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Is China Overtaking USA As Major Superpower?  
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1985 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3728 times:

The debate is open.
From one side, Charles Dumas ( co-writer of "The American Phoenix" ) says China's growth is not sustainable and will fade rapidly in the short-mid term, leaving the USA alone in the race for who is the biggest Superpower in the world.
From the other side, Arvind Subraminian, from the Peterson Institute of Washington ( and author of "Eclipse: Living in the shadow of Chinese economic dominance" ), says the population, the domestic growth and the financial capacity will allow China to "defeat" the USA in this race.

Your Bets ?


Rgds.
G.


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6539 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3708 times:

Superpowers don't exist anymore, in my opinion. During the cold war, most countries would align themselves with either the US or the USSR, and to me, that's what made those superpowers. Now everybody smiles and does business with everybody, even old arch enemies, and there is no need for smaller countries to align themselves.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3740 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3701 times:

The main issues that await China are the need to secure enough resources to feed and power their society, the pear shaped age pyramid and the increasingly fragile political system. All that growth in such a vast and populated country is hard to manage, but the government seems to be making a lot of effort to plan for the future, contrary to what happened in India where growth has been hampered by the lack of proper infrastructure.

On the other hand, I don't see any bright outlook for any Western nation or group thereof. We've been living above our means for decades now. It'll get worse before it gets better.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2376 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3689 times:

I don't think so. China's technology still lacks behind. A big army is not enough.

User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7832 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3644 times:

I could care less who's bigger... I just want a vibrant US economy even if it's not #1...

In many regards, very important ones IMO, the US is far from #1...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3355 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3616 times:

In time this could change but China is good now at making things and not good at inventing.
They still lack the ability to innovate and create things like America has done over the last 100 years to make them the #1 economy. With China investing heavily in education and the US appearing to cut it in some areas this could change in a generation.

Also I think that the fact that it is not a democratic state that values the individual over the collective means it has what I think is a disadvantage. The fact that the US and the west value the individual means there are more entrepreneurs and the best way to grow an economy long term is to create a job and not find one.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2057 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3612 times:

China will be the largest economy before too long - they've got to be, with four times as many people as the United States. If they won't, they're really doing something wrong.

As to whether that's going to make them a superpower.... that's hard to say. I think the military aspect has always been overestimated. A superpower isn't so powerful because it's got all those weapons and soldiers, but because it's got something to give to the world - a dream, a promise, an inspiration. "Be like us, and you will be better off". That's the main drawer, the reason why America became so amazingly powerful in the 20th century. At the moment, I see no "Chinese dream", I don't see what China has to offer to the world except more of the same. "The same but better" is their current motto, and that's not really superpower material. Admittedly they do have something to offer to other countries in the region, and to African nations, which is "don't listed to the West and their crooked morals, do it the Chinese way, we're not going to bang on about human rights". But that offer doesn't seem very enticing to any Western nation.

In other words, I'm on the fence here - I'd say it's likely that China will attain superpower status and redefine the world, but right now it completely eludes me on what grounds.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
Superpowers don't exist anymore, in my opinion. During the cold war, most countries would align themselves with either the US or the USSR, and to me, that's what made those superpowers. Now everybody smiles and does business with everybody, even old arch enemies, and there is no need for smaller countries to align themselves.

China is an economic superpower no doubt, but can they protect their shipping lanes? They don't have even 1 carrier battle group.

One of the main purposes of the US maintaining something like 11 carrier battle groups is that we can maintain open shipping lanes all over the world. China can't do that, until they can they aren't a superpower. One blockade and their economy would go in the tank.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3006 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

As people mentioned above, I think that China will definitely have the largest economy, it's only a matter of time. But largest economy doesn't mean they have to be #1 "superpower". That term is almost irrelevant nowadays. In this day and age, we all depend on the global economy - countries need to find the sweet spot in developing and maintaining strong ties to benefit all involved in the long term.

While China has numbers on it's side, it will also need to figure out how to adapt to the 21st century and build infrastructure to support the continuous, sustainable growth.

I've only been to China once, but my experience was a real eye-opener. It seems that I'm one of the only people that is actually excited to see what's ahead for that nation. So much so, that I began to study Mandarin Chinese a while ago - can't hurt I suppose. Living in San Francisco, knowing the language comes in handy as well.  

