Why China Is No Superpower
While the US has steadily worked to build coalitions of the willing, China's allies often depend on aligning economic interest which can change direction with the wind.
What's the Latest Development?
When considering the three most important factors that determine a country's world power—military might, global diplomacy, and economic growth—China falls short on all three, or at least behind the United States. Despite opinion polls predicting China's rapid ascension to the role of the world's sole superpower, the United States' military spending remains four times that of China's. And according to George Washington University Professor David Shambaugh, "China remains confused and hesitant in participating in international affairs, still focusing instead on domestic development and defending its territorial interests."
What's the Big Idea?
In the area of diplomacy, China is further behind the United States than most of the public recognizes. While the US has steadily worked to build coalitions of the willing (admittedly dampened by the Iraq War), China's allies often depend on aligning economic interest which can change direction with the wind. Economically, if China consistently grows at 7.75 percent, it will overtake the US by 2018. "Alternatively, if China's real growth rate slows to an average of only 5%, then (leaving the other assumptions unchanged) it would not become number one until 2021."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.