A deeper look at China’s “power”

6 Jul

China is a rising power, or so it seems based on a lot of what we read and hear. It’s definitely rising but is it actually a power? And how strong is it? Frankly it’s not that strong in a lot of areas, but don’t take my word for it. This impressive article by noted China scholar David Shambaugh makes a convincing case for why China is not so formidable by going through a lot of areas like military, economy, diplomacy and culture. It’s a long read but very informative and direct – Shambaugh doesn’t hold back on his arguments (but the article is not a diatribe or rant by any means). One of Shambaugh’s main points is something that many people don’t seem to do when looking or talking about China – judging in terms of quality rather than quantity. What Shambaugh says about China’s economy – ” As in other areas, it is quantitatively impressive but qualitatively weak.” – can easily be said for many other aspects of China. This doesn’t mean China is a weakling but that it is nowhere near as powerful and close to being a superpower – I do think it might be an economic superpower – it is no. 2 in the world and has much more room to grow- and that it has many serious defects and shortcomings. 


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