China?s Not a Superpower

Minxin Pei, The Diplomat

With the United States apparently in terminal decline as the world’s sole superpower, the fashionable question to ask is which country will be the new superpower? The near-unanimous answer, it seems, is China. Poised to overtake Japan as the world’s 2nd largest economy in 2010, the Middle Kingdom has all the requisite elements of power--an extensive industrial base, a strong state, a nuclear-armed military, a continental-sized territory, a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and a large population base--to be considered as Uncle Sam’s most eligible and logical equal. Indeed, the perception that China

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