The Next Super Power

On April 24, I attended a panel at the 2010 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The topic was “China: The Next Superpower?” The experts were Richard Baum, author of China Watcher: Confessions of a Peking Tom; Zachary Karabell, Superfusion, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, China in the 21st Century.

Baum is an expert on politics; Karabell on money/economics, and Wasserstrom on history.

Wasserstrom said that China is not the older country. The PRC was sixty-years old while the United States was more than two hundred, and that the Communist and American Revolutions rejected colonialism then both expanded into other countries and territories to become world powers.

Baum added that the cultural differences are significant starting with Confucianism, which expresses collective rights instead of individual rights as in America.

Karabell mentioned that there was a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance between the United States and China. For one thing, China’s trade with the world is about even between exports and imports and what China buys from the United States keeps many Americans working.

Learn about Human Rights the Chinese Way


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

4 Responses to The Next Super Power

  1. Yuqi says:

    Hi, this is Yuqi!

    After reading this article, I don’t think I hold the same view as Wasserstrom does, politically, China established only 60 years, however, before 1949, China already had an extensive history, which strong influenced the culture. In other words, China is still a very old country.

    Let’s go back to the topic, “The next super power?” First of all, I already heard so many people were saying “China is potentially to be the next super power”.
    However, I do not agree. Super power means a country must be advanced on almost any important factors, such as politics(influence), economy, technology, education,military, business and so no.

    The only thing now seems to be good is economy, but China also suffers from the pollution because the economy grows too fast, and people did not focus on protecting environment. political system makes China grow slowly, China is not that red, but still kind of communist, especially, human rights. For me, I think this is a big issue, how could a super power’s citizens do not have enough human rights. In terms of education, China is not really that advanced. Technology is OK, but still in process.

    In general, I worry about China more than being positive.

    • You are right, China has been around a lot longer than sixty years, but the political system that China has today is only sixty years old and is still suffering growing pains. That’s what Wasserstrom meant.

      Hitler’s Nazi Germany was a super power and so was Imperial Japan–both of those dictatorships were worse than the government that rules China today. It took a World War that cost more than fifty million lives to knock those two super powers off their perch. Japan during World War II killed almost forty million Chinese during the occupation.

      Prior to that War, America was not considered a super power. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, America had a little more than a hundred thousand men in the military and the weapons were dated to World War I. Since World War II, America has spent more than 23 Trillion dollars developing and modernizing their military.

      France and the United Kingdom were also considered super powers before World War II. For sure, the United Kingdom was a super power, since the sun never set on the British Empire, which still ruled over Singapore, Australia, India, parts of Africa and a lot of other real estate around the world.

      It doesn’t matter what kind of political system a country has. It’s the wealth and the military power that decides that and China is quickly reaching that status. China has a large military close to the size of America’s military. Presently, China is spending money to modernize their military and amazing as it sounds, America depends on China to build America’s modern military weapons, since China is the only country on the earth that produces the rare elements needed.

      Althought China isn’t a super power yet, it is possible for China to become a super power in the near future. Yes, China has polluted their environment but what caused that to happen? You may want to read “Where All that Pollution Came From” to find out.

      Use this link:

      China’s urban population is about five hundred million people where most of the development is taking place. Since America has only three hundred million people, a case could be made that China is really two countries, urban and rural, where a lot of work must be done to improve the lifestyle of the other 800 million Chinese who live in the countryside away from the cities.

      I’ve studied and written about most of the topics you’ve touched on. Thank you for your comment.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lloyd Lofthouse. Lloyd Lofthouse said: The Next Super Power?: […]

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: