The economic literacy among the Chinese high school students IV.

Chapter 6: Globalization

World Map from China in 17th century

Authors:  Wu Xintian, Wang Yanglitao and Lu Tongzhong

In today’s society, humanity is at a turning point in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the transformation of new technologies and production models. We desperately need a great society in order to progress sustainably in the future, and to bring forward the best way to turn our civilization to a greater position and even on a global civilization. Taking China as an example, the country has now surpassed the global level in technological growth and is fast-developing country. What is more, now we are also at the turning point of making our way to the future civilization for both China and the global world. It is essential to analyze the current situation for both China and the whole world towards future civilization. In this article we combined the book The Future of Humanity: Global Civilization and China’s Rejuvenation by Professor Jin Zhouying with relevant data, news reports, and literature. Through the study, we found the current literacy level of high school students, about the economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in order to infer the future role of this group in promoting China’s sustainable development, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the future global civilization.

In the textbook, economic globalization is defined as the tendency for goods, labor, technology, and capital to flow and be allocated globally, making national economies increasingly interdependent and interconnected, mainly in the form of globalization of production, globalization of trade, and globalization of capital. We believe that the fourth industrial revolution cannot be separated from the general background of economic globalization. This means that globalization of production, globalization of trade and globalization of capital are still applicable: 1. The international division of labor and collaboration in the field of production is constantly deepening and strengthening due to the different levels of scientific and technological development of each country and the different areas of specialization of each country. For example, in the future, the production of a fully automated car, automated driving cloud computing can be given to China Huawei 5G with high capacity and low latency to take charge; South Korea LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics to take charge of driver-less chips; the United States Intel to provide LIDAR sensors, and so on. In order to achieve efficient production, Global Value Chain (GVC) decentralizes production processes around the world and integrate different parts of the value chain through multinational corporations. 2, International trade occurs because through trade activities it is possible to improve the allocation of resources and raise the level of welfare on both sides of the trade. On the basis of comparative advantage, each country can produce what it is good at producing and then trade back what it is not good at producing through international trade. More and more types of goods involved in the exchange, from general goods to high-tech products may be included in the scope of trade. 3, In the textbook, the concept of globalization of capital is limited to money, in our opinion, Guo (2020)’s explanation is more precise: the globalization of capital is expanding in the world in the form of business capital, financial capital, industrial capital, scientific and technological capital, information capital, human capital and other multifaceted capital.

Economic globalization has promoted the global flow of factors of production, the increase in the level of international division of labor and the rapid development of international trade, thus promoting the improvement of the efficiency of resource allocation worldwide and the development of productivity of each country, and economic globalization is a product of the development of productive forces providing a broader space for the development of national economies. However, there are potential risks and vulnerabilities associated with economic globalization. Global COVID-19 shows that the interdependence between economies created by economic globalization can create high economic returns, but at the same time, it can also make countries and enterprises more vulnerable to external shocks, especially those concentrated in specific regions or those relying on a single supplier. In other words, economic globalization is both an opportunity and a challenge. It will bring many benefits to the world, but at the same time, it will also increase the potential risks.

China, as the largest developing country, should seize the opportunity, actively participate, avoid harm, prevent risks and bravely meet the challenges. In globalization, developed countries have a high position, using technology and other advantages to become the party that actually controls and dominates the global value chain and enjoys the most benefits. Developing countries have more limited benefits from global value chains. Therefore, the common desire of many developing countries is to improve the division of labor so as to obtain relatively equitable benefits. In recent years, developed countries are also adjusting their Global Supply Chain (GSC). The United States has set off counter-globalization and trade protectionism in recent years to reinvigorate manufacturing and reduce dependence on Chinese labor-intensive industries within the country. This shows that both developed and developing countries have the need to restructure global value chains. In this context and against the backdrop of the four industrial revolutions, China should actively participate in the new round of industrial and technological revolutions, compete in the field of new technologies, and try to be the first to achieve breakthroughs and thus gain advantages and dominance in new technologies. The government should boost companies to innovate. As Jin (2016) said: China has its own advantages in establishing a national innovation system, such as the ability to mobilize resources at the national level and abundant human resources, especially China’s high-quality but low-cost human resources but corporate innovation cannot be achieved without government promotion and support of government innovation strategies. The government should define the aim carefully, based on scientific analysis, the objectives should be defined in a hierarchy of objectives, with indicators assigned to them; and provide financial support for enterprise innovation. In addition, the government should actively cultivate enterprise innovation talents. In addition to government support, enterprises can also attract excellent innovative talents at home and abroad by improving their motivation. One form of motivation is salary, other forms of motivation are providing more leisure time to employees, etc. In conclusion, enterprises must pay attention to the attraction and cultivation of innovative talents in order to achieve long-term sustainable and healthy development.

