Lillian Bogonko

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Can China really become a super power, or will it remain a great power among other great powers?

We have read numerous articles and statistics that indicate the rising power that is China. As an emerging economy among the BRICs, China is seen as a leader in the pack and with the number two economy, well placed to replace the US as a world hegemon.

I however wonder how much of a super power if any China can be? John Inkberry has written about the western liberal order and how it has penetrated every inch of our societies and culture. As a result many have found themselves having to preserve their cultures because the western liberal culture is very strong. Inkberry argues that China will have to find it`s influence within this set up, because it will be very hard to alter it (the western liberal order).

Is this the case? Can China become a super power in the current global order or will it have to dispose of it and come up with a different type of order or will it simply become part of the order and influence global events among other powers?

What does the future of China look like in the present western liberal order?

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    Aug 16 2012: China, Super Power or not, has a daunting task ahead of itself. Its population, manufacturing capacity, investment opportunities, and Olympic Gold Medals all show that it has what it takes to become a global super power. However, the role the government plays is crucial in it's path to maintain its current level of global power. The Chinese Communist Party continues to lash out against anti-government sentiments, cover up political and business scandals in order to "keep and promote social harmony" within the People's Republic.

    The world continues to globalize and social media and technology are closing the gap between the world and China. If the government believes that it can adapt to changing social conditions than China might have a chance at becoming an even greater super power. Some politicians believe that expelling any negative notions toward the Chinese nation threatens the credibility of the government and will likely lead to an uprising.

    Thus the two paths, the rise or fall of China depends on how the government can adapt to the rapidly changing global environment while still maintaining harmony throughout the kingdom.
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    jing du

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    Aug 15 2012: as an ordinary chinese girl ,i should say,we don't care about the superpower blahblah.we just care about suviving ,and we want to own what you've already owned...:)
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      Aug 16 2012: Owning what America has already owned....does that include its position in the international system?
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        jing du

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        Aug 16 2012: as an individual,chinese likes to get what american people already have got...clean air ,safe food, freedom , big houses ,oppotunities,and money... chinese are of realism. nowadays we are all scolding our system of government on the internet.we don't like it.however nobody can change it now.
  • Aug 15 2012: In my opinion China never really stopped being a superpower. Over the centuries, it has withstood numerous attempts on its sovereignty, none of which were very successful even when China was at its weakest, and in the twentieth century it was a major player in cold war politics. Interestingly, the US was primarily focused on the Soviet Union at the time. Perhaps China was too hard a target.

    At present, China owns a massive amount of United States debt and is such a contributor to trade around the world, that it would not be difficult to argue that China is now the #1 superpower. Add to that their nuclear capabilities and their massive military machine and the argument becomes even easier...
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    Aug 14 2012: 1._No. The age of independent "super-powers" is past. Our economies are far too intertwined for that to have real meaning below a superficial level of perception. China holds too much of our debt, we hold too much of their food supply, and on and on.
    2._However, the us-versus-them mentality of "super-powers" will continue to be inflated by politicians and spoon fed to the public by the media machine in an effort to drive production and profit. America learned all too well how valuable the cold war mindset was as a whip of fear.
    3._Why, oh why aren't we learning Chinese in our schools? And HIndi? And Arabic?
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    Aug 13 2012: A lot of our society today assumes that China is going to be the leading power. However, the truth might not be what exactly people think. Today the USA imports around 16.1% overall from China, very large percentage. That tells us that China is mostly relaying on the US for exporting their not only products but also services. Therefore, China is just a simple landscape of cheap workers and no taxes that American companies take over for business. You see if America would stop importing from China and all the US companies and manufactories would go back to the USA, China will surely be at the end of the list of countries with super powers.
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      Aug 14 2012: http://youtu.be/OF37qHLH76s

      Let's talk facts.
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      Aug 16 2012: Not quite Ahmed. China has penetrated Latin America and Africa and is working it`s way in Asia. So am sure even if the US stopped, they`d reinvent themselves. One thing we need to understand, China mostly manufactures for export. Imagine if they concentrated homegrown with the i billion people they have. I think they are sitting on a Goldmine.
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    Aug 12 2012: How do you define a super power. Military power, projection of power and influence? Intercontenental Nukes is probably one criteria

    Assuming Military and economic power are key factors is being a super power:

    China has the 2nd largest economy but only half the USA, but catching up fast.
    China has the second largest military spend but only 20% what the US spends and a much lessor ability to project conventional power, offshore bases etc.

    China is on the way to being a superpower. It is already a great power.

    The US is going to have to accommodate China and China needs to follow reasonable international norms or there will be trouble.
  • Aug 12 2012: China can't really become a super power, case the different ideology and value.Right now China can't influence anycountry even the neighboring countries. Without cheap labour,China will be veryhard.If China got some really changes,maybe can get different future.But it may never happen...
  • Aug 16 2012: The Internet never ceases to amaze me , here I am , a young adult from Romania talking to a beautiful Kenyan woman.
    As far as I am concerned China and Russia are on the wrong side of history , you can not influence the world in the long run if you have social or freedom issues. On a large scale good always prevails.If you are a super military power or super monetary power is not enough , you have to be culturally as well , otherwise the vast majority will always tend to disagree with you. The internet is a very important tool , you can not fool people anymore.
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      Aug 17 2012: I agree with you, but "The internet is a very important tool , you can not fool people anymore." is not true.... in Russia and China there is law that regulates Internet. So, most of western web sites such as news (adn.com), entertainment (YouTube), and social network (Facebook) are blocked in China. Can't say about Russia yet, they just recently passed this law in there.
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      Aug 17 2012: Dear Radu,

      I 100 % agree with you, especially when it comes to your comments about culture, and I'm not one to agree all too easily.

      Well done.

      As for Alexander, yes there is internet censorship but this can be tackled in the long run with new platforms and servers that suit the demands of a global population that is not longer in demand of pornography and online pharmaceutical retail.
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    Aug 16 2012: good observation Alain. I also think social media will greatly influence not only China's foreign policy but most states. States that were previously closed to the world will be hand to dry by their own people.
  • Aug 15 2012: China has everything to be a Superpower, and its key element is population. More people, means many hands working what also means more people paying taxes, wich means more money for the state to build, invest or do whatever, China is investing everywhere and rebuilding itself. From what i see its a superpower right now
  • Aug 15 2012: Clearly China is Thee Superpower at this point, though the media may trick you to believe otherwise.

    If China were to stop all production or perhaps stop supplying the world - we'd experience the might or consequences of this industrial superpower. How can we even question their world status, considering their history tells us they've been great inventors long before the Europeans, and ancient greeks. It's our perception they only up and coming in this 21st century, because european history led us to believe this.

    As far as liberation, the Tibetans have clamored for the freedom of people in china but makes very little impact to date. There seems to be a loyalty, perhaps based on intrinsic fear, that is hard to penetrate. Even if western culture have influence on the world, including china, it simply cannot be imbued further than impersonation. The loyalty in the Chinese culture goes back thousands of years.

