Superpower nation possesses the ability to influence worldwide events and project its power on a global scale. Ever since the disintegration of the soviet union, America has been the only superpower. America has been dominating through the combined-means of technological, cultural, military and economic strengths. However, with more and more countries contributing to the global economy and becoming stronger in all the other aspects, there have been rise in the speculations of the next Potential Superpower. Potential Superpower is a term used for the countries who can possibly achieve superpower status in the 21st century; due to their economic potential, large markets, growing military and influence in international affairs. China, The European Union, India and Russia are the most speculated contenders for supremacy, but because of the problems such as poverty, corruption, population explosion and pollution these countries might simply remain emerging powers, as opposed to potential superpowers.
The predictions of the potential superpower are never perfect and keeps on changing with the changing economy of the countries and the power they posses on a global domain. For example, in the 1980s, Japan due to its large GDP and high economic growth was anticipated to be the next superpower. However, Japan’s economy crashed in 1991, creating a long period of economic slump in the country which is yet to be recovered. As per the world bank annual GDP growth statistics; In 1961 Japan was estimated to reach a GDP of 12.5 by 2015. However, it declined to 0.5 by the end of 2015. Gaining supremacy is a tough task. It’s about gaining stability and keeping it consistent on a global level. Any of the countries who wish to attain the superpower status have a tough road ahead. The government and the people will have to work together and stand out as a strong and a united nation.
Talking about China, In the past few decades China has been identified as the most prominent economic growth and military superpower. China’s rise is demonstrated by its terrific share of trade in its gross domestic product. It has already outpaced USA in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). Prableen Bajpai, in her article, “The World’s Top 10 Economies,” states that “China is estimated to pull ahead of the U.S. steadily in the following years, taking over the lead position as the world’s largest economy; in fact, in its October 2012 World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) would outpace that of the U.S. as early as 2017.” According to which, china is predicted to outpace U.S. in terms of GDP and be the number one economic superpower in the world. It is only possible if china continues to grow its economy. However, Chinese economy has recently taken a decline, which is a major concern. Along with the economy, it must also meet its internal and external challenges and make some fundamental political changes. It must deal with its aging population and gender imbalance produced by its one child policy. Also deal with its water shortage problems, pollution problems and create more and more jobs to deal with the unemployment. It must also make contributions in the field of science, research and innovation and build a stronger military in-order to become the superpower.
The biggest competition of China in the race of being the Superpower is India. India is the biggest democracy in the world and with its 1.2 billion population, mostly consisted of young people, it possesses a great potential. India can benefit from china’s declining economy and can quickly attain the spot of the fastest emerging economies in the world. In an Economic Times Article, “India’s growth rate set to surpass china this year: World Bank,” Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, claims that “With an expected growth of 7.5 per cent this year, India is, for the first time, leading the World Bank’s growth chart of major economies,” which means India will surpass China whose growth rate is 7.1 per cent this year and be the major economy in the world. Along with the economy, the factors that plays in Indias favor are its magnificent resources, its foreign relations, role in international politics, science and technology, Indian Armed forces etc. On the other hand poverty, pollution, unemployment, illiteracy, communal violence, social divide, gender and caste inequality and disputes with its neighboring countries are the factors that don’t play in Indias favor and it will have to pass these hurdles to become the superpower.
The European Union(EU) is also a great contender for the superpower. With its large economy probably largest in the world, large population, high quality lifestyle and low inflation rates it certainly is in a very good position. Despite of that, it hasn’t been very successful in establishing a unified foreign policy and project strong military power, which are essential for a superpower nation. If we consider Russia it only has powerful armed forces at the moment and it hence may never become a superpower. Brazil is another emerging nation with great potential. It has managed to sought a serious global economic and political power, however presently it can only manage to be the emerging power rather than the potential superpowers, with a hope to shape the world in the future.
The World Wars and many other Cultural, Demographic and Geographic conditions have crumbled the superpower nations of the past and continues to crumble the current contenders. It’s difficult for countries to get back on their knees or fight against their problems. The U.S. has never observed massive industrial destruction or civilian casualties unlike Europe or Asia. Post War it has been able to build up a strong industrial and technological infrastructure, advanced military strength which is the strongest in the world and has managed to retain it since. Other countries have a great potential in being the superpower but their problems are way more drastic and impossible to overcome, at least at the moment. They will have to be a lot more than just the biggest economy if they want to attain the title of the Superpower nation of the world.
(ICFAI), Prableen Bajpai CFA. “The World’s Top 10 Economies.” Investopedia. N.p., 14 Oct. 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.
“World Economic Outlook Database October 2014.” World Economic Outlook Database October 2014. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.
Pti. “India’s Growth Rate Set to Surpass China This Year: World Bank.” The Economic Times. N.p., 11 June 2015. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.
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