The Meaning of Becoming a First World Country

Long time ever since the end of WW2, the rich countries on planet have devised a standard to distinguish other poor countries on the planet.

They title themselves as the first world countries, the “developed” countries. To hit the standard of developed countries, according to Wikipedia,

Economic criteria have tended to dominate discussions. One such criterion is income per capita; countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita would thus be described as developed countries. Another economic criterion is industrialization; countries in which the tertiary and quaternary sectors of industry dominate would thus be described as developed. More recently another measure, the Human Development Index (HDI), which combines an economic measure, national income, with other measures, indices for life expectancy and education has become prominent. This criterion would define developed countries as those with a very high (HDI) rating.

1. Let’s look at the GDP per captita first, the most common method to determine whether a country has hit the mark of a developed nation.

Here are GDP per capita of nations:

United States $57466.8, China $15534.7–according to World Bank.

Which is interesting to look at the China’s own domestic statistics of GDP per capita.

China is ¥50251($7545.2) GDP per capita in 2015–according to National Bureau of Statistics of China.

If you look at the regional statistics, here are what you would find:

Guangdong Province ¥67503($10135.5), Shanghai ¥103796($15584.9), Tianjin ¥107960($16210.2), Beijing ¥106497($15990.5).

And these regions are the richest regions of China.

If the standard of measuring a developed country is wealth, there is still a long to go for China.

2. The second method is by measuring the industrialization of a country. I’d say China is far more industrialized than any other nation on earth. The World Factory is what China is currently, heavy industrialization has made the country heavy polluted.

3. The third one would a more comprehensive one and a humane one. Not just pure coin numbers. But still, applying this to China, China still can’t hit as many milestones as countries like the US, Japan, UK, Germany and etc.

The questions come to my mind is whether venturing forth to the developed world would be better for China? And would China become as developed as the countries mentioned above? Are social welfare and wealth distribution going to be as alike as these countries? Are people going to be happy? 

You see, as China is growing rapidly, as Chinese what we see is that problems come first. The so called first world problems have come to China as soon as the country has opened its gate and growing its economy.

For example, the population aging, lower birth rate, labor being expensive etc. that are happening in most of developed countries.

The country is always poisoned by its population since the resources are not enough to split for these mouths.

To hit the economic bar of first world it has to tackle its own population and resources’ balance, to actually meet the criterion of being developed.

However, as my thoughts flow by, worries struck my head. I am worrying whether the country would be as good as the other countries on earth right now? Whether, wealth can buy happiness for its citizens? 

Sure we know that money can buy many things, happiness is one of them, but is it going to make people well and good for their well beings?

As I said before, ideologies battle is a mere black and white rival. Ideology doesn’t have borders, and a country surely doesn’t apply an ideology completely. After all, it’s a country that is running a country, not an ideology. And when we talk about running a country, it’s about ruling, regulating and politics and many others. Ideology won’t do you that.

And how can the ruling make people happy and make the country strong is the question that has been tackling through out the historical rulers of human history.

The form has changed, but the core didn’t. Whether it’s democracy or dictatorship, human society doesn’t seem to change much from the genesis.

We know that each society has its own problems, own specific problems made into its deep social structure.

And China sure does have its own structure, and a bad one, in my opinion.

Wealth, is not a hard object to acquire. We can certainly see that wealth has brought changes to people’s lives, significant ones.

During this 30 years “economic miracle” of China, China has ever since accumulated large sum of money from its economic reforms. The country is growing as fast as while everyone is whopping by.

What I afraid, at its very essence, is that whether the wealth can actually bring an old custom, an old tradition, an old system down in China.

And whether that would become a better future for the people living on this land?

The inner defects of Chinese people, throughout all the years of totalitarianism from the old Imperial China to the current “imperial” China.

Many renowned Chinese writers in the early 20th century has made similar worries about their country in the future. And thus, I am ironically doing the same thing like them.

A man without worries can not survive the long night, let alone a country. 



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