China: the new superpower?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by princealfie, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #1
    Food for lots of thought:

    China's inevitable rise risks conflict: Kissinger

    By Emma Graham-HarrisonTue Apr 3, 5:42 AM ET

    China's rise as a global power is inevitable and could lead to conflict unless Beijing and Washington can cooperate to create a new global order, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said on Tuesday.

    Kissinger first came to Beijing in 1971, on a secret mission to re-establish Sino-U.S. ties after more than two decades of diplomatic silence.

    Since then, economic reforms have turned China into a powerhouse. Beijing is now running a trade surplus with the United States that Washington last year put at $230 billion, and helps keep its rival afloat by buying vast amounts of U.S. debt.

    Washington politicians have also sparred with Beijing over issues related to its rapid development from currency controls to military spending and foreign policy in countries like Sudan.

    But Kissinger said China's growing political and economic prominence was irreversible, and if the two nations could not cooperate it raised the specter of war.

    "When friends and colleagues in the United States talk about the rise of China and the problems it presents to us, I say the rise is inevitable. There is nothing we can do to prevent it, there is nothing we should do to prevent it," Kissinger said.

    "When the centre of gravity moves from one region to another, and another country becomes suddenly very powerful, what history teaches you is that conflict is inevitable. What we have to learn is that cooperation is essential," he said in a lecture to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    Challenges ranging from nuclear proliferation to increasingly tight energy supplies and environmental degradation needed to be tackled together.

    "I look at Sino-American relations as a challenge to build a new international system based on human insight, on cooperative action, to avoid catastrophe," Kissinger said.

    "Those of you who are students and who will be shaping the world should not think of the other country as adversaries."

    Kissinger insisted the world must avoid exoticizing China. When he first came to Beijing, he said, his prepared speech contained a line about reaching a "mysterious country," prompting a challenge by master diplomat Zhou Enlai, then China's premier.

    "Zhou Enlai put up his hand and said 'What is so mysterious about China? There are 900 million of us and it is not mysterious to us.' That was an important lesson," Kissinger said.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    yes, china will regain its superpower status, and in the end the US will be just a blip on a graph in that regard.
     
  3. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #3
    As the U.S. declines in its position in the world, another country will inevitably rise, and it looks like that country is going to be China.
     
  4. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #4
    That made me laugh....
     
  5. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #5
    Yeah we won't be laughing in 5 years however.
     
  6. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #6
    How so? I'm sure the British Empire never thought it would fall apart so quickly either. And mighty Rome slowly dwindled to nothing more than a few islands and one high-walled city before finally falling to the Turks.

    The only nations that have real staying power militarily are China and Japan. The rest of us just come and go compared to them.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #7
    Don't forget that China's growth is not sustainable - their regional influence is here to stay but it is a nation in transition and the future is unclear.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    i'm quite certain that i or my descendents will laugh last. not that heartily, though.

    from wikipedia:
    compare that to some 230 years of the United States of America, less than 100 of which can even be considered "superpower status". that's not even within the margin of error.

    do you really think the US will be a superpower in, say, 1000 years? that would put in on par with the Holy Roman Empire, which can't even touch China in terms of an ongoing world power.
     
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #9
    Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
    Proverbs 16:18
     
  10. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    totally cool
    #10
    5 years? More like 50 - 100 years. Some of the inner prefectures in China still don't have running water.
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    By 2050, according to some economists, the US will be #2 in the world in terms of GDP:

    http://www2.goldmansachs.com/insight/research/reports/99.pdf

    China having passed the US in 2043. Obeygiant is right that there's no way that'll happen in 5 years. But still, GDP in "real" dollars doesn't = global power directly. There are obviously other factors. Also, China may have a larger GDP in 2043, and still have inner prefectures without running water. There are 4 times as many people in China than in the US, so if they reach 25% of our per capita income, they'll have a larger total GDP (totally rough numbers)

    Still, within 10 years, I'd say, the US position in the world will look very different. China will be much more powerful than it is today, as will India. If the European Union progresses, Europe will be reemerging in significance. If not, each European power will continue to fade in significance other than Russia, which will increase relative to today (although Russia will never regain its Soviet glory).

