David Shambaugh’s new book “China Goes Global” sheds light on the difference between being “the Second Largest Economy” and being ” the Second Strongest economy.” The second largest economy doesn’t necessarily have the second largest influential economy. China like most developing also has one of the world’s most unequal economies such as India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia.
It also faces the problem of urban rural drive, exacerbated by issues like Tibet, Xinjiang and the hinterland away from China’s eastern seaboard. In short, domestic performance counts. It will take another generation before China becomes a truly comprehensive power. Until then, it very much remains a regional power.