    The Chinese are a proud nation, and probably have every right to feel that way. They very hard working, well networked globally and are visionaries.
    • Aug 16 2012: As for the Superpower status, China is not yet a superpower as the country is enormously large and there is a great difference in income distribution (i.e GDP per capita) between the cities. People often confuse the development and progress of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhaowith China in general. This is a fallacy.

      Well let China stop production, and lets see how fast other competing nations take up the job offers/ contracts. Who is going to miss the low quality items that come out from their manufacturing base, anyway.

      As for the Tibetan issue, what loyalty are you referring too? You may not be aware, but last week, 3 Tibetan performed self-immolation in China, as a protest to the human rights violations that are occurring in Tibet. They actually burnt themselfs, that's how strongly they oppose the Chinese invasion.

      http://www.voanews.com/content/two-tibetans-die-in-self-immolation-protest-in-china/1488717.html
  • Aug 15 2012: China, the next hegemon? Very interesting indeed. As what I can tell from some history, hegemons in the past emerged from others' who have failed, whose dollar weakened considerably, whose economy failed etc. Wars took place. People are learning how to manage relationships with the Chinese... there would be another revolution if every one was to adopt China's order...
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      Aug 16 2012: China is an old culture but at the same time it's a young 21st century culture barely 50 years old in industry terms,what order could china bestowe upon the world? Revolution? What revolution? What's there to change?
  • Aug 15 2012: There are serious implications for the rest of the world, especially the Non-Chinese.

    China is becoming aggressive with its neighbors, just google the spratly island issues, consider how Tibetians are treated. There are public demonstrations in Vietham and Loas against China and its policies. China supports Pakistan and has blocked many UN resolutions that could prevent war in Central Asia- the Syria issue.

    My experience with the Chinese in South East Asia (i.e Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia) is that they are a narrow minded group with strong clannish policies. They appear to have a false notion of the superiority of their race, and assume that they are better workers then the rest. They use language as a barrier to prevent entry of Non-Chinese into their firms. I shall stop here, least I be called racist.

    You should be worried about the rise of China!
    • Aug 15 2012: I'm Malaysian Chinese and have always adopted a broader mind but never realised until this year, I feel much happier and much less frustrated. I agree with you, it is frustrating to work with narrow-minded people. I honestly think that people who are successful, whether Chinese of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia origin have great minds. Perhaps you just haven't met one worthy your time yet!
  • Aug 13 2012: Just a few comments.

    1. "superpower not yet" -- I thought we were talking future tense, as in centuries.
    2. "China is simply too large, and not really one single nation. Its a little like europe, with many differences and difficulties inside." -- This has been mentioned a number of times. The same can be said of the USA.
    3. "The US is going to have to accommodate China" -- I have heard this on the radio and read it in the paper more times than I can count. If the one and only superpower must accommodate China, a country which is, at this moment, backward, then we are now witnessing the redefinition of the meaning of superpower.

    IMO, the term is becoming useless unless you want to talk about who can throw the most bombs around the globe, and that is a childish measure of power. In the future, the measure of power will not even include military power. The most powerful country will be the country that can produce the most good.
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    Aug 13 2012: As long as China relies on the US for some huge chunks of it's economy(exports e.t.c), it can't really "overthrow" the US from that throne. Their growth is phenomenal but, superpower.. not yet. They'd have to change a lot of the way they do things, and they are not exactly known for their flexibility.
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      Aug 14 2012: They own the USA. Their biggest worry is that America will default on its debts but let's face it they are building a new "Panama Canal" to more than double the access to the Atlantic and all those markets. If you keep thinking this = another collapse has the power to take you by surprise. BTW the ownership of debt is so diffused that it would weather it quite handily. Can you imagine people who earn so little and have so little financing your life style? I cannot.
      • Aug 14 2012: Regardless of one's stance on geopolitical relationships, the above appears really arrogant to me.

        sorry... I couldn't help myself. :P
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          Aug 14 2012: How so Jason? This is just part of what i learned in an MBa which I completed at an American university.
      • Aug 14 2012: Because I think it behooves us all to be respectful to one another. No one has a monopoly on truth.

        (Maybe my sense of humor is just different than yours? Remember the Noah's Ark debate?)
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          Aug 14 2012: I remember it clearly and I would suggest that there is a huge difference between trying to use logic on religious issues with the aim of proving people wrong and using it in a political debate where one is addressing political thought. Yes, we differ in our senses of humour and I probably would have thought those comments to be even less relevant before the stokes adjusted my sense of humour.
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        Aug 15 2012: Actually, I think this is the biggest misconception about the US. And, at first this is going to sound horrible, but basically... Washington could just disappear tomorrow, like through some magic dimensional portal, and everyone would still show up for work. In a couple weeks, we'd be fine, we'd probably even stay on the currency, lol.

        We're nowhere near perfect, or civillized, but we have learned to get along well enough, with every group of people on the planet, and it makes us almost impossible to collapse. When I say collapse externally, what I mean is "You all caught up, and we didn't let you realize it", our dollar needs to be worth a bit less in your eyes, because we made some big mistakes.

        This will give us the kick in the butt we need, to get back to work in my humble opinion. When that happens though, China will experience some growing pains, as they need to pay more for their own internal labor, to stabillize their internal economy. We'll both be fine, as long as we don't go crazy and go to war, and I don't think that's going to happen.

        I did not mean to name call at all by the way, I really enjoyed my trip to China, and I wish nothing but the best for its people. I just think many economies are currently underestimating their ability to have a positive impact on the world, because they still think of America as #1. To you Canada should be #1, to Lillian, Kenya should be #1. To Switzerland, the Swiss should be #1, and a lot of people have the rights to actually claim this for valid reasons nowadays. This is just my opinion though.

        China does not own America, we can afford the hit in international inflation to pay them back, whenever we want. Right now though, it would hurt us both a bit, they are getting interest. Also, the international community would freak out if we did that right now, and for good reason, it would be unprecedented.
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          Aug 15 2012: Well David, as usual you make interesting points and if you all get to work and change your lives it will be a wonderful thing but China owns your debt. At least that's what they teach and we investigated during that MBA. Additionally, have you EVER seen the Chinese currency outside of China? NO.
          That is because they learned from what happened to the currency of the USA. No money in the world is more threatened, devalued and exploited by counterfeiting than yours. The Chinese will not have it. In the rest of the world the de facto currency is American dollars but most of them are photocopied or something and often are still backed by the US mint. Worthless and still with purchasing power. The rest of the world scrambles to make coloured currency with chips in it and your population likes theirs plain (and a drain on your economy.) What is a politician to do with a population who refuses to know?
          If you were to try the radical policy you suggest who would complain more than Americans? I hate to remind you that the meltdown was homemade and cooked up at Wall St. Addresses. Your tendency to chistle against the rules, defeat your own governments and hate your neighbours to the point of watching your sick loved ones die so insurance companies can profit -as if they hold American values more firmly than your own people do- is also uniquely yours.

