Hemmed in by a Lack of Clarity


In a long term view, the rise of China is to be welcomed, but today China remains what the journalist Martin Wolf calls a "premature superpower." China's current reputation for power benefits from projections about the future. In one poll, 44 percent of respondents mistakenly thought that China already had the world's largest economy, compared to 27 percent who accurately picked the United States (which is three times larger).  Martin Jacques even entitled his recent book When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. Some people draw analogies to the rise of Germany a century ago, and predict a coming conflict with the U.S. like that between Germany and Britain. Fortunately, these fears are exaggerated.

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