User:Deavenger/Potential Superpower finished subsections

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Hi, this is my personal subpage where I shall be putting the finished subsections for the Potential Superpowers page. Once all the subsections are done, and agreed on. I shall be adding it to the Potential Superpower page.


Republic of India
Flag of India.svg
India (orthographic projection).svg
Main article: Indian Century

Newsweek and the International Herald Tribune join several academics in discussing India's potential of becoming a superpower.[1][2][3] With 9.4% GDP growth in 2007,[4] Goldman Sachs predicts that as 700 million Indians are expected to move to cities by 2050, the Indian economy may surpass the United States's (in US$) by 2050.[5]

Facts For[edit]

Fareed Zakaria wrote in his book, The Post-American World, that India has a fine chance of becoming a superpower or great power, stating,

Every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, there's a star. Not a person but a country. One country impresses the gathering of global leaders because of a particularly smart Finance minister or a compelling tale of reform or even a glamorous gala. This year there was no contest. In the decade that I've been going to Davos, no country has captured the imagination of the conference and dominated the conversation as India in 2006.


Fareed Zakaria believes that one of India’s strongest factors for superpower status is its economy. India’s economy had a GDP growth of 9.4% in 2007. Goldman Sachs has predicted that in 10 years, India’s economy will be larger then Italy’s. In 15 years, it will be larger then Britain’s. By 2040, India should boast the third largest economy. [7] It is also expected that India, along with China should surpass the U.S economy by 2050 [8]. India currently has the 12th largest economy by GDP nominal and 4th largest by GDP PPP. But Fareed Zakaria notes that a prediction such as these is a “treacherous business”.

World map of GDP (Nominal and PPP). Figures are from the CIA World Factbook for 2007.

On the other hand, Founder and President of the Economic Strategy Institute and former counselor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr. has predicted that "It is going to be India's century. India is going to be the biggest economy in the world. It is going to be the biggest superpower of the 21st century."[9]

Daniel Lak describes India as the underdog, facing more challenges then advantages, yet it is approaching superpower status. [10]. He also mentions that despite the hardships of large amount of poverty, and social inequality, India is overcoming all of this.[11]

Fareed Zakaria also believes that India has a fine chance at becoming a superpower. Pointing out that India's young population coupled with the second largest English-speaking population in the world could give India an advantage over China. Also believes that while other industrial countries will face a youth gap, India will have lots of young people, or in other words workers. Zakaria says another strength that India is that despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, its democratic government has lasted for 60 years, stating that a democracy can provide for long-term stability.[12]

India also has been gaining influence in Asia with trade agreements, direct investment, military exercises, and aids funds. It is good allies with countries such as Iran and Japan, and has emerging ties with countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and India even has an airforce base in Tajikistan. [13]. India also has fine relations with other countries such as Israel, UK, France, and Russia. Also, the Nuclear Deal with the U.S has strengthened its relationship.

Militarily, India has the second largest army in the world after China, and a nuclear power. India is one of the four countries with anti-ballistic missile capability, and is the first developing nation to build an aircraft carrier. India’s military also has lots of experience due to the high levels of terrorism in India, and living next to two countries (Pakistan and China) in which there have been numerous of conflicts. Militarily, India also has fine relations with other strong military powers such as Russia, Israel, United States of America, and many countries in the European Union.

Facts Against[edit]

India has been victim to a high inflation, which some people fear will slow down India’s high economic growth. [14]. Goldman Sachs also says that if it is managed badly, there is a great chance that India’s economic growth will drop.

Fareed Zakaria has described India’s growth as

It is not top-down but bottom-up---messy, caotic, and largely unplanned.

He also suggests that while democracy has its long-term advantages, China’s system of government are able to plan and execute major infrastructure projects with unrivaled efficiency. Democracy in India is usually not the will of the majority, but the will of organized minorities such as landowners, powerful castes, rich farmers, government unions, local thugs, in fact a fifth of the members of the Indian Parliament have been accuses of rape, embezzlement, or murder. [15]Some people believe that due to corruption in politics, diversion between the different religions and castes,and other social issues, that India is not a candidate as a potential superpower. [16]

