Skip to content

Yan Xuetong: China Will Be a Superpower within 10 Years

In an article recently published on the People’s Daily website, China Economic Weekly interviewed Yan Xuetong, the Dean of the Tsinghua University Institute of Contemporary International Relations. Yan predicted that China will become a superpower by the year 2023 and the world will celebrate the Sino-U.S. bipolar structure. 

Yan said, “In the next decade, the main theme of Sino-U.S. relations will be competition, but the core content of this competition is different from the past competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. This is why Chairman Xi Jinping proposed to establish new Sino-U.S. relations among major powers. This new type of relationship among major powers, although different from U.S.-Soviet relations, is not exactly a friendly relationship. I will call it a ‘fake friendship.’”
Yan also said that China’s foreign policy change from the original one of hiding its intention to the new one of playing an active role is actually a change in direction. “In the past, our attitude was almost not getting involved in any international issues. We only engaged in economic cooperation with other countries and set diplomatic issues aside. Now we talk about both economic and security issues. Security issues have become even more important.” 
“Our country’s foreign policy in the past was to take the United States as the top priority. The relationship with the neighboring countries had to give way to the Sino-U.S. relations. From now on, relations with neighboring countries will be the top priority in our country’s foreign relations. Sino-U.S. relations should be subordinate to the periphery relations. … It is a fundamental change in our foreign policy.” 
“To prevent being isolated from the international community, China needs to adjust to the non-alliance policy. Strategic alliances can help China increase the number of its true strategic partners. By 2023, China will likely have established about 20 allies or strategic partnerships worldwide. While this is far less than the number of U.S. military allies, it is already beginning to take shape as a stable strategic alliance system.” 
Source: People’s Daily, November 19, 2013