purchasing power emerged. As such, the western world is competing to have a market share in this large and busy geography. Besides, not only the world of the industry but also technology giants are trying to open the doors of China. Facebook and Google are still trying to enter China.
Once famous for being an imitation country, China is now known for its breakthroughs in technology. The country has Internet companies such as Alibaba and Tencent Holding, which are among the largest companies in the world. It now has a serious say in the world of online gaming, social media and e-commerce. China also controls 70 percent of the commercial drone market. Although it was exposed to skeptical approaches of the West at first, it is now admired with its technological innovations.
China is also a world brand in the manufacturing industry. In addition to the gigantic textile manufacturing sector, it has a great production potential in machinery, food processing, electronic goods, transportation vehicles, consumer products, and cement. In the country, which has many companies that have made a name in software and hardware, the assembly of electronic products of foreign companies is also a great input for the national economy. China has made great progress in automobile production although it is still accused of imitating. In addition to domestic brands, cars of foreign companies are also produced. The vehicles produced are mostly exported to the Middle East, Africa, South America and Russia. Transportation, real estate, and construction are also among other important industries of the country.
The World is Shrinking More Due to the New Silk Road
The Silk Road recalls the desert caravans passing through the “Eurasian Steppe” and adventurers such as Marco Polo navigating the old trade routes that link China to Europe and Africa, and the manual version of the trading system. The project, which is the modern adaptation of the historical Silk Road, known as “One Belt One Road”, which China first announced in 2013, aims to revive and expand these routes through new railways, ports, pipelines, electricity networks, and highway networks.
China, which has been conducting effective public relations with the Western world in recent years, aims to meet the rest of the world through this project and encourages the growth of the economy across Asia. China’s move to open from land and sea to the West provides a great advantage for all countries on the historical road.
The new Silk Road, about which some states and critics are cautious and which is considered as new opportunities by others, is defined as the “project of the century” by its creator and is trying to lubricate the wheels of trade with its huge infrastructure investments. “One Belt One Road”, which is called China’s Marshall Plan, has a higher budget than the Marshall Plan when it is calculated based on today’s dollar rate. The cost of the project, on which more than 50 billion dollars has been spent until today, is estimated to reach 1.3 trillion dollars in 2027.
As of today, at least 157 organizations and countries have been involved in the project. This figure includes giant projects such as “roads and power plants” in Pakistan and the high train line in India. Although some countries such as the USA and Japan say that China started this project to strengthen its political and military jurisdiction, China is progressing rapidly in the One Belt One Road project. The project, which plans to connect 71 countries by land and sea, covers more than 50 percent of the world’s population and a quarter of the global GDP.
The Project Offers Opportunities for Turkey, As Well
One Belt One Road project also means the formation of important opportunities for Turkey in terms of investment and trade. The new Silk Road will increase the trade volume between the two countries. Controlling almost all strategic transit routes within the African-Eurasian context, Turkey has so many potential material and nonmaterial elements and is therefore of great importance.
Turkey is a very attractive market for Chinese investors with its geostrategic location. This will mediate the connection to the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa through the sea, air, and road transportation on the project. With this project, Turkey will improve railroad infrastructure and will create a new port and highway connections.
The relations between China and Turkey, which are on the central corridor of the project, have been showing an upward trend since 2002. The strategic cooperation signed in 2010 has further deepened the dimension of the relationship. After Turkey became one of the new Silk Road countries, there has been an increase in trade volume with China. It is predicted that this will increase further in the coming year’s thanks to transit rail transport.
The project, which aims to connect Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with the logistics and transportation network, will also steer global trade. Investments are continuing in the project launched by China to increase its influence in the World and dominate world trade.
With the stalling of the recovery in passenger markets,