Political Science 135 Though no one can deny that China has recently
Soohyun KwakProfessor WilkinsonPolitical Science 135Though no one can deny that China has recently risen as a world superpower, theimplications of the countryâs new status remain unclear. In When China Rules the World, authorMartin Jacques argues that China competes with United States to attain global hegemony, as wellas predicts that China will emerge victorious. In the world that Jacques imagines, globalhegemony will shift from the Western to the Eastern world.While I agree with some of Jacquesâs arguments in forecasting that China will becomethe most powerful nation in the world, it is still far too early for China to gain supremacy. Ofcourse, as Jacques mentions, Chinaâs economy noticeably demonstrates rapid development, atmore than 7% annually. However, several problems have emerged as a result of such intenseeconomic growth. For one, China currently faces a widening, polarizing gap between the richand poor due to unparalleled economic surge, in both urban and rural populations. In recentyears, though Chinaâs pace of development has been quite fast, it has also been unbalanced.Chinaâs politics also pose a host of other problems, as does the privatization of various sectors ofits economy. More specifically, Chinaâs political culture remains communist, which invariablyslows the pace of business. For various reasons, China retains unnecessary elements ofbureaucracy that have cultivated political corruption for decades on end.Yet, Chinaâs greatest threat is not itself, but its very competitor: the United States. IfChina were to increase its presence in Asia, then it would risk provoking the United States. Infact, the United States has already sought to check Chinaâs expansion as it gains momentum andpower in the world. Though China is coming to the fore as a new global dominating force, theUnited States continues to maintain its global hegemony. Thus, the Chinese and US struggle forworld supremacy is inevitable, which burdens both countries, but especially China.In sum, along Jacquesâs forecasted path for global hegemony, China faces manyobstacles, including class divide, economic polarization, and widespread political corruption. IfChina cannot resolve these problems, then it will not exert hegemony. Of course, China is theonly nation threatening US hegemony, which may be dwindling, but it is too early to declare thenext superpower.
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