China is a very strong power and with the continued growth of this it’s considerable influence on world affairs will become more apparent in the next decades. A peculiar scenario has played out in the past years - the heightened fear of current global powers over China’s rising has actually helped enhance (maybe even exaggerate) China’s status as this formidable force on the world stage. According to data cited by Michael Beckley (2011/12; p.41) “the ‘rise of China’ has been the most read-about news story of the twenty-first century.” As scholars, journalists, pundits, politicians debate for and against China’s economic rise, military might and its global implications, the United States is not willing to be passive. This has compelled the creation or deepening of ‘panic’ alliances (e.g. US-Australia, US- Indonesia), counter alliances (e.g. India-Japan). In this regard, the Asian nation has indirectly influenced world order by precipitating new power relations. Even Beckley who methodically denounces claims of declinists, agrees that the US should prepare for the end of unipolarity noting the “potentially disastrous” impact of fear over real or imagined changes (p.77) Meanwhile, as the biggest global trader, China’s enormous population, manufacturing capacity, a formidable foreign reserve and the potential economic trajectory the combination of these indices portends economically for the coming decades invalidates suggestions that China’s strength is overestimated. Economic and political difficulties in the country is not strong enough to deter its rise, because once a nation gets a “hang of economic growth it is hard to throw them off course” says Gideon Rachman (2011; p.61) citing nineteenth and twentieth century Germany. 1
Beckley argues against the validity of China’s economic prowess, questioning estimates based on ‘flawed’ indicators like GDP (export). However, latest reports from the International Monetary Fund show that based on Purchase Power Parity...
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