          PS The first step to a better world is for Americans to STOP pretending that they are the only ones making a difference in this world. The rest of the world deals with immigrants at a very high level and we deal with every other problem that you think you are the only one dealing with. Please!
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        Aug 15 2012: Who talks about how useless US paper currency is, more than people in the US? What's everyone else's currency backed by? The same thing as ours... Nothing, faith. At least we already know how much trouble we're in : p

        You get to a really interesting place here though, where you agree with all my complaints about the current US system, and then seem to suggest that Americans will find it intolerable to fix these issues, but don't default on your debt... So... What?

        On the one hand you seem to be suggesting all of our flaws, on the other hand it almost seems like you're suggesting "Now get back off your butts, and start playing Global Thermal Nuclear War, and Team America World Police again, or China's going to play it better than you"... Oh and at the same time "STOP pretending that you are the only ones making a difference in this world"...

        It does get a bit confusing what you actually want : )
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    Aug 12 2012: There is no Anarchy in China. If there was then why worry?
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      Aug 14 2012: Here is a relevant TED talk to support your contentions:

      http://youtu.be/OF37qHLH76s
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        Aug 14 2012: I have been reading what some people say here. Some are very good positions and some are still learning as well as I.

        When I look at world I see many countries and a few countries in terms of population
        are extremely large.

        Economically speaking those countries with the highest populations China #1 means that China has approx. 1 1/5 billion people (a large portion of them create "productivity").

        So the reason China will become a #1 power "one day" is basically because of their "people power".

        People = Productivity. That means, economics and guess what? Economics determines politics and power. So in my view why worry. Although everything is relative, life on our wonderful earth takes it's natural course.

        Everyone have a Great day! Karl at TalkFusionAutoWebinar.com Signing off.
  • Aug 11 2012: I do not think China will become a superpower or something like that. China is simply too large, and not really one single nation. Its a little like europe, with many differences and difficulties inside. If you just look on the money, yes, then china appears like a superpower. But in fact it is not able to move and always pulled backwards by its own weight.

    Also, China is more than highly dependent on ideas from the outside of china. When you look at the world, the western culture is dominant, funnily most dominant in countries who yell at the americans all day. If you ever talked to chinese people you might have noticed that the chinese way of thinking, talking and imagining is a lot diffrent from this western style. That draws China back, because it is unable to invent or produce products that dominate markets. The only thing they are able to is copy sucessfull ideas, and most of the time they are not good in that, as they simply cannot follow the inventors way to think, so they make a lot of mistake.

    If China would become more western, they gonna have the problems of the western culture too. It is a question of China can be run the western way-maybe China is just properly working chinese?

    China also has another problem, which is the growing wealth. At the moment, the people get used to higher life standards, and you can not keep this to a minority alone. The people gonna want better salary, and this makes China lose his ace of being the cheap producer. If loans raise, nobody gonna ask for chinese workpower, as for same prices other nations will do it on their own again, with better quality.

    So Chinas got to face that they forgot national politics, and just starred at the money/economy. They went the wrong way, they started cheap and increase the price. I doubt china is able to move fast enough to run away from such problems, what is what smaller nations are able to. I needs too much time to keep that many people in line.
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    Aug 11 2012: this issue has much talked but never be carefully studied.most researchers give statistical evidence to convince us that China is/will be the super power in the world. it is maybe true that China will surpass U.S as the biggest economic entity soon(2017?).But if you have chance,please visit China once you can, not to the famous cities like Shanghai,Beijing and Guangzhou,but to places in the hinterlands in western China.You may find the answer that China is not a uniformed country but consists of many "countries",the stuff is that the diversity of Chinese development is so awesome! and the same dynamic of Chinese economy growth is the low profile officials want to be higher ones only by higher rate of GDP. By the way,local people,the ordinary Chinese do not care the so called "super power" or "hegemony", they care their own welfare only.
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      Aug 16 2012: Thank you for your response Alex. I agree with you. China rise (at least how its portrayed) rides on the waves of its big cities. Little attention is given to the hinterlands as you put it more so because of the controls the government has placed on its people and various outlets including the media. But social media, as we have witnessed is changing all that. The question then becomes can a state become a super power with a majority poor.

      China offers great challenges. The population is so big that the poor can form a continent by themselves. This makes the GDP per capita less than the developed nations. But am sure if we were to remove the poor, China will surpass many of the richest country, but this is only a wish mentality because in rel life you can`t do that.
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        Aug 16 2012: I agree that China offers great challenges.You what most be talked now China’s economy?It is the debt of local government(not the provinces but town and Xian,Xian is a the level of government form below the Province but above the town)those local governments made so many projects that they cannot afford,so they borrowed money from Banks,and the Banks are established by the central government! so ,China's economical crisis is on the way.
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    Aug 11 2012: China is rising. Some might think it is not; but that is because China's way is different from the familiar(business as usual). Greatness has its peculiarity.
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    Aug 10 2012: Is there any such thing as superpower and how do you define that?
    • Aug 11 2012: a high percentage of the world relies on you for their income/protection.............
    • Aug 11 2012: as well as highly disciplined youth
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      Aug 11 2012: "The United States government spends more money on "defense" than the next 26 countries combined... 25 of whom, are allies"

      Aaron Sorkin, via Jeff Daniels, in HBO's "The Newsroom"

      100% fact
    • Aug 12 2012: Ehis, in the western world everything is defined by the currency and power to create pressure on anyone in the world at anytime.
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    Aug 10 2012: In my view, China may become more powerful from several angles, but there is one primary factor that I think will prevent it from having the global dominance that the term "superpower" implies: its educational system, which still has a distance to go in terms of promoting critical thinking over rote memorization. There are statistics that point to growing numbers of PhDs and of patents, but it is still all based on a system that generally borrows original thinking from others and builds on it. This is a broad generalization, of course, and subject to exceptions and refutations.

    I see the outcomes of this educational approach penetrating so many facets of the Chinese culture that it will continue to inhibit many of the factors that could move China beyond merely the world's factory into true economic, intellectual, cultural, and even military dominance.

    For others that have had significant exposure to China and its people, I would be interested in hearing whether my perceptions are misguided.
    • Aug 10 2012: I agree. I also think China's growth and influence is limited by its Communist system and its lack of freedom of speech and freedom to vote etc.

      China will be strong economically and possibly militarily but outside of these domains its political system will make it more isolated than connected to the rest of the world?
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        Aug 11 2012: Hi Zdenek,
        You are right. Trust me, China is not going nowhere if the omnipresent government keeps the totalitarian policy.
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        Aug 14 2012: What yardstick are we using people. I'd like specifics. Why do we believe that democracy is the only system of government that works? The type of leadership is bound to change. The international system will ultimately influence that and whatever it may metamorphosize into may not be ideal but might just work. We have to appreciate the dynamic nature of the international system and think with that.
        • Aug 14 2012: Yes I see democracy as the only system of government that works or has the potential (because if people do not vote and engage than it will fail as well).

          Basically with any kind of repressive government (like Communism) the top ranks in the government is easily taken by the most corrupt and ruthless leaders because that is what the system allows. There are few if any controls in place to prevent this from happening.

          In democracy, politicians have to compete with each other and they are scrutinized by media and public. Everything is much more transparent. Leaders are more competent and capable. Mistakes cannot be hidden.

