China opens public discussion of its rising power – Joseph Kahn
Spain had a risk-taking queen. Britain’s nimble navy secured vital commodities overseas. The United States regulated markets and fought for national unity.
Those are among the reasons that nine nations rose to become great powers, according to an elite team of Chinese historians. They briefed the ruling Politburo on the subject and informed the public through a 12-part television documentary broadcast over the past two weeks on China Central Television.
China’s Communist Party has a new agenda: It is encouraging people to discuss what it means to be a major world power, and has largely stopped denying that China intends to become one soon.
With its $1 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, surging military spending and diplomatic initiatives in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Beijing has begun asserting its interests far beyond its borders. Chinese party leaders are acting as if they intend to start exercising more power abroad rather than just protecting their political position at home. [Full Text]
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