Expert Discusses China's Economic and Political Power
China is an emerging superpower. It has a booming economy and will host the 2008 Summer Olympics. But there are major concerns over the country's human rights record. And fears about the balance of
Tom Fudge : This summer, China occupies center stage in the drama of world life. The country is hosting the Olympics after years of being looked down upon by the West as being backward and dictatorial. There's no telling whether the Olympics will go on without a hitch, or whether they'll make China look good. But whatever happens, China can hardly be ignored.
It's economic influence is vast. It's highly educated population is staffing companies and industries throughout the world, thanks to the Chinese diaspora. The only thing China seems to lack is the status of a true world leader. There are still too many reservations about the country's lack of freedom and openness.
- Susan Shirk , director of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and professor of political science at UCSD. She is author of "China - Fragile Superpower: How's China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise," and is also the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for U.S. relations with China.