          Which government do you think can provide better leadership for the country?
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          Aug 14 2012: Zdenek, as always I love to read your knowledgable perspective. I agree that they are currently out of step with the unification theme but so has the USA been and they survived. They are clearly experimenting with democractic priniples at the level closest to the people and furthest from threatening the jobs of the power brokers. China is SMART! It is a chess master of a nation.

          PS this is out of sequence but the only place I could respond.
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        Aug 14 2012: I filled out a Canadian survey yesterday designed to make shipping oil to China from our oil sands. more acceptable to CanadiansWe tried to sell it to you and you decided that shipping it from your enemies and destroying other people's terrian more palitable. So now tell me that they will be isolated. Do you know where in South AMerica, they are building a new "Panama" canal? I do not see them as isolated.
        • Aug 14 2012: I think they are and will continue to be isolated in political sphere from the rest of the world. The world is slowly moving toward democratic governance and a unified global community.
    • Aug 11 2012: Eric, you seem like a smart man, and I look forward to viewing other conversations you take part in. I have a question for you, though. You mention that it's educational system lacks the focus on critical thinking, which will impede its advancement to a superpower. My question is do you feel that America's educational system is starting to fail and, if so, what will that mean for our country as we move forward into the future? What can we do to prevent a collapse of our educational system? As a father with children set to begin school this year, I am looking for answers on how to ensure the education they receive is sufficient for their success in the future.
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        Aug 11 2012: Corey,

        Great question. Good luck getting your children started in school. Mine are all grown now, with one making his own way and two more in college.

        The short answer to your question is both yes and no.

        Yes because the academic demands and time commitment we require of our children seems less than it was in the past and certainly less than many other industrialized countries. We have the shortest school year, a relatively short school day, don't typically demand a large volume of work either in terms of reading or problem solving, and we place a possibly disproportionate amount of attention on non-academic aspects of education.

        Also, yes because the push to improve academics seems to exclude areas that improve critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving (e.g. literature, arts programs)

        No because many school systems are increasing their focus on math and science, and the fact you are asking this question is an encouraging part of America's culture,which is our ability to self-criticize. This has the potential to drive significant improvements, and I'm encouraged by it.

        Impact on the future? After having read the book "Black Swan," I am hesitant to predict the future except to say that I don't currently see our deterioration in education or our high level of dependence on foreign nationals coming to our country to learn and work abating any time soon. It obviously puts us at an economically competitive disadvantage and results in an increasingly uninformed electorate, which is probably the most dangerous trend of all.

        What can you do about it? Take ownership of your children's education! Make the school system a part of their education and not its totality. Read to them, make every trip into the back yard or into town a potential learning experience, and develop a sense of curiosity in them that will cause them to succeed regardless of the quality of the public education they receive. Make them lifelong learners; not just good students.
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      Aug 13 2012: Eric one can take ownership but ultimately the government needs to put in place strong policies for a strong education system. Not every child (seeing how the American system works) will have the attention they need from their folks to excel in spite of how the education system is. That`s why people pay taxes, to get the government to take care of what they can`t individually do because of life`s demands.
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        Aug 13 2012: To ensure a child with adequate attention has barely anything to do with taxation. Taxes can guarantee a relatively affordable education with fine education groups and facilities, but it doesn't mean a great education for everybody. Some children commit acts of truancy and profanity and they only regard schools as amusement parks. Even attention cannot guarantee an excellence for students, and what they really need is a better education environment, which includes the promotion of positive critical thinking and proper impetus from family. Kids often learn the most important things with their parents after all.
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          Aug 14 2012: It does not negate the fact that the gov has a responsibility to create a system of education that will not just churn out robots but critical thinkers and all rounded graduates.
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        Aug 14 2012: Sure. But choices lay in our own hands. The government can do whatever to promote the critical thinking and try to create a more outspoken environment, but we can choose to ignore it, proceed it like writing an essay in a certain format, or fulfill it because we think this is important to do. The government is not omnipotent after all.
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    Aug 10 2012: Do you mean to be military superpower?
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    Aug 10 2012: To my mind China is already a super power. They might simply redefine the meaning of that phrase.
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    Aug 17 2012: This future of China? Am I wrong in believing that China, much like many other nations, even superpowers, on Earth are witnessing the birth of what is to be a major food shortage?

    There is war in the future for China, over fishing rights and energy supply. So is there also war in the future for the USA. The outcome of the future is certainly one to take a shot at.

    FT.
  • Aug 16 2012: I think everything has some inner or outsider relationships with others, slightly or largely. China or the United States is not a lonely power in the world. Compared with the conditions hundreds or thousands of years ago, we now have faster communications and wider media which cover nearly every corner of our life. We may have impact on other people and at the same time we are influenced by others which is a mutual process. As that the relationships between nations also interact with each other. So in the future, I don't think there is still some certain forms of the so-called western liberal order or china-like eastern order. World is melting pot. The institution or culture is gradually convergent.

    As the question that whether China will become the super power in the future. It's really hard to say. In the past 30 years we have surely witnessed the fast development in economy. But as the revolution goes on there must be some structural problems that can't easily solved because it may threaten the regime of the communist party and someone's benefits. As we see recently, China is lowing his pace in economy. Some experts are also predicting that China will continue suffering the pressure of the down-forward trend of economy. Fast but not stable, if China really has the ambition of becoming the first super power on the earth, more revolution or sacrifice will be underwent.
  • Aug 16 2012: Therefore I mentioned the Tibetan protests, but added they are making no impact. I'm saying that not mattter how long this protests are going on the Chinese leaders won't easily give in.

    Regarding other nations taking on the contracts. It's really not that easy as it sound. There is a bunch of things to be prepared for as a nation supplying the world. Firstly a labour force, then logistics, then a country's infrastructure and so for. It is not impossible but it's not as easy as that. The world's dependency on China is evident. To add, that not all chinese products are of poor quality. Yes you have those of lower quality, as every other nation offers, and you have those that offers a backup service model.

    As for the fallacy: are you asserting the world would have no EFFECT without china? and can you say that people will not have an effect if china pulls their network from the world?
    • Aug 16 2012: Perhaps you misread my statement, by fallacy, i mean, the notion of considering China as a whole entity, when in fact there is great economic variation between the many different states of that nation. Just consider the vast disparity between Shanghai and the Western provinces of China.

      I did not state that the world would not be effected by the absence of China. That's absurd. However, The world would not experience a cataclysmic catastrophe either. There are many nations in Asia that have the work force, logistics and infrastructure to handle the industrial workload. So much for "consequences of this industrial superpower" that you so aptly put.

      About the Tibetan issue, you are dodging the bullet and avoiding the question i posted in the last reply, namely, What loyalty are you referring too? and why should this affect the peaceful Tibetans and their way of life.
      • Aug 16 2012: My humble apology for misreading you statement.

        Regarding Tibet
        I want to clear with you, that I have the utmost respect for the Dalai Lama and his cause, as well as every soul and martyr. They all have my sincerest discerned acknowledgment. Having said that, I am absolutely certain their clamor will reach success soon. Our history proves that small groups grow large and eventually impact enough. We can see how the ottoman empire was disrupted when the Bab and Bahaulla in 1844 apposed their ill leadership. It didn't happen overnight but it impacted eventually. The same with Mandela and Ghandi and their weapons were humility. So I don't doubt this fact at all. There are many soothsayers in the world aiming for peace in wisdom, however its seemingly slow because of apathy amongst the masses. The whole world is in disarray, look at Burma and the genocide. But again it continues because of a simple thing called - loyalty.

