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China has been increasing their annual defense spending by double-digit percentages year after year,
and the World Bank just reported that by the end of this year, China’s economy will pass all other nations to become the largest single-nation economy in the world.
So does that settle it? Is China now the world’s biggest superpower? Well, no.
First, let’s look at their military. There’s a general consensus that China has the largest active military in the world,
but there’s also a consensus that both Russia and the U.S. rank higher than China as far as military strength is concerned.
And a lot of this is due to greater defense spending, better technology, or a more developed military industrial complex on the part of the U.S. and Russia.
China spends about 126 billion dollars a year on their military, which is more than Russia’s annual spending, but not even close to the U.S.’s annual amount.
And both Russia and the U.S. far outdo China when it comes to weaponry and technical savvy.
Until recently, China was getting most of their military technology from Russia.
They’re now developing some of their own weapons, but on the whole, they still lag far behind.
For example, they’re the only member of the “Big Five” in the UN security council incapable of building their own aircraft carriers.
They did retrofit a Ukrainian Aircraft carrier in 2012, but no one is sure what its military capabilities really are.
Plus, there are widespread reports of corruption and lack of preparedness among Chinese military personnel.
Because their forces are directly tied to the Communist Party and not a free standing professional army,
they’re criticized as being overly political; with bureaucracy, bribes and cronyism often trumping merit.
Recently, one Lieutenant-General was accused of illegally selling hundreds of military positions, appointments, and contracts,
and the former head of the Chinese military was investigated for taking bribes.
Their military strength is improving, but the gap is still huge.
One general of the Chinese Academy of Military Science said in 2006 that “the gap between American and Chinese forces is at least 30, maybe 50 years.”
Economically, there’s a similar divide. China does have the largest economy worldwide, but they also have the fourth largest landmass and the largest population.
So, yes their economy is large, but is it healthy and sustainable? Some experts say no.
China’s population is disproportionately old, and the country's birth rate is low.
According to the International Monetary Fund, “Within a few years the working age population will reach a historical peak and then begin a sharp decline.”
This will lead to fewer workers and higher wages, so they won’t be able to make goods as cheaply.
China also has a low standard of living and a low GDP per capita, ranking 93rd in the world,
so they’re wholly reliant on exporting goods to countries with higher average annual incomes per capita.
This inhibits their ability to generate their own economy, and it makes them more susceptible to competition from the rest of the developing world.
If India or another country can afford to pay its workforce less, manufacturers will almost certainly leave China.
Plus, its economy isn’t necessarily benefiting its people.
China is currently ranked 80th on the Transparency International Corruption Scale,
largely due to a widespread system of bribe-taking and embezzling by their government officials.
They also have 13% of the world’s poor living inside their borders, which makes sense due to their overall size,
But it's still a strong indication of economic disparity between classes.
China is an emerging force on the world stage. Their military and economy are growing at a record rate,
but their ability to maintain this growth and develop into a real superpower is still an open question.
You might be wondering about the amount of U.S. debt that is currently being held by China and how that affects the U.S.’s status as a wealthy nation.
If so, please click now to see our video on that topic.
The U.S. deficit for this year is more than $500 billion dollars. Yet, the U.S. still regularly refers to itself as one of the most prosperous nations in the world. How is that possible?
And remember, we upload new videos five days a week, so please subscribe.
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中國到底有多強? (How Powerful Is China?)

5961 分類 收藏
阿多賓 發佈於 2014 年 10 月 19 日
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