It’s no secret that China craves power and has been on a steady path in the pursuit thereof for a century. We know this because, well, their goals are literally published for the whole world to see through their famous China’s Five-Year Plans, a long series of their social and economic development initiatives. Its latest — the 13th plan — is currently in effect as of 2016 and will continue up to 2020, upon which, we can only deduce will then bring about its 14th plan, one that will last to 2024. But who wants to talk about plans?
China’s true ambitions were exemplified by China’s ex-colonel of the People’s Liberation Army when he said that becoming the world’s leading nation has been China’s dream for a century. The general secretary of the Chinese Community Party has further reinforced those claims by literally talking about, again and again, China’s “dream of (having) a strong military.” And a strong military leads to military domination, which leads to world domination. Here are the things we can expect if China ever did achieve its dream of becoming the world’s leading superpower.
15. Communism Would No Longer Be A Scary Joke
Before the proliferation of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, a fun way of claiming someone was anti-American was by calling them a “commie,” which was slang for Communist. It has kind of died down since then just because Communism isn’t a major force anymore. Except in China. The People’s Republic of China is one of the last socialist states that openly endorses communism.
There are many downsides of living in a communist country — or, to be more specific, of living under the shadow of China’s communist iron fist, in regards to the internet, the press, assembly, children, and the freedom of social organizations and religion.
The political doctrine in China is pretty close to that of a dictatorship, too. And we don’t really have to go over why a totalitarian government is a bad thing. And guess what? China’s leaders have actually termed their ideological system using that word by calling it a “people’s democratic dictatorship.” Democratic? To describe, a Dictatorship? Sounds oxymoronic. Moreover, its alliance with North Korea is definitely troubling.
14. Goodbye, Christianity
Even though America may be all about being “in trust” with God and despite Canada pretty much putting it all on God to keep their land “glorious and free,” this wouldn’t matter if China became the leading world power. While Christianity is the predominant faith (according to a recent Pew study that said 2.2 billion or 31.5 percent of the world’s population adheres to it), things would change if China had anything to say about it.
Christianity is not a big thing in China. In fact, Christianity is the second-least practiced religion in the country, beating out only Islam by a little over 2%. (0.45% of the population practice Islam and only 2.53% are Christians.) As of 2014, the most practiced religion in China was either Chinese folk religion or “unaffiliated,” clocking in at an impressive 73.56%. Next was Buddhism (15.87%), followed by other religious organizations, including the Taoist Church, at 7.6%.
Okay. But what’s Chinese folk religion? It’s one mostly predominated by nature, which includes a veneration of said forces (as well as ancestral) and a belief in its rational order. Interestingly, exorcism is a common practice in Chinese folk, which has also been recently infused with karma, rebirth and the hierarchies of gods, in accordance to Taoist teachings.
13. Censorship: Goodbye, Harry Potter And Fifty Shades
In modern day China, there may be a significant amount of trending topics circulating through bookstores, but they are quite specific (because of the joys of Communism).
Americans are obsessed with Harry Potter and other fantastical stories, where a young kid (normally a nobody who’s subjected to horrible parental figures) suddenly becomes a somebody, a transition that normally occurs by way of the young protagonist changing environments, usually not by his own volition. That, or we like to read about getting it on.
But in China, a lot of people are reading what’s called “cry me a sad river” stories (which we guess revolve around overly emotional people), vagabond literature (who doesn’t like a good nomadic tale?), “running through Beijing” stories (stories we guess are similar to those that depict the craziness of New York, except in Beijing), tales of pickpockets or those dwelling in the underground (like mole people?), and “longing for something” literary themes (which is essentially every story, though, right?).Other subject matters involve women’s boxing (this should be a thing everywhere), the female psychologist (okay?), and “life and death are wearing me out” (which sounds extremely depressing). So, better start waning off Harry Potter and Fifty Shades now.
12. Extremely Painful Education
In the U.S., politicians have been fighting for years over whether or not education should be free for all American citizens. In China, it’s a reality. At least, it is for kids ages 6 to 15. All parents have to pay for are books and uniforms. Sounds great! Except for the uniform bit because, duh, we’d have to wear uniforms. But as long as the education is free, who really cares, right?
Turns out, uniforms would be the least of our problems. Chinese schools are pretty horrible. Horrible, as in, incredibly stressful and overly strenuous. Many require morning classes in science and math… on Saturdays… meaning the weekend wouldn’t start on Friday after school. Then there are cram schools, which students take in the evening and on weekends, in addition to all of the extra school stuff they have to do.
Heck, you thought the SATs were bad? The country’s college admission exam (the gaokao) is a nine-hour test!
In other words, you wouldn’t have a childhood.
And, no, we’re not being overly whiny about their education system. Most of the world thinks it’s whack. The Guardian claims that Chinese parents think the system is “corrupt,” “dehumanizing,” overly “pressurized,” and “unfair.” And about the gaokao, Chinese parents have called it grueling and The New York Times says it’s “cutthroat.”