Aeroflot777


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5433 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3478 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 5):
In time this could change but China is good now at making things and not good at inventing.
They still lack the ability to innovate and create things like America has done over the last 100 years to make them the #1 economy. With China investing heavily in education and the US appearing to cut it in some areas this could change in a generation.

To me, honestly, and not insulting anyone, the biggest problem China has and the biggest asset the USA has always had is that ANYONE can be "American" (there's a thread on the use of the term so go there if you want to debate that) and yet not anyone can be Chinese. As far as I have ever seen only a Chinese person of Chinese heritage and identity can be "Chinese".

The reason I say this is because anyone with any good idea can come a create "greatness" for themselves and their adopted country. I believe this to be key element of success, it greatly expands opportunity for a nation.

If or when China can move beyond that (beyond "Chinese") then it can become a "superpwoer". Whatever that means nowadays.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-08-30 21:01:43]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineROSWELL41 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3439 times:

China's biggest problem is that its people are not free. This fact will cause China problems in the coming decades and is a clear advantage for the USA.

User currently offlinenighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5128 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3388 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 4):
I could care less who's bigger...

you could, could you?   

I am currently reading a book called "The Next 100 years", which lays out a prediction for what will happen over the next 100 years in terms of geopolitics. the author does not believe that China will become a major power, for two reasons:

1) China is not a seafaring nation

The most dominant nation has always been the nation that controlled the seas. France dominated, thanks to the large navy under the command of Napoleon. Britain knew that to dominate, they had to defeat the French navy, and as such invested heavily in building up the Navy under Nelson. They defeated the French at the battle of Trafalgar, and began to be the dominant nation from then on. After WW2, the British navy was decimated, and the US took control of the Atlantic, and emerged as the new Superpower.

If you control the trade routes, then you control the world. Right now, the fast majority of trade takes place via the oceans. The US currently has control of every ocean, and can easily stop any ship they wish either by naval or air power. Trade only takes place between two nations with the US's permission.

China has never been a sea faring nation, and their current navy is extremely weak. They only possess a single aircraft carrier, which was bought from Russia, and I am not sure if it is even in service?. Even if they were to build a massive naval fleet, it is just not in their blood and there is no experience with naval operations. they will never dominate the seas in the way the US does.

2) Rural vs Urban Wealth

All the industry and wealth of China is located along the east coast, and is concentrated in a handful of cities. Despite this, the vast majority of the population lives outside of this economic area, and is spread out throughout the interior of the country. Many of these people are living in poverty. As the wealth gap between the two increases, so will friction. the political situation is already quite fragile, but with this growing wealth gap, things will overheat quickly, and China will likely descend into civil war, and may find the country splitting into two or more factions.



That'll teach you
User currently offlineweebie From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3373 times:

The US hasn't been a Superpower in almost 30 years. China won't overtake them as they are too reliant on the US buying their crap.

The US has some real problems though with regards to Education. If they can't fix this well then they are screwed as an economy. Hopefully they can rectify this but they won't.


User currently onlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3374 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 7):

China is an economic superpower no doubt, but can they protect their shipping lanes? They don't have even 1 carrier battle group.

And we can barely afford ours. While I agree that this is a priority, with more and more of our debt being bought out by Chinese interests, just how "powerful" our imperialistic assets are becomes steadily less relevant. As americans, we don't seem to care enough about this.

Quoting tugger (Reply 9):

To me, honestly, and not insulting anyone, the biggest problem China has and the biggest asset the USA has always had is that ANYONE can be "American" (there's a thread on the use of the term so go there if you want to debate that) and yet not anyone can be Chinese. As far as I have ever seen only a Chinese person of Chinese heritage and identity can be "Chinese".

In fairness, it's not as easy to become a US citizen as people think. Heck, it's harder to enter the US than a lot of folks realize. But I see your point.

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):

The most dominant nation has always been the nation that controlled the seas.

So long as they're not putting said dominance on a credit card. Like we are, for example.

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):

China has never been a sea faring nation, and their current navy is extremely weak.

