China still has a long way to go from the superpower
Does China want to become a superpower? At least in the White House, there seems to be no doubt. RushdosiPresident Joe Biden’s China Director of the National Security Council, just published a book He believes that Beijing is pursuing a “grand strategy” to “replace the American order” and become the most powerful country in the world.
Superpower status is a source of national pride and brings significant economic and political benefits. But it also involves costs, risks and burdens.Just last week, 9 Chinese citizens Terrorist attacks In Pakistan, a country that is now firmly in the sphere of influence of Beijing.call revenge In Chinese nationalist circles, when terrorists target American citizens, the US response echoes the US response.
Like the Americans, the Chinese feel uneasy and perplexed that their efforts to achieve peace and development have been violent in their eyes. All of this is vaguely reminiscent of the lament of Rudyard Kipling, the poet who once praised British imperialism but also warned: “The blame of your better people/the people you guard Hatred.
Becoming a superpower is a complicated matter. It raises a series of interrelated questions about ability, intention, and willingness. To use sports as an analogy, you can be a very talented tennis player who really wants to be a world champion, but still unwilling to make sacrifices to turn your dreams into reality.
In the military field, the distinction between ability, desire, and will is the most important. In recent years, China has changed its combat potential.This Chinese navy Now we have more ships than the United States.Some senior U.S. military officers openly doubt Whether the United States can win the battle of Taiwan.
Xi Jinping’s government likes to show military power in China procession In Beijing, there are many militants, Nationalist speech On the Internet and the media.Chinese army participated Fatal skirmish Indians in the Himalayas last year. Despite this, former President Barack Obama’s White House Director Evan Medros believes that it is unclear whether China is willing or able to shoulder the burden of becoming an American-style global military power.
China has not fought a war since the war Conflict with Vietnam In 1979, it boasted a “peaceful rise.” Unlike the United States, Beijing has historically been very reluctant to promise to protect its friends and allies.China has only one overseas military base Djibouti In East Africa, compared to hundreds U.S. military installations overseas.
If the Chinese government or people are unwilling to go to war, it is undoubtedly their credit. However, from the United Kingdom in the 19th century to the Soviet Union and the United States in the 20th century, war was often a means for the emergence of new superpowers and the reshaping of the world order.
As the world’s largest trading country and manufacturing country, China’s economic weight makes it have important political influence in the international arena. Countries that rely on Chinese trade or investment are often reluctant to conflict with Beijing-which explains to some extent the lack of global response to China’s mass detention policy in Xinjiang.
But Beijing’s economic strength is not always politically decisive. Although China is the largest trading partner of Japan, South Korea and Australia, these countries also challenge Beijing from time to time.South Koreans allow U.S. deployment Missile defense System on its territory; Japan has Refuse Concessions in territorial disputes; Australia enraged Beijing called for an investigation into the origin of Covid-19.
The Japanese, Koreans, and Australians are all democratic countries, and they are wary of being drawn into the political track of an authoritarian, one-party state. They are also treaty allies of the United States, and they have American military bases on their land-which may give them the confidence to fight back against China.
China sometimes hints that it cannot rely on American security guarantees. However, if Washington does not intervene after China has attacked US allies, the credibility of the US alliance system will collapse. Fortunately, there is no real evidence that China is not yet ready to take this risk-even for Taiwan, it does not have clear US defense guarantees.
Instead of trying to disrupt the US global alliance and base network, China should try to establish its own alternative system. The White House’s Dorsey believes that China is preparing to expand its global military footprint—perhaps by adding a military component next to civilian port facilities it has purchased or developed around the world.
Although this expansion seems reasonable, it hasn’t happened yet. Even if China establishes naval power in ports such as Gwadar Port in Pakistan or Hambantota in Sri Lanka, it seems unlikely that Beijing will provide security guarantees so that so many countries are willing to welcome US troops and bases.The United States is committed to defending its 29 allies in NATO, and provide Provide military protection to approximately 30 other countries, including Japan, Australia, South Korea, and most of Latin America.
If China is unwilling or unable to achieve a global military presence that rivals the United States, it may have to find new ways to become a superpower—or abandon its ambitions.