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The rise of power of China and its opportunities facing the American superpower

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  1. Theoretical Framework
  2. The United States in decline?
  3. Challenging traditional stances
  4. Structural challenge: overcoming the hegemony
  5. The situation in China
  6. Tracks of thought
    1. Conflict
    2. Collapse of China
    3. Comparative Advantage


The People's Republic of China today plays an increasingly important role at the regional and international levels.In recent history it is rare that a country has maintained its hegemony for over a century. One may therefore question whether the U.S. can extend their supremacy for longer than that. Will China gain power over the world in the years to come? In this document I propose to discuss the domestic, regional and global prospects.

Theoretical Framework

I mainly subscribe to the realist school, especially with respect to the power transition theory.
This theory describes the international system as being composed of a dominant power, some secondary powers, several medium powers, and many small powers.
The dominant power ensures the stability of the international system with a large population, economic production and great political power capable of mobilizing internal resources.
However, sooner or later, the dominant power faces decline in face of the demographic capacity, and economic and political rise of one or other of the secondary powers. The international system then enters a transition phase leading to a new international system.

Depending on whether the secondary power is satisfied or dissatisfied, the transition will be done in peaceful manner or through a major war.


The United States in decline?
We may first discuss the question of the decline of the United States.

Todd says: "The world is too big, too populous, too diverse, and too uncontrollable for the crossed forces. America is too weak economically, militarily, and ideologically".

Four events illustrate the process of decline of the USA. The first is the Vietnam War: This extremely expensive conflict weakened economic domination, draining some of the gold reserves. The second were, the revolutions of the G8 which threatened American ideological position by questioning the legitimacy of the Yast agreements, based on which the U.S. had built the world order. Thirdly, "The fall of communism also led to that of liberalism, by removing the ideological justification of American hegemony [2] "

Then came the attacks of September 11.

From an economic perspective, with a deficit exceeding $ 450 billion, the United States has become economically dependent on the rest of the world at present. "They are no longer able to supply their people and expect the world to make them live [3] "
The economy seems particularly affected by the relatively low military expenditure involved in the strategy of Washington hawks.

From an ideological perspective, Washington is politically isolated. "Hardly anyone believes the hawkish stance as sensible or worthy of being promoted. Other countries are afraid or unwilling to object directly to the White House, but the simple fact is that they are dragging their feet enough to do harm to United States"

[...] foreign policy aims to maintain their hegemony and therefore needs to ensure their hold on the world by facing the micro powers which allow the assertion of global American power. Operation Freedom in Iraq appears to be a transformation from "benevolent hegemony" to "predatory hegemony " of the US. From a political perspective, we may also note that the recent presidential elections have contributed to the questioning of the credibility of the U.S. government forcing it to increase its political hegemony. [...]


[...] Napoleon also includes "When China awakes, the world will tremble." President Bush feared the rise of China's military. Bush said "China is no longer a strategic partner but a strategic competitor." The Bush Administration understands that China remains a "middle power" U.S. asserts is that Beijing is currently frowned upon its Asian neighbors "They much prefer U.S. hegemony to Chinese hegemony, which would be much more brutal . A major conflict is possible but not certain, as counter arguments can refer to the fact that China may pose a threat because it itself feels threatened by such ill-defined borders. [...]


[...] needs the war, just war, the crusade against evil "not only for economic reasons but to maintain their global status of" patron-ruler of the world .In fact if one takes into consideration the theory of power cycles, decoupling between economic growth and increased military capability are an integral part of the transition process. During the 21st century, a constant rivalry is obvious. It is in the form of open conflict, or constant tension. The growth of China appears in history as the emergence of a future superpower. [...]

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