Let’s Not Worry About China
Addressing issues China faces that prevent it from threatening America.
For the past several years, people both in the government and citizens in America have been panicking about “the rise of China.” It’s true, China is growing very quickly, both in terms of economy and influence. However, is it really the giant threat that we make it out to be? The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is a definite no. While China is developing and growing, they have many critical weaknesses that will be discussed here.
An Aging Population
China has the largest population on Earth. While this is both a blessing and a curse, China has taken measures to curtail their large population growth, instituting a “one child” policy. While this has proven successful, it has also had an unforeseen side-effect: a rapidly aging population. Those original people who were born before this policy began to succeed are now beginning to be too old to work. This leads to conflict with Chinese culture.
The Chinese revere their elderly as wise, and it is traditional for younger generations to care for the elderly. With families taking care of parents and grandparents, even great uncles and aunts, there will be a limit to consumer expenditure in China, slowing the market. This economic slow down will inhibit China’s growth, while other populations remain relatively static in age.
The Resurgence of Russia
As China grows, it finds itself no longer the sole power in Asia that is experiencing that growth. Russia, a country that has long reeled from the after effects of the collapse of communism, is once again becoming a prominent power in Asia. Unlike China, Russia is self sufficient in terms of oil, and not a nation dependent on others to provide it. Also, Russia has traditionally exercised a sphere of influence in several nations that share a border with China, such as Kazakhstan.
Dependence on Foreign Business
While China has successfully been expanding its own corporate markets, much of China’s industry is based on manufacturing for foreign business, at very low wages. This dependence on foreign resources keeps China (to a degree) under great influence from foreign powers. Because of this, China is in no position to be a threat to those powers; it’s too early yet to bite the hand that feeds.
The Movement for Democracy
Chinese democracy (not to be confused with the album) is approaching, or at least trying to approach. Unless the Chinese government decides that it’s going to hand the reigns over peacefully (which is unlikely), there will be revolution. Revolution in the name of freedom is great thing; however, it’s not very good for economic growth. This revolution will freeze, if not hurt, China’s advancement in the world, and put a great deal of stress on the resources
This leads again to foreign dependence, as China will likely look to Western models for its government. With China more comparable to America, it will be much friendlier to the American people, and less of a threat. Traditionally speaking, democracies tend to be less hostile toward other democracies.
It’s true, Chinese technology has made a great leap in the last few decades. From its widespread use of cellular phones to its ability to shoot down satellites, it has kept pace with the West in many respects. However, China’s military is still victim to sub-par armaments and presents a logistical problem not seen since the arming of the Red Army in World War II. While China will be able to cope with that, it will not be able to feasibly upgrade technology throughout the nation for many years. Until it catches up, it will face technological superiority from the West.
The Veil of Communism
Finally, we come to China’s primary problem: a communist system. While this is by no means an ideological argument, China stands nearly alone in a capitalist world. China is trying desperately to become as capitalist as possible in all but name, but as long as it attempts to keep up a communist ideal and image, it will always face the problems of such a system. Until the aforementioned Chinese revolution comes, China will likely suffer an ideological lag.
China is a growing power, this cannot be denied. However, it is not a threat, but a competitor. Competition has long existed between nations, and is healthy, not a disaster. China, like America, suffers from weaknesses and excels in its strengths. For now, let’s worry about domestic problems; let China worry about China.