WHILE Donald Trump continues to draw attention in his reality show as president of the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China has kept a low-key approach to becoming an equal, if not surpass, the USA as the superpower of the world.
For some time now, the Middle Kingdom is referred to as the Second Superpower or an emerging superpower. In 2013, it was reported that China had become the world’s biggest trading nation in goods, overtaking the post-war dominance of the US. An analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted that China will outstrip the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2032.
Economist Arvind Subramanian said in 2012 that China would dictate the world’s financial system by 2020 and that the Chinese currency renminbi would replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency possibly beginning 2022.
It seems like a given that China will overtake the US in terms of economic might; but that is not enough for a nation to becoming a superpower.
As a superpower, the US demonstrates dominance in economy, military, technology and pop culture. It has influence in world politics through diplomacy and soft power.
In a comparison made by ArmedForces.eu, the US military budget was $610 billion, while China spent $228 billion. The former possesses 7,200 nuclear warheads as against the latter’s 260 warheads. In terms of personnel, though, China has 385,821,101 fighters to the USA’s available manpower of 73,270,043. Both are nearly equal in terms of tanks. The US has more fighter planes, while China is dominant in the sea.
Writing for South China Morning Post, contributor David Dodwell in 2017, opined that the US should be afraid because China was on the path to global technology dominance.
He highlighted the government-backed Made in China 2025 initiative to make self-reliant technology by establishing 10 data labs in universities across the country. Evidence: Huawei became the world’s biggest issuer of new international patents in 2015. Western media could not hide China making history in its space program last Jan. 2, when its Chang’e 4 spacecraft landed on the far side of the moon.
For China, Donald Trump is a gift. The Don has turned off many US allies, while China’s Xi Jinping, who has solidified his power base in the Communist Party, continues to make friends everywhere through money diplomacy.
While the US and the European Union are wary of China, the rest of the world seems to have been won over by Xi Jinping.
Trump’s pursuit of the Great Wall of America is a total contrast to the open door policy of the superpower that is China.