At the beginning of the Spanish American war, the US has never been a sea-faring nation either. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):

All the industry and wealth of China is located along the east coast, and is concentrated in a handful of cities. Despite this, the vast majority of the population lives outside of this economic area, and is spread out throughout the interior of the country. Many of these people are living in poverty. As the wealth gap between the two increases, so will friction. the political situation is already quite fragile, but with this growing wealth gap, things will overheat quickly, and China will likely descend into civil war, and may find the country splitting into two or more factions.

This can be said about a lot of countries. But I think saying Civil War in China is "likely" is a bit of a stretch, myself. If there is any such thing in the offing, look for issues surrounding Tibet or Taiwan to spark it more than a wealth gap.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinemad99 From Spain, joined Mar 2012, 529 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):
All the industry and wealth of China is located along the east coast, and is concentrated in a handful of cities. Despite this, the vast majority of the population lives outside of this economic area, and is spread out throughout the interior of the country. Many of these people are living in poverty

Very true.

Outside of the cites you mention, people are poor and scrapping a living out of the ground.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6539 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3346 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 7):
China is an economic superpower no doubt, but can they protect their shipping lanes? They don't have even 1 carrier battle group.

One of the main purposes of the US maintaining something like 11 carrier battle groups is that we can maintain open shipping lanes all over the world. China can't do that, until they can they aren't a superpower. One blockade and their economy would go in the tank.

Who would blockade them ? As you say, you're protecting the routes, and you're allies. If there was a showdown between China and the US, the shipping lanes wouldn't be a priority, China would be screwed either way (and everyone else, too).



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2057 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3333 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):

Thanks for the insight, sounds like an interesting book!

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):
1) China is not a seafaring nation

I believe this reasoning is flawed. China IS a seafaring nation in the sense that its product are ruling the waves anywhere on the planet. In this very moment, vast fleets of cargo vessels are delivering Chinese-made goods to all corners of the earth. As long as people want those goods, they will keep coming, carrier fleet or not. The only scenario in which navies become relevant is in war, and in that case countries have much more effective ways of shielding their economies than blockading trade ports.

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):
2) Rural vs Urban Wealth

While this is a good point, the point has been made ever since I've started to follow China's development, and in all that time, it seems we haven't come even a bit closer to what's been predicted. Yes it's somewhat plausible, and people keep looking for every little sign that the rural uprising is getting closer, but the possibility for that to become a large destabilizing factor seems to dimish as the years go by. The last word hasn't yet been spoken, but it seems ever more likely that we've overestimated the impact of the rural-urban divide.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7172 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3317 times:

it will be who controls the most natural resources ultimately.

User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1295 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3269 times:

In a dictatorship like PR China the people can rise against the leadership without any warning and to bring the country to substantial economic down turn. Just look at Syria - it was quite for many decades, and it civil war started with no warning, within days. Egypt's economy went also from bad to worse since 2011.

The communist rule in the USSR, world's largest country by size, collapsed with no warning (no one predicted in 1986 that in 5 years USSR will be history). Who knows how long the communist 1 party rule in China will last, it can be 2 years and it can be 200 years. In the USA there is no risk to the stability of the government under the agreed constitution.

In PC China, it can all collapse within a month, the Chinese PLA have 3 million soldiers, but PRC has 1.3 billion citizens.



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2057 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days ago) and read 3239 times:

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 18):
Who knows how long the communist 1 party rule in China will last, it can be 2 years and it can be 200 years. In the USA there is no risk to the stability of the government under the agreed constitution.

Any government in the world could be overturned at any time; any constitution could be abolished. One stabilizing factor is economic prosperity; China has plenty of that.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineus330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3868 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days ago) and read 3237 times:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):
1) China is not a seafaring nation

Historically they have been. From what I understand (and please correct me if I am wrong), it is that the Chinese take a long view toward history and the past- (example: they cite ancient maps as grounds for claims over certain islets in the South China Sea)-which means that they would likely point to admirals like Zheng He as an example of a great Chinese seafaring tradition that stopped when the Ming Dynasty decided to turn inward.

