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Does the future belong to China or Europe?

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posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 03:44 PM
In popular culture and thought, it is commonly held to believe that the 21st century belongs to the People's Republic of China. And why not? Its economy is on an absolute tear, it boasts the world's biggest population, and is maknig headway in just about every area possible. To understand what makes China a hot prospect, take a look at this awesome Wikipedia article China as an emerging superpower.

At the same time, what I am seeing in the halls and minds of the academics is a very different view of the situation. It appears as if China's rise is quite overstated and that it actually faces some serious problems that may thwart its growth. Its economic growth is said to be unsustainable, there is very uneven development and growth, environmental pollution, and China has far too many enemies, including its own people. All things considered, China's century does not appear to be the 21st century.

It appears as if we have forgotten about a potential superpower all along and we are only just beginning to remember its existence: the European Union. Another great Wikipedia article lays this out very well European Union as an emerging superpower. Forget China; the European Union is the world's largest economy and the EU does not seem as reliant on the U.S. as China is. The EU is also far ahead of the game in terms of quality of life, overall development, military power, and world standing. For example, the EU is not percieved as a threat, while China is seen as the next big problem. If a poll were taken today, I believe most Americans would be in favor of the EU as a superpower instead of China. The obstacles the EU faces tend to be demographic and social, as opposed to political and economic.

The EU has really surfaced considerably in the past year, and even popular culture is beginning to take the hint. Electronic Arts' Battlefield 2142 has the European Union facing off against its rival, the Pan Asian Coalition. A lot of books have been written about this subject and I am more convinced than ever that the EU is very much in line to be the next superpower and may even throw the U.S. off its throne. Decades down the road, we may see a new Cold War, one defined by unions and alliances as opposed to nation-states: Europe in one corner, China in the other, and the U.S. caught somewhere in between.


posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 03:57 PM
Good post

I will defer my response until we get some more poster's though, see how the ground lies first, sort of thing...

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 04:07 PM

If I had to vote for either one...I'd vote for none of the above as far as being what I would prefer, but that is beside the point..

It is quite evident that there will be a power other than the U.S that will claim this century. At the rate that the U.S is going presently, I don't see us even existing at the end of this century,but that is just my opinion and quite beside the point.

I personally think that China is going to be the next super industrial power. While the EU has some things that are going in its favor, I'm just not sure that there will be enough unity there to compete with the humongous economy of China.

Considering that China has 1.6 billion of the earth's population, I think that there rise to power is rather a foregone conclusion. There is no real way around it.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 04:34 PM
A lot of things to think about

I'd say that the rise is quicker with China but that Europe has a better stability

Personnaly, I fear that the too great economic growth of China will lead to a brutal liberalisation of the government that might cause instability in China

While At the same time, I keep a skeptic look over the situation in France (the riots and violence I mean)

I think we might end up with a Tripolar planet with spheres of influence around Europe, The US and China

But having to bet between Europe and China... my penny is on Europe

-Contrary to China, Europe doesn't have a oversized population
-Technological level
-French fries hmmmmmmmmm

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 05:48 PM
Europe seems to be very powerful, at least in it's current standings, but one should not underestimate China's growth.

Experts suggest that by 2030-50, China will have the LARGEST economy, expanding to nearly 50 trillion dollars... the U.S. is expected to expand to 37 trillion.

That alone, should say something about China's future stance as an even greater superpower.

In many other aspects, the PRC is greatly improving - R&D, lifting poverty around the country, education, etc... area's where Europe is being to stall and even decline. In just THREE YEARS, China lifted nearly 60 million of it's citizens out of poverty.

No one knows what the future holds, but all the talk about China becoming a superpower... well, all the talk is for a reason.

The 21st century is China's... not exactly just yet, but within mid-century, things should look a lot brighter for 'em.

Oh btw, social stability is actually pretty good in China. Nearly 80-90% of the citizens think the gov't is doing a good job, compared to roughly 30-40% in the U.S. As the economy is growing, the people are happier... liberalization is occuring of course; democracy is even taking roots in China as local electiosn are being allowed.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 06:46 PM
Indeed China's growth is something to consider,

BUT, will China be able to keep on with the demand? As their economy grow, will they be able to supply their 1.3 billion population with the consumer goods they wish AND keep on the State Reforms?

I wonder if they will be able to keep that growth rate for very long without supply shortage

As for Europe's problems, we have similar problems in Canada

Poor economic growth and insufficient procreation rate to regenerate our population (we actually rely on immigration for population growth)

I believe every society will face similar problems when they attain a certain Quality of life, so will China

There is an adaptation phase

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:14 PM

In many other aspects, the PRC is greatly improving - R&D, lifting poverty around the country, education, etc... area's where Europe is being to stall and even decline.

What? Decline? How so? If anything, things have got better!!

Where are you from?

As for population growth, some think that "Ze Muslims" are going to outbreed us. This is simply not true or even possible. Immigrant familes may come here with 4,5 or even 8 kids. But they'll struggle to feed them! Cost of living prevents ALL from having large families, not just White people.

Besides, most indigineous families I know have several kids anyway. The norm being 3. very few families have 1 child. It's all right-wing hysteria, screaming how we're going to be overun with Muslims in 2050 or whatever. In reality, it's utter bollocks.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:21 PM
Well I do believe it is easier for China to lift poverty than for Europe...

It's easier to see progress in a nation that had great poverty zones than in a continent that has the most social reforms in the world

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:24 PM
Indeed. It is hard for a country to lift citizens out of poverty when they weren't in it in the first place

(I know this is strictly not true, but poverty in the UK is a different kettle of fish to REAL poverty in the developing world.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:29 PM
That's what I meant

As for R&D, I don't doubt China is making nice improvements but we still get reports in Canada that China has a few spies around to steal industrial secrets

Personnaly I do remember that Europe's about to build the first Fusion reactor (I might be wrong, but I'm sure it was some type of new reactor)

Wich express a clear technological advance

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:31 PM
ITER... The worlds first fusion reactor, to be built in...urrgh... France.

It is an international effort though, including the Yanks, Ruskies, Japs and others.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:41 PM
Well... Think positive,

If it doesnt turn right, it's the country that host the program that will have to deal with it

Still, i've been to germany for a month this summer, and I found that they were clearly in advance of my home country on many points, the most important being public transports, and with a gas that costs a lot more than over here

The new wife of my uncle is a manchurian chinese, I should ask her a few questions about the situation over there

[edit on 14-12-2006 by CanadianGlasnost]

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:43 PM
Most of the Continental Public Transport is excellent, especially Germany, France and the Low Countries.

Leaves us in shame in the UK!

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:49 PM
Well you have those 2 stories bus, the imperials I believe you call them?

The Bus system in Quebec **** deeply. From a industrial and economic point of view I'm starting to think we need a serious reform

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:52 PM
Never heard them called that, unless those are the specific ones in London used for the Yank tourists

We just call the double-deckers

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:56 PM
Ah well... I guess it's not worst than the tourists that come over here hoping to see indians and igloos

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 08:00 PM
The future belongs to whoever develops the next safe renewable energy source. The country who does this first will probably dominate the next few centuries.

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 08:01 PM

Originally posted by pavil
The future belongs to whoever develops the next safe renewable energy source. The country who does this first will probably dominate the next few centuries.

Well, we have ITER in Europe....

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 08:01 PM
That would be nice but not enough to make one a dominant power

The middle east is a dominant furnisher of oil... But no one would dare to classify middle-east as a Superpower

Even Iran is a regional power

posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 08:05 PM
I think official Chinese government policy has their hearts set on establishing the next super-power. It's one country with one army and one mandate and not an economic union of several countries.

Those stats on how many people feel their government's doing a good job in China compared to America may reflect something other than a good job.
Namely - less emphasis on individual opinion and more of a habituation to towing party line.

Global warming may impact China very badly. It was nice when there were two distinct super-powers, never thought I'd be nostalgic for the cold war.

What about the dwindling water resources. There just may be a scrabbling fight over the resources before any one country is able to establish a 'superpower' status.

In which case, West versus East seems likely.

But hey, maybe we'll learn to have a more equitable global economy that makes the existence of 'superpowers' obsolete.

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