        To clear the 'loyalty'
        I meant that the people who willingly participate and accept in China's regime - they are the loyal one's - to a point that almost nothing deters them. And there is a large amount that are submissive this way, not only china. China leads it's people powerfully and they are a proud nation, just like Americans are patriotic, but with different philosophies. Only once 'loyalty' ends then will people find real freedom.
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      Aug 16 2012: "I had a 68 Mustang, and I used to fix it... I worked in a garage when I was younger, and I used to fix it.

      The fuel pump that was in there since 1968... Died in like 1993, and then I put in a new fuel pump, and that fuel pump died in 1995, and I went through 3 fuel pumps on that car.

      The starter, that was put in by some heavy Michigan hands in 1968 when I was one year old... Some guy with a cigarette danglin' put that starter in, and then went to a beautiful home in Flint, Michigan... Which is now a crack house... and he's been dead for years.

      Then finally that starter that he personally tightened every part of, finally just went "I can't do it anymore"... and died in 1994, and I took it out, and it was heavy, and it was beautiful, and it was a piece of art.

      Then I put in this thing I got at a parts store, and I asked them "give me the best starter available". They gave me this starter, and it was made of this weird composite metal and you could see coke can pieces in it, and it didn't weigh anything... and it lasted like 6 months and then CLANG! Then it just came apart...

      That's progress."

      Louis CK
      • Aug 16 2012: Not only is it progress, its loyalty even though it fails on you.
      • Aug 17 2012: A failing item is a far cry from progress.

        by the way, David, any chance you know where the Starter was manufactured?
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          Aug 17 2012: Louis CK is a comedian, and I just posted this because I thought it was funny... I think what's really interesting though, is not who manufactured it, in terms of country... but human being. Flint Michigan, was a nice suburb, and that guy used to own a home with a white picket fence, and have a pension, because he cared about making that starter. His wife had time to stay home with the children, because he was paid a living wage.

          Wherever the starter was made now, it is no longer a piece of craftsmanship, that we pay a living wage to produce. Someone now pulls them off a machine and puts them in a box. It's made of the cheapest materials humanly possible.

          His home is now a crack house, in a town with something like 40% unemployment. We didn't give whoever is making that starter now, a wage that bought him a home, and that's why it's a piece of junk... in my humble opinion.
  • Aug 15 2012: the ability of a culture or civilization to spread around the globe depend on power order and not only economic power ;; chinese need the power of inspiration ,innovation, creation and most of all they need to show the human side of their culture .the image i have about china (and i am sure a lot of people have the same) is a very big factory full of sweat people working very hard to export their product abroad,
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    Aug 14 2012: Just think about all the "good" that the USA has done with their presence in Africa... Then kick us the funk out, and don't let China in either : p
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    Aug 14 2012: China is among the superpowers in the world. I think any country in the world would think twice before it wage a war against China because its power increases every year. But it really can't be a super power because it has no bases all over the world like US. In addition, US is is obsessed with power and dominance. US would not allow China to be a super power. US is already feared of the increasing power of China.
  • Aug 13 2012: Do the Chinese people need to rise only to rise again? Ironically, democratic appeasement may be the only way to trully take over the world.
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      Aug 14 2012: Anybody ever ask or take responsibility for the plight of the Chinese people?. Somebody needs to google 'The Opium wars" to get it.
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    Aug 12 2012: Maybe the plan is for China to be intentionally the number one global power. In this new global age, everything on purpose is moving to china. So, maybe, if we can understand that, well understand that its all orchestrated. And the U.S economy since the 80's has been decimated and till this very day.

    Or I can be wrong. Research.
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      Aug 16 2012: Orchestrated by who....states always act in their own national interest. It`ll take China lobbying any states to have gotten to where they are which is simply unrealistic. The international system is self driven by other factors. No one orchestrates anything. Unless this is a new conspiracy theory that i have not hear of
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        Aug 16 2012: Well since everything someone says that questions this artificial "order" is conspiracy, so be it. You seem like an intellectual person. You'll get it soon enough that nothing in this world runs like you think it does. Nothing.

        Make the dots, maybe you'll get it.
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    Aug 12 2012: If any American is concerned about China being a superpower the simple solution would be to use our American dollars to buy up the Chinese businesses and real estate .. and thus control.

    I believe the average personal wage in China is approx. $130 a month!

    So what are we waiting for?
    • Aug 12 2012: Well, if you look at the reality its the chines are buying up American businesses. example, AMC theaters yes its chines owned.

      + you know how hard its to run a business in law less country (communist). Ask Google.
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        Aug 14 2012: They got laws... they just tend to change em at will :P
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      Aug 13 2012: actually $656 a month according to the latest reseach by ILO in 2011, which is the 57th out of 75. I know that China was fall behind, but it is developping. Everything will be better and China will be great. I do believe.
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      Aug 16 2012: My dear, they beat you to that....China holds US treasury bills, notes and bonds for America`s debt. The strategy is not to beat them but join them, because many countries are turning East...
  • Aug 12 2012: IMHO:

    Superpower. I have read again and again that there is only one superpower, the USA. So basically, that is the definition of superpower.

    China does not and cannot become the USA. China does not want to become the USA or anything like the USA.

    China will redefine superpower.

    And the sooner the better.

    Debra Smith got it right with the first post.
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      Aug 12 2012: Just so you know, superpower isn't a compliment. It means "we're the idiots with our finger on the button". If China, or Russia, or Japan, or Germany or anyone else say "I'm taking over the world", we say "We're taking this whole freaking planet with us". We're a crazy child with a grenade trying to stop its parents from killing each other : )

      If you want major econonic superpower investment though... Look to Canada, look to Norway, look to Switzerland, look to places that have a high standard of living and treat their people well. This means avoiding looking at both the US, and China... imho.

      "China will redefine superpower.

      And the sooner the better."

      What do you mean by that? They will redefine superpower as a place with no free speech? They will redefine superpower with government sponsored corporations? They will redefine superpower as "the country which hasn't invented anything you use"?
      • Aug 13 2012: I hope China will redefine superpower because now, "superpower isn't a compliment."

        Many people of the USA proclaim that we are the only superpower with pride.
        That makes me cringe. As I mentioned in another discussion, I sometimes think we would be better off putting all of our aircraft carriers up for auction. Let someone else police the world.
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          Aug 13 2012: You had me all the way up to "Let someone else"... Don't let anyone police the world, lets just agree on borders and stop killing one another... That way China and India can take their rightful place in the economy, without needing any new hegemon.