The international relations expert Parag Khanna believes that India is not, and will not become a superpower for the foreseeable future, lagging decades behind China in both development and strategic appetite[17]. Instead, he believes India will be a key swing state along with Russia. [18] He says that India is “big but not important,” has a highly successful professional class, while millions of its citizens still live in poverty. It is “almost completely third world[19].” He also writes that it matters that China borders a dozen more countries than India does, is not hemmed in by a vast ocean and the world's tallest mountains, has a loyal diaspora twice the size of India's and enjoys a head start in Asian and African marketplaces[20]. Khanna states that:

It is not for me to give credit to India; India must earn that credit of which you speak. India faces the largest challenges to development outside of sub-Saharan Africa in terms of its level of poverty, weak infrastructure, and environmental and social stresses. It needs an unprecedented strategy to overcome these, which is not yet in place. I often encourage various aspects of such a strategy among Indian leaders, and hope they will actually implement such a vision. As for “geography of power,” India’s geography is at present geopolitically unfortunate because its ability to project power militarily is blocked by the Himalayan mountains, vast Indian Ocean, and failing states such as Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, with which it does not have good relations, so it is a very uphill struggle for India to take advantage of its geography between the Persian Gulf and East Asia, but it is trying very hard on both fronts.[21].

India’s military, lacks the technology unlike the other potential superpowers. India's missiles being able to travel under 10,000 kilometers, and having the smallest military spending out of all the potential superpowers. India's military might is also blocked by nations such as Pakistan and China, both whom India has had conflicts with. As well as the Himilayan mountains to the north and the Indian ocean to the south.
Military spending in 2007, in USD, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Conversion to USD done by market exchange rate.

China and India rising to superpower status is not inevitable, according to scholars such as Professor Pranab Bardhan, Chief Editor of the Journal of Development Economics, who suggest that millions mired in poverty and ineffective government prevents China or India from rivaling the U.S. or the E.U. any time soon.[22]

Robyn Meredith claims that both India and China will be superpowers. However, she points out that China is decades ahead of India, and that the average Chinese person is better off than the average Indian person. [23]

Minister Mentor and former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew believes that

India’s economy can grow to about 60-70 percent that of China. I see that as the long-term trend. They’re not going to be bigger than China - on present projections.

But 60-70 percent of India with a population which will be bigger than China by 2050, is something considerable, and they’ve some very able people at the top. I draw this historical lesson which I believe will be repeated, though not in exactly the same way, but will manifest itself in a similar pattern.[24]


Main article: Chinese Century
People's Republic of China
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
People's Republic of China (orthographic projection).svg

The People's Republic of China receives continual coverage in the popular press of its potential superpower status,[25][26] and has been identified as a rising or emerging economic and military superpower by academics and other experts.[27][28][29][30]

Facts for[edit]

Professor Shujie Yao of Nottingham University has said "China will overtake the United States to become the world's largest economy by 2038 if current growth rates continue," and that China's GDP will overtake that of Japan by 2017 or 2018, and Germany's by 2008. Professor Yao thinks that "under an optimistic scenario, China could become a real superpower in 30 years' time."[31]. Fareed Zakaria point out in his book, The Post-American World, that China’s economy has been growing at about 9% GDP for the last 30 years, to where China’s economy has been doubling almost every 8 years for three decades. [32] This gives China one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and it is expected to surpass the American economy by 2050. [5]

International relations analyst Parag Khanna states that by cutting massive trade and investment deals with Latin America and Africa, China has established its presence as a superpower along with the United States and the European Union. China's rise is demonstrated by its ballooning share of trade in its gross domestic product. He believes that China's consultative style has allowed it to develop political and economic ties with many countries including those viewed as rogue states by the United States. He states that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization founded with Russia and the Central Asian countries may eventually be the "NATO of the East".[33]

China’s currently has the largest armed forces in the world, as well as one of the largest military budgets in the world.

Facts Against[edit]

During an interview with Fareed Zakaria, Premier of China Wen Jiabao said,

First, China is not a superpower.

Although China has a population of 1.3 billion, and although in recent years China has registered fairly fast economic and social development since reform and opening up, China still has this problem of unbalanced development between different regions and between China's urban and rural areas. China remains a developing country.

We still have 800 million farmers in rural areas, and we still dozens of million people living in poverty. To address our own problems, we need to do a great deal. China is not a superpower.

That's why we need to focus on our own development and on our efforts to improve people's lives.


