In order to understand this issue of China more comprehensively, I highly recommend understanding better just how the economics of banking, finance and foreign investment works in this new globalized world (among other econ topics).
As a designer, following the trail of how and why banking, finance, foreign investment and capital flows is essential in understanding why China and India appear to be receiving such attention right now in history. As well as help anybody create strategy for future design programs.
China has a very modern industrial base when compared to the US. They are just now beginning to grow their middle class and in doing so are using more resources (and designers) to do so. So the discipline of design is very emergent there now.
a few reading suggestions to help understand better...
The 2nd World - Parag Khana http://www.paragkhanna.com/
The Post American Wolrd - Fareed Zakaria http://www.fareedzakaria.com/
Globalized economics drives new design education methods
http://www.idsa.org/PDFs/2007_NES/A10-A ... ethods.pdf
Most people will guage what you have done.
But the point is, the quality of people plays the most important part of the whole process. In every successful economy, there lies the group of people who can do change and pay in the quality of work that you require it.
There is no point indulging lots and lots of facts figures when the quality of people lacks quality.
Social cohesion and human character plays the most important role. Lack that, and it really doesn't matter if you throw in all the data facts theories etc...social cost is still very vital and so is social astuteness and logic.
The other reason why China is prospering is also because they just do what they need and just adapt to the changing environment. The success of overseas Chinese is the same -- tolerance, respect, hardworking and thriftiness. The emphasis of the family unit and the country. These are the fundamental blocks to lasting success.
They are what they are today because of their motive to be rich and successful. But they need to be aware of how their social structure is getting into. Family units and the ethical values must be in place to have continued prosperity that is both sustainable and peaceful. Imagine this unit being destroyed,and you get a chaotic social structure which will invariably eat up your economy too.
quick and rushed typing here.