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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 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.

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