Q&A Thursday #88: Why Isn’t China Considered A Super Power?
Question: “Please enlighten me because I’m certainly no expert in these matters. Why is it that people say that the US is the lone superpower in the world? Why isn’t China considered a superpower? Is a certain “superpower” criteria that they fail to meet? If they aren’t a superpower, then why does everybody tip-toe around China in an effort to keep from upsetting them?” — The_Muck_Man
Answer: The definition of the term superpower is a bit fuzzy, but there would be multiple reasons why they don’t make the cut. The biggest is that they can’t project their military power around the world the way we can. For example, they would simply be incapable of pulling off something like the invasion of Iraq.
Furthermore, although China does have a large economy, a large military, and quite a bit of soft power, they’re considerably less potent than we are in all those areas. That being said, China is an influential nation and could fairly be called a great power. So, it does make sense to give them a certain amount of deference.