Author: Grzegorz Wroński
Institution: Uniwersytet Warszawski
Year of publication: 2007
Source: Show
Pages: 62-85
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ap200705
PDF: ap/10/ap1005.pdf

CHINA AS A SUPERPOWER: A REVIEW OF ATTRIBUTES

The paper outlines the main attributes of a “great power” and poses the question: in which respects contemporary China already acquired such a status. The study analyses her way to the global power, as well as her increasing infl uence in the region.
China’s rise, especially during the last decades, makes difficult predictions of the future developments of the world affairs. We should take the “Chinese factor” into account, but its increasing significance cannot be precisely evaluated. Hence the author analyses various dimensions of China’s power and their significance for China’s international position. He starts with the demographic potential, and analyses advantages and disadvantages of so numerous population, the ethnic composition and the significance of other “Chinese centres” beyond the PRC’s borders, the prospects of the unification of Taiwan, the centripetal and centrifugal forces, education and the productive potential of the Chinese labour forces, etc. The second factor indicated by him is the geopolitical position, which also includes mineral resources, the routes of transportation, etc. The economic potential constitutes the third factor. The author presents well-known Chinese achievements and shortages. He analyses in detail the military potential as the forth factor, and the political potential, that includes position in the international organisations, as the fith.
However, a closer examination of each of these aspects demonstrates not only the advantages but also substantial weaknesses and deficiencies, which may jeopardise China’s future development.
The author points out that contradicting predictions concerning China’s future that circulate in the world depend to large extent on a political orientation, whereas objective, strictly scientific studies should be promoted. China’s rising is often presented as a threat to the world, but it could also be peaceful and beneficial to the world, both to the developed and developing countries.

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