China Is an Unlikely Superpower

Despite Americans inflates sense of country's dominance
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 27, 2008 10:27 AM CDT
State employees set up Chinese and U.S. flags in preparation for the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing June 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
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(Newser) – American pundits are constantly claiming that China will soon overtake the US as the world’s dominant power—but if you look at the facts, that’s just not true, writes John Pomfret in the Washington Post. “Dire demographics, an overrated economy, an environment under siege, and an ideology that doesn't travel well” mean the country will remain “the muscle-bound adolescent of the international system.”

As China’s life expectancy grows, and the population shrinks, the country will be home to vast numbers of people too old to work and largely without pensions. And just look at Kung Fu Panda. "The content may be Chinese," Pomfret notes, "but the irreverence and creativity... are 100% American." That serves as a reminder that the state “stifles ingenuity."