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China wants credit as 'world player' from US

In a dramatic challenge, China has demanded that the United States recognize it as a world power and not, as it has in the past, relegated the country to the role of a regional power.

“Is U.S. ready to recognize China as world power?” asked the headline over a major commentary in the official People's Daily newspaper. The commentary appeared in both the print and online editions, in both Chinese and English.

The article quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has urged China to play a greater role in solving the world's economic, environmental and political problems, saying that without the participation of both China and the United States, global problems could not be solved.

The call on the United States to recognize China as a world power was well timed. It came just as China was holding large-scale naval exercises while making expansionist claims over the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters.

Rebutting Secretary Clinton's remarks at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi, where she rejected sweeping claims by any country to the South China Sea, China's Defense Ministry spokesman declared Beijing had “indisputable sovereignty” over islands in the South China Sea and the surrounding waters.

And Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, speaking on the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, said China's armed forces would continue to enhance their capabilities and military readiness to safeguard sovereignty, security and development of the nation.

China's demand for recognition as a world power coincided with the holding of large-scale military exercises, involving ships, submarines and combat aircraft, just as the United States and South Korea were holding naval exercises off the Korean Peninsula.

Beijing had warned Washington not to send the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington into the Yellow Sea, saying that would be a threat to China. The United States ultimately responded by keeping it on the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula.

The Chinese demand also coincided with an announcement by Yi Gang, deputy central bank governor, that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy.

China is expected to overtake the United States and becomes the world's largest economy in about 15 years.

However, China still seemed unsure of its role as a world power. Another People's Daily article complained, “Westerners burden China with responsibility.”

August 4, 2010    eryan_lin@
"In fact, historically, China has never seen itself as a regional power. China's very name, Zhongguo, which is often translated as Middle Kingdom, denotes that it is the center of the world. In fact, another word the Chinese use is Tianxia, or “all under heaven,” that is, the whole world.

Thus, the Chinese historically have had a broad view and did not see themselves, and their influence, as confined to one narrow corner of the world."

Both Zhonggong and Tianxia are terms of self-description used in old time when China knew very little of the outside world, similar to what Romans thought about themselves at the time of the Roman empire. I don't think the Chinese people hold the same perception nowadays.
August 5, 2010    alexbcox@
China has more to worry about than gaining the recognition of the U.S. or fantasizing about GDP prospects in 2025. Its economy is not nearly as robust as it seems; the stunning decline of the Shanghai Composite, for one, speaks loudly to the poverty of China's markets even in spite of the government's continually rosy GDP numbers. Major rebalancing is in order over the next decade, to say nothing of the political tensions that will accompany such adjustments. Money holds the current configuration of "China" together: there is no ideology that unites the coast with the interior, and regions like Tibet, Xianjiang, Macau, and Hong Kong would gladly secede given the chance. Economic decline will precipitate political chaos.
August 5, 2010    ludahai_twn@
China is not a world power in that it can project military power around the world. Only the U.S. and its British and French allies really have the capability to do that. China is a regional power that has SOME influence of non-military (mostly economic but some cultural) influence in other parts of the world, especially increasingly in Africa. China is a long ways from truly being a world power and the significant internal constraints on China mean that China's rise to a global power is NOT inevitable, merely possible.
August 5, 2010    elumpen@
exactly, Alex. Asking other countries to crow about how wonderful China is won't make it so. That attitude, in itself, shows how very far China still has to go before it becomes a "world power". GDP simply measures the rate at which raw resources are being used, and China's rate is fast approaching the point where people will start dying. That's not going to make them a world power; it's going to throw them back into the dark ages.
August 5, 2010    bernardpkelly@
eryan_lin@ wrote:
"In fact, historically, China has never seen itself as a regional power. China's very name, Zhongguo, which is often translated as Middle Kingdom, denotes that it is the center of the world. In fact, another word the Chinese use is Tianxia, or “all under heaven,” that is, the whole world.

Thus, the Chinese historically have had a broad view and did not see themselves, and their influence, as confined to one narrow corner of the world."

Both Zhonggong and Tianxia are terms of self-description used in old time when China knew very little of the outside world, similar to what Romans thought about themselves at the time of the Roman empire. I don't think the Chinese people hold the same perception nowadays.
"... self description used in old time when China knew very little of the outside world, similar to what Romans thought about themselves at the time of the Roman empire."
Oh Yeah, just like now that China is asserting control/ownership of the Yellow Sea and South China Sea it's just like the Romans named the Mediterranean Sea as Mare Nostrum = Our Sea
August 6, 2010    fyxs70@
alexbcox@ wrote:
China has more to worry about than gaining the recognition of the U.S. or fantasizing about GDP prospects in 2025. Its economy is not nearly as robust as it seems; the stunning decline of the Shanghai Composite, for one, speaks loudly to the poverty of China's markets even in spite of the government's continually rosy GDP numbers. Major rebalancing is in order over the next decade, to say nothing of the political tensions that will accompany such adjustments. Money holds the current configuration of "China" together: there is no ideology that unites the coast with the interior, and regions like Tibet, Xianjiang, Macau, and Hong Kong would gladly secede given the chance. Economic decline will precipitate political chaos.
Alex - I think you under estimated the brain washing ability of all governments with political agendas -- the citizens of China today is fairly nationalistic. This is probably the result of 100 years of humiliation (as noted). For the last 60+ years the textbooks have ingrained the 'humiliation' in the masses. Why do you think China is claiming sovereignty over all these territories now? It is because these were in Qing dynasty maps. The humiliation of Qing suffered at the hands of other powers and the lands it was forced to give up are the impetus for both PRC and ROC to continue to claim these lands. Given the successful brainwashing, the citizenry seems willing to die to defend it (of course Tibetans and Ughirs are excluded for obvious reasons). As for the Shanghai stock market, if you truly understand China, the ups and downs there isn't necessarily connected to the economy. Most people I know only plays short term because they don't trust the corporate numbers. Then again, can you trust the numbers from American corporations (e.g. Enron)?
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