Comparing the Governments and Economies of China, India, Japan, and Korea

The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the government and economies of four countries in Asia: China, India, Japan, and Korea. Topics that will be discussed are their governments, economies, resources, and citizens.

China

China, officially the People’s Republic of China, is a single-party state, meaning there is only one political party. China was founded on January 1, 1912. The per Capita GDP for the country is $5,600. The National People’s Congress elects the president (head of state), currently Hu Jintau. The president nominates the Premier (Head of Government), currently Wen Jiabao. Major political parties include the Communist Party of China. The national literacy rate is 90.9%. Also, the citizen’ roles are to follow laws and to be loyal to their country. Citizens are not allowed to vote for the president and have little say in the government.

In China, an equal amount of government and citizen control over the economy exists. The economy is driven by its major natural resources, agricultural, and industrial products. Natural resources, such as iron, steel, aluminium, coal, oil, and natural gas, exist in great quantities. Agricultural products that are in high production are rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, cotton, pork and fish. Industrial products, such as automobiles, steel, and energy are also produced often. Major imports include electronics, oil, and medical equipment. Because China has a wealth of resources, the country does not need to import many products. Major exports include electronics, iron, steel, textiles, oil, plastic, and organic chemicals.

India

India, officially the Republic of India, is a federal parliamentary constitutional republic. India has many political parties, including the Indian National Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, and the Communist Party. India was founded on August 15, 1947. The per Capita GDP for the country is $3,100. India has a president (head of state), Pranab Mukherjee, who was elected by the people. The prime minister (head of government) is Manmohan Singh. The national literacy rate is 59.5%. Also, the citizen’ roles are to follow laws and to be loyal to their country. Citizens are allowed to vote and have some say in the government.

In India, an equal amount of government and citizen control over the economy exists. The economy is driven by its major natural resources, agricultural, and industrial products. Natural resources, such as iron, bauxite, titanium, natural gas, cobalt, and mercury, exist in great quantities. Agricultural products that are in production are milk, jute, sugarcane, nuts, wheat, rice, fish, eggs, coffee, and cotton. Industrial products, such as construction materials and software, are also produced. Major imports include crude oil, iron, steel, and machinery. Major exports include petroleum, stones, steel, and iron.

Japan

Japan is a unitary parliamentary democracy. There is only one political party: the Imperial Rule Assistance Organization. Japan was founded on May 3, 1947. The per Capita GDP for the country is $29,400. Japan has an emperor (head of state), Akihito, who was appointed based upon his relation to the previous emperor. The Prime Minister (head of government) is Shinzo Abe. Also, the citizen’ roles are to follow laws and to be loyal to their country. The national literacy rate is 99%. Citizens cannot vote, rather members of the “Diet” are allowed to vote for elections. Citizens have limited say in the government.

In Japan, there is little government control over the economy. The economy is driven by its major natural resources, agricultural, and industrial products. Mostly, the citizens control the economy. Natural resources, such as coal, limestone, zinc, copper, and gold, exist in great quantities. Agricultural products that are in production are fish, beans, peas, wheat, and potatoes. Industrial products include construction materials, electronics, and automobiles. Major imports include petroleum, coal, apparel, and gas. Major exports include automobiles, electronics, plastic, iron, and steel.

North Korea

North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is a unitary singe-party state. There is only one political party: the Worker’s Party of Korea. North Korea was founded on August 5, 1945. The per Capita GDP for the country is $1,700. The country has a supreme leader (head of state); Kim Jong-un, who was chosen by the Supreme People’s Assembly. The premier (head of government) is Yon-rim. The national literacy rate is 99%. Also, the citizens’ roles are to follow laws and to be loyal to their country. Citizens cannot vote and have very little say in the government. In North Korea, the government strictly controls the economy.

The economy is driven by its major natural resources, agricultural, and industrial products. Natural resources, such as minerals, graphite, and coal, are found, but not abundantly. Agricultural products that are production are grains, rice, and beans. Industrial products include weapons and steel. North Korea has little resources and a poor economy. Because North Korea has little resources, the government has to import products, such as coal, machinery, gas, textiles, and grain. North Korea has few exports, including minerals, coal, steel, and iron.

Compare and Contrast

These four countries have many similarities. For example, China, Japan, and North Korea have at one political party, while India has more than one political party.

Also, all of the countries export iron and steel. In addition, all these countries import fossil fuels. China and Japan both export electronics. Furthermore, India and North Korea both export minerals. These four countries have many differences. For example, all four countries have different government types. In addition, these countries have different economies.

Also, the countries have different titles for head if state and head of government. Furthermore, China imports many medical equipment while the other countries do not. Iron and steel are major imports in India while they are not major imports in the other countries. Additionally, Japan and China export electronics greatly while the other countries do not. China exports textiles while the other do not export it as much. Also, Japan exports plastic mainly while the other countries do not.

Additional Topics The research revealed that there is a correlation between the countries’ form of government and the type of economy it has. For example, governments with more citizen rights, such as Japan and India, have less economic control. Governments with less citizen rights, such as North Korea, have more economic control. However, China’s government gives limited rights to citizens, yet it does not have significant control over the economy.

Generally, there is a connection between the economy type and the per capita GDP in these four countries. As the government control decreases, the GDP per capita rises. For example, the lowest GDP was found to be in the government with the highest control and the highest GDP was found to be in the government with the lowest control.

However, India does not have a significant control over the economy, yet it has a relatively low GDP per capita. This could be due to outsourcing and lower wages. Japan and North Korea has the highest literacy rate at 99%. India has the lowest literacy rate at 59%. China's literacy rate is 90.9%.