Is China A First World Country?

China is a major economic and political force. It is the dominant power in Asia, and the most populous country in the world.  China has emerged as the world’s leading hub for manufacturing; and the country certainly has a viable market to reward investors for their efforts.

China is one of the world’s most important countries; its influence over the past 20 years grown astronomically, particularly in Africa where it has made many friends and allies.

China is some kind of an icon in Asia; it champions a different kind of life; a different kind of culture from what most people in the west are used to. Its sheer popularity leads to a lot of questions including:

Is China A First World Country?

Despite the many superlatives on ground; China is not considered a First World Country. The Superlatives in question include the fact that China is the world’s number one hub for manufacturing, China is the second largest retail market in the world, and China holds about 17% of the world’s total wealth.

But that is not how “First World” countries are decided. It’s quite interesting to know the origins of this phrase, and its evolution through the years.

The Original First World Countries

The original “First World” countries included The UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and so on. This phrase was actually manufactured during the Cold War. The purpose of the phrase was to distinguish the countries cited above from their adversaries.

First World countries were those that supported the US during the Cold War. Those countries were capitalist countries; they supported the capitalist ideologies that the US championed.

First World countries also had free societies, and their citizens had more freedom than what the people on the other side had.

The other side (during the Cold War) were countries like the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and their friends. These countries were known as the Communist Bloc.

The Communist Bloc offered fewer freedoms to citizens; their societies were more radicalized, and more militarized.

In summary; the phrase “First World” was developed to exclude China and its friends. The phrase was invented to provide a distinction against Communist countries like China.

The Current Meaning

The current meaning of “First World” is a more economic one; it now means “rich countries,” or “developed countries.” To be called a rich country one has to be a producer, and to be a producer one has to be industrialized.

Industrialization happens when the conditions are right; the country must be peaceful, prosperous, and have a market for items produced.

Having a market is more than just a question of having a population; the population needs to have the purchasing power to actually buy the products. In that way production can increase and industries can employ more hands.

First World countries of today usually have high carbon footprints; this is a result of having industry driving economies which need lots of energy to run. They also have low unemployment rates, high literacy rates, and their citizens are usually wealthy.

Other levels on the Economic Ladder include Second World and Third World countries. These phrases describe the countries’ level of economic development.

How Does China Fare?

As mentioned above; China has plenty of superlatives with which it should be described. However, it is presently described as a developing country. Let us talk about the structure of China as a country.

China was a thoroughly Communist country in the past. Now, however, the country is described as an example of state capitalism or party-state capitalism.

China is a peaceful and well organized country; civil strife is unknown and visitors are welcome to explore the country.

That means there is a fine mix of both capitalism and communism going on the country. In China; the key sectors are monopolized by the state, while other sectors of the economy are free for enterprises to profit from.

Energy and heavy industries are some of the sectors dominated by the government. However, there is plenty of prosperity to go round for private enterprises; China has been one of the most rewarding countries for entrepreneurs.

Major sectors dominated by private businesses include manufacturing, retail, mining, steel, textiles, automobiles, energy generation, telecommunications, green energy, banking, e-commerce, electronics, real estate, and tourism. China is a famous ground for stock investments; it has three out of the ten largest stock exchanges in the world.

China is the second most important market for the production of high tech goods in the world. China is also the leading market in the world when it comes to e-commerce.

China is one of the leading countries when it comes to the manufacture of Electric Vehicles, and also the development of Solar Technology.

China is also known as the world’s largest economy; and the world’s fastest growing economy in the world at the same time. This economy is driven by private businesses; and there are 30 million of such businesses in the country.



China is an “industrialized developing country” although the country has plenty of reasons to contend that it deserves better classification. Above all else it must be mentioned that China is welcoming- the people and the government welcome investors to set up shop in the country.

A huge percentage of the wealth generated in China is done by foreigners, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. They create jobs for the local population, and make wealth for themselves. China’s economy has been growing at the rate of about 6% every year; showing that the market is large enough to embrace even more businesses.