11. Goodbye, General Tso’s Chicken
Chinese food as we know it would no longer exist if China had anything to say about it. So no more General Tso’s for you. In fact, if you were to ask most Chinese people about this delicious chicken dish, they would have no idea what you were talking about.
But back to our hypothetical China-ruling world. In it, General Tso’s would be just one of many foods that would disappear, foods that Americans erroneously believe are authentically “Chinese” (which are actually more accurately described as Chinese-American).
Authentic Chinese food signifies everything but the American-Chinese garbage we know and love. While there’s a plethora of divergences between both groups, probably the most significant divagation is that actual Chinese food is quite spicier and less fattening. Oh, and there’s little to no frying going on in actual Chinese kitchens. If things are going to be fried, they’re done sporadically. Some of the more common foods enjoyed across China include Peking duck, sea cucumbers and jellyfish. Hmm. Maybe they could do a General Tso’s jellyfish?
10. The Rise Of Ping Pong And Badminton
That’s right. In addition to still enjoying certain sports like football and basketball, we’d probably see the legitimatization of badminton and table tennis — better known as ping pong — both very popular sports in China.
In fact, Ping Pong played an incredible diplomatic role in 1972, the execution of which was aptly designated as “Ping Pong Diplomacy” when the U.S. table tennis team was invited to China. But that was a long time ago. Let’s stay current. Ping Pong is now the biggest amateur recreational sport in China, with about 300 million players.
As for badminton, the Chinese government invests a load of money into the sport in a way that would make tennis players undoubtedly jealous. Its government takes care of training, even meals and, most insanely of all, housing. Basically, the government does everything except doing the training themselves and playing the actual game itself.
9. China Would Pressure The US To Pay Its Many Debts
China has been a harsh critic of America’s monetary policy of quantitative easing, an economic policy that essentially involves buying a predetermined amount of government bonds (i.e. borrowing) to stimulate the economy. China has condemned the US for its vast accumulation of debt over the decades, noting that it should stop borrowing money to solve its financial problems.
With China as the biggest global power, it would obviously no longer be dependent on the U.S. economically, meaning they wouldn’t have to acquiesce to America’s needs so their own needs could be met… because they would have been met a long time ago.
And, as we just realized, most of America’s needs revolve around trying to unburden its debt (or creating more debt to further its interests, but it being dismissed because they are the economic leader of the world).
In other words, America’s debt would no longer be dismissed by China if they were in power. China would undoubtedly pressure other countries to no longer do business with the U.S. until they were debt-free, putting the country (and the world it does business with) in a very precarious situation.
8. The Rise Of Snooker (And The Fall Of Billiards)
Yes, this is another sport. But the name of the sport demands its own section. Sure, there are probably people out there who know every single pool table game in existence and are, consequently, quite aware of snooker (and probably view it like baseball’s softball), but most people have no idea what it is (like this writer was originally), so, deal with it.
Anyway, snooker is quite similar to billiards, and it’s currently played by about 50 million Chinese people with 300-plus clubs in Beijing alone. So, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that China would make snooker a critical international sport (and, in turn, force billiards into the shadows).
In snooker, there are 15 red and six colored balls, in addition to the cue. Players have to first get a red ball in one of the pocketed holes (or, using “snooker terminology,” players have to “pot” a red ball). Next, players “pot” a color ball. Then, they pot a red one, and so on, following this back-and-forth pattern before they’re all potted. The player with the most points (i.e. potted balls) wins.
7. China Would Be A Currency Manipulator
For over a decade, China has been accused of being a currency manipulator, an accusation which U.S. President Donald Trump originally agreed with and also wholeheartedly participated in by perpetually calling them that, up until we realized how crucial it was to play nice with China so they would be more willing to keep North Korea in check. In other words, it’s a good idea not to tick off the one country that really can do something about North Korea… at least economically.
Regardless, China kept the exchange rate of the dollar strong and the renminbi’s exchange rate weak for quite some time, a form of manipulation that strengthened its competitive position by 40 percent.
However, China’s inflation has, for the most part, stopped, causing its economy to slow, its investors to do more business outside the country, and the yuan’s value to plummet.
As the most powerful nation, China would do everything (and anything) within its power to get the yuan back on top. The American dollar — and all other currencies — would drop, and the rest of the world would be blamed and probably be treated as, and called, currency manipulators.
6. Sorry, Philippines: The South China Sea Is, As The Name Implies, Now China’s Sea
China and the Philippines desperately want the many archipelago of islands in the South China Sea. And the Philippines thought they won the argument (and the islands) when they organized a third party, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, to arbitrate their many disputes involving the sovereignty of multiple islands in the South China Sea and the court sided in their favor. The court basically said that China has no legal claim in the areas of the South China Sea that fall within its so-called “nine-dash line.” The Philippines, understandably, sent China a notification declaring their victory.