Through Professor Jin Zhouying’s book, we can clearly recognize that entering global civilization is the foundation for achieving permanent peace for mankind, and it is also a stepping stone for achieving the great civilization.  However, it is never easy to create the great civilization with globalization. What is terrible is the various major crises in the world today: the threat of extreme ideological and ideological extremes, conflicts of interest between sovereign states and various war dangers combined with interventionism, natural disasters caused by climate change and the decline of the earth’s ecology , as well as the rapid development of science and technology and the crisis of human civilization, all of the mentioned above have an incomparable risk of destroying the future of mankind, and may bring mankind to the brink of destruction at any time. And it is time for us to take global revolutionary measures.

  • A clear and correct goal: No matter from which point of view, we are standing at the crossroads of the history of human civilization. Why does the world come here? Because we don’t have a clear goal. History textbooks have given us enough knowledge, experience and lessons. Now we have the conditions and ability to reach a broad consensus on the future of mankind, including the “happiness of all mankind” advocated by the United Nations.
  • Integrating with the realization of global civilization: Different development models must be integrated with the construction of the future global civilization to have vitality. Therefore,we need to stand at the height of the long-term future and design our own future blueprints according to different national conditions.
  • Starting with solving practical problems: Realizing the transformation of civilization under different models requires not only philosophical speculation and exploration according to different historical and cultural backgrounds and development stages, but also the practical problems that countries face on the road of sustainable social and economic development. We are supposed to set out to seek solutions to problems, including software and hardware technologies and soft environments, especially supporting systems such as corresponding systems and policies.
  • Making full use of the power of probation and education: Although human nature has both good and evil sides, through probation and continuous education, the good side can gradually gain the upper hand. Take Singapore as an example. It took Lee Kuan Yew (nation’s founding father of Singapore) only two generations to build Singapore, a post-colonial port with poor resources and multiple clans, into a highly affluent and important intellectual city in Southeast Asia. Per capita annual income in Singapore has increased from US$500 at the beginning of independence in 1965 to approximately US$55,000 today, creating a miracle in the history of world development. The secret lies in persisting in developing high-quality education, combating corruption, and employing talents. Singapore regards education as the foundation of the country, and at the same time absorbs the essence of Eastern and Western cultures, and integrates multi-ethnic cultures through moral education to survive and develop in the fierce international competition.


The main topics of the textbooks concerning with economics in Part 2 are “development of the socialist market economy” and “globalization”.

Based on Chinese success and obstacles throughout the years, we summarize what we accomplished and some key steps the government should take for development, whether from a soft or hard technology viewpoint, in our second part of the research, such as insisting on a sustainable development strategy. Also, we try to discuss establishments of the economic globalization and the great global civilization by analyzing the knowledge about globalization in high school students’ political and history textbooks.

As a result of our research, the fourth industrial revolution and the great civilization are achievable. In order for contemporary young people to better seize opportunities and promote the realization of the great civilization, we also need to do the following. Keep the sustainable development concept in the textbooks of learning, which is also very helpful to the fourth industrial revolution. In addition, the fourth industrial revolution has high requirements for hard technology. Therefore, we should continue to increase R&D investment in related core industries. Most importantly, if we want to develop into a great civilization in the future, we need to exert the power of education and probation to form a soft environment. Good habits and customs can become rituals and rules, and gradually evolve into culture, social systems, laws and institutions over time. Therefore, we need to apply the approach of education, so that students not only need to receive cultural courses, but also be influenced by ethics, sociology courses and basic legal knowledge. We should cultivate people’s moral, legal and technical knowledge in their hearts to develop themselves, so as to form a good social environment and lay a solid foundation for the soft environment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


The broader significance of our research is that China’s economy is developing rapidly, and studying the results of Chinese high school students’ exposure to economic knowledge can not only help Chinese education to review and fill existing gaps in basic education in the economic field in the light of world economic trends, i.e. to improve innovative education and knowledge with a commercial value; but to provide a worldwide reference in economic education in order to build a sustainable future civilization for humanity. Education is the key to the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and training the young generation with a promising worldview, economic values and a practical approach to problems will provide the best solution to improve the soft environment and even to increase the ability of the next generation to create a better future for the entire global civilization.


  1. Data source about electricity generation proportion in China in 2019:
  2. Data source about China’s spend on R&D: National Bureau of Statistics
  3. Data source about total installed capacity of different renewable energy systems globally: IEA, International Energy Agency
  4. Data source about leading countries in installed renewable energy capacity worldwide in 2020: Statista 2021
  5. Guo, J. M. (2020): On the globalization of capital and Millennial consumption view and web celebrity business model. Goldsmiths, University of London.
  6. China Business News (2020): Xi Jinping: By 2030, China’s carbon emissions per unit of GDP will be cut by more than 65% from the 2005 level. Retrieved June 7, 2021 from

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