2008: The year a new superpower is born

Here comes the world’s newest superpower. The rest of the world is gloomily contemplating economic slowdown and even recession. Not in Beijing. China is set to make 2008 the year it asserts its status as a global colossus by flexing frightening economic muscle on international markets, enjoying unprecedented levels of domestic consumption and showcasing itself to a watching world with a glittering £20bn Olympic Games.

The world’s most populous nation will mark the next 12 months with a coming-of-age party that will confirm its transformation in three decades from one of the poorest countries of the 20th century into the globe’s third-largest economy, its hungriest (and most polluting) consumer and the engine room of economic growth.

Once regarded at best as a sporting also-ran, China is widely tipped to top the medals table in the Beijing Olympics in August, an event in which the country’s leadership is investing huge importance and prestige.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China

3 comments on “2008: The year a new superpower is born

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I loved the line about how the phrase “Made in China” may soon be replaced by the phrase “Owned by China.”

    But while there was repeated mention in this short article about how the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing pose a risk to China’s new PR image as an economic giant if any obvious repression of dissent takes place, there was no mention of religious persecution. And alas, the fact of brutal religious suppression in China is well documented. Nor was there any mention of the fabulously rapid and massive growth of the Christian Church in China.

    The Olympic Games pose interesting challenges and opportunities for us as Christians, since many thousands of Christ followers will be there in some capacity. And opportunities for Chinese Christians to engage in witness and building relationships with the outside world should be extensive, since the Communist government will be reluctant to interfere, with the whole world watching so closely.

    David Handy+

  2. Irenaeus says:

    “Superpower” is a post-World War II intensification of the traditional term “great power.” China is a great power. It will become a superpower. But it is not yet a superpower in the sense that the Soviet Union was and the United States is. To draw some very rough analogies, we might think of China as having the economic muscle of Japan and the global military capability of France.

  3. New Reformation Advocate says:

    #2, Irenaeus,

    OK, I’ll go along with that analogy, except that I have no fears about France indulging in expansionist hopes. It’s probably only a matter of time before China makes a play to take over Taiwan. I don’t see France threatening to take over Gibralter etc.

    But on a conservative Anglican blog, it seems appropriate to call attention to the astounding growth and vitality of the ethnic Chinese wing of Anglicanism. Singapore has become the base for an incredibly dynamic missionary outreach that now extends far and wide throughout the Pacific Rim.

    May God bless ++John Chew and the amazing Province of Singapore! They are an inspiration to us all.

    David Handy+