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In the past few decades, China has achieved many things. But despite that it is not correct to call it a "superpower", says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:
A US media tracker has listed "the rise of China" as the most read news story of this decade, more than even the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the American invasion of Iraq. An article in Forbes even refers to China as a "superpower". But China is not.
True, this year China has made progress on the economic front. When most other countries are still struggling to emerge out of the global economic crisis, China is leading the global recovery with its fantastic pace of growth. Plus, it is playing a greater role at international conferences.
But despite all that, it is not correct to call this developing nation a "superpower". With a per capita GDP of $3,000 and 150 million people, or more than 10 percent of its population, still living below the poverty line, China still has a lot to do to improve the lives of its people.
A large section of the Western media praises China's rise, but others have not been true to the point. For example, we heard a lot about the "G2 (US-China) hypothesis" during the climate change conference in Copenhagen, which implied that China should pay for the greenhouse gas emissions of the developed countries. Another idea doing the rounds has been floated by a US think tank - that China should join the US' war in Afghanistan. This certainly is a call to trouble.
More often the "superpower" notion is connected to another concept, that is, the "China threat theory". History shows that whenever some Western countries have needed China to share their burden, they have praised it to heaven so that they could use it as a tool.
People should be wary of that. China is indeed developing rapidly, but it should be careful not to fall into the "superpower" quagmire.
(China Daily 12/24/2009 page9)