Grade 9-12

China – Where will they fit in the world economy?

Updated: August 14 2023,
Author: Tim Florian

With its, emerging middle class, its new markets, and a new emphasis on increasing its technology base, where is China going to fit in the world economy?


[NOTE: The students should have an understanding of supply and demand, human and physical capital, and competition prior to working with this lesson].

In this lesson the students will use a variety of print, video, and electronic media to learn about China’s place in world economy. They will examine how China is fast becoming a giant consumer of the worlds factors of production. They also will look at China’s population and determine how many resources China will need in the future to sustain its growth. Explain that China is fast becoming an economic super power. This lesson will explore the reasons for China’s economic growth. When the stdudents have completed this lesson, they will have a better understanding of China’s current position in the world economy. They also will see how the rise of China may impact the United States.

Learning Objectives

  • List several examples that show how China is developing from a socialist/communist country to a country with a mixed economic system.
  • Identify ways in which China will compete with the United States for resources.
  • Define these terms: purchasing power, factors of production, economic growth, disposable personal income, and standard of living.

Resource List


The students should use the economics resource AMOSWeb to define the following terms: purchasing power, factors of production, economic growth, disposable personal income, and standard of living .

Assign the students to visit the PBS NewsHour article China Boasts the World’s Fastest Growing Economy and either watch the video or listen to the pod cast about China and its economic progress. Have the students fill in the video guide as they watch/listen to the segment. Here is the answer sheet for the video guide.

Tell the students to use the CIA World FactBook to learn what the positive and negative aspects of China’s economy are.

The students can visit this site to get an Overview of China’s Economy.


China is becoming a dominant force in the world economy. China’s purchasing power is on the rise, compared to that of the United States and other countries. China is not only exporting more goods and services; increasingly, China is exporting high-tech goods like computer chips.

Also, China is becoming a more consumer-oriented society. Chinese incomes are on the rise. The Chinese people are purchasing more cars, and in China today there are several Wal-Mart stores. China’s growth is unprecedented in the history of economics. With children in China learning English and China competing with the United States for production resources, China is no longer a poor communist country trying to survive. China is emerging as an economic superpower ready to compete the world economy.

Extension Activity

Assume that you are a journalist, Write a short article (three to five paragraphs) on China ‘s economy. Explain the recent changes in China ‘s economy. Also explain where the Chinese economy seems to be headed. [Answers will vary]


List three factors of production that China is using to help its economy grow. Give an example of each from the video or from your reading in this lesson. [Possible answers: land to build new houses and factories, labor to make a variety of goods and services for export and for in-country consumption, and capital used to finance new growth for housing and factories.]

Give two reasons or indications that show why or how China is becoming more consumer oriented within its own economy. [Possible answers : More cars are being purchased; personal incomes are on the rise; corporations like Wal-Mart are opening up in China everyday, selling more and more consumer goods.]

View Interactive Activity