The Collapsing ‘China Fantasy’

As the smoke clears and the mirrors begin to crack, Westerners are forced to acknowledge the menacing reality of China’s rise.

More than two centuries ago, Napoleon Bonaparte nicknamed China the “Sleeping Dragon” and advised the Europeans of his day not to awaken it. Today, the dragon is wide awake, and the dynamic changes it has undergone are astounding.

Few international relations developments have been as epic and consequential as the exploding increase of China’s political power, military muscle, cultural influence and, towering above all, economic capacity. And all of the monumental growth began with the liberalization of China’s economy, when Beijing abandoned the Maoist economic planning model and transformed more than 100 million oppressed peasants from the “Great Leap Forward” into a colossal middle class.

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