China, USA, Europe: In the Media
Questions to Fareed Zakaria
Brooklyn, NY: How can young people best prepare themselves for a future where China is dominant?
Fareed Zakaria: Learn about China, learn about Asia. Travel. It's not just the rise of China. It's a whole new world out there, much more important, anxious to be heard, unwilling to be ignored. Americans really need to wake up to this.
Manila, Philippines: And what about the European Union? Are they not also the next superpower? What issues can you give about EU and China?
Fareed Zakaria: Europe is a prosperous trading and economic grouping. It can not and will never act as one country on foreign and security policy. Also, it is having great trouble restricting and even greater trouble taking in immigrants. This will limit its future growth. Europe may turn out to be the superpower that just couldn't.
When China awakes, it will shake the world.
- Napoleon Bonaparte
Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro, The Coming Conflict With China (New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc, 1997), p 203
China's history in the 20th century has been marked by occupation and civil war. This experience has fueled its strong desire for Great Power status and at the same time put it decades behind the West in technological development. Under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China has undergone a transformation, which has produced a tremendous economic turnaround. China is now a major trading nation which has built up an impressive foreign currency holding and is predicted to be the world's largest economy by 2010. The Chinese leadership has recognized that economic reform is the only way to achieve the status it desires on its own terms.
Get Smart, by Norman Augustine
Next to war, the greatest threat to American power and prosperity is our acute education deficit.
The major writing systems of East Asia do hold complexities not encountered in the languages of the West. However, it is the beauty and challenge of these writing systems that makes them so fascinating. By accepting this challenge of comprehension, we take the first step—not only economically—but also culturally, toward greater understanding. Language is the most tangible bridge between the divide of East and West.
U.S. Perceptions of a Chinese Threat
Today, it appears to be the Pentagon's view that China is following the Soviet model. The Chinese will not be able to float a significant surface challenge to the U.S. Seventh Fleet for at least a generation -- if then. It is not just a question of money or even technology; it also is a question of training an entirely new navy in extraordinarily complex doctrines.
Therefore, China's actions and America's interpretation of those actions must be taken extremely seriously over the long run. The United States is capable of threatening fundamental Chinese interests, and China is developing the capability to threaten fundamental American interests. Whatever the subjective intention of either side at this moment is immaterial. The intentions ten years from now are unpredictable.
Each side is defensive at the moment. Each side sees a long-term possibility of a threat. Each side is moving to deflect that threat. This is the moment at which conflicts are incubated.