129 - China As A World Power: How Big?

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China is flexing its economic muscle nowadays, a process the country itself terms a peaceful rise. One wonders what will happen when China will have ‘risen’: to what degree will China flex its political and military muscle? Will it want to dominate the region – or the world? This map basically outlines two scenarios: China as a regional power, and China as a world power.


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The ‘regional’ map shows China’s sphere of influence extending over Mongolia, North Korea, Taiwan, the Indochinese states of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, but also Thailand, Burma/Myanmar and the continental part of Malaysia. A remarkable addition in the west is Pakistan, giving China almost immediate access to the Persian Gulf.

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The ‘global’ map sees China’s influence extended beyond the countries just mentioned, to most of the former Soviet Central Asian ‘stans’ (except Turkmenistan), part of Afghanistan, the whole of Indonesia, the rest of Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and significant parts of the Russian Far East.

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In both scenarios, friction remains possible with two other regional powers remaining independent, India and Japan.

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