To answer the question posed in the thread title, to borrow from a popular quote, I think rumors of the U.S.' death have been greatly exaggerated. China's astonishing economic growth rate will not last as it catches up to the rest of the world--and investors are already beginning to sour on the yuan. There are also a lot of facts and details that are simply not known about certain aspects of the Chinese economy that have prompted more than one investor to warn of a possible Chinese economic bubble.


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12360 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days ago) and read 3230 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 7):
One of the main purposes of the US maintaining something like 11 carrier battle groups is that we can maintain open shipping lanes all over the world.

Put another way, we spend more money on defense than the rest of the world combined because we DEPEND on open shipping lanes all over the world.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 7):
China can't do that, until they can they aren't a superpower. One blockade and their economy would go in the tank.

And so would the rest of the world's economy, and China knows that. That's why they don't bother pouring money into their military. Their military is mainly about keeping the local population in check.

Instead of pouring money into their military, they pour money into their industry (including industrial espionage), because at the end of the day, tanks and airplanes and ships end up being scrapped but a strong industry keeps the population busy and in turn, their leaders in power.

Their biggest problem is the skill sets that transfer so readily to China also transfer elsewhere too, and many industries really do not want to deal with China's corruption and lax protection of intellectual property. China may merely be one more road stop for technology transfer.

As mentioned above, the sheer chaos that reigns in India hampers it tremendously, and their costs have risen to the point where it can no longer be called a low cost provider of intellectual skills.

Personally, I'd like to see the US focus on being an economic superpower, but neither political party has approaches that support that. Both are being heavily funded and thus undermined by corporations whose only imperative is to make next quarter's numbers look good.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2376 posts, RR: 21
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3219 times:

You just wrote this:

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):
The most dominant nation has always been the nation that controlled the seas. France dominated, thanks to the large navy under the command of Napoleon. Britain knew that to dominate, they had to defeat the French navy, and as such invested heavily in building up the Navy under Nelson. They defeated the French at the battle of Trafalgar, and began to be the dominant nation from then on.

And then this..

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 11):
China has never been a sea faring nation, and their current navy is extremely weak. They only possess a single aircraft carrier, which was bought from Russia, and I am not sure if it is even in service?. Even if they were to build a massive naval fleet, it is just not in their blood and there is no experience with naval operations. they will never dominate the seas in the way the US does.

..which to me is a bit contradicting?! I think China is currently focusing on establishing a strong economy, and then they might change their foreign politics to become a global actor and also controlling the seas. I don't see why not.

I think in 100 years, the world will be a better place, as countries work together and dictatorships will not be tolerated by the international community. The use of the internet including facebook, youtube, twitter and more are ultimately much stronger weapons than anything else in ensuring global peace and understanding and knowledge between cultures, etc.

[Edited 2012-08-31 08:32:48]

User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):
Who would blockade them ? As you say, you're protecting the routes, and you're allies. If there was a showdown between China and the US, the shipping lanes wouldn't be a priority, China would be screwed either way (and everyone else, too).

Our shipping lanes would be. They may have abundant resources within their country, but the US would still need to maintain shipping lanes to Europe, Japan, etc. We would also need to be able to send military supplies to Korea. As would any other nation.

I don't see that our relationship with China will ever require that, but it is an example of why it should be a priority.

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 13):
At the beginning of the Spanish American war, the US has never been a sea-faring nation either. Everyone has to start somewhere.

I disagree, the US has always had a rich maritime history going back to our trade with England in the 1700s. Barbary pirates were one of the original reasons the US Navy was founded. That's one of the reasons to have a navy, to protect trade routes, which we did in the 1st Barbary War in the early 1800s.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineCerecl From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3043 times:

The answer is quite simply no.

China is not ready politically or militarily to overtake the US. There is still massive mistrust between China and the Western world. More importantly, I am not sure China wants to take US's role. The majority Han population never really wanted to expand beyond the territory they have. Most of the expansion was accomplished by minority ethnic groups when they ruled China. Someone mentioned China hasn't been a seafaring nation. Well, this is so because Chinese never really wanted to exert its influence globally. Zheng He's mission was mainly to explore trading opportunities.
China will continue to grow its economy and address the city-rural wealth gulf. It will move to secure resource for its people as well as passages for the safe passing of its trading/freight fleet. I doubt they will do more than that for the next few decades.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days ago) and read 3083 times:

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 24):
I doubt they will do more than that for the next few decades.

