“China is not a superpower, nor will it ever seek to be one. If one day China should change its color and turn into a superpower, if it too play should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to its bullying, aggression, exploitation’s, the people of the world should . . . expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it. ” Deng Xiaoping, speech at the UN General Assembly, April 1974 Emergence of China as a Global Power.
To offer an explanation of POWERS, two dimensions: aggregated national power and planetary reach. Aggregated national power takes into consideration geographic position; financial power; industrial output; military might (i. e. ‘power projection’ and/or ability of defense); alliance membership; educational attainment; cultural attraction; population size; historical reputation, militarily, politically and economically; government capacity and efficiency; national cohesion; and potential over the next ten years.
Meanwhile, planetary reach is based on five categories: 1. Superpower – a country with systemic power, in almost every continent, including a top-tier industrial economy, a comprehensive global military footprint (or ability to defend itself against any other power) and enormous cultural attraction; 2. Potential superpower – a country (or union) with the potential to reach the status of a superpower within the next decade, conditional on various political and economic reforms;
3. Great power (global) – a country lacking the heft or comprehensive attributes of a superpower, but still with a wide footprint in all or most geographic regions, including: Africa, North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Australasia; 4. Great power (regional) – a country lacking the comprehensive attributes of a superpower, or even the reach of a global power, but with a strong and highly concentrated regional footprint, perhaps extending to the nearest zones of adjacent continents; 5.
Middle power – a country with significant influence in its local vicinage, perhaps courted by superior powers due to its regional importance or reputation. China’s rapid ascent during the 2000s as a potential superpower is well-known, as to some extent is Russia’s resurgence as a regional power and India’s emergence economically, politically and militarily. * What does it take to be a global power in today’s world? The term global power is a more contemporary term for great power, as traditionally employed in the International Relations (IR) literature, and a better fit for 21st century conditions as superpower.
Superpower was the creation of the politics of 20th century nuclear weapons technology, even though the coining of the term in 1944 did not take the nuclear dimension into account but rather the global reach of a nation. As the Cold War became more entrenched, that which distinguished a nuclear superpower from a 19th century great power was possession of the power of ultimate destruction and the strategic doctrine of nuclear deterrence that emerged from it. The processes of globalization that characterize the present century mean that ‘great’ power needs more than nuclear superpower capability.
Indeed, it needs to broaden out to the more traditional great power attributes of maintaining sufficient diplomatic, economic, and military resources for preserving the international order in which great powers presume themselves to be the main actors. Beyond being merely ‘great’, or only ‘super’, they must now be ‘global’ and attain transnational competencies that permit interaction with non-state actors, regional forums and the instruments and institutions of global governance.
In short, a global power needs to promote international order; possess formidable military capability and the communicated will to use it; and engage productively in transnational projects such as global justice, as well as deal effectively with transnational threats such as militant religious extremists. Such is the meaning behind the term global power as used in the present discussion. Its meaning will be further elaborated in the next section on China’s capacity to match these criteria of not only being (a) A great power in the traditional sense and (b) a militarily outstanding one, but also (c) a transnational performer.
* Does China fulfill the criteria? Does it affect the criteria? (a) Is China a great power in helping to maintain the world order? A great power, according to Hedley Bull’s classic 1977 work, The Anarchical Society, belongs to a society of states that maintains a balance-of-power to prevent a global dictatorship emerging through imperial conquest. Besides the balancing-of-power in maintaining this socially constructed system, great powers also engage in the order preserving mechanisms of international law, diplomacy, concerting (or joint management of the system), and war when it acts to preserve (or defend) the system rather than destroy it.
As a member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) belongs to the elite club of recognized great powers. It is involved in more than 1000 international governmental organizations that deal with issues ranging from drug trafficking to the environment; and it is an ardent supporter of the United Nations and international law, warning against the exercise of military power when peaceful methods of diplomacy ought to be given greater scope for realization.
