2 Dec 2004
Billy Joel’s third historical reference is Red China. It was the nickname given to mainland China in 1949, after the second World War. It was an derogatory term used by critics of communist China to remind us that China was communist. This nickname also helped differentiate communist Mainland China from Nationalist China, modern day Taiwan.
Today there are still two China’s. Taiwan’s ROC or Republic of China and mainland communist China, also known as the People’s Republic of China. Although most of the diplomatic world, including the U.S. operate under a One China policy. A policy that has evolved from the the cold war era when it meant there was only one China, Taiwan to the more recent view that one day Red China and Taiwan will reunite as one China.
I probably shouldn’t use the term Red China, since mainland China isn’t that red any more. Since the late seventies China has undergone many economic reforms that make it look a lot more like a market economy or capitalist economy.
According to the CIA World Fact Book China’s GDP real growth rate for 2003 was 9%. That is huge. Especially, for a country as large as China. The US boasted a 3.1% growth rate in 2003. Hard to imagine a communist country growing 10% more productive in one year.
A little note on the CIA World Fact Book. If you want a quick ten minute overview of a country or you want to know the % of arable land in Namibia the CIA Fact Book is a great resource. BTW it is .99%.