          As Jon Stewart says "Congratulations on being the worlds fastest growing, and soon to be largest economy China... It's like being a giant Santa Claus, who everyone's trying to kill"
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        Aug 14 2012: To David, Yes, maybe all of your assertions. All I said is that it will redefine it. It is still in flux, still being defined as every nation decides its own identify. It is not the "land of the free and of the brave| but then again................
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        Aug 16 2012: David, just a general question. Since the US to you is no longer a super power with what is has, what made it a super power when it was one in your thinking?
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          Aug 16 2012: I think we are the worlds only military superpower, and that is not a compliment. I really like my analogy, of a child with a grenade, trying to stop two parents with from killing each other "If you don't stop fighting I'm taking you and the house with me". We're here, when things get terrible.

          If we get attacked, by land, 100 million people will volunteer for our military, and we'll scorch the earth. We are team America World Police. We are the violent children of a continent that simply could not get along with itself. The good thing is however, we don't mean to take any territory. We don't mean to own China or Russia, or force our culture on them, or anyone else.

          What is often seen as western propaghanda is really... Human beings all just like sexy people, and music, and TV, and computers. It's a lot less sinister than it sounds.

          We are also still AN economic superpower... We still have the highest GDP, and honestly, in my opinion, the best university system in the world, right here in California. We don't have the highest GDP per capita. We don't do well on math or science tests. We don't have a high income to debt ratio. We don't have a good high school education system. We don't have a good health care system. We don't have a good retirement insurance system...

          So, we're up there, with all the others... but we're not number 1 anymore. We lost our #1 superpower status, when we took #1 in incarcerated citizens per capita. We lost it over 30 years of high school graduate stagnation. We lost it when we fell to 100 and somethingth in infant mortallity.

          We stopped investing in ourselves. We stopped doing our own labor, and we started to expect that others would do it for us... That's my take anyway.
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          Aug 16 2012: Oh, also, through no fault of the civil rights movement, which was absolutely necessary, there was an enormous glut in the legal labor market 30 years ago. Our economy has never really recovered from it. Corporations used the glut in labor created by the civil rights struggle, to lower wages for simple labor. Real wages in the United States have been stagnant for almost 40 years.

          People were so happy with the new opportunities, that they stopped joining labor unions and fighting for workers rights. The hippies said "we won", and went home. All that it takes for evil to triumph, is that good men, do... Nothing.
  • Aug 12 2012: There is an old proverb, Childhood is the dawn of a man, assuming that China has shown phenomenal progress in his childhood, Surely is on his path to become the superpower of tomorrow. Wheel of time is spinning, like for America it was over three hundred years of evolution/revolution/conflict and conclusively after many ups and downs turned out to be a super power today's world. Where as China has skipped the journey to become a superpower by at least two centuries, quickly acquiring and adopting the fast pace of development.(We are not debating on how that technological aspects were resourced in the first place which make China what it is toady-A great World Power)Assuming that our above hypothesis is correct what we can be sure of that if today their Economy is 2nd to US then in 10 Years down the line Chinese will be standing out of the Pack as the superpower of the world.
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    Aug 11 2012: I apologize for ranting a bit earlier. In order to not sound like a madman, I'm going to have to explain:

    1. Why America thinks GDP is important.

    2. Why GDP used to be incredibly important.

    3. Why GDP is no longer a remotely decent measure of the progress of the economy.

    1. America thinks GDP is important because it is the total value of goods exchanged in the economy, which theoretically, is your starting point for mobillizing a war effort.

    2. During the Cold War, and times not so long ago, when single countries were still threatening the world with raining fire from below, America needed to be absolutely certain, that no one could mobillize a larger war effort, than they were capable of mustering. GDP, is the measure of how much potential war strength a nation has. Assuming all things are equal culturally, if China can muster up 25% of GDP for a war with us, than we can muster up 25% to fight them. As long as we have a larger GDP, and a stable culture, no one can invade us.

    3. GDP is no longer valuable for obvious reasons. There are many distinct social, and cultural differences between The United States and the Chinese... but we aren't going to rain fire down on one another. China isn't investing anywhere near enough in its military to attack. So, the fear of China having a greater GDP than the US, is absolute nonsense, unless you think the second they pass us, they will dedicate the exact same amount of money to war as we did. There is no evidence of that. I don't think China wants to take over the world.

    If China is not going to try to physically take over the world, and they have now entered the game America plays, "investment"... The stat that matters, is median household income, or GDP per capita, or wealth distribution. What percentage of the money made in the country investing, goes back to labor? Plenty of countries now offer better opportunities than the US, but China is not there yet.

    You know who should invest in Kenya? Kenyans :)
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      Aug 11 2012: Perhaps a second opinion. Hope this does not ruffle your feathers but ..

      The gross domestic product (GDP) is one the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period - you can think of it as the size of the economy. Usually, GDP is expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. For example, if the year-to-year GDP is up 3%, this is thought to mean that the economy has grown by 3% over the last year.

      The second important indicator in economics is the balance of trade as defined here:

      The balance of trade (or net exports, sometimes symbolized as NX) is the difference between the monetary value of exports and imports of output in an economy over a certain period. It is the relationship between a nation's imports and exports. A positive balance is known as a trade surplus if it consists of exporting more than is imported; a negative balance is referred to as a trade deficit or, informally, a trade gap. The balance of trade is sometimes divided into a goods and a services balance.

      With the workforce available and the accomadations being made to intice investors and companies to manufacture in China, it could be reasonable to see the GDP growing and the balance of trade in the surplus both indicating China's growing stature in the world market.

      All the best. Bob.
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        Aug 12 2012: Totally agree... But, if you're looking for foreign investment in your nation. I reccomend looking for people who will move to your nation, and spend their money in your nation. Look for a country that has the highest standard of living and the best education, so that they bring that to you.

        Who the biggest economy is not relevant especially when ignoring populace. China is numer 11 or so and rising we're number 5 and falling... but, no one invests in foreign countries to lose money. This means that most investors, intend to export wealth from your country... hence, the best investors are locals. Invest as locally as you can, and care about your neighbors, in my humble opinion.
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      Aug 12 2012: David as usual you are getting on my nerves.

      GDP is important to say otherwise is stupid. To somehow equate that to war is even more stupid.

      GDP has been, is, and always will be important.

      Since you are throwing out GDP as a metric shall we throw out NORTH, UP AND DOWN, AND SURVIVAL as well?

      The trade deficit is really not important and self correcting. I will not say much except if you think otherwise read up on it...

      So what is important in this conversation?

      The same things that are always important- production (GDP), morale, prediction, knowledge, ethics, the individual, liberty, rule of law, private property, a culture that embraces this, and some other things that I forgot.
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        Aug 12 2012: Sorry Pat, I wish GDP was still relevant, it would make us number one at something still. Do you want to live in the country with the highest GDP or the best education and standard of living? Do you want investors who pay you well, or make the highest profit margin?

        I think you want GDP and profit margin, because you equate them to standard of living and education. America, has proven over the last 50 years, that they don't necessarily equate to one another.
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      Aug 16 2012: David, Kenyans should invest in Kenya...but no one country is an island. You need to look at the data showing who has bought the luxury houses in America. They are Saudi`s and Chinese .....not many Americans. The financial meltdown allowed for foreigners who had money to come and invest in the US. Even in this big companies who has really invested in them...look and find out .