. George Friedman, founder of Stratfor however doesn't believe that China will be a superpower, stating that China's geographic position is actually isolated due to Siberia in the north, the Himalayas and jungles to the south, and the majority of China's population is in the east, saying that with this, China can't easily expand. He also states that China has not been a major naval power for centuries, and building a navy will take a very long time. Lastly, he states

Third, there is a deeper reason for not worrying about China. China is inherently unstable. Whenever it opens its borders to the outside world, the coastal region becomes prosperous, but the vast majority of Chinese in the interior remain impoverished. This leads to tension, conflict, and instability. It also leads to economic decisions made for political reasons, resulting in inefficiency and corruption. This is not the first time that China has opened itself to foreign trade, and it will not be the last time that it becomes unstable as a result. Nor will it be the last time that a figure like Mao emerges to close the country off from the outside, equalize the wealth--or poverty--and begin the cycle anew. There are some who believe that the trends of the last thirty years will continue indefinitely. I believe the Chinese cycle will move to its next and inevitable phase in the coming decade. Far from being a challenger, China is a country the United States will be trying to bolster and hold together as a counterweight to the Russians. Current Chinese economic dynamism does not translate into long-term success.[35]

Geoffrey Murphay's China: The Next Superpower argues that while the potential for China is high, this is fairly perceived only by looking at the risks and obstacles China faces in managing its population and resources. The political situation in China may become too fragile to survive into superpower status according to Susan Shirk in China: Fragile Superpower.[36] Other factors that could constrain China's ability to become a superpower in the future include: limited supplies of energy and raw materials, questions over its innovation capability, inequality and corruption, and risks to social stability and the environment. Amy Chua states that whether a country has enough pull to bring immigrants is an important quality for a superpower. She also writes that China lacks the pull to bring scientists, thinkers, and innovators from other countries as immigrants. However, she believes that China has made up for this with its own diaspora, saying that size and resources for them are unparalleled. [37]But Parag Khanna notes that China has made serious efforts to try and solve these issues. [38]


  1. ^ India Rising, Newsweek, Accessed November 15, 2008
  2. ^ India welcomed as new sort of superpower, IHT, Accessed March 11, 2007
  3. ^ India: Emerging as Eastern or Western Power?, YaleGlobal, Accessed March 11, 2007
  4. ^ At 9.4%, GDP growth second fastest-ever
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1], Rediff India, Published March 29, 2006
  10. ^
  11. ^ Lak, D (2008) India Express: The Future of the New Superpower, "Palgrave Macmillan" ISBN 9780230607837
  12. ^ Zakaria, F (2008) The Post-American World, “W. W. Norton and Company” ISBN 9780393062359
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Zakaria, F (2008) The Post-American World, “W. W. Norton and Company” ISBN 9780393062359
  16. ^
  17. ^ Waving Goodbye to Hegemony
  18. ^ Khanna, P (2008) The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, “Random House” ISBN 978140065080
  19. ^ We’re #1? Tell China
  20. ^ The Rise of Non-Americanism
  21. ^ Interview with Media Global
  22. ^ India Superpower? Not so Fast!, YaleGlobal, Accessed March 11, 2007
  23. ^ Meredith, R (2008) The Elephant and the Dragon: The Rise of India and China and What it Means for All of Us, "W.W Norton and Company" ISBN 9780393331936
  24. ^ [2], International Herald Tribune, Published August 29, 2007
  25. ^ Visions of China, CNN Specials, Accessed March 11, 2007
  26. ^ China builds a superpower fighter, IHT, Accessed March 11, 2007
  27. ^ US-China Institute :: news & features :: china as a global power
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ China to become world’s largest economy by 2038, Nottingham professor says, School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham
  32. ^ Zakaria, F (2008) The Post-American World, “W. W. Norton and Company” ISBN 9780393062359
  33. ^ Waving Goodbye to Hegemony (PARAG KHANNA)
  34. ^
  35. ^ Friedman, G (2009)The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, "Doubleday" ISBN 9780385517058
  36. ^ Shirk, S (2008) China:Fragile Superpower, "Oxford University Press, USA ISBN 9780195373196
  37. ^ Chua, A (2007) Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance -- and why They Fall, "Random House" ISBN 9780385512848
  38. ^