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ERIC Number: EJ878899
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
A Reemerging China: The Time for Hasty Predictions is Past
Zheng, Shiping
Social Education, v74 n1 p21-23 Jan-Feb 2010
In recent years, there has been much talk in the media and the academic world about the "rise of China," as if China were a young country. Because the People's Republic of China (PRC) celebrated its sixtieth birthday only last October--and because the PRC was not admitted into the United Nations until 1971 and did not become a member of the World Trade Organization until 2001--it has been tempting to label China as one of the youngest members of the international community. However, measuring China's age in this way may be misleading, for this is not the first time in history for China to "rise." Before the "rise of the West," China had a long history of world prominence. In fact, by some estimates, China had the world's largest economy as late as 1820. Therefore, rather than say that China is rising, it may be more accurate today to say that China is reemerging as a global power--and this time within an international system established and initially dominated by American and European powers. China is a complex country, full of contradictions and ironies. Because China is the world's most populous nation and is undergoing profound economic and social transformation, both outsiders and insiders must guard against hasty predictions about China's future. Too often in the past, such predictions have turned out to be more laughable than laudable. For instance, in 1997, some China observers predicted a military conflict between the United States and China. In "The Coming Conflict with China," Richard Bernstein and Ross Munro claimed that a military conflict with China was likely. Thirteen years later, such a conflict seems highly improbable. China is now the second largest trading partner of the United States. Perhaps more importantly, as of January 2009, mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Taiwan) became the largest lender of money to the U.S. government. A reemerging China must learn from the international community--just as the international community must learn from China. Learning requires patience, hard work, and serious reflection. The time for hasty predictions is past. Included in this article is a suggestion by Patience Berkman for a related class activity. (Contains 13 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; United States