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China should not be too much concerned with the status of being a superpower or comparison with western nations and systems too much.|
1) US may be a superpower in democracy as it were, many European and other western nations do not like the many aspects of US society. Indeed, many European leaders do their best to stop change into the American system of many of their life. Eg are education, social services, health and indeed military. In Australia there have been prime ministers openly tell people that they do not want to see the US health and social service system copied in Australia at all.
Chinese people that see US as the gold standard should not be too blinded by their own false assessment of US and living in US.
2) Helen Wang, like most people, it seems, have somehow interpreted developments of nations without taking into account the TIME & PHASES of developments. As a share analyst and bond analyst for many years and for many different markets around the world and as a person who likes economic history and history in general, my assessment is that the current phase of developments of China is about right to what the country's economic power offer to the world.
Not even GM, IBM, Ford, Microsoft, Intel, Mercede Benz, GE, Boeing, Merck, Bell, Simens, AB&B, Phillips, Samsung, Sony, Mitsui Industry, POSCO etc got their start with BRAND NEW INNOVATIONS. All have had used others' ideas and indeed copied competitors' products to reach where they are in their respective industry. All have to consider cash flow to finance their own innovativeness efforts.
Chinese industries are currently and for the next 2 decades will be this however this will change after that.
3) There is no point in China aiming for the superpower status. Such goal will just create tension between China and the western countries. There is one major mentality of the west that the Chinese people do not know in general.,
Western history is predominately European history plus 200 years of US history. There is one major characteristics of European history that Chinese history does not have as much significant driver in the thinking of ordinary Europeans and European nations.
FREQUENCY of WARS among the European countries.
Europe is not a unified entity and it seems it will never. The animosity among the European countries go back to the end of the Roman Empire. From 500 AD small states most of which are cities and small regions sprout all over Europe. Over time they form larger nations or dukedomes. However the city state structures were still the norm in Europe even till the 1800's.
Germany as we know of today did not come into being till 1867 when Prussia easily defeated Bavaria (southern Germany and mainly Catholic). It took Prussia some 150 years to expand from their base in today northern Germany/Poland to the rest of Germany by fighting one city state after another in Germany. From 1867, they even tried to take in Austria, another German speaking nation. Austria itself was an empire made up of territories in Central and Southern Europe at the time. Even Adolf Hitler tried to swallow up Austria. Military and wars were the tools for the German unification. The Prussian militarism did not die out till the utter defeat of Germany in WW Two.
United Kingdom did not exit till the union act of 1707 when Scotland was formally brought into Great Britain. Before that centuries of conflict between Scotland and England was the norm.
The Catholic empires of France, Spain and Austria fought against the Protestant nations of England and Holland and others in the 1600's. The English fought the French for centuries as the English kings tried to get their land back from today southern and western France till the late 1500's. The Poles fought the Russians to dominate Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states till the 19th centuries. The Sweden was active in northern Europe and Russia till the 18th century.
The history of Europe is one of wars and more wars. The attitude of average Europeans is one of mistrust of other Europeans and indeed, at times, outright suspicion.
Switzerland is a very good case in study. It has not gone to war for over 600 years. However it has constructed tens of thousands of kilo meters of tunnels in their mountain range. These tunnels are used in case there is an invasion of Swizerland by other nations so that the Swiss people and government could move into the tunnelt and function continuously.
This is PURE SIEGE MENTALITY that is also prevalent in European people.
US policy makers read more about European history than they care about history of China or other regions. So they also have this siege mentality in their thinking. The US policy makers and politicians continue to maintain the need for a massive military power to keep other nations in check.
Australians have this attitude that China would dominate Asia by military means. Australians are mainly European by blood. Their school history books are about Europe. So they have the same attitude towards China like the rest of western world.
Napolepon once said that to leave China alone as when it was awakened the dragon would be difficult to deal with. Napoleon was talking about China clearly from military point of view.
The Western nations and people take their own sense of history and reflect it on the dealing with China. They have only one 'experience' as testeifed by their history, so they automatically assume that China is a threat and military menace sooner or later. This is their mentality which China needs to try to change as far as China is concerned.
4) China has been a unified nation and a continuous entity for over 2,000 years. Beside the old Egyptian kingdoms, China has the longest surviving culture. As a result, in history, most Chinese empires did not consider expansion outside China proper. Even when China had plenty of opportunity to bully other nations and indeed to take others' lands, this type of aggressions seldom occurred.
Whenever I read Chinese history, I am always proud of the fact the boundary of China has been more or less remained the same throughout the 2200 years since the first emperor's unifying China in 221BC. This is clear indication to me and indeed to China that China has been content and indeed comfortable with her own place in the world. There is no need to grab and not need to be superpower. The size and diversity of the Chinese nation is more than sufficient.
In contrast, the Europeans are envious of China, US and Russia for their large lands and diversities. That was the reason for the imperialism of European nations in the 1800~1900's. They are small nations and they want to expand to other territories. Their history is not just wars against one another but also based on the fear factor. Fear that they are small so they have to fight to become bigger. That is Siege Mentality and expansionism is overwhelming. So they see the rise of China as threat to their own ambition and existing influences as well their own security.
5) China should not aim for being the superpower in an open manner. The Western nations find this THREATENING. Instead, China and the average Chinese people should take the attitude that China just want to be economically prosperous and share the prosperity with everyone in a peaceful manner. This will soothe the fear and concerns of western nations. Over decades, they will come to realisation that military forces are not the solutions and fears for the sake of fears are detrimental to true world peace. China indeed should aim to do this to maintain peace in the world. That is China should EDUCATE the western nations that co-operations and not fears are the means to have peace and prosperity.
Pax Romana. Pax Britainia and Pax USA are periods in history whereby great nations using means of their power to maintain good relationship and hence facilitate trades and interactions among people-nations that created prosperity for all. However Pax Romana, Pax Britainia and Pax USA have been the children of wars and and were enforced by military means. That is the Romans, the British and the Americans have maintained their influence by means of military powers.
Is this what China wants? Using military force to enforce Pax China as it seems that China will be an super economic nation and general prosperity is enjoyed by all from the second half of 21st century.
Do Chinese people want Chinese military do the policing of the Pax China as the Romans, British and Americans have done when they militarily dominated the world at different stages of the history?
China should not and we as Chinese people should aim for more than this. History of China should be the lesson. Our ancestors did not go out and bully others. They did not go and conquer other lands. We should therefore follow our history.
We average Chinese and China's government should aim to achieve and maintain Pax China using means of sharing prosperity and true peacefulness with all nations in the world.
........ PAX CHINA .......