When you consider the sheer size of China, both geographically and by population size, along with its extensive history and deep rooted culture, it would be safe to question,”why is it that only over the past 15 year has China made a notable impact on the world stage?”
China’s power radiating out from The Party has penetrated into multiple sectors around the world. In 1990 China’s GDP growth rate stood at mere 11th in the world, by 2011 China had surged forward to become (and remains) the 2nd largest economy in the world. The Chinese now possess the world’s most powerful computer, the world's largest radio telescope in which the aperture is completely filled and China is the largest foreign holder of US debt with around 6% on its books.
China sets out its targets to a level which are unrivalled on this planet. Nonetheless, with this new found power, which has such an immerse effect on the world stage, how is China going to wield it?
Over the past couple of weeks we have seen China’s outright dismissal of the judgement given by an international tribunal in the Hague as China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea becomes more evidential. The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded strongly stating that:
“The award is invalid and has no binding force,” the Ministry said. “China does not accept or recognize it.”
As a result, we have begun to notice various alliances beginning to emerge. For example, the spooning of relations between the US and Vietnam, as the US lifts the four-decade-old lethal arms embargo on Vietnam. Joint naval exercises between India and Japan have begun to take place In addition, countries such as The Philippines and Malaysia have increased their awareness of a potential territorial dispute with China and thus, have bolstered their naval defences.
Ruled by one, The Party, who boasts single handedly the entirety of Chinese power, however shrouded by secrecy, stronger tight knit bonds will have to be made and fundamentally different idiosyncrasies ironed out as China becomes one of the most prominent powers on the world stage.
From a purely political, cultural and ethical point of view, I believe that in the next 10-20 years we are going to witness profound changes in cross-border relations in the Asia region and the Chinese system itself.
Author: Luc - Spanish - Student of Politics and International Relations