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Is China the New Burgeoning Super Power?

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China's armed forces

The People's Republic of China (PRC) is seen by many as an economic powerhouse with the world's largest standing military that has the potential to translate economic power into the military sphere. As one of the elements of power, a nation's military potential is based not only on its capability to defeat an adversary, but also its ability to coerce and exercise influence. China's standing armed force of some 2.8 million active soldiers in uniform is the largest military force in the world. Approximately 1 million reservists and some 15 million militia back them up. With a population of over 1.2 billion people, China also has a potential manpower base of another 200 million males fit for military service available at any time. In addition to this wealth of manpower, China is a nuclear power. It has enough megatonnage, missiles, and bombers to hit the United States, Europe, its Asian neighbors, and Russia. Notwithstanding the recent detargeting announcement between China and the United States, that does not change China's capability to hold Los Angeles or other U.S. cities hostage to nuclear threat. China is also an economic power of considerable strength. The PRC's economy quadrupled in the 15 years up to 1995. The latest World Bank report on its economy, China 2020, indicates that China's gross domestic product (GDP) increased at a rate of between 6.6 percent and 8 percent annually between 1978 and 1995. And China has foreign exchange reserves of about U.S.$140.6 billion, primarily from foreign direct investment. For China's leaders, the economy is the most important factor determining future military power. The director of the political department of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Guangzhou Military Region described national power as a combination of economic strength and the "level of defense modernization." Chinese leaders believe that economic growth will stagnate if resources are poured into military modernization at the expense of broader economic development. There are many serious problems for China's leaders to confront if they are to maintain healthy economic growth. Among the issues are an aging population, state owned enterprises (SOE) operating at a loss (50 percent), potential labor unrest, and potential financial crisis. If China is to continue on its current path of economic integration, the central leadership must remain linked to the international economy. It also means that domestic stability must be ensured because no foreign country or banking house will invest in an unstable political environment. When Chinese military and civilian leaders claim that their priority is economic growth and stability, they mean it; the primary mission of the PLA and the People's Armed Police (PAP) is internal security and stability. To a large extent, the PLA has had to postpone its mission of external defense. In the short term, Beijing is distracted from a serious military buildup by problems that are resource-demanding. At this stage, and aware that the collapse of the Soviet Union occurred when Moscow attempted to win the arms race against the West, the PLA is prepared to remain under-resourced. To compensate, China's military leaders are working to develop the capability to control sea lines of communication, project regional force, and deter the United States and other potential adversaries in creative ways without matching forces.


Tourism in China

Tourism phenomenon in China is young. It is now one of the goals of the Chinese economic development policy. The growth of tourism flows is exponential. Chinese authorities have opened recently this sector to foreign investments and Chinese private investments. But foreign projects in high-class hotels and travel agencies are still in restricted project category and procedure for approval still remains complicated. The administration of tourism activities, despite the liberalization of the forms of enterprises, evolves towards a strengthening of control. Nevertheless, the discussions for China's entry into the World Trade Organization could influence the access to the Chinese market and the evolution to more liberal policy.

Tourism in China is only about 20 years old. Since the opening of China in 1978, efforts to integrate the world tourist economy have been growing, and tourism is regarded as an important accompaniment to growth progression. In 1983, China became a member of the World Tourism Organization.

In order to meet the increasing demand, the Chinese Government has softened its policy, opening this activity sector both to private capital and foreign capital, but the tourist activity still remains today under the strict control of the State. Foreign investment in tourism industry as well as development of the different forms of the tourist activities are stricter controlled.

The Peoples' Republic of China represents the most serious challenge to Western and Canadian interests in the Pacific. The reasons are many and diverse. For instance, the Chinese economy despite the Asia economic crisis is still growing at an amazing rate, and as it grows, its military and political prestige grows along with it. Indeed, China is adopting a more aggressive military stance that may allow it to challenge the United States' position as the dominant power in Asia and perhaps on the globe by the first half of the next century. Factors that support this contention include:

* China has expanded its national security objectives;

* China has changed its patterns in the use of military force;

* China is developing a modern war machine and sea control capability and;

* China is attempting to build an anti-American and anti-West alliance.

Changes in China's Use of Force

In the past, China's use of force, both in doctrine and in reality, was defensive in nature and can be traced back to the teachings of its ancient generals such as Sun Tzu. Chinese doctrine always called for an opponent who breached the Great Wall to be defeated in the interior of the country by trading space for time. Chinese doctrine in principle has remained constant from the days of the empire, to the republic, to Mao, and although the names attached to the doctrine may have changed over the centuries, the doctrine had not shifted from its basic principle, until recently. The same



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