The Chinese Century is a neologism suggesting that the 21st century will be geopolitically dominated by the People's Republic of China, similar to how "the American Century" refers to the 20th century and "Pax Britannica" ("British Peace") refers to the 19th. The phrase is used particularly in the assertion that the economy of China will overtake the economy of the United States as the largest national economy in the world, a position it held in the 16th, 17th century and early 19th century. The Economist has argued that the "Chinese Century" has already begun, citing China's overtaking of the U.S economy in 2013, if calculated on a purchasing-power-parity basis.
China created the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as an alternative to NATO and created the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank as both alternatives to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. China further created the Belt and Road Initiative, with future investments of almost $1 trillion, to push for taking a bigger role in global affairs.
In 2015, PRC launched Made in China 2025 strategic plan to further develop the manufacturing sector and aiming to upgrade the manufacturing capabilities of Chinese industries, growing from labor-intensive workshops into a more technology-intensive powerhouse. In November 2020, China signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as free trade agreement in counter to Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal has been considered a huge victory for China in geopolitics.
Debates and factors
|Top five countries by military expenditure in 2016.|
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
In 2011, Michael Beckley, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, released his journal China's Century? Why America's Edge Will Endure which rejects the idea that:
- the United States is in decline relative to China and;
- the hegemonic burdens the United States bears to sustain globalized, unipolar system contributes to its decline.
Alternatively, Beckley argues the United States’ power is durable, and unipolarity and globalization are the main reasons. He contends: "The United States derives competitive advantages from its preponderant position, and globalization allows it to exploit these advantages, attracting economic activity and manipulating the international system to its benefit."
Beckley believes that if the United States was in terminal decline, it would adopt neomercantilist economic policies and disengage from military commitments in Asia. "If however, the United States is not in decline, and if globalization and hegemony are the main reasons why, then the United States should do the opposite: it should contain China’s growth by maintaining a liberal international economic policy, and it should subdue China’s ambitions by sustaining a robust political and military presence in Asia." Beckley believes that the United States benefits from being an extant hegemon—the US did not overturn the international order to its benefit in 1990, but rather, the existing order collapsed around it.
Scholars that are skeptical of the US' ability to maintain unipolarity include Robert Pape, who has calculated that "one of the largest relative declines in modern history" stems from "the spread of technology to the rest of the world". Similarly, Fareed Zakaria writes, "The unipolar order of the last two decades is waning not because of Iraq but because of the broader diffusion of power across the world." Paul Kipchumba in Africa in China's 21st Century: In Search of a Strategy predicts a deadly cold war between the US and China in the 21st century, and, if that cold war does not occur, he predicts China will supplant the US in all aspects of global hegemony.
- China specific
- Adoption of Chinese literary culture
- Belt and Road Initiative
- Chinese economic reform
- China's peaceful rise
- China Lobby
- Economy of China
- List of disputed territories of China
- Pax Sinica
- String of Pearls (Indian Ocean)
- Counter China
- Blue Team (U.S. politics)
- China containment policy
- Quadrilateral Security Dialogue
- Geostrategy in Central Asia
- Malabar (naval exercise)
- China-United States relations
- India-United States relations
- Japan-United States relations
- Asian Century
- Indian Century
- Great Divergence
- Great power
- Pacific Century
- New world order
- Potential superpowers
- The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century
- The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
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- Peerenboom, Randall (2008) China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest?. Oxford University Press ISBN 9780199226122.
- Pillsbury, Michael (2016) The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower. St. Martin's Griffin ISBN 9781250081346.
- Schell, Orville (2014) Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century. Random House Trade Paperbacks ISBN 9780812976250.
- Shenkar, Oded (2004) The Chinese Century: The Rising Chinese Economy and Its Impact on the Global Economy, the Balance of Power, and Your Job. FT Press ISBN 9780131467484.
- Shambaugh, David (2014) China Goes Global: The Partial Power. Oxford University Press ISBN 9780199361038.
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- China’s renminbi joins elite global reserve currency club by Financial Times
- China’s Renminbi Is Approved by I.M.F. as a Main World Currency by The New York Times
- China plans to build new city nearly three times the size of New York by The Guardian
- Fengbo Zhang: Speech at "Future China Global Forum 2010": China Rising with the Reform and Open Policy
- on YouTube by The University of Melbourne (19 September 2012)