USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Todd Shank, Ph. D. Professor, College of Business

Second Advisor

Gary Patterson, Ph. D Professor, College of Business


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

March 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

April 2008


How does a country become great or achieve the ranking of a "Superpower?" Is it the sole result of a solid economy with resilient financial power? Or must it be recognized by the rest of the world for its humanitarian policies and the high standard ofliving enjoyed by its citizens? Or does it arise from leading the world in technology and preservation of the environment? Or is it merely a by-product produced by playing the role of a political powerhouse in world affairs? This paper will explore how China rose from is agricultural origins at the turn of the 20'h century, underwent history making convolutions in the last hundred years and emerged as one of 21st century's economic giants. Despite its amazing economic development, success in providing a higher standard of living for its citizens, and its measures for battling pollution, China still faces several substantial difficulties in its fight to modernize its economy and solidify its status as a "Superpower." China's three main problems are first, its political system which has not lost its totalitarian nature in spite of its adoption of some aspects of an open economy; second, its record on human rights undermines its prestige in the eyes of the West; and third, the fact that corruption in political and big business practices has achieved a level of art that complicates all the other problems it now faces.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment ofthe requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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