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Finding the New Balance of Power


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#1
Random Guy

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Well, when it comes to the future, we all know one thing: China will be a superpower, and the U.S. will have declined.

But that's wrong.

The United States is as powerful as it is because it has what George Friedman calls "deep power," a balance of military, economic, and political power. It controls the oceans; its access to both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans allow the globe to be patrolled and watched by U.S. ships. No country's navy can make any move without the United States noticing. Atlantic Europe, mostly the countries of Spain, France, Portugal, England, ruled the world for half a millennium. The Atlantic Ocean was the key to global domination; controlling the Atlantic equaled controlling the world's trade routes. But in recent years, trade in the Pacific has equaled trade in the Atlantic. Both the Atlantic and the Pacific are keys to global domination. The united States has therefore become an unintended empire. Mexico could have been in this position, but the loss of several wars forced it into its current borders. So power is in part a matter of geography.

Controlling the oceans gives America all three of these types of power; it controls the world's trade routes, and it can invade just about anywhere without being invaded. It therefore influences greatly the politics of foreign countries. The U.S. also accounts for 25% of the entire world's GDP. Contrary to popular belief, recessions are regular occurances and do not put a major dent in America's economy. In fact, they are meant to happen in order to regulate the economy.

China, on the other hand, is an island. Mountains to the west and south, jungles to the southeast, and harsh deserts to the north isolate it geographically. Its only way out is through the Pacific.

China goes through cycles of relative prosperity and political tension, like what is happening today, and relative poverty and social stability, like it went through during the Cultural Revolution. China is, at its core, agrarian, and Beijing will lose its grip on the coast, causing it to fall apart.

So what does the future hold for the other countries of the world? That is an issue to discuss later, as dinner is being served as we speak.

#2
Azevo

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I am wanting to read a new book of his "The Next 100 Years", have you read it? If so, is it any good? Certainly some believe it will knock the U.S off the "hyper" power stool, however, I think this is the product of the media. It is true that China is growing an immense amount, but this is going to bring about many problems for them in the not so distant future, particularly an idea of the Leftism amongst certain Chinese nationals, I do not know much about it, but one of the lecturers in my faculty is from China and believes that their a growing amount of dissent towards the current Chinese government, mainly due to the government allowing the middle-class to grow so rapidly, making a gap between the rich and the poor, which of course is a big "no, no" in Marxism.. I myself am not sure of Mao's own interruption of Marxism, but would think he would be against a growing middle class. I will not delve to much into it at the moment, but China is going to face some huge problems in the future and likewise, the U.S will as well, the ways in which these countries handle these problems will be a great determinant in the future. Of course this is only a comparison of the U.S and China, there are far more many countries and factors to determining a good outcast of the future if it is possible to have one in Politics..

#3
wjfox

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The US isn't invincible. All empires fall eventually. The American empire has overstretched itself and will be the next to go. Look at Britain for example, which also controlled a quarter of world GDP at its peak. It didn't last.

#4
Random Guy

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The US isn't invincible. All empires fall eventually. The American empire has overstretched itself and will be the next to go.

Look at Britain for example, which also controlled a quarter of world GDP at its peak. It didn't last.


I'm not saying the Untied States will last forever, either. But It's only been the sole superpower for 20 years. Britain's empire lasted for centuries. And even if some new power did emerge, it would have to be able to control the world's oceans, like Britain did because it had access to the Atlantic, and like the United States does because it has access to the Atlantic and the Pacific. Although the Pacific is now just as important to control as the Atlantic, but it has not and will not surpass it. The power would have to be in the Western Hemisphere.

I am wanting to read a new book of his "The Next 100 Years", have you read it? If so, is it any good?


Yes, very good, indeed. I think you should read all of his books eventually, but The Next 100 Years is the one that I refer to in my posts the most.

#5
Azevo

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The US isn't invincible. All empires fall eventually. The American empire has overstretched itself and will be the next to go.

Look at Britain for example, which also controlled a quarter of world GDP at its peak. It didn't last.


I'm not saying the Untied States will last forever, either. But It's only been the sole superpower for 20 years. Britain's empire lasted for centuries. And even if some new power did emerge, it would have to be able to control the world's oceans, like Britain did because it had access to the Atlantic, and like the United States does because it has access to the Atlantic and the Pacific. Although the Pacific is now just as important to control as the Atlantic, but it has not and will not surpass it. The power would have to be in the Western Hemisphere.


I think it is also important to note that Friedman is just using the United States example to prove his overall thesis that history repeats itself in a "sense", that there are certain things which are predictable. The U.S is not his only example either.

#6
Random Guy

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If anyone thinks that China will become a superpower (and doesn't believe me), just wait until the end of the decade. By then its economic boom will be over. Like Japan, in the '80s. Everyone thought that it would become a superpower, but obviously it did not.

