Will China Be Number 1?

Five hundred years ago, China dominated Asia as the world's most advanced superpower. Now, with a growing economy and a young population, the nation is again rising to superpower status--with the U.S.

To understand China's role in the world come 2025, it helps to look at the rise of Prussia in the 1870s. It is nearly impossible to imagine a world not led by Western institutions and not dominated by Western values. But China's growing power signifies just such a transition, in much the same way Prussia stripped Britain and France of their leading roles in Europe. The rise of Beijing does not automatically translate into a decline for Washington, but it is a challenge to America's superpower position.

China changes the meaning of being a superpower. At present a superpower is a...

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