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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 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.

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