In the late 1970s China made perhaps its most significant strategic political manoeuvre of the 20th Century when it embarked on a series of economic reforms that embraced globalization (Bijian, 2005). Deng Xiaoping and other Chinese leaders believed that to further China's development, participation in an open global economy would be crucial to its survival (Chow, 2002) During the three decades since these reforms China's political and economic institutions have undergone a dramatic transition (Overholt, 2005 and Economy, 1998). China has shifted from the world's greatest opponent of globalization into a committed member of a global economy and advocate of globalization (Overholt, 2005). The pinnacle of this transformation and China's economic growth was its admission into to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 11 December, 2001 (Allen et al, 2006 and Fishman, 2005). Consequently, China is now subjected to international trends and forces to a degree unprecedented since 1949 (Bijian, 2005 and Chow, 2004).
In this essay I will analyse the effect that globalization has had on China's political, economic, legal and technological institutions. Furthermore, I will also analyse whether China has been forced to change to pander to the international economic community or whether it has voluntarily instituted change for its own benefit and development.
However before analysing the effect that globalization has had on China it is important to understand what the term "globalisation" means. Globalisation became a buzz word in the 1990s because of its influence in creating a world in which geographic location became increasingly irrelevant (Immerfall 2006). In essence globalisation refers to the unrestricted flow of goods, capital, information, technology and people across national borders (Chow, 2005a).
Globalisation is, however, by no means a new phenomenon and China has been subjected to its effects for many centuries (Alford, 1999). In fact, the effects of globalisation...