This was especially notable with regard to China’s reaction to American military interventions in the post-Cold War era, indicating China’s understanding of the need for great powers to critique one another in the interests of a balanced state system. Even before its economic rise and military modernization, China was a vocal critic of superpower conduct in world affairs.
Indeed, China’s role during the Cold War was one of balance in the strategic triangle (comprising the US, Soviet Union and PRC), whereby China pursued a policy of ‘leaning to one side’ (either the Soviet Union or the United States) from within a posture of strategic independence. Even with the collapse of the Cold War structure, and the clear military and economic superiority that now rests with the remaining superpower, the United States still supports the prevailing state system and is sensitive to balance-of-power as well as concerting behaviour. Thus China may continue to exercise its role of superpower critic as the need arises.
China is not alone in its balancing efforts, as the failure of the US to gain UN support for its war on Iraq in 2003 demonstrated. In this sense, the European Union (EU) and its member states, Russia and others act as both a concerting and balancing force. China, too, acted in concert with the US in its campaign against state-defying terrorism. But alongside other states, including France, Germany, Russia, and Turkey, it opposed the US war on Iraq. Even though the US went ahead regardless, it still returned to the UN to gain a mandate to continue in the aftermath of the war and to involve other nations.
This indicates that the American Hegemon is aware of the need to maintain its power through legitimacy, as well as reducing its foreign policy costs in material terms, in the rate of casualties, and hence in domestic public opinion terms. Another ‘Vietnam’ – both at home and abroad – would not be countenanced by the American public. Unlike the characteristically unipolar structure of the state system over which Washington presides coupled with US unilateralist management tendencies, China has been a strong advocate of multipolarity and, of late, multilateralism.
This would suit China in view of its subordinate power status in comparison to the US; a view which would suggest to some observers that if China surpasses the US and becomes the dominant state, it would behave in a similar fashion to the US. This is the ‘strong states cast long shadows’ proposition. Such a proposition supports the China threat thesis if (a) one is opposed to the emergence of an Oriental hegemonic power in the state system preferring an Occidental one or (b) if one is opposed to unipolarity, preferring a closer semblance of balance-of power in bipolarity or multipolarity.
The first pertains to cultural affiliations and Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis; the second has an aversion to hegemonic systems. In light of increasing opposition to US hegemonic leadership in the aftermath of the Iraq war, China may garner some support for its rise as a serious balancer to the US. However, the US would need to entrench itself in world-defying, self-aggrandizing behavior to warrant such an adversarial image. Indeed, the US would need to lose its hegemonic legitimacy and China to gain it. * Abstract:
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP and by purchasing power parity after the United States. It is the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10% over the past 30 years. China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world. On a per capita income basis, China ranked 90th by nominal GDP and 91st by GDP (PPP) in 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The provinces in the coastal regions of China tend to be more industrialized, while regions in the hinterland are less developed.
As China’s economic importance has grown, so has attention to the structure and health of the economy. As the Chinese economy is internationalized, so does the standardized economic forecast officially launched in China by Purchasing Managers Index in 2005. Most economic growth of China is created from Special Economic Zones of the People’s Republic of China. * A Quick overview of china’s profile: * Full name: People’s Republic of China * Population: 1. 35 billion (UN, 2011) * Capital: Beijing * Largest city: Shanghai * Area: 9. 6 million sq. km (3. 7 million sq. miles) * Major language: Mandarin Chinese
* Major religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism * Life expectancy: 72 years (men), 76 years (women) (UN) * Monetary unit: 1 Rimini (Yuan) (Y) = 10 Jiao = 100 fen; * Main exports: Manufactured goods, including textiles, garments, electronics, arms * GNI per capita: US $4,940 (World Bank, 2011) * Internet domain: . cu * International dialing code: +86 * President: Hu Jintao * Extract: China provides an alternative to the US modernization model based on liberal democracy by having incorporated capitalism into a socialist policy. It has still to present an acceptable
human rights face to the world, but this may be managed through adoption of a contemporary Confucian humanism. Just as Marxism was modified with the ‘Chinese characteristic’ of Maoism (peasants as the vanguard of the revolution), so too democracy and human rights are likely to take on a Confucian character. * History: 1. The Silk Road – History of the Ancient Chinese Trade Route: China is a country with a long and rich history and ancient civilization. Chinese civilization began with the legendary sage-emperors Huang Di and Yan Di in the area of the Yellow River Basin.
