Not so long ago, in the Cold War, the world order was defined by the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. In the actual times, experts consider that we are witnessing the reemergence of a bipolar world in which the United States and China exercise joint leadership.
But, does China has what it takes to be the only hegemon power in the global world?
After the collapse of the USSR, many would argue there has been no clear rival to American leadership and that the US has enjoyed absolute military superiority in every party the world.
However, in the constant war of maintaining its power, a new leader is emerging; China.
Over the past thirty years, China has built the most successful capitalist economy in history, led and managed contradictory, by a communist party.
Image retrieved here
China’s history has been very rich, starting with the Middle Kingdom, from the rise of the Hann in 200 BCE throughout the different dynasties, the Tang, Yuan, the famous Ming and finally the Qing Dynasty and the start of the Republic in 1912.
In 1949, the Communist Revolution transformed China into a different kind of civilised state, terrifying westerns who were already worried that the Maoist hegemony would spread is communist power. By 1960, the Maoist slogans were heard across the globe by radical students or by multiple protests. (Lee, 2016)
Since Mao’s death in 1976, the Chinese Communist Party has tried to provide Chinese people with growing economic prosperity, political stability and nationalism.
After the economic reforms in 1978, Beijing has emerged as a new superpower. It is important to notice that China has the biggest population and leads the first place in the GDP ranking. The country poses the biggest reserve of foreign exchange and gold and is the first one in energy production. (CIA, 2016)
China may not possess the biggest army or the most powerful military but to we have to consider that there are other types of power. A successful hegemony is a civilised state, representing a role model for a way of life that others want to adopt share and participate in.
China has strongly tried to enhance its soft power, through media, gastronomy, art and the 2008 Olympic games China has been creating publicity for the country. But are those efforts enough?
Few other nations are eager to accept the global leadership of a nationalistic dictatorship run by the Chinese Communist Party. Is important to understand that China lacks ethical bases and moral foundation to be a hegemony.
In spite of the economic growth and technological advances, China has not accomplished the massive publicity that the US has achieved in the last decade to appeal citizens.
“The American dream”, the massive migration and the promotion of individual freedoms has made of the United States of America a true hegemony. If China’s goal is to become the next global supremacy, more effort has to be made.
By Ann Norata
Beeson, M. (2016, July 16). East Asia Forum. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from China’s achieving hegemony is easier said than done: http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/07/13/chinas-achieving-hegemony-is-easier-said-than-done/
Chen, D. (2015, January 14). The Diplomat. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from Relax, China won’t challenge US Hegemony: http://thediplomat.com/2015/01/relax-china-wont-challenge-us-hegemony/
CIA . (2016). The World Factbook. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html
Lee, J.-Y. (2016). China’s Hegemony. Columbia University Press.
The Wall Street Journal. (2016, Feb 24). China seeks hegemony. Retrieved Nov 2016, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-seeks-hegemony-1456358971