Is China going to take over the world? Some people are scared at the prospect, some welcome it while others are indifferent to it. Below I will investigate what we know today and what we think China's role in the world in the future will be.
The Economic Rise Of China
Most people are now aware that China's economy has been roaring for some time. It is an export-driven economy and much of the world's consumer goods are manufactured in China.
For example, a third of the world's denim comes from one city in China! So you can compare your Levis' jeans next to your 5 dollar "cheap" jeans but the reality is that they are made from the same original denim material! Only the design and the cut is different.
Whether China is going to "take over the world" is largely driven by their economic power. We live in a global capitalist society where money talks and everything else walks. With money also comes political power. China already has a seat on the UN Security Council and has major allies in Russia and India who are also experiencing rapid economic expansion.
Differences Between America And China
When considering if China will dominate the globe in the years to come, we also need to look at America today who many would argue dominate our world in the current age and have done for many years.
America leads the world in many aspects. They have the highest worker productivity in the world, great economic self-sufficiency, a huge military budget and partnerships with many "allies" throughout the globe. It will certainly not be easy to shift the USA from their current position.
China's economic growth relies on the prosperity of Americans and other prosperous nations around the world. Without consumers, China cannot continue to prosper, at least in the near term. In the medium to long term, China will have new consumers from within in the form of a near endless supply of economic migrants who come from the outer provinces to the cities, in search of a better life.
America also enjoys an advantage of having the lingua franca of the world, namely English. While many think that this status will never change, the recent rise in published scientific papers in Chinese indicates that those proponents of English could be wrong.
Crisis In The Western World
To consider whether China will dominate, you cannot ignore the cultural situation.
The West currently has major problems with an aging demographic. Who will pay for the pensions? This question becomes even more important when you consider the huge deficits of USA and Western European countries.
China does not have these problems. They are running a huge surplus. They also have a strong saving culture and one of looking after parents at home when they grow old. This also used to somewhat be the case in the West too but the increased tax burden there and other cultural changes mean that there can no longer be a single breadwinner to support the entire family. Instead, both parents must often go out to work in order to support the family. This makes looking after parents at home a near-impossibility and gives a clear disadvantage in comparison to China.
Verdict - Will China Be The Next Superpower?
What do I think? All in all, I think that China will be the next superpower and dominate the world. However, I think the days of a single superpower are over.
We live in an interdependent world. China cannot succeed if there is economic disaster in America and Europe. Also, Russia and India will also want a share of world power.
China will dominate the world in coming generations but only just so. Global power will be shared more equally than it is now and the major powers will be not just China but also India, Russia, America and to a lesser extent countries such as Brazil and some in the Middle East.