#7
Nom du Clavier

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If anyone thinks that China will become a superpower (and doesn't believe me), just wait until the end of the decade. By then its economic boom will be over. Like Japan, in the '80s. Everyone thought that it would become a superpower, but obviously it did not.


China is also much larger than Japan, has a much larger population than Japan, has vastly more resources than Japan with many of them precious and difficult to get outside of China, they're also responsible for a quickly growing percentage of global scientific output...

If anyone thinks China won't become a superpower (and doesn't believe me), just wait until the end of the decade. By then its economic boom might have cooled off, but its economy will have already rivaled those of other superpowers and not calling it a superpower would be a game of semantics.

Little bit of snark aside, I find myself wondering on what basis you believe their economy won't slow down after they're already a superpower. The way I see it, they're holding some mighty fine cards at this juncture that point toward long term growth.
This amount of awesome cannot be from concentrate.

#8
Random Guy

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If anyone thinks that China will become a superpower (and doesn't believe me), just wait until the end of the decade. By then its economic boom will be over. Like Japan, in the '80s. Everyone thought that it would become a superpower, but obviously it did not.


China is also much larger than Japan, has a much larger population than Japan, has vastly more resources than Japan with many of them precious and difficult to get outside of China, they're also responsible for a quickly growing percentage of global scientific output...

If anyone thinks China won't become a superpower (and doesn't believe me), just wait until the end of the decade. By then its economic boom might have cooled off, but its economy will have already rivaled those of other superpowers and not calling it a superpower would be a game of semantics.

Little bit of snark aside, I find myself wondering on what basis you believe their economy won't slow down after they're already a superpower. The way I see it, they're holding some mighty fine cards at this juncture that point toward long term growth.


China has 600 million people earning less than $1,000 a year and 440 million people earning $1,000-2,000 a year. It has just 60 million people, 5% of its population, in the middle-upper class. China is a third world country.

Just wait and see.

#9
SeedNotYetSprouted

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Well, we've seen from China's latest 14 Year Plan that what they want isn't a seesaw; they don't want a single balancing act of power. With regards to the West, they'd rather an 'M' shaped arrangement and with the rest of the world, they want a straight vertical line.

 

America's getting a little pugnacious, and because of their leader's renewed fiestiness, other western countries are getting the audacity to talk back to China( something they'd never have the balls to do without their Red, White, and Blue big brother).

 

So, China plans to decouple from the US -something they haven't been as direct in stating as the US has with regards to decoupling from China. Instead of stating that they're aim is to decouple, they've said that they want to make themselves internally independent of Western markets WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY making other non-western and psuedo-western countries dependent on China. 

 

Their plan is to get all the benefits of disassociating with the US( like not having to Mike Pompeo blabber on about Hong Kong in his swimming trunks, without most of the downsides; they still get to anally probe South Asia, Africa, Australia, and Germany with debt and trade "agreements".

 

I like Xi's style. Hopefully, they'll go ahead and take Taiwan or atleast bomb Guam so we can get this show on the road. 

 

It is the dragon's right to rule the world.



#10
Nick1984

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I think China's one child policy has already prevented China from reaching its full potential, despite it being lifted most of the population have continued to just have one child, it's now ingrained in the culture. As a result, the population is now aging rapidly, the cheap labour that could be pulled out of the countryside is all but depleted. In a way China's 1990s-2010s has mirrored Japan's 1960s-1980s (the latter managed to become a soft power unlike China).

Were now seeing manufacturers leave China due to the development of India and Vietnam along with relatively low wages. The first few decades of this century are China's rise, the middle of this century will be about India's rise.

India has all the conditions for a potential superpower and the current momentum is now showing this. Other than a lack of natural resources compared with other large countries there's little else standing in the way.

#11
TranscendingGod

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^And yet, China is the country eking out growth in 2020. Not only that, but it is set to grow at a staggering 8.2% next year compared to India's relatively paltry 5.4%. You compared China to Japan and likened their current situation to when Japan started their economic stagnation; if we've seen anything it's the exact opposite. China has started out the 2020s in a position of strength and is growing apace in stark contrast to the stagnation that befell Japan in the early 90s. India has not hit a growth rate of 10% in ANY year since 1961 yet China regularly surpassed growth rates of 15% since then.

I would love to see India grow as fast as China has, but such rapid growth simply hasn't materialized. Given the historical and current trajectories I find it difficult to see India overtaking China anytime soon unless something fundamental changes. However, as you mentioned, China is a demographic ticking time bomb and if nothing is done to ameliorate this conundrum India's relative youth certainly confers a large advantage.
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#12
Yuli Ban

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I'll go a step further and say there is no such momentum propelling India further. Presently, India is beset with massive ethnic tensions and a resurgence of ultranationalism that threatens to tear the country apart; its growth also stagnated before the pandemic to boot. There are massive systemic issues preventing India from reaching its own potential. Different issues from China at that, making the two largely incomparable. 