I´m afraid that an economic downturn could lead to a virulent nationalism, followed by an expansionism "to get access to raw materials", as Japan did in the 1930s.
I especially watch what is going on in the South China Sea with distrust, especially China´s claims to all territory outside the 12 mile zones owned by the smaller neighbouring countries.
IMO the limits of the 200 mile exclusive economic zones as set down by the UN would be a good compromise, but not an attitude of "we are the strongest power in the neighbourhood, so everything belongs to us".

Jan


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 26, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days ago) and read 3067 times:

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 22):
I think in 100 years, the world will be a better place, as countries work together and dictatorships will not be tolerated by the international community

I wish I shared your optimism. Sadly I think the only way earth will come together is if there is a threat from somewhere else in the universe. Still, I do think it will be better a 100 years from now.


User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1985 posts, RR: 2
Reply 27, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3005 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 26):
I wish I shared your optimism. Sadly I think the only way earth will come together is if there is a threat from somewhere else in the universe. Still, I do think it will be better a 100 years from now.

I'm with you here.... but a little more pessimist maybe... We tend to forget that from the very beginning of our history, from the cave man to the Syria uprising today, conflicts and fights are part of our nature. Even if one day we all unite against a common enemy ( from outer-space, or a lethal virus, or whatever ), if we survive and defeat that enemy, shortly thereafter we will be engaged in new conflicts to take the biggest/better places to rebuild our lives.
Back to topic, the Chinese political system is indeed a real weakness to the country, and probably one of the biggest threats to their future...

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 28, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2956 times:

China is facing some serious issues that are not highly publicized. Until these issues are addressed, China will struggle to become a major superpower.

While their massive population will help them in the near term by providing the fuel to spur economic growth as consumers of goods and services, it will hurt them in the long term as the government will be unable to provide basic needs due to the overwhelming costs and lack of resources to support such a large population.

Among these issues are:
1.) Lack of arable land to grow enough food to feed their massive population. In fact, China has been leasing farmland in foreign countries over the past several years to grow their own food due to lack of arable land in China.
2.) Lack of quality drinking water (a lot of their water is heavily polluted). The country is spending massive amounts of money trying to pump in water from the western part of China to the eastern part of China. Even with this massive drinking water project, the country still struggles to provide quality drinking water.
3.) Limited natural resources to support the massive amounts of people in China. China has to increasingly rely on foreign countries to provided natural resources such as copper (one of the most important, versatile metals).
4.) Biggest issue - too many people. The country has $1.5 billion people. It takes massive amounts of money for the government to provide basic needs (medical care, roads, transportation, electric, etc.) to support the needs of this amount of people.

Furthermore, the Chinese have yet to prove themselves to be innovators. They do a great job of stealing others ideas, products, etc, and turning them into cheap imitations, but have yet to prove they are able to innovate themselves.

There is a great book called "Winner Take All" that perfectly describes the serious issues that China faces.


User currently offlineCerecl From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
I´m afraid that an economic downturn could lead to a virulent nationalism, followed by an expansionism "to get access to raw materials", as Japan did in the 1930s.

As the Chinese say, "using history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of dynasties". Nowhere in the Chinese history when majority Han was in power did they engage in expansionism when their rule was in trouble. The expansion done by the minority groups tended also to happen when during ascension to power or peak of power. IMHO it would take the mother of all economic downturns to threaten the current government, and even then it is questionable they would resort to a regional/global war to get out of trouble.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
I especially watch what is going on in the South China Sea with distrust, especially China´s claims to all territory outside the 12 mile zones owned by the smaller neighbouring countries.

The western media tends to portray China as the big bad wolf bullying smaller countries because that fits with their world view. In reality, many of the disputed territories were controlled by these smaller countries with China doing very little except lip service. Anyway, I think that proves the point. If China can't even secure territories they claim as their own, how on earth does it take over from the USA as a superpower? Can you see USA letting some other country control US territory?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 30, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2929 times:

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 29):
As the Chinese say, "using history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of dynasties". Nowhere in the Chinese history when majority Han was in power did they engage in expansionism when their rule was in trouble. The expansion done by the minority groups tended also to happen when during ascension to power or peak of power. IMHO it would take the mother of all economic downturns to threaten the current government, and even then it is questionable they would resort to a regional/global war to get out of trouble.