After centuries, the two tribes gradually merged into one by the time of the Xia Dynasty. Chinese people usually regard themselves as the descendants of Yan and Huang or call themselves Hua Xia People or Hua People. It was these people who established a state in the region of the Yellow River Basin – which was believed to be the center of the world, so the state was named “Middle Kingdom”. The history of China is generally told from the Xia Dynasty, which began in the 21st century B. C. and was followed by various dynasties until 1912 when Dr. Sun Yat-sen was proclaimed the provisional president of the Republic of China.
2. The Opium Wars (1846 – 1842 and 1856 – 1860 A. D. ) The Opium Wars (or Sino-British Opium War) was the turning point for China to reform into a semi-colonial and semi-feudalist country. The first War started in 1840 when the British smuggled opium from British India into China and the Qing government exerted its efforts to enforce drug laws. The second Opium War erupted in 1856 when the Qing Court rejected the unreasonable demands from Britain, France, Russia and the USA, who had formed as an alliance and conspired the invasion. 3. Republic of China (1912 – 1949 A. D. )
Guided by the Three Principles of the People, “nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood”, Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) led the Chinese people to overthrow the Qing Dynasty through the renowned 1911 Revolution and gave birth to the Republic of China. This ended the feudal monarchy rule in China, which had lasted for more than 2,000 years. 4. Emergence of New China (1949 -) On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China was officially established with the famous declaration by Chairman Mao Zedong at Beijings’ Tian’anmen Square, “The Chinese people have ever since stood up”.
Beijing is the capital of New China and the Chinese people entered a new modern age. * Population of China: China’s population of 1. 3 billion renders it the most populous nation on earth, accounting for a fifth of the world’s population; while at almost 10 million square kilometers it is the third largest country after Russia and Canada. Its 2. 25 million troops form the world’s largest armed force. China’s reputation as a major military power is crowned by the possession of nuclear weapons that are capable of all ranges and delivery modes.
Economically, it is the world’s fourth largest trading nation, having risen from 32nd in 1978 and 10th in 1997. Its GDP at 13% of world output (at purchasing power parity) is second to the US. China, inheritor of 5,000 years of civilization, is also the world’s fastest developing economy in the present age, having grown an average of 9. 5% annually for the past 20 years. Such high growth rates, low labour costs and a huge emerging market have attracted the world’s highest levels of foreign direct investment.
Since China joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001, it has also become one of the most open economies in the developing world, with average tariffs dropping from 41% in 1992 to 6% after accession to WTO. * Languages: The official language of China is standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, which means standard speech, based on the Beijing dialect). Other major dialects are Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka (Kejia). Because of the many ethnic groups in China, numerous minority languages also are spoken.
* Communist rule over a Market Economy All of this economic activity is occurring under a communist party government which, since the introduction of market reforms in 1978, operates a system it describes as ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’. These ‘Chinese characteristics’ are a common theme in the country’s adaptation to the modern world. After China was rendered the ‘sick man of Asia’ as a result of European and Japanese imperial aggression, revolutionary forces turned to the then modernizing philosophy of Marxism to revive their nation.
A poor match for the Marxist requirement that a state should industrialized before being ripe for revolution, agrarian China pursued a different path under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Chinese communism took on ‘Chinese characteristics’, allowing the peasants rather than the proletariat to become the vanguard of the revolution in the early 20th century. The formula succeeded in bringing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule and releasing China from internal chaos and a ‘century of humiliation’, as the Chinese often express it.
