For all the crazy stories you've heard about China, the world's biggest country is going to keep raising an eyebrow or two. The speed and size of economic development going in China right now has never happened before. In just ten years, a small emerging market has transformed into a geopolitical bruiser that can go toe-to-toe with Ben Bernanke.
Like it or not, China plays a critical role in the global economy from here out. Let's hope it hope doesn't crash.
17. China's economy grew 7 times as fast as America's over the past decade (316% growth vs. 43%)
16. China's GDP per capita is the 91st-lowest in the world, below Bosnia & Herzegovina
15. 85 percent of artificial Christmas trees are made in China. So are 80 percent of toys
14. If he spent his ENTIRE YEARLY INCOME on housing, the average Beijing resident could buy 10 square feet of residential property Obviously he can't spend his entire income on housing...A square meter of residential property in Beijing costs an average of 26,000 yuan (US$3,800), but the average per capita monthly income is only 2,000 yuan, according to Asia Times.
13. China has more pigs than the next 43 pork producing countries combined
12. Chinese consume 50,000 cigarettes every second
11.America's fastest "high speed" train goes less than half as fast as the new train between Shanghai and Beijing (150 mph vs 302 mph)
10. China's enormous Gobi Desert is the size of Peru and expanding 1,400 square miles per year due to water source depletion, over-foresting, and over-grazing
9. China has 64 million vacant homes, including entire cities that are empty
8. The world's biggest mall is in China... but it has been 99% empty since 2005
7. Nearly 10,000 Chinese citizens each year are sucked into unsanctioned 'black jails'
6. By 2025, China will build enough skyscrapers to fill TEN New York-sized cities. "[By 2025,] 40 billion square meters of floor space will be built -- in five million buildings. 50,000 of these buildings could be skyscrapers -- the equivalent of ten New York Cities." Source: Mckinsey, "Preparing for China's urban billion"
5. By 2030, China will add more new city-dwellers than the entire U.S. population.
4. There are already more Christians in China than Italy. Due to the extremely rapid expansion of Christianity in China, there are now an estimated 54 million Christians in the country, comprised of about 40 million Protestants and 14 million Catholics. Italy has just 60 million people in total, of which only 79% are Christian these days. Which means Italy has 47.4 million Christians, a full 12% less than China.
3. Chinese are almost twice as likely to believe in evolution as Americans An impressive 74 percent of Chinese believe in evolution, better than Mexico (69%), Argentina (68%) and Great Britain (68%.Only Russia (48%), USA (42%), South Africa (41%) and Egypt (25%) remain skeptical about Darwin's theory.
2. China executes three times as many people as the rest of the world COMBINED... and uses mobile execution vans for efficiency. China carried out at least 1,718 executions in 2008, three times as many as the rest of the world, according to Amnesty International. Some analysts put the yearly figure closer to 6,000. Many executions are done on the road using vehicles such as those designed by Jinguan Motors:
"Makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely. The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China "promotes human rights now," says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van in which "Devil" Zhang took his final ride."
1. When you buy Chinese stocks, you are basically financing the Chinese government. Eight of Shanghai's top ten stocks are government owned
Eight of the ten largest stocks on the Shanghai Stock Exchange are nothing but state-controlled companies:
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
Bank of China
China Shenhua Energy Company
China Life Insurance Company
Bank of Communications
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