The agressive German expansion for "Lebensraum" ("Living space") of the 1930s-1940s has no historical parallel in Germany. It was a completely new phenomenon, same as the late 19th century / early 20th century Japanese expansion.

And it wouldn´t be the first time that governments turned outwards when facing a domestic crisis (mainly economic). See Argentina and the Falkland war of the 1980s.

Jan


User currently onlineDarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 31, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):

The agressive German expansion for "Lebensraum" ("Living space") of the 1930s-1940s has no historical parallel in Germany. It was a completely new phenomenon, same as the late 19th century / early 20th century Japanese expansion.

Yup. Nothing ever happens until it does.

I'm willing to wager a lot of folks in their senior years at the time were probably quite astonished to see Germany take that path just then.

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 29):

As the Chinese say, "using history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of dynasties". Nowhere in the Chinese history when majority Han was in power did they engage in expansionism when their rule was in trouble. The expansion done by the minority groups tended also to happen when during ascension to power or peak of power. IMHO it would take the mother of all economic downturns to threaten the current government, and even then it is questionable they would resort to a regional/global war to get out of trouble.

I will say though, that this illustrates nicely a lot of the inaccuracies we perceive China with here in the West. They really do things a little different there, don't they?

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 29):
Can you see USA letting some other country control US territory?

We my have no choice one day. Empire Building is an expensive sport without a great deal of return. Many americans would rather see our efforts go into making this a sustainable, worthwhile place to be than to make everyone else more like us.

I understand that we need to do our part in keeping the seas free and clear, but there's nothing in the rule book that says we have to (or even should) go it alone. It would be great to see the Chinese helping out there, but yes, it may be a while...

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 23):
I disagree, the US has always had a rich maritime history going back to our trade with England in the 1700s. Barbary pirates were one of the original reasons the US Navy was founded. That's one of the reasons to have a navy, to protect trade routes, which we did in the 1st Barbary War in the early 1800s.

Right. But what I'm saying is that the Chinese PLANavy is proportionally about where we were in that era. For is, we grew greatly during the Spanish-American war & again during WW1, & again in WW2. I think what I was getting at was that if we could do it, there's no reason to believe the Chinese can't do the same over the next 30 - 50 years (or less). Whether they want to or not is, without doubt, up for debate.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2057 posts, RR: 2
Reply 32, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2881 times:

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 29):
As the Chinese say, "using history as a mirror, one can understand the rise and fall of dynasties". Nowhere in the Chinese history when majority Han was in power did they engage in expansionism when their rule was in trouble. The expansion done by the minority groups tended also to happen when during ascension to power or peak of power. IMHO it would take the mother of all economic downturns to threaten the current government, and even then it is questionable they would resort to a regional/global war to get out of trouble.

Quite so. Throughout their history, Europeans have tended to externalise their problems. Internal quarrels, lack of resources, limits to growth, competition for influence etc. have always led to aggressive expansion. Over time, this aggressive expansion has taken on different forms - conquests, crusades, colonialism, imperalism, totalitarianism, and recently globalization of the markets. Basically, as soon as we could solve our own problems anymore, we involved other people in them. The Chinese on the other hand have always tended to solve their problems internally. It is quite telling that the main conflict between China and the West in the 19th century has been over China's opening to the world markets. The mandarins tried to shield China from foreign influences, and I daresay they knew why, while Europeans and Americans felt they just HAD to gain access to the country.

Europeans always had a penchant for unsustainable arrangements. In many ways, that's what kept us going to for the longest time of our history. The focus of the Chinese has been quite different: they've tried to organise matters in such a way that they could remain for generations, even if that meant drawbacks for those alive at the time.



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 33, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days ago) and read 2847 times:

I´m observing what is happening in the South China Sea due to family ties with the Philippines.
To me it looks as if part of the Chinese government (Not all! But a noisy group, which is even threatening with war) and press try to reestablish the old imperial hegemonies over the neighbouring countries, like Vietnam, Korea and the above mentioned South China Sea.
Obviously the affected countries are not that happy about it. There have been shooting incidents already between Chinese military and the Vietnamese Navy.

