In 1991, the Soviet Union, America’s chief rival for the preceding fifty years, collapsed and its empire ceased functioning on the world stage. For nearly two decades afterwards America experienced the privilege of functioning in the international world as a unipolar power, one in which it is the only superpower acting in geopolitics. However, during this period of time a new potential rival was gaining strength in the world, that rival is the People’s Republic of China. According to Doug Bandow, author of “China Rising: The Next Global Superpower” says, “Rapid economic growth, global trading ties, and expanding diplomatic cooperation have pushed China to the first rank of nations.” Since the 1970s China has made significant gains in regards to it gaining prescience among the developed nations of the world and especially their economies. There are several factors that will contribute to China becoming a superpower and factors that will hinder its rise.
The first factor that is driving China towards superpower status is globalization. Everyone in America has witnessed the ever growing prevalence of products made in China within many of our major retail giants. One retail giant, Wal-mart, has a massive trading policy with the Chinese government. According to Jiang Jingling, Author of “Wal-mart’s Inventory of Stock Produced in China to reach $18 Billion.” Says, “More than seventy-percent of commodities sold in Wal-mart are made in China.” Every time an American consumer ventures into Wal-mart, or any other major retail store, and buys products from that business, they are helping the economy of China grow. America’s spending habits and China openness towards Multinational Corporations have helped these businesses to flood their shelves with products made in Chinese factories and this has helped China gain a massive export based economy that is on tract to produce consumer goods for the entire planet.
The second factor that is driving China towards superpower status is currency manipulation. Currency manipulation is to artificially inflate or deflate a one currency against another currency and China has been doing this for years now and have benefited from it. According to Don Lee, author of “China Denies Charges of Currency Manipulation” says, “In written comments to the Senate Finance Committee last week, Geithner buttressed complaints that the Chinese kept the value of their currency artificially low, making their exports cheaper in the U.S. and giving them a bigger trade surplus.” The benefits of currency manipulation is that they can make more money from their exports and redistribute that money inwards to grow their domestic economy in regards to infrastructure, personal saving accounts, etc.
The Third factor that is driving China towards superpower status is nationalism. Nationalism is loyalty to ones collective or nation. According to Professor Pranab Bardhan, author of “China Ascent” says, “As nationalism has replaced socialism as the social glue in this vast country, old memories of humiliation at foreign hands and current pride in phenomenal economic success generate popular resentment at what looks like external attempts to rain on the parade of China’s glorious Olympic moment.” Basically, China has had its sovereignty violated numerous times in the 19th and 20th century by foreign nations and by becoming a superpower it will be able to prevent this from happening again the future by staving off violators of its sovereignty.
A fourth and final factor that is driving China towards super power status is the need for resources. Two continents in particular are key places where an abundant source of minerals and petroleum can be found for China to exploit; those continents are South America and Africa. In Latin America, China has just surpassed the US as Brazil’s largest trading partner. China has been making massive amounts of financial and infrastructure investments in many South American countries along with many contracts that give Chinese corporations free reign and are in the midst of creating massive trading hubs on the continent. According to Tyler Bridges, author of “China’s Big Move into Latin America” states, “Beijing’s main interest in Latin America has been guaranteeing access to the region’s raw materials – principally oil, iron ore, soybeans, and copper – to fuel its continued rapid growth.” China needs these materials to help keep its growing manufacturing base going and to maintain its own economic prosperity. In order to maintain this inflow of need resources, the Chinese government has been in the business of brokering alliances with the leaders of each country, regardless of their political standing in the world (I.e. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela). Another continent that is seeing a significant Chinese hunt for resources is Africa. Like Latin America, China is using its economic clout to bolster financial alliances via monetary investments in Africa. According to Jacques DeLisle, author of “Into Africa: China’s Quest for Resources and Influence,” says, “Major state-owned and state-linked Chinese companies are already on the ground or soon will be, largely through investments to develop Sudanese oil, Zambian copper, and other African resources for export.” The government of China uses aid as a carrot on a stick to needy countries in order to bribe them into allowing them open access to the large resource reserve within the African lands. China is also willing to deal with both democratic and dictatorial countries to get what they want and turn the other cheeck in regards to human rights violations in the countries they do business with. However, it was the need domestic need for energy resources and quest for new markets that helped propel the Western countries to super power status.
One factor that will hinder China from becoming a super power is its massive wealth disparity. Despite its large economic growth and strength in the last couple of decades, there has been a growing wealth gap between the urban citizens and the rural inhabitants of the country. According to Ian T. Brown and Tao Wu, authors of “Chinese Economy Climbs, but Struggles to Spread Wealth,” says, “Education and healthcare systems are less available and of poorer quality, leading millions of rural Chinese to relocate to the city in search of better public services and economic opportunity.” The economic growth has raised as many as three-hundred million Chinese citizens into their equivalent of a middle class, but there is still large numbers of poor rural citizens who are left to play catch up with their higher income countrymen.
Another factor that will hinder China from becoming a super power is the consequences of its one-child policy. In 1978 the Chinese government introduced the one-child policy in an attempt to decelerate population growth. The policy prevented an estimated 400 million births and lowered the fertility rate from five to two; however, this policy has also contributed to a growing demographic nightmare within the population of China. A BBC News Report titled “has China’s one-child policy worked?” Claims: “This will result in an increasing proportion of older people, a smaller workforce to look after them and a disproportionate number of boys to girls. “ Although China has a one billion plus population, its population will age eventually and with fewer births to take their place of the aged workers productivity will falter and so will its status as an economic super power. Secondly, the disproportionate number of boys to girls will have several consequences on China. First, is replenishing the aging population. Second, is internal strife over the scarcity of women, of which will possibly cause major societal problems for the government. Lastly, the Aging population will place a large strain on the few youth in the workplace. Unless China finds a way to solve this problem; they will not become a superpower via demographics.
