On the global socioeconomic scale, few countries can threaten, outweigh, or even affect the United States of America. These standings shift and change over time, with some players (Russia, the United Kingdom) losing the relevancy they once had, while others (India, Brazil) continue growing in their innovation, population and efficacy.
One country that concerns the U.S. is China: With a population of over one billion people, more than triple that of the States, it is an Asian area of influence and power. Yet, considering that it has been among the oldest and most established societies in the world, why is it only now becoming a hot-button topics in American politics? Why is America worried about China?
Differing Political Ideals
China is a communist country, which in some ways represents starkly different values than the democratic, capitalist-driven ideals of America. Whereas Americans enjoy unprecedented levels of freedom, commerce, travel, multimedia exposure, and other opportunities, the more socialist-leaning Chinese experience a different form of lifestyle.
This is relevant because, ever since the World War era, capitalism and democracy have been portrayed as the saving graces of the world, almost as though they were to be preached in order to convert as many countries as possible. When America swooped into conflicts, it did so under the banner of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, a subtle insult to countries that held non-democratic systems, such as past regimes as the Soviet Union and Germany held.
With their respective collapses to come, democracy and capitalism seemed indeed to be the ideal forms of governmental control, yet with the presence of China in such modern-day prominence, these popular view is challenged, and seen as a threat to, at least in an ideological sense, the appearance of the supremacy of the American way of life.
As reported by NationMaster, the CIA’s World Factbook, and other news-gathering services, China boasts a very real level of militant strength. With their remarkably high population, they are able to enlist more soldiers, and with their nuclear-ready arsenal, they boast as innovative and advanced warfare as most other countries can offer.
The amount of money spent on arms imports is among the highest in the world, and it is an accepted, unspoken fact that the Chinese would be a significant adversary in any large-scale conflict.
While exact figures are difficult to come by, it is certainly indisputable that China has become a notable player in the global economy. With a growing GDP, sophisticated production, active exporting and importing, and an increasing advantage on the internet as indicated by Chinese search engines appearing in the top most visited websites according to the Alexa service for such figures, China has money in its pocket that is attractive to all comers.
Hopefully, they use their wealth wisely, but as their shadow of authority spreads and the allure of Chinese currency increases, the effect of China’s countless transactions and deals becomes hard to track and hold accountable.
Ultimately though, in the end, America worries about China for the exact same reasons it worries about any other issues: It involves a large population, it is highly visible, it is relevant to and affects American culture, and if it were to encounter ethical duress it would pose a viable threat to American well-being.