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Many today believe that China is on its way to becoming one of the worlds top superpowers Increased diplomatic talks with the United States and its recent admission into the World Trade Organization only emphasize its growing political and economic importance According to an article in TIME Magazine the Peoples Republic is the buzz of all Asia as a candidate superpower of the next century All this from a country that at the beginning of the last century lacked an effective central government and was still holding fast to socio-political traditions that were centuries old Today China has achieved the unity that has so long been an issue in its history and that eluded political leaders from 1912 to 1949 At the beginning of the Twentieth Century no one could have imagined such progress and it is possible that China would not have progressed at such a rate were it not for one man Mao Zedong led China through a successful revolution and instituted vital changes that allowed China to begin its journey to superpower status At the beginning of the Twentieth Century China was a land of tradition mostly untouched by time About ninety-four percent of the Chinese population lived in small rural villages With a population of some 397 million China had one-fourth of the Earths population but only 6 percent the Earths arable land There was also a serious lack of modern technology in China and consequently the ratio of work to yield on the arable land was very poor There was also a long tradition of feudalism in China that made the average peasants life even harder The poor who made up sixty percent of the population owned only eighteen percent of the land while the rich who made up only ten percent of the population owned forty-nine percent of the land The peasant population either worked for wealthy landowners or had their own tract of land and had
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