U.S. versus China? PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 April 2017 13:47

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Regina, Sask, Ca. — I’m a TIME mag reader. I came across an article written by Bryan Walsh entitled, “The American Century isn’t over: China won’t end U.S. dominance — but political gridlock and isolationism could.” Below are excerpts of the article.

“As Harvard political scientist Joseph Nye takes a seat, he glances at a portrait that looms over the conference room. ‘There he is,’ says Nye.

“He is Henry Luce, the founder of TIME and LIFE magazines. In a 1941 editorial in LIFE, Luce urged the U.S. to enter World War II to defend democratic values and create the first great American century.

“Today, a rising China is a great rival. A 2013 Pew poll of 39 countries found that most people believed China already was or would eventually become the world’s leading superpower — and that included nearly half of Americans.

“To which Nye says: Not so fast. A pioneer in the theory of soft power and the dean of American political scientists, Nye knows geopolitics. In his book, ‘Is the American century over?’, Nye makes a strong case that American geopolitical superiority, far from being eclipsed, is still firmly in place and set to endure. And the biggest threat isn’t China or India or Russia — it’s America itself.

“It’s easy to forget what a global behemoth the U.S. remains today. Take military power: the U.S. not only spends four times more on defense than the No. 2 country, China, but it also spends more than the next eight countries combined. The U.S. navy controls the seas, and the country’s military has troops on every inhabited continent...

“But the most important reason the U.S. will continue to dominate is the lack of a visible rival. Nye dismisses each in turn. The European Union is too fractured, Japan is too old, Russia is too corrupt, India is too poor, Brazil is too unproductive.

“As for China, Nye expects that as the country keeps growing, it will take up more space on the international stage. But Beijing faces major internal challenges that could derail its rise: a polluted environment, an aging population and inefficient state-owned industries.

“America is far from faultless... But it’s difficult to imagine that the world would be a better place if Vladimir Putin’s Russia or Xi Jinping’s China were running things. ‘I believe this is a different country,’ says Nye. Henry Luce couldn’t have said it better.”