(Editorial) China: underdog to top dog

Staff Editorial

The United States could be facing some competition for their current “King of the Rock” title as the sole superpower of the world as China steps up, in big ways.

President Obama said the U.S. “welcomes China’s peaceful rise,” according to theweek.com.

China made a big splash in global politics when Chinese leaders spoke at the United Nations meeting pledging billions of dollars to life its people out of poverty and eradicate hunger. And, the communist country pledged to erase debts for less developed countries to help stimulate their economies.

Obama continued, “We think it’s good not only because it allows China potentially to share some burdens with us in helping countries that are not as far along,” he said. Obama said it’s also “just good that hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens have been able to rise out of poverty at incredible speed over the last several years. They could not have done that had it not been for a stable trading system and world order that is underwritten in large part by the work that our alliances do.”

China is emerging as a military power, and could potentially pass up the United States as the largest global superpower by the year 2021, according to CNN.

Ian Easton, a researcher at the Arlington-based Project 2049 Institute, said in an interview with The Washington Post, “China’s military is in many ways much weaker than it looks.”

Easton also said that China hopes to make up for its military weakness by increasing its investment in “nontraditional tools of war.”

“The Chinese are building an island in the middle of the South China Sea,” said Gawthrop. “It’s going to be a military base.”

China currently has the second largest economy in the world, following the United States. This year, America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is just over $18 billion (US), while China’s GDP is just over $11. However, looking at it from the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), China is ahead of America – but not by much.

China’s PPP is at $18.9 (international) billion, while The United States closely follows with $18.1 billion.

Franklin College Political Science professor Randall Smith said that while China is growing into a large superpower, it is a slow process.

The World Bank said China would become the largest superpower by the end of 2014. However, the country’s economy needs to grow more before that can be possible.

“Economically, the Chinese economy will surpass that of the United States,” said Franklin College Professor Richard Gawthrop.

Gawthrop said that even if China surpasses the U.S. economically, the standard of living will still be lower, as they have five times as many people as the U.S.

Time Magazine defines the term “superpower” as “a country that wields enough military, political and economic might to convince nations in all parts of the world to do things they otherwise wouldn’t.”

While China has a fast growing economy, its military is not quite strong enough to pass up the United States as a global superpower, yet.

China surpassed Germany’s economy in 2009, and Japan’s in 2010.

As of March of this year, China owns $1.261 trillion worth of United States government securities, according to data released by the Treasury Department. The U.S. is in debt to China, big time.

A debate on debate.org showed that 63 percent of people believe that China will take the United States’ spot as top global superpower. Many of the comments for this debate suggest China’s population, its natural resources, and its growing economy are all helping the country.

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About Ashley Shuler 1253 Articles

Ashley Shuler is the executive editor of The Franklin. She has held various multimedia journalism and public relations internships, including positions at Indianapolis Monthly, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Dittoe Public Relations.

When she isn’t staying up late to edit stories, Ashley spends her time boutique shopping and drinking as much vanilla Coke as possible.

This is Ashley’s third year in a leadership role and her fourth year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as web editor and news editor.

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