Accession Number:

ADA543775

Title:

Discord or "Harmonious Society": China in 2030

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper no. 68

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY

Report Date:

2011-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

150.0

Abstract:

For more than 5,000 of the 6,000 years of recorded history China has been the preeminent nation of our planet. While the past two centuries have seen the dominance of the West over the Middle Kingdom, present trends suggest that this dominance is coming to an end. With its ancient cultural roots intact, the government of China, regarded by many of its people as having a mandate of heaven, is leading China into the future at almost blinding speed. Within the time frame covered in this monograph China will supplant the United States as the greatest economic power on Earth. While its military capabilities are expected to lag slightly behind, by 2030 China will be, for all practical purposes, a peer of the United States in terms of its ability to influence interactions within the nation-state system. The Chinese predilection for indirect methods of handling conflict suggests that, should conflict between the two nations occur the United States may be faced with challenges for which it is not well prepared. Further, the usual Department of Defense DOD myopic focus on the present may be blinding decision makers to the challenges of tomorrow. That China will be an adversary is not a foregone conclusion. Neither is its friendship. While this study concludes that it is Chinas intent to seek mutually beneficial relations with the West, internal forces have the potential to drive China toward conflict. Should this occur, the most likely outcome would be a proxy war where US and Chinese interests could clash. What is certain is that whatever the actions of China in 2030 the United States must be prepared to handle the challenges these actions present.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE