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Will China Become the next Super Power?
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China has no intention to possess the world

China's territorial desires only extend to formerly Chinese regions. They want unification with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other small sovereign states, but lack the ambition for further expansion. Their ideological divide with much of the West will also be a barrier to significant influence.

The Argument

China's growth over the past few decades may be alarming, but it has borne no significant threat to the US's preeminent power. Examining China's growth over the past few decades, the vast majority of it is in the country's internal infrastructure. While they do have offshore investments, their primary territorial interests seem to be focused on countries that once belonged under the umbrella of Chinese influence, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Plus, as the 'One China Policy' suggests, the Chinese leadership has a very clear conception of where China's borders begin and end.[1] Beyond these small nations, much of the world likely overestimates China's influence. [2] No matter how exponential their growth, it will be incredibly difficult to catch up with the past century of growth as a world power that the US has enjoyed.[3] The US's influence over the most powerful nations in the world is too great for China to overcome. Lastly, the ideological and historical divisions that exist between China and democracies across the globe are too large to overcome, and they likely don't want to. China may be powerful, but they have too many barriers preventing them from supplanting the US.

Counter arguments

China may only seek to regain a few small territories, but their continued and significant investment in the rest of Asia, Africa, and South America indicates that their influence may be more economic than geopolitical.[4] Within its own borders, Chinese growth since the 1970s has been exponential. They may not have the degree of influence that the US has, but they may be able to catch up. Additionally, all it takes is a misstep by the US for China to make a play as the most prominent world power. In that case, much of the West may be forced into a partnership with China, regardless of any ideological differences.



[P1] China does not have any significant territorial investments beyond Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other small East Asian states. [P2] China's influence on the world is overestimated. [P3] The ideological and historical divides between China and the West are too significant. [P4] For these reasons, China will not become the next superpower.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Chinese investment in Asia, Africa, and South America indicate an increasing influence in much of the world. [Rejecting P2] China's power has grown exponentially over the past few decades. [Rejecting P3] If the US fails, the rest of the West may have no choice but to ally with China.


This page was last edited on Saturday, 20 Jun 2020 at 17:40 UTC

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