(China adopted a 2 child policy in 2009 or so. They are working on this problem and the demographic decline could be slowed or reversed in lets say 30-50 years. I think a reverse is not possible because urban populations at some point do no longer rise. More men will die than will be born in them. A Chicago-like problem or like India’s Kerala where this is common. Should more farmers become problems like India’s suicide plagued farmers (who are terrorized by an American conglomerate) then this will end in a nightmare. The cities only survive because of migration from the countryside or like in the United states by immigration. That’s why the AMM (American Mass Media) and clueless politicians sell ‘diversity’ to you. Remember Hitler? He was against this growth model because it will end in suicide for the natives. Remember the Spanish Conquistadors? The conquerors of the land mass called Mexico? The Spaniards mixed with the native peoples. Today there are no Spaniards in Mexico and the natives are a minority. Just a new race of Mensch has been bred (Which is now conquering the United States.) People who know history like the so-called supremacists are right if you ask me. Expansionist Race-Nationalsim, not the fake nationalism in America (Anglo-American Neo-Liberalism) based on artificially states and immigration, will save China. Countries with uncontrolled immigration will end like the Maya conquered by the Spaniards. Countries like Vietnam, Burma etc. have rising populations and could be useful for China in the future. More useful than the Arab and Turk immigration in Europe and America. The Arabs and Turks (Muslims generally) are expansionist races and are conquering the declining Anglo-Germanic West. The Anglo-Germanic race was expansionist until 1945. Since then our race expansionism fell of a cliff. Our civilization is dying and others are conquering us. Corporatocracy-Liberalism (which needs cheap aliens) must be defeated or it will be our demise in the long-run. Don’t count on China’s fast decline. The Japanese, Vietnamese, Burmese etc. are more Chinese than the Arabs, Turks, Blacks are Anglo-Germanic. The pool of people seems to be endless for China. –Admin)
A third factor that will hinder China from becoming a super power is its effect on the environment. Although globalization has helped China’s economy grow, it has had negative effects on its environment. According to Carin Zississ, author of “China’s Environmental Crisis,” says, “About one-third of China’s population lacks access to clean drinking water. Its per-capita water supply falls at around a quarter of the global average. Some 70 percent of the country’s rivers and lakes are polluted, with roughly two hundred million tons of sewage and industrial waste pouring into Chinese waterways in 2004.” However, water quality is not the only environmental problem China faces. Desertification and soil degradation brought on by overgrazing and cultivating of farmland has created a massive dustbowl that engulfs many population centers, icluding the capitol city, Beijing. Massive amounts of green house gas emissions, mainly from the burning of coal and automobile emissions, which creates acid rain. Air quality stands out among the most prevalent environmental hazard in the country. On an average day, the smog created by industrial pollutants bloats out the sun with a thick, gray haze that fills the skies of many cities in the North. With over a billion people, in order to gain the amount of prosperity that the developed world now enjoys, China would have to further depredate its environment even further, which is something that is not feasible because every empire that has over burdened their surrounding environments has fallen.
The fourth and final factor that will hinder China from becoming a super power is its massive dependence on energy. According to David Zweig and Bi Jianhai, authors of “China’s Global Hunt for Energy,” says, “An unprecedented need for resources is now driving China’s foreign policy. A booming domestic economy, rapid urbanization, increased export processing, and the Chinese people’s voracious appetite for cars are increasing the country’s demand for oil and natural gas, industrial and construction materials, foreign capital and technology. Twenty years ago, China was East Asia’s largest oil exporter. Now it is the world’s second-largest importer; last year, it alone accounted for 31 percent of global growth in oil demand.” China is so dependant on imported resources that if their delivery to the mainland China were to be disrupted many issues would surface. Resources such as fossil fuels and metals are becoming finite and harder to procure for the global economy. As growth continues, so will its hunger for resources. This puts China in a precarious situation, one in which it must choose between acquiring needed resources to maintain economic growth, or slip back into decline. Zweig and Jianhai go on to say, “Beijing’s access to foreign resources is necessary both for continued economic growth and, because growth is the cornerstone of China’s social stability, for the survival of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).” China’s thirst for petroleum and other form of energy is putting it on track to surpass the US as the world’s largest oil importer. The CCP knows that to stay in power it must continue prosperity, and in that very same prosperity depends on easy access to energy resources. However, China is attempting to take measures to curtail their dependency on foreign energy, but will it be enough to help them will have to wait to be seen in the future.
In conclusion, despite China’s economic growth, it still remains a very poor country marred by wealth disparity, environmental hazards and many other problems. However, China does stand out as an example to the developing world on how to rise up to become a developed nation. If a people aspire to help their nation achieve greatness, then there really is not any thing that can be done to prevent it, regardless of what kind of hindrances it might encounter while achieving that goal. China was a significant economic center for the western hemisphere during the last millennium and it may seem that it play the same role for the millennium that is just starting.
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Bardhan, Pranab. “China Ascendant – Part II.” Global Politician. 4 Apr. 2008 http://www.globalpolitician.com/24618-china
Bridges, Tyler. “China’s big move into Latin America.” The Christian Science Monitor. 12 July 2009 http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0712/p06s10-woam.html
Brown T., Ian and Tao Wu. “Chinese Economy Climbs, but Struggles to Spread Wealth” Gallup 21 May 2009 http://www.gallup.com/poll/118567/Chinese-Economy-Climbs-Struggles-Spread-Wealth.aspx
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