After Mao’s death in 1976 it became apparent that China needed not only an able new leader but a new formula for strengthening itself for the modern world. The command economy was not releasing China’s huge potential for growth and power but had kept it backward in comparison to Japan and other developed economies. The stage was set for veteran politician Deng Xiaoping to rise to the top and implement his ideas of reform. It was under Deng’s leadership that China decoupled the economy from politics, allowing a command economy to transform into a market-based one.
Politics, however, remained under the tight control of the CCP, as the crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student uprising demonstrated. The failure of democracy to take root in China did not adversely affect China’s economic growth. Thus, just as Chairman Mao could proclaim in 1949 that China had stood up, so too market forces – or capitalism – allowed communist China to rehabilitate itself to the point where the rise of China is becoming a serious issue of consideration for 21st century international relations.
After more than a quarter century of reform and opening to the outside world, by 2005 China’s economy had become the second largest in the world after the United States when measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. The government has a goal of quadrupling the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020 and more than doubling the per capita GDP. Central planning has been curtailed, and widespread market economy mechanisms and a reduced government role have prevailed since 1978. The government fosters a dual economic structure that has evolved from a socialist, centrally planned economy to a socialist market economic
system, or a “market economy with socialist characteristics. ” Industry is marked by increasing technological advancements and productivity. People’s communes were eliminated by 1984—after more than 25 years—and the system of township-collective-household production was introduced to the agricultural sector. Private ownership of production assets is legal, although some nonagricultural and industrial facilities are still state-owned and centrally planned. Restraints on foreign trade were relaxed when China acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Joint ventures are encouraged, especially in the coastal special economic zones and open coastal cities. A sign of the affluence that the reformed economy has brought to China might be seen in the number of its millionaires (measured in U. S. dollars): a reported 236,000 millionaires in 2004, an increase of 12 percent over two years earlier. Chinese officials cite two major trends that have an effect on China’s market economy and future development: world multipolarization and regional integration.
In relation to these trends, they foresee the roles of China and the United States in world affairs and with one another as very important. Despite successes, China’s leaders face a variety of challenges to the nation’s future economic development. They have to maintain a high growth rate, deal effectively with the rural workforce, improve the financial system, continue to reform the state-owned enterprises, foster the productive private sector, establish a social security system, improve scientific and educational development, promote better international cooperation, and change the role of the government in the economic system.
Despite constraints the international market has placed on China, it nevertheless became the world’s third largest trading nation in 2004 after only the United States and Germany. The Fifth Plenum of the Sixteenth CCP Central Committee took place in October 2005. The Fifth Plenum approved the new Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006–10), which emphasizes a shift from extensive to intensive growth in order to meet demands for improved economic returns; the conservation of resources to include a 20-percent reduction in energy consumption by 2010; and an effort to raise profitability.
Better coordination of urban and rural development and of development between nearby regions also is emphasized in the new plan. * Religions in China: China is a country with a great diversity of religious beliefs. The main religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Citizens of China may freely choose and express their religious beliefs, and make clear their religious affiliations. According to incomplete statistics, there are over 100 million followers of various religious faiths, more than 85,000 sites for religious activities, some 300,000 clergy and over 3,000 religious organizations throughout China.
In addition, there are 74 religious schools and colleges run by religious organizations for training clerical personnel. * Buddhism has a history of 2,000 years in China. Currently China has 13,000-some Buddhist temples and about 200,000 Buddhist monks and nuns. Among them are 120,000 lamas and nuns, more than 1,700 Living Buddha, and 3,000-some temples of Tibetan Buddhism and nearly 10,000 Bhiksu and senior monks and more than 1,600 temples of Pali Buddhism. * Taoism, native to China, has a history of more than 1,700 years. China now has over 1,500 Taoist temples and more than 25,000 Taoist priests and nuns.
