China is preparing to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy, in purchasing power parity terms (using China’s grossly exaggerated economic figures). Already its economy is supposedly 80% the size of the US, and if current growth rate differentials persist, it could possibly take China only about four more years to surpass the US .
At market exchange rates, China’s GDP is much smaller, and is expected to remain less than the US until 2028. This is hardly surprising. After all, China has four times as many people as the US; if every Chinese worker were to earn the US minimum wage, its GDP would be larger than the US. That is not a very high bar. With that economic size comes military power and global cultural clout.
China’s awe-inspiring rise is often framed as the return to a historical norm. A common belief is that…
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Beijing news has a unique multi-page feature with rare illustrations, photos, and informative texts about the history of tobacco in China. The images load slowly (mileage may vary) but it’s worth every moment. Here’s a sample:
China’s anti-smoking movement was first recorded in 1639, when Ming Dynasty (AD 1368－1644) Emperor Chongzhen issued a national ban on tobacco and stipulated that tobacco addicts be executed. In 1637, Qing Dynasty (AD 1644–1911) Emperor Kangxi expanded the death penalty to those who possess tobacco.
Advertisements featuring fashionable courtesans, or sing-song girls of Shanghai around the 1920s testified that the imported habit was trendy in what was then one of Asia’s biggest cities.