      All am saying , the days of protectionism are over. Even China knows that. Countries have no choice but to open up their markets. Who has bought America`s bonds? You think Americans own their economy....talk to the Chinese they`ll tell you a different story. That is why trade with China is so precious to America even though they sell cheap goods.
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        Aug 16 2012: When a Chinese investor comes to Kenya, what is their goal? When an American investor, comes to Kenya, what is their goal?

        Both groups are in your land, to export money. No one goes overseas to import money. Every time a Kenyan shops at McDonalds, an American gets richer... When a company comes to your land to invest, their goal is not to help you...

        I understand that all of Europe, and most of America, and Canada, and Australia, and China, are all trying convince you that globallization is the way to go... The reason they are doing that, is because that gives them a percentage of your productivity... You don't need us... In my humble opinion.

        I also believe the same is true of China and the US. We get along with China, they're not taking territory... If we had to though, the world would be shocked how quickly we'd go back to doing manual labor ourselves, and doing it really well. We don't need anyone, we have everyone, there is a million Chinese people living here : )

        Also, we all live in a world of faux currency which is very easy to manipulate. I will be laughed at for saying this... but I think this relates heavily to your other conversation... Globallization, is the last bastion of racism. "You can't build these businesses on your own, let us in to take a percentage, and "teach" you"...

        I think Kenyan businesses are perfectly capable of selling their own products on the world market, I don't think you need China or America. I'm not talking protectionism, buy things China makes well, buy things America makes well... Invest, in yourself. Don't invite us in as managers, and directors, invite us in as tourists, and consumers... just my humble opinion.
  • Aug 11 2012: well, i think the west will still have it's huge influence all over the world. but still, china will emerge as a superpower WITHOUT having the need to spread it's influence. cause they have the largest population in the world, and they can stay on their own and are completely self sufficient. the western countries show ten times more than what they achieve, whereas china shows a lot less than what they have achieved. they have always been like that, and will be the next superpower by continuing to be like that. and if you think of it in another concept, then it's like... china is the dragon. and the nature of the dragon is that you will always end up underestimating it, it wont look like much. infact it will look like nothing at all. but in the end, he will surprise you with the great things he's capable of.
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      Aug 16 2012: The US will remain a player because of how it`s principles have penetrated many institutions and countries. The liberal ideology that is synonymous with the West (America) will be hard to change. China will have to find it`s way within the system as it will be impossible to change it and China knows this.

      They have shown they can adapt to it by joining WTO and other institutions but above all by embracing capitalism ...to some degree. I think what we`re witnessing is a new type of governance structure in the international system that is multi-polar, where many powerful states are balancing each other out.
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        Aug 17 2012: Just so you know... America, is not historically liberal... at all. Liberalism is a European thing, we went to war over aristocracy, inherited wealth, and government controlled economies. America is a society built on rugged individualism. Liberalism, is doing us no favors.
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    Aug 11 2012: The US thinks in terms of yesterday and tomarrow, Russia had five year plans, Japan thinks in 25 year increments, and the PRC thinks in 1000 year plans. The PRC is still a babe in world politics and trade but is adjusting. The major draw back I see is the ruling Politiburo. Education is not the obstical as many are educated within the country and many are educated throughout the world bringing that knowledge home and sharing with others. The PRC with a hugh population does not respect human life. Confucius preached conformity as the best course of action. While Christian religions preach transcendent values of right and wrong and human rights. The PRC sees authority as society not God. Thus Thomas' Hobbes's Model: Life is nasty, brutal, and short. Education is a tool for the Politiburo to use in the best interest of the people but would be crushed if it represented a danger to the elite members of the Politiburo.

    China has the advantage of a hugh workforce at extreme low wage expectation. Steve Jobs discussed the advantages of doing his business with China and not the US.

    The world has witnessed the awakening of the Dragon. The growth will be limited and restricted by politics not by resources or capabilities.

    At least this is my opinion. All the best. Bob.
    • Aug 11 2012: I am really sorry about what you said .Sir, have you ever been to China? Do you think you totally understand the situation happened in China? I am not gonna quarrel with you but just rectify a few mistakes you have made. First, about human life. There are more talents in China, there are also more billionairs in China and millionairs in China is about 0.1% of the population.We are actually far more rich than you guys thought. Each people in China owns the rights what they deserved like medicare, insurence and other welfares just like the other countries in the world. Maybe the US is the one whom should be condemned for torturing the prisoners in Guantanamo. Second, about belief. There is on business of to intervene our belief. Most of us are atheist, but other religions are also welcomed by Chinese. My mum believes in Buddhism. You mentioned Confucius, but let me tell you we haven't believe that for hundreds of years .We just take the best and throw the obsolete. You still believe that Confucius in China is popular, I just feel pathetic for you because you do not really understand China and all you know is just the rumors made by the US goverment. You actually do not what the world really is. Third, about the workforce in China. I just wanna say, without us, the world will stop. Without us ,how can you get the ipads?iphones?TVs?computers? What else should you complain about?

      Hey buddy.Coming to China for a couple of months and experince China, you may find it totally different from waht you have known.
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    Aug 11 2012: I don't think China has private property which is evident in their piracy, this will have to change in order to keep the momentum going.

    They have invested in human capital but they also have a tiger by the tail, when 1.3 billion people are not happy you have a problem...

    Their GDP number are highly dubious.

    They have over built because of government tinkering.

    Their financial advantage will be gone by 2015 (from what I read because of labor costs) so the incentive to off shore strictly because of the price advantage will be gone.

    On the other hand they graduate more college students than anyone else. Hmm maybe China can offshore to the U.S. and we will do the menial labor?
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    Aug 10 2012: This is how bad the state of journalism is in the world today. And, it's horrible to admit this, but... This is how brainwashed America has most people. Many people in my country 100% agree with this sentiment

    "China is seen as a leader in the pack and with the number two economy, well placed to replace the US as a world hegemon."

    China has four times as many people as The United States. It's supposed to be the number one economy, India is supposed to be number two... and they both need to beat us, and then multiply their GDP by four, to be even remotely close to the position people want you to believe they are in.

    China is on the rise, and it's a wonderful thing... but for good or ill... There's only one super power.
    • Aug 10 2012: She asked whether or not China can become a superpower and the world's hegemon. This is a valid question as China is developing quickly and given its massive population it plausible this will happen. You are choosing to cover your ears and yell the star spangled banner and blame journalists for brainwashing America. A tip for you... there is a website called TED.com a bunch of people that seem very bright talk about many things that seem interesting. Many of the talks touch upon the question of China's rise and the global consequences and most seem to agree is coming... go get brainwashed
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        Aug 11 2012: Dear Mercuro,
        One of the most interesting factors to me is China's stauch stance against hegemoic activities and this is why I suggest that it will redefine SuperPower. People are not inacurrrate in some of their observations but we have to ask ourselves what these things mean. Many assume they choose the course they take due to lack of information or naive choices.I think this is patently ridiculous. They are steering a different but highly astute course, not by democratic accident but by directed and focused purpose such as the world has not seen before. They did not buy up American debt by good luck but rather by astute choices to own that Superpower on its own terms rather than contend in the arena where where it might lose. China is out to win the game. Not simply any war that might cost more than it is willing to pay.
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          Aug 11 2012: The sky's brown in the cities... at least it was when I visited 5 years ago. It looked exactly like LA in the 90's. Wonderful people, growing economy, love it there, but they're making the same mistakes we all made during development, not steering a highly astute course. They are fixing their mistakes faster than we did, I actually heard Beijing is getting blue again, but their position is overstated dramatically.

