China is an amazing country. One of the oldest continuing civilizations on Earth, it has gone from a centuries-old, primarily agrarian society to an industrial economic powerhouse. In the span of 50 years, the reforms that China has put in place have made it the second-largest economy on Earth, and it is soon expected to eclipse the US as the largest. With their sheer numbers, strong economy, and rapidly growing military, the Chinese have drawn the attention and, in some respects, concern of the world. Many people now believe it’s just a matter of time before the country takes over as the next major global superpower.
While that could be the case someday, there are many reasons to believe that it may not be, as there are several serious issues holding China back. Until (and if) these issues can be addressed, it is unlikely that the country will take over anytime soon as the most dominant power on Earth, either militarily or economically. Here are the top ten reasons why China will not take over the world.
It’s no secret that China has a serious pollution problem. Since its rapid industrialization began in the 1950s, China has reached the point where health scientists estimate it claims 1.6 million lives per year (approximately 4,000 people per day). As other nations had delays in starting production due to environmental restraints and regulations, China built factories without concern for the long-term environmental consequences. As foreign demand for cheaper products made in China soared, so did the creation of factories required to produce them.
In some of the most heavily polluted areas, simply breathing is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes per day. With almost half the entire population living within the major (and often most polluted) metropolitan regions, the dire consequences to public health and the need to reverse the damage presents a serious setback for the country.