Global Giant pp 237-259 | Cite as

Is China Rising?

  • Alastair Iain Johnston


Is China rising? How do we know? The vast majority of today’s commentary—in the United States and China, across the policy, pundit, and academic worlds—assumes that China is rising. But the vast majority also does not provide a clear definition of “rising,” or consistent indicators of what a rising state looks like. This chapter makes a simple but often overlooked point: whether China is rising—and at what speed—depends on one’s definition and indicators. Some suggest that China is rising rapidly, while others suggest that it is not—yet. While it may seem facile to contest the rise of China—few would argue that China is not somehow “bigger” today than yesterday—we believe that injecting a note of caution into the debate is worthwhile. The reason is that different perceptions and judgments about whether, how, and how fast China is rising have profound real-world implications.


Gross Domestic Product Gross Domestic Product Growth Soft Power Chinese Leader Military Spending 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Eva Paus, Penelope B. Prime, and Jon Western 2009

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  • Alastair Iain Johnston

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