    Those new power centers will mean that the US will have little to say about what goes on in Central Asia, less to say about what goes on in the Middle East and Africa, and even US dominance over the Americas will continue to decline.
     
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #12
    Neither do some reservations in Canada and the US, which is to our shame.

    What's your point?

    Balance of trade and ownership of foreign debt however, does. Remember how the IMF was able to make debtor nations grovel and change internal social and economic policy to avoid bankruptcy? Who owns the US? Who will own it in 5 years?
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    1) the U.S.
    2) the U.S.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17424874/

    I don't disagree that the debt is a problem and that foreign ownership is increasing, but it's not as big a problem as people seem to think.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

    Here's 31 countries that have worse debt than the US. Many are major economies.

     
  14. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    totally cool
    #14
    Well, Canada isn't in danger of being a superpower, unless by proxy.

    The point is that China isn't even close to reaching their full potential.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #15
    China's massive manufacturing base and huge population, coupled with very large scale and short-sighted development projects, means that by 2050 they could be facing environmental crises and power shortages that make ours look like a picnic.
     
  16. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #16
    imo, you guys are thinking too short term. what is it that gives china its ability to remain a major force (with peaks and nulls, of course) over so many thousands of years?

    what is it about their culture?

    what is it about US culture that brought us to our current superpower state? has that culture changed? are we doing things these days to build on that, or are we really just riding out the momentum?
     
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #17
    Of course. And what is the traditional geo-political response to crisis at home coupled with lack of internal resources?

    You exploit someone else. If you are writing the history books, you variously call it colonization, Empire, bringing civilization to the godless natives, assisting development of third world countries, freeing the proletariat from the tyranny of capitalism, creating economic spheres of influence, Lebensraum, Protecting Democracy by Assisting the population in throwing off an Unjust Government, or an alliance of the willing. Whatever. You project power, politically, economically or militarily, to get what you need.
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #18
    I don't think culture is as huge determinate. China had rice, fantastic land, chickens and pigs, silkworms, etc. to become one of the original major powers, and a more durable environment than the original breadbasket.

    The US had incredible land and resources coupled with a revolutionary political and economic system. That gave the US a strong start. Only having to fight one major war (with ourselves) on our own territory launched our position in the 20th century. WWI and WWII destroyed the advantages that former powers had built.
     
  19. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #19
    Which is why China is making major efforts in Africa, for example.
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #20
    It isn't a fait accompli though - and some of what you describe involves more internal social revolution than pressure on other nations.

    I think China is destined to be a world power in the near future - they have already expanded to fill the vaccuum left by the Soviet Union as a supplier of technology to many nations.
     
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #21
    They also have the "one child" demographic nightmare ahead of them along with a growing gender imbalance.

    Nobody's brought up the fact that the Chinese are too busy pursuing the mighty remnibi to think about freedom of the press or democratic processes. Something tells me it won't be long before they do. Social unrest could upset the cart very easily.
     
  22. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    totally cool
    #22
  23. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #23
    How so? They still have a positive population growth rate. The one child policy doesn't apply to the whole population.
     
  24. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #24
    btw, it's not necessary for the US to collapse in order for china to become a superpower. nor is the US wane dependent upon china stepping up, we're doing it all to ourselves.

    because of stuff like this:
    we're gonna stupid our way into obscurity.
     
  25. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #25
    China has been their worst enemy over the centuries. Internal greed and in-fighting have prevented them from ever uniting their vast population. Like another poster wrote, they are an ancient culture. They do not measure time in the same frantic way we do in western culture, especially the US.

    I remember in history, we looked at empires in the stages of rise, golden age, and fall. I do not recall any that repeated this sequence. China has many things going for it right now, but they seem to be economic and non-military. They are also constipated by an incredibly inept bureaucracy.
     

Share This Page