Many countries were affected by the cold war, but this paper will focus on China only. The paper will outline the identifiable changes that have occurred in China over the last 20 years. China’s development of the last two decades has been characterized by steady population growth, high rates of economic growth, large scale migration from rural areas to the fast-growing cities (such as Hong Kong) accompanied by changes in life styles. Most of these changes are attributed to radical reforms that took place in 1990s. For instance, in 1997 and 1998, many of the state enterprises were liquidated and their assets sold to private investors; that is, large scale privatization occurred. By the year 2004, the number of state-owned enterprises had decreased by 48 percent. From 2001 to 2004, there were other major reforms such as reforming the banking systems, reduced regulations, trade barriers and tariffs, reduced inflation. In this period, China also joined WTO (World Trade Organization) (Fan, Shenggen, Xiaobo Zhang, and Sherman Robinson 360).
Since the reforms were initiated, China’s economic growth has been very rapid. China’s GDP growth from 1990s to 2005 has been estimated by the economists to be 9.5% a year. Currently China has an impact on the world and regional growth. Most of the Asian leaders consider China’s economic growth as an engine of growth for the region. In the first half of the reform era, China was able to achieve both rapid employment expansion and rapid economic growth, based on a labor-intensive growth path (Lo 4). A drawback of this growth is that labor compensation growth has lagged behind that of economic growth. This has contributed to macroeconomic demand deficiency and worsening income distribution, contributing to the crumble of the persisting growth path.
The economic reformation has played a key role steering China to a fundamental change in every aspect of its society. A new process of urbanization has been accelerated by this change. In connection to the vigorous social, political and economic transformations stimulated by urbanization, sport in china has undergone a comprehensive process of privatization, decentralization, commercialization and industrialization (Lo 4). Urbanization has changed the sport’s infrastructure, forms of participation and sport value. In contrast to this background, sport participation in China has emerged with new concepts, contents, forms and spaces. Although elite sport is being controlled by the state as a political instrument, at grassroots, exercise. Sports has become a social and individual activity as a new feature in Chinese urban life. People have gained from increased opportunities and have made significant advancement in sports involvement.
Education in China has also undergone some reforms for many decades, but this section will focus only on 1993 reforms onwards. In 1993, the following reforms were introduced in the education sector: (1) development of 100 key universities and key disciplines, (2) raising of educational quality, and (3) implementation of nine-year compulsory education and eradication of youth and adult illiteracy (Xiong par 2). In 1995, Jiang Zemin proposed a national development strategy based on science, technology, and education. Finally, in 1999, the following reforms were introduced to improve the quality of education: (1) development of private education institutions, (2) implementation of the project to develop high-level creative personnel, (3) more power for provincial governments with higher education affairs especially with two/three year colleges, (4) expansion of upper-secondary and university enrollment (gross enrollment rate for higher education to reach 15% by 2010), (5) continuation of national compulsory education program in poor areas accompanied by increased government funding, (6) reform of pedagogy to encourage students’ independent thinking and creativity, and (7) implementation of quality-oriented education at all levels (Xiong par 4).