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All cultures change through time. No culture is static. However, most cultures are basically conservative in that they tend to resist change. Some resist more than others by enacting laws for the preservation and protection of traditional cultural patterns while putting up barriers to alien ideas and things. For example, the French government has forbidden the commercial use of English words for which there are French equivalencies. This is a reaction particularly to the widespread use and popularity of terms such as "sandwich" and "computer" among young people. More recently, Starbucks has found it very difficult to become established in France despite the fact that it is becoming successful elsewhere in Europe.
In contrast, some cultures are extremely open to some kinds of change. Over the last two decades, the Peoples Republic of China has been rapidly adopting western technology and culture in everyday life. This can be seen in their wide acceptance of everything from cell phones to American television shows and fast food. McDonald's has already established 560 of their restaurants in China and soon will be adding 100 more. KFC fried chicken franchises have been even more popular. There are 1000 KFC outlets throughout the country with more than 100 in Beijing alone. Taco Bell, A & W, and Pizza Hut are not far behind. In 2003, the Chinese government made the decision to require all children in their country, beginning with the 3rd grade of elementary school, to learn English. This will very likely accelerate westernization.
China's economy is huge and expanding rapidly. In the last 30 years the rate of Chinese economic growth has been almost miraculous, averaging 8% growth in GDP per annum. The economy has grown more than 10 times during that period, with Chinese GDP reaching 3.42 trillion US dollars by 2007. In Purchasing Power Parity GDP, China already has the biggest economy after the United States. Most analysts project China to become the largest economy in the world this century using all measures of GDP.
The Chinese economy has experienced rapid growth over the last decade as a result of the de-regulation of trade policies and allowing private businesses to compete with the state owned enterprises (SOE’s) . Although these new capitalistic policies have been beneficial, they are not implemented throughout the entire Chinese economic sector. At one level, a robust and competitive private sector dominates industries like factory-assembled exports, clothing and food and at higher levels like finance, communications, transportation, mining and metals — the so-called commanding heights — the central government claims majority ownership and a measure of management control.
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