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Will China Become the next Super Power?
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The United States will sanction China

Much like Iran and North Korea, the US may decide to sanction China. Chinese reliance on trade and export with the US is too great to risk sanctioning, and therefore China may measure their threats to US global supremacy.

The Argument

China's rise on the global stage is only due to other powerful nations playing along. If China steps out of line, the US and its allies could sanction China, and cripple their economy.[1] Chinese reliance on trade with the US is great enough that they will need to be cautious in their threats to the US's position on the global stage. China export to the US is nearly twice what its imports are, so the US can leverage its position as a consumer of Chinese exports to keep them in line. [2] China also has a strong reliance on the US university system to educate its professionals. If access to prominent US universities is threatened, it also threatens the ability of China to learn from prominent sectors of the US economy, such as tech and media. Iran and North Korea have both crossed the lines that the US has drawn in terms of economic and military growth, and if China does the same, they risk economic ruin.

Counter arguments

Chinese growth over the past few decades has been reliant on US partnership, but the nation is now powerful enough to break away from the partnership. If the US were to sanction China, Chinese officials could then turn towards their emerging investments in Africa and the rest of Asia. Sanctions could cause a temporary blow to the Chinese economy, but it will not be enough to halt its growth. If anything, it will deepen the divide between the US and its allies, with the rest of the world. China can position itself as an independent alternative to US trade, aid, and investment.



[P1] The US has a history of sanctioning ideological and economic competitors. [P2] China will limit its attempts to supplant the US due to fear of losing US trade and investment.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] China's global influence means sanctions from the US alone will not be enough. [Rejecting P2] China will just increase trade and investment with other regions that it has more leverage over.


This page was last edited on Sunday, 21 Jun 2020 at 17:59 UTC

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