Is there life after being a superpower?

No better time for US to be a home of the brave

The future of the United States seems bleak. The optimism for which Americans are known comes less readily. The prevalence of pessimism today is spread by the realisation that the country's position of global superpower may soon be lost.

Tuesday, 8 January, 2013, 4:43am

Chinese experts divided over US report on country's future rise

A new building in Beijing. The US National Intelligence Council report warned of major uncertainty over an emerging China. Photo: AFP

A new intelligence assessment that projects China outstripping the United States as the leading economic power before 2030, but with the US remaining an indispensable world leader, has divided Chinese experts.

8 May 2015 - 9:46am

China the subtle superpower

China the subtle superpower

If Xi Jinping wants to tackle China's "severe challenges", he needs to understand the nature of the new power China has accumulated over the past decade. So the question remains: Is China a superpower today?

26 Nov 2012 - 2:58am 15 comments

Has China's superpower moment arrived?

A worker cleans the Chinese national crest overlooking Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 11,  2012. Photo: EPA

13 Sep 2012 - 5:15pm

Students in superpower struggle

Imagine you possessed the ability to move objects with only your mind - in other words, telekinesis. That would be neat.

Now imagine the social and moral side to this situation - what would you do with such powers?

31 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Playing it cool

Chinese leaders have finally realised that they are facing a new cold war. Over the past few months, Washington has put together a 'containment' package in Asia that includes a new military doctrine of air-sea battle, a new economic game changer in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the rotation of US marines in Australia.

16 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Corrections & clarifications

In Tuesday's Focus article, headlined 'Reluctant superpower?', a paragraph that said Washington was still the moral leader in a world dominated by free-market economies and democracies, while the Communist Party of China was still struggling for survival due to its lack of legitimacy was wrongly attributed to Ben Simpfendorfer. The error was introduced during the editing process.

10 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

'Less' the new byword

Much of the attention from this part of the world on the uprisings in Libya and elsewhere across North Africa and the Middle East has focused on the possible impact on East Asia's own authoritarian regimes. But that attention overlooks another important aspect for the region - what it all says about America's place in the world.

26 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Stepping up

The world economic order is changing fast. In 2007, China overtook Germany to become the third largest economy. Three months ago it surpassed Japan and became number two, and this month the Conference Board, a respected non-profit organisation in the United States, predicted that, on a purchasing power parity basis, China may overtake the US in 2012.

24 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

Lines of control

In the corridors of regional power, there is suddenly a lot of hot talk about 'shaping' China's rise. It is becoming a kind of diplomatic shorthand for laying out international norms, expected behaviour and regional responses that China must learn to deal with as Beijing comes to dominate the region.

16 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

The soft sell

Several things happened in the closing days of 2009 that could well point to how China is likely to develop in the coming decade. On Christmas Day, the country's best known dissident, Liu Xiaobo, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for campaigning for political freedoms, many of them already enshrined in the constitution but neglected in practice.

6 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

America needs a new concept: humility

At her Senate confirmation hearing last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was harping on an old theme. She said her top international principle was to 'strengthen America's position of global leadership'.

22 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

A year of joy, sorrow - and new conflicts

Marking the 30th anniversary of China's opening up and reform policy, 2008 will be remembered for a plethora of events loaded with contradictions and thought-provoking connotations about the current state of the nation.

22 Dec 2008 - 12:00am

The next cold war?

The cover of this month's Atlantic Monthly has a Chinese sailor glowering at the reader next to a headline which reads, 'How we would fight China: the next cold war'. Yet, the magazine is one of America's more respectable publications, not generally seen as part of the lunatic fringe.

17 May 2005 - 12:00am

News agency finds a tail worth telling

Lai See salutes the men and women of Xinhua.

Their job isn't easy. Working for China's official news agency means having to churn out a constant supply of stories, while filtering out any references to human rights violations, oppression in Tibet, or embarrassing behaviour by Chinese leaders.

27 Nov 2000 - 12:00am