* Islam was introduced into China in the seventh century. Nowadays in China there are ten national minorities, including the Hui and Uygur, with a total population of 18 million, whose faith is Islam. Their 30,000-odd mosques are served by 40,000 Imams and Akhunds. * Catholicism was introduced into China intermittently in the seventh century, but it had not spread widely until after the Opium War in 1840. At present, China has four million Catholics, 4,000 clergy and more than 4,600 churches and meeting houses. * Protestantism was first brought to China in the early 19th century and spread widely after the Opium War.
There are about 10 million Protestants, more than 18,000 clergy, more than 12,000 churches and 25,000-some meeting places throughout China. * History and Culture Specifically, the question is whether China will rise to become once again a major political, military and economic power, just as it had been during its Middle Kingdom period of tribute-trade relations in the traditional East Asian world order. It was a world which came to an end after two millennia as a result of dynastic China’s gradual weakening, lack of technological innovation and finally defeat in the Anglo-Chinese (or ‘Opium’) wars of the 19th century.
As The Economist has observed: ‘In fact, China was the largest economy for much of recorded history . . . [and in] 1820 it still accounted for 30% of world GDP. ‘ Historian Arnold Toynbee marveled at China’s record as a force for stability, commenting that it brought to its world ‘long-lasting unity and peace’; while Mark Borthwick cites China’s enormity as significant in its own right for the Middle Kingdom having been a center for gravity in world affairs: ‘The largest political unit of Asia has been and remains China,’ he notes. ‘Its combined population and physical domain have not been equaled by any other nation.
Add to this impressive physical dimension the activating spirit of civilizational power, and it is not difficult to see why China was able to exercise a stabilizing effect through the soft power of attraction, which was more reliable and hence sustainable than the hard power of threat and physical coercion. Indeed, China has been well equipped with the philosophical resources for socially constructing peace through Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. In all, the rise of China could represent an alternative to American global dominance.
Whether this alternative is a form of complementary balance like the Chinese yin-yang symbol, or a dangerous competition for global hegemony, has remained a matter of debate. The yin-yang perspective is not without persuasion, though there are problems still complicating the hoped for harmony. Perhaps greatest amongst them is the problem not of physical power but the soft power of values: how attractive is a China that lost Confucianism to Communism, and is still trying to find its way back again to Confucian humanism without sacrificing the politics of control.
Domestically, too, there are costs in China’s economic success with the growing divide between the wealthy coastal region and the poorer interior. Internal weakness does not bode well for external resilience, as China’s history has shown. Hence China’s rise as a global power -while probable given its present trajectory of growth -must still navigate a minefield of hazards and uncertainties. To understand this phenomenon of the emergence of China, it is important to establish what it takes to be a global power in the contemporary world. * Tourism in China
Tourism in China has greatly expanded over the last few decades since the beginning of reform and opening. The emergence of a newly rich middle class and an easing of restrictions on movement by the Chinese authorities are both fueling this travel boom. China has become one of the world’s most-watched and hottest inbound and outbound tourist markets. The world is on the cusp of a sustained Chinese tourism boom. China is the third most visited country in the world. The number of overseas tourists was 55. 98 million in 2010. Foreign exchange income was 45. 8 billion U.
S. dollars, the world’s fourth largest in 2010. The number of domestic tourist visits totaled 1. 61 billion, with a total income of 777. 1 billion Yuan. According to the WTO, in 2020, China will become the largest tourist country and among the largest for overseas travel. In terms of total outbound travel spending, China is expected to be the fastest growing in the world from 2006 to 2015, jumping into the number two slot for total travel spending by 2015. China’s tourism revenue reached $185 billion in 2009 * Government Budget: The state budget for 2004 was US$330.
6 billion in revenue and US$356. 8 billion in expenditures. In the revenue column, 95. 5 percent was from taxes and tariffs, 54. 9 percent of which was collected by the central government and 45 percent by local authorities. The expenditures were for culture, education, science, and health care (18 percent); capital construction (12 percent); administration (14 percent); national defense (7. 7 percent); agriculture, forestry, and water conservancy (5. 9 percent); subsidies to compensate for price increases (2. 7 percent); pensions and social welfare (1.
