China Does Have Global Hegemony

This article is in response to Mia Wang’s China: Global Hegemony is a Delusion in Sharnoff’s Global Views.

china-global-superpowerAntonio Gramsci, (1930) defines hegemony as the domination of one specific class over others in a diverse society. In the current world this would mean the domination of English for instance in certain countries over native languages. In such cases, English as a language has hegemony over other languages. This example is but one and hegemony may span throughout all facets of life including the politics, economy, religion, etc.

Mia Wang’s article China: Global Hegemony is a Delusion argues that the Chinese current hegemony is non-existent and a figment of society’s mind. She thrusts side issues such as espionage and ideology to advance her view. If truth be told, it is the US who has spies in every little corner of the world.

It has become a worldwide accepted phenomenon that all countries participate in intelligence and counter intelligence activities. Their participation can never be construed as insecurities but the opposite could be true. While others try to achieve their hegemony through trade, culture and investment; the US does so militarily. I choose to focus this paper on trade and investment to achieve hegemony.

In 2000, the US was the country with the highest world export share (11.45%); in 2006 its share fell to 6.35%. At the same time, China increased impressively her share from 6.77% to 22.71%, becoming the top world exporter of Telecommunications Equipment. (Vogiatzoglou; 2008)

Literature is filled with many examples of how China and other developing countries have through trade and investment shifted hegemony away from the western bloc. The acquisition of companies such as Volvo, Hummer and many others by China is indicative of the shift in global hegemony.

Countries such as the US continue to be heavily indebted not only to the Brenton Woods Institutions but to China herself. The International Monetary Fund and the Economist rated China’s growth of 9.5% at number 1 in the world for the period 2011-2015.

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China has not only exerted its hegemony over the West, but has extended it to other parts of the world such as Africa. Africa is literally the next mine field and the rush for the continent seem to have already been won by China and other developing countries. That Africa is littered with “China Malls,” Chinese cars and collaborations in mining, agriculture, etc. depicts indeed a China that has hegemony over the world.

Ideology, “isms” and philosophy may limit a person’s objectivity. Numbers do not lie and are not emotive. The truth is; China is a hegemony.

Olwethu Sipuka holds a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town. Follow him on Twitter @osipuka.

  • 4thaugust1932

    Until “Triffin dilemma” is resolved, USA will not lose its hegemony

  • Well – written Sir. It makes me better understand the issue of hegemony. Thanks.