China as a country has become a dominating force when it comes to using its power on a global stage whether than be its softs power or its hard power. Whereas the United States had its global influence peak during the cold war. This essay will show how the US has lost its influence on a global stage and how China has become a global superpower.
China becoming a global influence has been quite interesting in terms of the historical aspect. They are the only country in the world to have succussed with the use of the Communist philosophy. They became a superpower beating the United States of America in a number of significant ways. Starting with its vast economic capabilities, China has many natural resources right at its feet according to the Chinese government the have 158 mineral reserves each with there own unique mineral to mine from (No2.mofcom.gov.cn, 2018). They also have an extremely large population, in fact, they have the largest population in the world at 1.379 billion people. China has a remarkably large population for which they have a workforce. According to Statistica 72.5% of the Chinese population is between the ages of 15 and 64 (Statista, 2016) China started off as a relatively restricted economy due to the principles of communism. Even before communism, they were quite restricted in terms of having an open to the economy before the British forced open the Chinese economy they kept to themselves in order to hide what they had from the rest of the world. They were completely closed off to the word in terms of the economy. Starting with the opening up of diplomatic relations with the United States of America during the Nixon presidency. China decided to capitalise on its potential quite literally in the form of special economic zones. This was thought of as a good idea because previously foreign investment had to be in approved by the government. During this time China went through a massive urbanisation process. Whereas as a result of the special economic zones there was a lot of jobs to be had for example the city of Shenzhen went from a small fishing village of 30,000 people to a sprawling city of 12 million competing(Worldpopulationreview.com, 2018) with the economic power of Hong Kong because prior to this Hong Kong had been the economic powerhouse China had always lusted after prior to the growth of the special economic zones Hong Kong had made up most of China’s gross domestic product 27% in 1993 (EJ Insight, 2018) now as a result of the special economic zones Hong Kong’s percentage of China’s GDP is now at 2.9% in 2017 (EJ Insight, 2018) . These reforms were all instated under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018) The south of China flourished during this time it led to the mass urbanisation of such cities like Shenzhen and Shantou these special economic zones offered the regional governments of these zones the ability to give tax incentives to attract foreign investors. This then became the first time that companies were truly able to tap into the Chinese economy. After this, the Chinese economy grew rapidly prior to the introduction of the special economic zones China’s economy was primarily agricultural but once the foreign investment came in the Chinese government now had the more to offer to its citizens so they rural populations flocked to the coast for jobs.
Now to discuss how China is using its economic might to influence the world. China is now using it’s soft power with its might to influence developing countries. The best example of this would be the belt road initiative. The belt road initiative is this grand plan to invest in developing countries particularly in Africa by funding healthcare and infrastructure projects. In the words of Xi Jinping, “it is a 21st century Silk Road” (Kuo and Kommenda, 2018). China has attracted mass foreign investment into itself particularly with there cheap labour costs and little regulation and tax incentives. An example of this would be that China now has the world’s largest car market according to the Chinese Embassy in the United States. (Jie, 2009) For instance, China has recently been settling it’s border disputes with the rest of the world, for instance, former Indian prime minister Vajpayee’s visit in 2003 resulted in a number of agreements in order to end border disputes and open up India to the Chinese economy and vice versa. (Eisenman, Heginbotham and Mitchell, 2007). China is starting this initiative not only in order to expand economically outside of China but to grow its sphere of influence around the world. Some examples of this would be China willingly giving to its neighbours in order for them to become an economic vassal. Apart from one major sticking point which would open up a lot to China economically would be that of the South China Sea dispute. But back to how China is opening up In the book ‘The Chinese Century’ the Challenge To Global Order’ the Chinese elite said that one of the most important decisions in recent Chinese history was to embrace economic globalisation instead of shying away from it. (Scott, 2008).China embracing the world through multiple projects under the silk road initiative. Such projects under the belt and road initiative, include the Maritime silk road where China is building multiple seaports in order to harness the trade potential of the Indian Ocean stretching from Colombo in Sri Lanka to Walvis Bay in Namibia according to financial times (Kynge et al., 2018). China is also influencing the world through hacking now it is very hard to find information since you know China wants to keep this stuff secret. For example, recently it has been revealed that China is infiltrating computers in order to track your information in the interest of corporate business and to get secretive information for the government. (Robertson and Riley, 2018). China is influencing the world for a variety of reasons. Starting with the fact it wants to expand its influence outside of China and show what China can do for other countries especially with the diminishing influence of the United States of America. The Chinese want to show the rest of the world what it can do in that it has moved on from an unindustrialised country to a country of extensive power and expertise.