Jan


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8416 posts, RR: 3
Reply 34, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days ago) and read 2837 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 28):
Furthermore, the Chinese have yet to prove themselves to be innovators. They do a great job of stealing others ideas, products, etc, and turning them into cheap imitations, but have yet to prove they are able to innovate themselves.

As people, they can do anything. But give them some credit. 2 generations ago, in the 1950s, Chinese were eating tree bark and living in 1000 AD, if that. Mind you, they are an extraordinarily advanced and well educated society of 1000 AD. Nevertheless. They were not launching the Beatles or building Cadillacs.

Today the encouraging signs I see are the China fashion industry, and.. that's it for now.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1221 posts, RR: 3
Reply 35, posted (1 year 11 months 3 days ago) and read 2822 times:

"I think in 100 years, the world will be a better place, as countries work together and dictatorships will not be tolerated by the international community"

It's not only dictatorships but the fact that probably half of the so called "democratic" governments on this planet are truly full of corruption and far from true democracy. Even in here Finland which is said to be the least corrupted country in the world still government has way too much control over voting through media which often seems to be biased towards current parties in our government.

Hard to be very optimistic when almost every government is corrupted way or another.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6539 posts, RR: 9
Reply 36, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2806 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
IMO the limits of the 200 mile exclusive economic zones as set down by the UN would be a good compromise

I'm not sure what you mean there, if you own a small island then you have that EEZ no matter how far it is from the mainland. That's how France has the second biggest EEZ, and why there is a great incentive to own such islands.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 37, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2793 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 36):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
IMO the limits of the 200 mile exclusive economic zones as set down by the UN would be a good compromise

I'm not sure what you mean there, if you own a small island then you have that EEZ no matter how far it is from the mainland. That's how France has the second biggest EEZ, and why there is a great incentive to own such islands.

Sure, this is why China (and the other countries in the region) insist on ownership of small, obscure islands nobody cared for until a few years ago.
But IMO the claims China makes are obscure themselves. Some "old" documents, which state that thousands of years ago some Chinese fishermen had passed there.
The fact is that the islands and reefs in the South china Sea were for the first time properly mapped by the British Navy during the 19th century, which had no interest in aquiring them, but saw them as navigational hazards, therefore they wanted to have them on their maps.

BTW, if every country bordering on the North Sea would insist on a whole 200 mile EEZ, there would be major fights. Instead the North Sea (and the oil fields) was divided up like a cake, with everybody getting a slice, depending on the length of the coastal line.

Jan


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6539 posts, RR: 9
Reply 38, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2788 times:

Of course when several EEZ overlap you need to figure it out, the one for Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon with Canada is an interesting example.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 39, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2693 times:

Just for illustration:
This website shows the Chinese claims versus the UN suggested division of the South China sea and gives some explanation to the various claims.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349

(the graphic is a GIF file, so I can´t display it here).

Jan


User currently offlineCerecl From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 11 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):
same as the late 19th century / early 20th century Japanese expansion.

This point is disputable. However I don't really want to go into it to drag the thread off course.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):
And it wouldn´t be the first time that governments turned outwards when facing a domestic crisis (mainly economic). See Argentina and the Falkland war of the 1980s.

Whatever happened in Argentina is not necessarily relevant to the current topic. The Eastern part of China is densely populated, comparatively well-developed and wealthy. Any war involving its E/SE neighbours puts this region in danger.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
I´m observing what is happening in the South China Sea due to family ties with the Philippines.
To me it looks as if part of the Chinese government (Not all! But a noisy group, which is even threatening with war) and press try to reestablish the old imperial hegemonies over the neighbouring countries, like Vietnam, Korea and the above mentioned South China Sea.

If you mean a few hawkish generals/admirals, maybe. But then every country has a few of those. They may be noisy but their noise counts for zilch. 2012 is the transition year in China and a succession of power will take place soon. All but two of the current core leadership will retire, and the two will go on to become President and Premier. There is zero desire for war with anyone at this stage with the government in essentially caretaker mode.
As to the imperial hegemony, all I can say you are taking this conflict way too seriously. There is a bit of smoke but no fire.


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