The coming age of the self-interested superpower – Francois Heisbourg

From the Financial Times, via A Glimpse of the World blog:

With the world’s second largest economy in purchasing power parity and the resource base to modernise its military, China is well on the road to becoming the first new superpower of the 21st century.

Rising China is not simply going to be a remake of Japan √¢‚Ǩ” which never made it to superpower status √¢‚Ǩ” because Beijing, unlike Tokyo, is a strategic free agent. In the geopolitical marketplace, it has become mandatory to anticipate China√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s emergence during the next 10 to 20 years in much the same way as share prices will reflect the forecast performance of a company.

But these forecasts are complicated by uncertainty regarding China’s posture vis-a-vis the US; as partner, competitor or adversary.

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