China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power, Some Lessons from the Past

Published on the James Petras website, by James Petras, March 6, 2012. – Linked on ur blogs with James Petras, USA.

… China’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future … //

… China: The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800:  

In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England. These are some striking facts:

As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.

China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain’s 18th century “textile revolution”.

China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.

Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.

China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships. In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China’s 3,000 tons. Even as late as the end of the 18th century China’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain. China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.

British and Europeans manufacturers followed China’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China’s advanced and lucrative market.

Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.

China’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].

Western Imperialism and the Decline of China: … //

… China: From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor

China’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market. While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations. The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt. In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America. By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Modern China’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity: Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners. Unlike the US, China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts. And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel.

The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.

US military spending is twelve times that of China. Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China’s rise to global power.

China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself? … (full long text and Notes 1- 10).


Dennis Kucinich: heroism to end US War & Economic Crimes, initiate peace, on Washington’s Blog, by Carl Herman, March 11, 2012;

Left-Green unity is an objective necessity.

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