However, China has — understandably — failed to agree with the court’s decision. In fact, the country has gone so far as rejecting the notification and even returning it straight to sender. China’s exact wording regarding the ruling is that it was “ill-founded.”
Interestingly enough, China did claim that they are still interested in continuing to resolve the many other disputes they have with their other neighbors. But, obviously, by resolve, they mean resolve in their favor. And China would undoubtedly participate in this method of resolution after officially becoming the world’s strongest nation.
5. Territorial Disputes Over The Diaoyu Islands Would No Longer Be Points Of Contention
China has been fighting over the Diaoyu Islands with Japan for quite some time. China says that while the other nation did control the islands for a short amount of time, Japan lost them when they signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty, relinquishing the islands to China, as a result.
However, Japan doesn’t believe there’s even a dispute in the first place, rejecting claims that China ever controlled the Diaoyu Islands, both after and even before the time China claims Japan lost them. (In other words, Japan is not only arguing about the current state of the islands, whereby they never relinquished the islands after signing the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but are arguing over the past state of the islands or, in other words, they are arguing about their history.) Japan even went so far as creating a website that discussed (and, to them, proved) that they have and have always had control over the islands.
The dispute, unfortunately, has been exacerbated beyond webpages and disagreements. Things got “fishy” in 2016 when some Chinese fishing boats (among other vessels), entered the territorial waters. Japan said that it was “an escalation of tensions.”
4. Vietnam Would Lose The Paracel Islands
Yet another dispute over another cluster of small areas of land — deemed the Paracel Islands — involves, besides China, Vietnam. Recent actions made by China include the nation reclaiming land and expanding military facilities first in January 2016 and then again in February 2017. During the latter expansion, China reclaimed 20 reefs that could berth small naval and commercial merchant ships.
This, of course, didn’t go over well with Vietnam. They responded by doing a little expanding of their own. Their expansion included adding facilities on the Spratly islands (another area of contention).
Vietnam has also participated in some rather, what we define as, passive-aggressive behavior, involving the Paracel Islands. This terminology is rather appropriate because Vietnam’s “behavior” didn’t directly involve the islands; it manifested in a place that was in close proximity. To be precise, in 2017, the country signed a deal with Exxonmobil to explore and extract gas near the disputed islands, one that would allow them to do so up until 2023. If China rose to power before 2023, we’re sure as hell that China would abruptly cut that deal prematurely.
3. India Would Lose Their Disputed Territories, Too
The disputes that China currently has with India would undoubtedly sway in favor of the former, in light of China’s rise to power.
This includes their “disagreement” over the border area that lies at Aksai Chin. Luckily, this dispute has been less of a bother, seeing as both countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control in 1993 and 96 — a demarcation line separating Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
On the other hand, their Sino-Indian border dispute, which affects territories China calls “South Tibet,” has generated more problems. A recent military standoff occurred in June 2017 when China attempted to extend one of its roads, forcing Indian troops to move in to prevent it. A melee soon broke out two months later — resulting in several injuries, but no fatalities, on both sides — when a group of Chinese soldiers allegedly attempted to infiltrate the border.
Even though the standoff was said to have ended, it’s been reported that, as of September 7, both nations had failed to call back their troops, instead pulling them back about a measly 150 meters to continually patrol the face-off area site.
2. The Disputed Spratly Islands? You Mean China’s Undisputed Spratly Islands
This particular dispute involves a great deal of countries including, of course, China, as well as Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and, Brunei. (But you won’t read about Brunei here because they don’t practice military control, so, no drama, no coverage.)
Vietnam’s latest move to prove its sovereignty over the islands was in 2012 when the country passed a law demarcating sea border to include them.
As for Malaysia, the country was, for a good amount of time, on decent terms, at least with China. But that all ended when the latter nation began making rather aggressive moves in the territorial waters. For example, in 2016, the country deployed a surface-to-air missile system on one of the islands, the range of which is guessed to reach 125 miles. This has caused Malaysia to condemn China on various matters.
One thing’s for sure; China would not only undoubtedly claim these islands as their own if they became the strongest nation on Earth, but would fill them with more than just one surface-to-air missile system.
1. The Intricacy Of Taiwan’s Independence Would No Longer Be Intricate
This is the only time we won’t ambivalently throw around the various terms that relate to China and its many powers or overly simplify them by erroneously defining everything as “China.”
For China, we have China, the cultural-historical civilization; mainland China, the contemporary geographical territory; and The People’s Republic of China (PRC), the political entity.
Then there’s Taiwan, the contemporary geographical territory; and Taiwan (Republic of China), the political entity.
Anyway, the PRC currently views Taiwanese territory as theirs. Meanwhile, the ROC considers Taiwanese territory as its own, especially since it is not an independent country, according to the ROC constitution. Still, both claim to be the legitimate government of the entirety of China. Regardless, it’s fair to believe that as the number-one powerhouse in the world, the ROC would fall and become part of the PRC and then Taiwan would become a part of mainland China, controlled by PRC.
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