Industrialization in China
by Cam Peddie
Pictures tell a story
All three of the images displayed above tell a story about the struggles and benefits of industrialization and urbanization in China. The first image shows a Nike factory overseer yelling at workers to work harder with the famous Nike phrase “Just Do It”. I chose the image because I felt that it displays the two faced nature of many companies that choose to make their products in China. On the outside the finished product is displayed but the exhaustive labor that goes into making these products often gets overlooked. The second image shown is a picture of the extreme pollution that plague many cities such as Beijing in the presence of heavy industrialization. I chose this particular image to show the negative effect of factories on the environment, cities such as Beijing are often covered with deep smog and contain dangerously high levels of PM2.5. Pollution has currently reached “more than 20 times the safe level” (The Guardian). The third and final image I chose is a picture of the Chinese city Shanghai illuminated and standing tall. I included this image to show the positive effects of industrialization and urbanization. Shanghai is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world and is a major destination in China. Shanghai would not be so beautiful if it was not for the booming economy caused by Chinaʻs industrialization. All three of the images I chose highlight some of the many facets of industrialization ad urbanization.
The adjectives I chose to include in my collage highlight some of the many issues that China faces today during its industrialization such as pollution, corruption, deception, and abuse. The deception adjective is used to convey the false image that many companies create for themselves. Visible in my collage is a picture of a nice bright Nike storefront however, behind the scenes Nike factory workers experience terrible living and working conditions. I chose the adjective abuse to demonstrate the poor quality of life and cruelty experienced by many factory workers in China. Depicted in my collage are multiple workers sleeping in crowded and inhumane “housing”. Another adjective I selected is pollution, which surrounds and chokes many of Chinaʻs great cities. Pollution is a bi-product of many industrial factories that are situated in or near these cities. Some of the images shown in my collage show rivers filled with trash and cities surrounded by polluted fog. Health concerns are growing as these cities continue to be poisoned, and many residents are unhappy and some even wear masks as they stroll the streets. In many ways, parts of Chinaʻs economic relationship with the rest of the world is crooked, this is why I chose corruption as one of my adjectives. Inspectors are often sent from companies to observe the labor and living conditions of factory workers to make sure that they are not in violation of their company manufacturing policies. Upon arrival of such inspectors factory owners often coach their employees on what to say and "factory owners can bribe officials to avoid or by-pass safety checks" (Transparency.com). The inspectors are also only looking to assure their buyers that their products are made in good working conditions and don’t actually care about what they find. This game played between companies and manufacturing factories is harmful to the rights of workers, who end up having their health and wellness compromised. All of the adjectives above shed light on the negative effects of industrialization and urbanization. The final adjective I put in my collage is innovation, an overwhelmingly positive aspect of industrialization and urbanization. The innovation that has stemmed from industrialization has helped usher in a whole new era of technology that has changed the quality of life for many people. Many of the newest products on the market such as electronics, clothing, shoes, toys and many other goods are made in china. Chinaʻs industrialization has contributed to the advancement of the worldwide culture, but also has many negative outcomes that effect China as a nation today.
Future of Chinaʻs Industrializtaion
Present day China is at the forefront of industrialization and urbanization. China’s economy has boomed as a direct result of this and China has developed greatly as a worldwide power. Many goods that consumers in other countries such as America use are manufactured in China. In this way, China has a very strong influence over many countries. The industrialization of China has taken its toll on the nation as well. Many of China’s greatest cities are polluted to the point of significant health risks arising. Many factory workers suffer through inhumane working and living conditions. China will remain a center of knowledge and innovation for many years to come, but the focus of manufacturing may soon be passed onto another developing country. The Chinese government is beginning to acknowledge the harmful effects of pollution as cities such as “Beijing (were) hit by weeks of hazardous smog last January, prompting the central government to pledge tough new measures to improve air quality throughout the country” (Chinadaily.com). The Chinese government also “will ban the construction of new oil refining, steel, cement, and thermal-power plants as well as the expansion of existing projects” (Chinadaily.com). China is beginning to slow down its massive surge in manufacturing. One can look to Great Britain as an indicator of the future. Ground breaking inventions such as electricity and the first plane were created after the Industrial revolution in Great Britain slowed. China will most likely follow the same path. China also will probably begin importing more goods than it exports in the future, similar to Great Britain today. With the slowing of manufacturing China will be able to clean up itʻs pollution problems and many factory workers will see an increase in quality of life. The end of Industrialization in China will soon after be marked by the rise of another country experiencing its own Industrial Revolution.
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