9 percent); promotion of innovation, science, and technology (4. 3 percent); operating expenses of industry, transport, and commerce (1. 2 percent); geological prospecting (0. 4 percent), and other (31. 9 percent). The overall budget deficit in 2004 was approximately US$26 billion, an amount equivalent to about 1. 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). * Inflation: China’s annual rate of inflation averaged 6 percent per year during the 1990–2002 period. Although consumer prices declined by 0. 8 percent in 2002, they increased by 1. 2 percent in 2003.
China’s estimated inflation rate in 2005 was 1. 8 percent. * Education in China: The Chinese tend to favor the American education system. NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote about this “paradox: Chinese themselves are far less impressed by their school system. Almost every time I try to interview a Chinese about the system here, I hear grousing rather than praise. Many Chinese complain scathingly that their system kills independent thought and creativity, and they envy the American system for nurturing self-reliance — and for trying to make learning exciting and not just a chore.
” [The New York Times “China’s Winning Schools? ” Jan. 15, 2011] China’s literacy rate: (age 15+ who can read and write) total population: 91. 6% male: 95. 7% female: 87. 6% School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): male: 11 years female: 12 years (2009) Education expenditures: 1. 9% of GDP Global rank: #172 [Source: CIA World Fact book, accessed 2011] * Human rights Human rights campaigners continue to criticize China for executing hundreds of people every year and for failing to stop torture.
The country is keen to stamp down on what it sees as dissent among its ethnic minorities, including Muslim Uighurs in the north-west. The authorities have targeted the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which they designate an “evil cult”. Chinese rule over Tibet is controversial. Human rights groups accuse the authorities of the systematic destruction of Tibetan Buddhist culture and the persecution of monks loyal to the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who is campaigning for autonomy within China.
* The Pursuit of Great Power Legitimacy It is unlikely the US will persist in such a self-destructive path of loss of legitimacy but it is possible that China will capitalize on it tactically in order to make strategic gains in its own legitimacy enhancement. To gain legitimacy of the order exercised by the US, there would need to be an acceptance of an Oriental superpower, the issue of dissent in its various forms (Tibet.
Xinjiang, Taiwan, Democracy, human rights) would need to be addressed, China’s championing of international law and diplomacy would need to be maintained and visibly supported, as would a consultative management style global affairs. And this is only in the political field. There is economic and military strength to consider too. However, it is in the political field that legitimacy comes to the fore; such legitimacy equates with ‘honor’ in ancient Greek or Occidental thought and ‘virtue’ in the classical Chinese or Oriental equivalent.
Legitimacy, honors and virtue are indeed precious moral resources for a great power to cultivate and they apply to aspiring states across the East-West civilizational spectrum. Thus the acquisition of legitimacy may overcome ‘clash of civilizations’ objections, particularly if deployed along multilateralism rather than unilateralist lines. This, China appears to be doing. Ironically, it was China who acted as an imperial power in its hierarchical international tribute relations until the 19th century, and the United States that disdains imperial ambitions in its ‘freedom and democracy’ rhetoric.
China’s consolidation of its role as a great power in a sovereign state system was evident in its socialist state persona when it emphasized the equality of states principle, criticized the superpowers for putting their own strategic competition ahead of global welfare, safety and justice and, since the Cold War’s end, its assiduous cultivation of diplomatic relations with a host of nations and regions. Of interest are its more positive relations with traditional rivals Russia and India.
With the former it is engaged bilaterally in a ‘strategic partnership’ that has developed into a Treaty on Good Neighborly Friendship and Cooperation (2001), and the establishment of a mechanism of bilateral security consultations (2005) inclusive of joint military exercises – the first being planned for August 2005, as well