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Will China Ever Be No. 1?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-2-17 14:59:25 |Display all floors
This post was edited by vincent01 at 2013-2-17 15:00

(From Foreign Policy) Will China continue to grow three times faster than the United States to become the No. 1 economy in the world in the decade ahead? Does China aspire to be the No. 1 power in Asia and ultimately the world? As it becomes a great power, will China follow the path taken by Japan in becoming an honorary member of the West?

Despite current punditry to the contrary, the surest answer to these questions is: No one knows. But statesmen, investors, and citizens in the region and beyond are placing their bets. And U.S. policymakers, as they shape the Obama administration's pivot to Asia, are making these judgments too. In formulating answers to these questions, if you could consult just one person in the world today, who would it be? Henry Kissinger, the American who has spent by far the most time with China's leaders since Mao, has an answer: Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee is the founding father of modern Singapore and was its prime minister from 1959 to 1990. He has honed his wisdom over more than a half century on the world stage, serving as advisor to Chinese leaders from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping and American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. This gives him a uniquely authoritative perspective on the geopolitics and geoeconomics of East and West.

Lee Kuan Yew's answers to the questions above are: yes, yes, and no. Yes, China will continue growing several times faster than the United States and other Western competitors for the next decade, and probably for several more. Yes, China's leaders are serious about becoming the top power in Asia and on the globe. As he says: "Why not? Their reawakened sense of destiny is an overpowering force." No, China will not simply take its seat within the postwar order created by the United States. Rather, "it is China's intention to become the greatest power in the world -- and to be accepted as China, not as an honorary member of the west," he said in a 2009 speech.

Western governments repeatedly appeal to China to prove its sense of international responsibility by being a good citizen in the global order set up by Western leaders in the aftermath of World War II. But as Kissinger observes, these appeals are "grating to a country that regards itself as adjusting to membership in an international system designed in its absence on the basis of programs it did not participate in developing."

In Lee's view, "the Chinese are in no hurry to displace the U.S. as the number one power in the world." As he told us in an interview, some Chinese, "imagine that the 21st century will belong to China, others expect to share the century with the U.S. as they build up to the Chinese century to follow."

China's strategy to achieving preeminence, according to Lee, is "to build a strong and prosperous future and use their huge and increasingly highly skilled and educated workforce to out-sell, and out-build all others." Militarily, China's leaders do not envision a confrontation until the country has "overtaken the U.S. in the development and application of technology," an area in which it still lags.

As Lee says, "the Chinese have figured out that if they stay with 'peaceful rise' and just contest for first position economically and technologically, they cannot lose." But when it comes to hard power, Chinese leaders are primarily still heeding the maxim of Deng Xiaoping: "Hide your strength, bide your time."

Are we thus entering a Chinese era? Lee expects so, though he notes that "the chances of it going wrong in China are about one in five." If Lee is correct, leaders in both China and the United States will face a huge challenge in coming decades as a rising power rivals a ruling power. Historically, statesmen have failed this test: 11 of 15 such cases since 1500 ended in war. Today's leaders must bear this grim statistic in mind, learn from the success stories, and brace themselves for the fact that massive adjustments of attitudes and actions will be required by both sides to avoid violent conflict in the future.

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Post time 2013-2-17 20:00:30 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Prometheus2 at 2013-2-17 20:03

I do not understand the Chinese obsession with becoming number one. China will not even be able to do anything as number one, like the U.S has been able to, for a couple of reasons. Firstly China will be number one only in military and economic terms. China's soft power under the CPC is pretty much nonexistant and the West's soft power will continue to be shaping the world long after China becomes number one. China's policy of non-interference means it cannot even use its hard power unless all its talk of a peaceful rise were lies.

While the U.S became number one to promote its liberal-capitalist values, China's values pretty much are based on 'to get rich is glorious'. This combined with non-interference means China becoming number one will mean very little except that other authoritarian regimes will feel much safer. The only benefit to China becoming number 1 is that it will safely be able to use force to settle its territorial disputes.

The U.S is number one yet look at all the problems it has. Why not aim to have Chinese living standards like those of Northern Europeans? Being number one most powerful doesn't make a good country and is only useful for trying to shape the world. China's non-existant soft power and values mean they cannot really shape the world like the U.S has unless they improve these aspects. Unfortunately, these will continue to lag under the 'China model' of authoritarianism combine with state capitalism.
I may disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - Voltaire

The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them

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Post time 2013-2-19 10:10:24 |Display all floors
May be yes  .May be no . May be maybe

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Post time 2013-2-19 11:05:33 |Display all floors
China is already #1 in the most progressive government and social system.
It's just a matter of time before China dominates the world as the USA has for the past century.
With the information age people can no longer be fooled into thinking capitalism is anything other
than organized crime sponsored by a pandering legal system. Only the crime bosses profit while
everyone else has half their worth stolen. Capitalism is a rigged system that trots out a few
poster boys to give false hope to the vast majority. The lottery is fine for small time bets by a
few who volunteer them money for the fun of gambling but to work your lives away losing half
your earnings in the hopes of being one in a million is insanity. People are waking up to that fact.
Socialism is the government of the future. Better to taxed once by a collective government than
to be taxed once by a government of the rich and then being taxed again by the rich for their
obscene profits. There is no disguising this fact anymore.

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Post time 2013-2-19 11:14:38 |Display all floors
"China is already #1 in the most progressive government and social system."

Explain what is so progressive about a social system that does not allow Chinese citizens to receive social services if they work somewhere other than where they live?  Meaning the hukou system.  I cannot wait to hear your explaination!  And what is progressive about a social system that requires their citizens to have Visas to visit parts of their own country?  Meaning Taiwan, HK, and Macao?

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Post time 2013-2-19 11:57:58 |Display all floors
it is a good article with great wisdom.

every Chinese does hope that there will be a day our country can become No.1 power economically and technologically in the world, but, an increasing wealth gap should be avoided.

while our leaders pay great attention to the economic development, the issue of wealth distribution and equality should also be given great priority, after all, economic development depends not only on its great leaders and policies, but on its laborious people.

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Post time 2013-2-19 12:36:47 |Display all floors
Yes, China will do it and it depend largely on whether if they want to do it in this or the next century. By doing so, it will bring much pride to the Chinese society around the world not just for those in China. This should be done in the name of Chinese race and by being one, it will greatly bring pride to all the Chinese in the world.

Many AfriAmericans are today proud because of Obama, China should take the big step and stand tall for all the Chinese race in the world regardless of where they are in now. Chinese are orginated from China and no where in the world and the effect by China will forever be remember in history.


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