China Rises? Think Again

The CBC will be airing a show called "China Rises." It got me thinking.

Multi-polaristic-lateralists are tripping over each other like Inspector Clouseau and salivating at the mouth Cujo style in the hope that China will challenge American hegemony. Best to heed some prudent advice; hold off with the Asti Spumante.

China still has a long way to go before it is a bona-fide integrated superpower. They have some internal issues (such as environmental and ideological) they need to iron out before they can project true power - and they know this. We, on the other hand, seem to be ignoring this at our peril.

The Dragon is not a stranger to being a great power. Chinese history is littered with great achievements. It stands to reason therefore as the world links to one another through trade that China - with its massive population - would be a natural competitor of the United States.

Of course, rather than challenge U.S. power both sides should co-operate in the region. For the Chinese this mutual existence is paramount especially considering America's recent rapprochement with India.

Speaking of which, India - a remarkable, transparent democracy - is every bit a power in the region. Yet, we hardly see any programming on 'India Rises.' China - an intensely proud and insular society - is a communist state and thus are not always straight forward with information.

With China presently driving the world economy, will academics call for people to learn Chinese dialects with the pending rise of Chinese power? I seem to recall not so long ago (during the 80s) how business professors were teaching about the inevitably of Japanese power and that we should all learn Japanese. One hitch; a decade long recession hit Japan like a typhoon in the 1990s that put a serious cringe in that thought. America, which speaks the international language of business, still stood tall.

Rather than seek faux-replacements for political ideological considerations, perhaps we should examine why and how America keeps prevailing. This is not something to fear but appreciate.

There is little question that both China and India will become major players on the international stage moving forward. The question is just how prepared are they?

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