 

If China's biggest issue is demographic collapse, then they're likely to go down the same route as Japan in that they'll pursue very high levels of automation very soon, which is a massive economic boon. Indeed, it is my personal belief that we're soon to see an economic turnaround for Japan in the coming years and decades once AI and robotics mature, decoupling growth from population size. 

 

India isn't in anywhere near as good of a place to exploit this.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#13
PhoenixRu

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If anyone thinks that China will become a superpower (and doesn't believe me), just wait until the end of the decade. By then its economic boom will be over.

 

China is a third world country. Just wait and see.

 

Love this! The post from already a bygone era of pure and naive Western triumphalism. Actually, even the current generation of futuretimeliners (or children of older futuretimeliners) will face a completely different dilemma: not the sweet and pleasant "how to rule the world the best way?" but sad and bitter "how to get rid of this exceptionalist mentality still poisoning our souls and preventing us from properly communicating with a rich, strong and wise civilization..."



#14
caltrek

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Part of the problem with China is the manner in which its government has proceeded to sterilize its society, thus negating the benefits that might flow from being a "wise civilization."  China seems to have definite expansionist aims. This will be a source of tensions between not just China and the United States, but China and the rest of the world.

 

See also: https://www.futureti...-thread/page-75


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#15
joe00uk

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Eventually, everyone's economic boom in the industrial world will be over. I think to most people it's obvious that China will supplant the US as the world's main superpower very soon, but China runs on the same resources as the US does, so eventually they too will suffer their own decline and fall. That said, before the Industrial Revolution, China was one of the wealthiest countries/regions in the world and it will probably continue to be so after industrial civilisation withers away. Chinese history has gone through many cycles of rise and fall, and throughout the millennia they never really suffered the total civilisational collapse that others have, like Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. I suppose that pattern will repeat itself again. 



#16
Nick1984

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https://www.foreigna...short-and-sharp

Yet China’s window of opportunity may be closing fast. Since 2007, China’s annual economic growth rate has dropped by more than half, and productivity has declined by ten percent. Meanwhile, debt has ballooned eightfold and is on pace to total 335 percent of GDP by the end of 2020. China has little hope of reversing these trends, because it will lose 200 million working-age adults and gain 300 million senior citizens over the next 30 years. And as economic growth falls, the dangers of social and political unrest rise. Chinese leaders know this: President Xi Jinping has given multiple speeches warning about the possibility of a Soviet-style collapse, and Chinese elites are moving their money and children abroad.



#17
caltrek

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^^^I stopped reading about half way through. First, a persuasive case as to the dangers of war.

 

The solution?

 

More weapons into the area, stronger alliances with rivals, especially Taiwan, etc.

 

Once an imperialist power, always an imperialist power.

 

Maybe I will come back to read the rest, but right now I am feeling as if the author of the article does not have much in the way of a realistic solution for avoiding war.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#18
Praxis

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The new balance of power will be a world that forgets America and the UK.

 

China's silk road and its willingness to trade and help any country will make it

far more attractive to the world. Pax Sinica will be inevitable and America will fall into disarray

being almost completely irrelevant on the world stage. The UK will push for

CANZUK in hopes they can salvage their tattered economy. Accept Chinese dominance.



#19
caltrek

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^^^In some ways, I can't see what is so attractive about China given their past bully tactics in Tibet, their current oppression and violation of agreements in Hong Kong, their oppression of the Uighur minority, and their ongoing threats to Taiwan.  Their potential as a trading partner is potent, but the U.S. has learned some of the pitfalls of dealing with a country that tramples on intellectual property rights, subsidizes key industries in violation of free trade principles, and subjects its work force to substandard working conditions.

 

The main problem with the U.S. is that it has lost its way as a beacon of democracy.  It has backed too many SOBs on the grounds that they are "our SOBs."  Trump has behaved too much like an autocrat and has protested too much concerning his electoral loss. He has spread unfounded allegations of voter fraud in this country and thus added to the image of the U.S. as a country in which democracy is a problematic proposition.  Temporarily, the U.S. can no longer be looked at as a beacon of democracy in those circumstances.  Biden can put us back on course, but Trump supporters need to wake up to the damage being done to our democratic norms. This damage extends to our image abroad.  We have become our own worst enemy, based on the willingness of many to follow a pathological liar like Trump over the truly progressive forces in this country.  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#20
NoMCmanga

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US doesnt make any unique food, that is their main problem..






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