Now onto how the United States of America how they gained their power and how the influential power of the United States of America is declining at a rapid century. For some background, the US wasn’t really a major world power until just prior to World War One because prior to this they were a developing country still learning to be itself and it had to focus on issues domestically such as states rates and the civil war in the 1860 ‘s. They truly started to gain influence during the Spanish American War where the United States Of America showed that the Spanish colonial empire was now extinct The United States wanted to show the rest of the world what they had to offer by taking Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines from the Spanish as a result of the Manifest density first put into principle by the Polk administration. After this American influence grew around the world especially during both world wars were the United States sent troops to both. The US influence throughout the world peaked during the Cold War as it was seen that the United States needed to do whatever possible in order to stop the spread of communism around the world. For example, under the realist policies of Henry Kissinger such as Detente or containment were Henry Kissinger wanted to ease relations with countries the United States previously had strained relationships such as the Cuban Missile Crisis with this policy and other ones the United States got involved in my mind too many conflicts and countries and in some cases made the countries much worse such as in Chile we’re the United States propped up Pinochet through CIA involvement. Furthermore, the United States influence sphere of influence started to diminish after the failure and embarrassment of the Vietnam war in which the United States started to realise that the foreign policy of containment had its limits. According to the book, The War On Terrorism and the American ‘Empire’ after the Cold war the author states that the United States became a diminishing power as a result of declining competitive base and a rising deficit (Cola?s and Saull, 2006) Other examples of this include the Marshall plan which was a plan which oversaw the rebuilding of Europe and ultimately to stop the spread of communism. This is what most people see as the peak of US influence around the world stopping the world from becoming communist being driven by one goal and yes this ideology may have attributed to the killing of thousands such as in the Korean war or in Chile according to amnesty international 28,459 people were arrested and most of them were subject to torture (Amnesty.org, 2013) but ultimately it did achieve its goal in stopping the spread of communism. Now to discuss how the United States of America has lost its influence throughout the world. The United States started to lose its influence on a global stage after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which the US responded out of pure bitterness and animosity instead of being calm cool and collected. The influence of these decisions showed how the US was changing in that it was no longer safe and secure in being a global hegemon now it had to deal with new issues especially those that are domestic instead of looking out for itself it needs to look after itself with arising internal issues such as the reemergence of racist attitudes in the south or the ever-changing demographics of the US. With the current administration as well the United States went back an entire generation. An example of this would be the meeting between US president Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin where Trump ultimately gave Putin the upper hand effectively ending the United States being a hegemon for the world an example of this is what Angela Merkel the current German Chancellor said about the current German-US relationship where Angela Merkel said “the times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over.” (Paravicini, 2017) Which shows that as of the current German government this is one of the few times they have sensed a distrust in the American government. The current Trump administration is not the only one to blame for the demise of the so-called American Empire it was also during the Obama administration with the Policy of retrenchment described by the white house as leading from behind according to the Atlantic (Cohen, 2018)especially with the reluctance of Obama to get openly involved in conflicts such as the Yemen war or the Syrian civil war.This, therefore, creates a double standard in which the United States wants to support everyone in becoming democratic but then supports Saudi Arabia in committing heinous and immoral war crimes in Yemen. Which therefore by default gave Iran and China a bigger sphere of influence in the middle east. Foreign leaders find Trump alarming very much in the same tone of speech that was used during world war two but the cannot find any trust in the man an example of this would be that according to the Atlantic only 14 per cent of Americans trust in their government to do what is right (Friedman, 2018). This is also shown in a lack of other governments not trusting the United States, for instance, Trump is undoing everything that Obama did which is angering everyone in the United States and other countries because generally as an unwritten rule you respect what the previous administration did regardless of political party.
To conclude you can see how the United States of America is a diminishing power in a number of ways whether that be from its motives around the world or to its ever-changing foreign policy. China has become the global hegemon that is slowly but surely replacing the United States through such motives as the belt and road initiative. The United States will have to learn how to adapt in a world of a new hegemon and emerging powers
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