Here is a few excerpts from China: The Balance Sheet by the Center For Strategic and International Studies and the Peter G. Peterson Institute For International Economics, an excellent book to answer many questions you might have about China’s rise. All in 161 pages too.
“According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, assuming current Chinese and U.S growth rates continue, China will become the world’s largest economy in thirty years. Its average income then would be about one-fourth of America’s. China would also be by far the world’s largest trading country. Its size alone would dominate Asia, and move it alongside the United States and European Union as a global economic superpower. But it could also be the first economic superpower in history that is relatively poor in per capita income terms and guided by a non-democratic political system”.
“Since the early 1990s, and accelerating in recent years, China has set out to comprehensively modernize its military: in doctrine, training, education, force structure, and overall operational capability. Beijing has implemented double-digit increases to its defense budget nearly every year since 1991; placing a growing emphasis on air, maritime, and strategic missile capabilities; streamlined the People’s Liberation Army to create a more professional efficient fighting force; attempted to improve joint interoperability; and upgraded its weapons platforms, primarily through foreign acquisitions”.
“Chinese leaders have no illusions that the People’s Liberation Army is a match for the U.S military. What China does seek are niche capabilities to exploit US vulnurabilities in order to deter, complicate, delay, if not defeat, U.S (or other) intervention in a Taiwan scenario. Beijing also seeks more broadly to prevent the United States and its allies from containing China’s economic and military development through military action or intimidation. While a Taiwan scenario may serve as a leading animating factor in China’s military modernization strategy, operational capabilities developed in the process may have broader application o assert Chinese territorial claims and other future interest beyond the Taiwan Strait”.
I’ll post up some of the issues the book brings up in future posts when I get to them, but for now I have some papers and things to do.
Here is the China Balance Sheet Website for more information on the book and project.