China, being the second largest economy in the world after the US and part of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China or the ‘big four’), is setting the stage to become the world’s next superpower.
Will the Chinese economy become so powerful that it will result in the fall of the US?
Since the 1980s, the fast growing market of China has been hard to ignore. By most accounts, it has become a force to be reckoned with.
The current strength of China’s economy is mainly dependent upon exports and investments in the West. This gives the Chinese government reason to build up its military to protect its interest from internal weaknesses and external enemies.
Although its military resources have been very slim over the past years, recently, China has tripled its spending on military resources. Experts assert that the Chinese government believes in the importance of devoting enormous resources to defending its territory.
The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Global Military Report projected that in less than a generation China will achieve military parity to that of the US.
Moreover, the Chinese military has successfully developed, tested and deployed the world’s first weaponry system that is able to target a moving carrier strike group from any range. According to Andrew Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, this is a game changer that has already affected the US strategy in the Western Pacific.
With China’s military on the rise, the question of whether there will be a peaceful passing of power from one superpower to the next begins to surface. IISS director, General John Chapman, stated:
“The United States has always said it would never let another power get parity, so in the next few years it is going to have to make a very significant decision on what it does.”
It is evident that the world’s perception of China as the next superpower is based on mounting facts. China has a broad industrial base and a well-developed nuclear-armed military. Not to mention being a grounded and powerful state and having a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, China is considered the most eligible and logical equal to the US.
The US and China have formed a partnership that addresses critical problems of other nations. Evidently, with China surging to a near double-digit economic growth since the 80s and record foreign investment, the country has transformed from an isolated impoverished society to a thriving global powerhouse; therefore, a great shift may be soon upon us.
So is China’s coming out party sooner that we think?
If China becomes the next superpower, would it promote and protect democracy and freedom?
Being one of the world’s oldest civilizations, China has being waiting patiently for its moment to shine and has apparently heeded the advice from its former leader Deng Xiaoping who said, “hide our capacities and bide our time, be good at maintaining a low profile.”
However, despite its major achievements, economists and journalist may have jumped the gun too soon in considering China as the world’s next superpower.
First, China has not yet become a major threat to the US.
Secondly in order for China to become the next superpower some major in-house cleaning has to be done. China has many internal problems that need to be addressed; such as the peasant population which has overwhelmed China’s central government for centuries.
Furthermore, there is the internal ethics stain and corruption of its elite and governing body, the over-centralization of the government and massive pollution. These internal problems need to be addressed before China can ever commit to a path of global influence.
Even though China has the capabilities of a superpower, the US is the only country in history that has maintained all the elements of a superpower on a constant basis and continues to flourish in the face of adversities. So, if China must be considered a contender for the top spot, it must prove that it has what it takes to stay there.