          They will be a much nobler superpower, when they become the worlds largest economy, because they have the largest and most talented populace... but it's not going to be any time soon. Canada has a much stronger economy long term than both the US, and China.

          The problem with the Chinese economy, is that it's tied to ours, and we can print money. We can afford a hit in deflation. The US actually needs its dollar to collapse externally in order to relocalize manufacturing and pay down our debts. When that happens, China's manufacturing shrinks, as we are forced to become less lazy. It's a tough road... and again, GDP is nonsense.

          They have 4 times as many people to feed with it. I wish them the best, and they should be 1, by a factor of 4.
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          Aug 14 2012: I totally agree... but China has much bigger issues to deal with, than Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, the UK, Germany, France... and you all have more disposable income, median household income, better education, work less hours, and have more vacation than Americans. Americans have better all of those thing than the Chinese, save vacation.

          I feel it's very interesting that because we have focused on GDP for so long for military/power reasons... None of you are stepping up and saying "I'm number 2 and closing, take my money"... Or better yet "We've been number 1 since Bush took over".

          IF we were looking for a new hegemon, a new leader in global investment, I would suggest that all of you are better choices, than China. Compete it out. Be the first people to responsibly invest and retire in Africa, building a solar company. It seems, at times, like it's been really easy for the rest of the world to just say "Well it's messed up because America isn't doing anything", rather than taking the lead themselves... We're not gonna bomb you : p
        • Aug 14 2012: Debra,

          I agree the Chinese are astute in how they project themselves, but I would be weary of thinking that they do not want to become an hegemon or that, if they become one, they would be a gentle one. You would only have to look at examples of how they rule their own country to see that it would be fairly easy to extrapolate this into authoritarian and unilateral geopolitical actions. China will only answer to China... they're out to make sure this is a reality and when it becomes one, I have a feeling the USA would get the credit that it deserves.

          Cheers
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          Aug 14 2012: I understand where you're coming from... but why do you want that? You're Canadian... There is a global power vacuum... Great opportunities for investment. Why don't you want Canada to take the helm? You're just as multicultural and less violent.

          Also, again, why should anyone be at the helm, it's a planet. No one is smart enough to try and govern the actions of 6 billion people. If people are going to keep trying however, get in the game.
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          Aug 14 2012: Also, my culture does not have its fingers in everyones pie... The 1,000 sociopaths running my country into the ground, have their fingers in everyones pie.
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        Aug 11 2012: You should read what people write before you respond. I said "China is on the rise, and it's a wonderful thing", I also said "China should be the worlds number 1 economy"... because it should.

        That's how naive people are about America... You say I cover my ears and yell the star spangled banner... While I say, "I don't want America to be number one".

        We are the only superpower because we stupidly waste our money on defense, while China does not. We are the only superpower, because you only need one idiot holding a button that can destroy the world.

        China has four times as many people to feed with its GDP, to suggest they're number two and closing is absolute nonsense. Japan is closer. Norway already passed us, they have a much higher GDP per capita. Canada just passed us in the economic stat that matters.

        We are a military superpower, the only one. We are in the top ten economies of the world. I am saying America has you brainwashed because you think GDP, matters more than GDP per capita... That's what America wants you to think, it makes us look number one. We are number one at almost nothing that actually matters, that's how brainwashed you all are.

        We are far better off however, than China.
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          Aug 14 2012: Hi David, I love to read your discenting opinions. I think that there is more than one way of being astute. The Chinese have done more to alter the profile of poverty on this planet than anyone believed was possible. They elevated many from poverty at the expense of the planet just as many of our countries did - they just did it faster and more purposefully. I see the same logic at work as Bjorn Lomberg the economist used in determining global priorities. I think they figured that they would tackle their most pressing problem first and fix what they broke later because there was international will for the second but not for the first priority. Thoughts?
        • Aug 14 2012: David, you seem obsessed with the "one stat that matters" and you are also quick to name call (brainwash anyone?) when someone has a different point of view that does not resonate with what you think is "the truth". I think you oversimplify the subject and then go into diatribes. It makes for a narrow and quite boring debate.
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        Aug 11 2012: I'm not saying "We're number 1". I'm saying "Why do any of you even find us relevant anymore? More importantly why would China be second?"
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          Aug 14 2012: Well - that was not very satisfying, David (and perhaps disingenuous) but I will play along and articulate what you know I think and yet wish to hear.
          America is the come back kid or it should be. If it ever gets its own house in order the rest of the world should quake. If its businesses actually wake up, get their brains back into the well being of their country, realize what a legacy they thrrew away and decide to regroup like there is another inning coming up - you should be amazed at what can happen. I would love to be at the helm of that one actually because it would make the first Rocky movie look like a depressing tale. If your own people stop giving away the farm and realize their fingers are in every pie internationally and they must understand those cultures without asserting superiority.
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        Aug 14 2012: No one can become hegemon... America will take the whole planet with it if China tries a physical takeover. World War is over. I don't care about the stat, you're not reading anything I'm writing, so of course it is a boring debate.
        • Aug 14 2012: Dude, I get it, you, your ideas and your teachings are on a totally different plain than everyone here. Someday I'll understand this profound way of thinking. I just got to get over the fact that I find it inaccurate, boring and reactionary.

          Long live the GDP Per Capita.
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        Aug 15 2012: I don't care about GDP per capita either... Again... Read before you post, it's not hard.

        My point is that education, median household income, vacation, work week, and everything about human lifestyle that matters, is being ignored, so that we can focus on GDP and pretend America is awesome and number one. It's not.

        This has led to the misconception that China is number 2, it's not.
        • Aug 15 2012: It's not my reading, it's your writing, you switch positions more than Mitt Romney, so naturally you think people don't "get" you, because after all you are too profound!. You just reneged the "stat that matters" (your words) and the "media brainwashing" for median household income and vacation, I guess you just realized that the "stat that matters" is not a measure of standard of living. Whatever.

          By the way, America is far from perfect but regardless of this, it is still awesome. You should travel around a bit and see how other people live around the world. It'll give you perspective or you can move to Norway or Canada and be happy there. Again, whatever.
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        Aug 15 2012: My first response to you, very first sentence "I totally agree... but China has much bigger issues to deal with, than Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, the UK, Germany, France... and you all have more disposable income, median household income, better education, work less hours, and have more vacation than Americans."
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      Aug 14 2012: David, who says I want this? For Canada, a nation of 30 million, we have learned to watch the elephants of this world in case they roll over in their sleep and crush us. I just try to wake them up!
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        Aug 15 2012: 30 million people with a much higher standard of living than any of the elephants... I really wouldn't be worried about people who are in more debt than you, and make less money than you... crushing you.