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  • Why China’s Economic and Military Growth Does Not Mean World Leadership

    Despite China’s 8.7 percent economic growth last year, double-digit annual increases in defense spending since the early 1990s, and holding $800 billion in U.S. treasuries, it is far from overtaking the U.S. role as global leader.  Its closed economy, undervalued currency, and state-controlled exports keep getting in the way.

    In a recent column, Heritage Vice President Kim Holmes explains why. The Chinese invest heavily in our economy because it’s freer than their own. China only comes in at 140th out of 179 economies ranked in the latest Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom. Its controlled economic system blocks the very domestic reforms that China needs to lead in an open economic system. Even its growing military strength is no qualifier for great leadership status, because its actions do not foster confidence and trust. Finally, its values are not globally shared.

    If China is ever to rise to the level of a trusted global partner, it needs to abandon its authoritarian ways, loosen its grip on the economy, expand freedoms, and become a democracy.  Only democracies, Holmes points out, provide the kind of accountability that builds trust. And thus only democracies “can lay true claim to world leadership.”

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Why China’s Economic and Military Growth Does Not Mean World Leadership

    1. Spiritof76, NH says:

      I am not sure why we are worried about China when we have to worry about US sliding down to allow China become a major power by default.

      US may be a superpower for now. But it won't last with accelerating debt and socialism replacing free market. Please tell us how we will repay the debt that we have accumulated along with the unfunded liability. What makes you think that the US is a bastion of freedom with all the crippling rules, vast swaths of economy under the government control and crippling taxation in the name of income redistribution?

      Believe me;China with 3-million in uniform presents a formidable threat. Obama dutifully complied with the Chinese suggestion that he better not talk to Dalai Lama. Obama is afraid to bring up the human rights issues with the Chinese leaders. It is not a picture of a strong and confident super power but one that is weakening.

    2. Dusty, Indiana says:

      The Left is almost single-minded in its obsession with economic matters. Economics touches everything, and so it becomes a quick and easy way for proponents of collectivism and socialism to control more and more of the society.

      Regardless your political affiliation, all Americans should be adverse to such totalitarian notions. This is easily the best column I've found explaining what it is a sane, liberty-loving American needs to know about Economics: http://rjmoeller.com/2010/02/the-economics-of-mer

    3. Michael O. Powell says:

      While China seems to have become the world's factory, I've long contended that India may find itself becoming one of the world's most significant power players. While India has alot of problems, including deep inequality, it allows for far more freedom for its citizens than China. It's also a natural ally of the United States, whereas, even after decades of normalization, our relationship with China remains chronically tense.

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