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Has China Risen as the World`s No. 2 Superpower?

Posted September. 28, 2009 22:42,   


Talk of China as a world superpower to rival the U.S. has risen since late last year, when the global financial crisis erupted.

Such talk has added meaning in that the People`s Republic of China will celebrate its 60th anniversary Thursday.

World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick used the term “G2” in March to urge the world’s two major economies -- the United States and China -- to play the pivotal role in restoring the global economy. Use of the term has since been used more widely in implying that China has become a world superpower, a title which had belonged solely to the U.S.

The term “Chimerica (China and America)” coined few years ago is indicative of predictions that China will lead the world economy along with the U.S.

The “Beijing Consensus,” referring to China’s model of economic development, is also drawing the spotlight. At the second Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the old Washington Consensus is over. His comment raised a fundamental question over the U.S. model of development while giving more significance to China’s.

Nations run by left-wing or autocratic leaders such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bulgaria have paid much attention to the Beijing Consensus in trying to maintain their governments and pursue economic growth at the same time.

China’s official news agency Xinhua said, “China has grown fast because it did not mechanically follow the Western model of economic development but developed a way fit for China’s environment.”

China has regained its former glory but its rapid growth has also fueled worry. Beijing’s willingness to take any risk for its national interest has drawn harsh criticism from the West.

Over the past few years, advanced economies have struggled to cut greenhouse gas emissions while those of China have shot up. In 2006, China became the world’s largest producer of CO2 emissions, beating the U.S.

Beijing also cooperates with countries that suppress human rights, including Sudan and Myanmar, to secure raw materials.