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Home > About China
Super? Or not
2010/08/26

by Deng Yushan

BEIJING, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- While supermen only exist in sci-fis, super things are common in reality, like superbugs and superpowers. While the fictitious supermen can be as powerful as the imagination permits them to be, their earthly counterparts are not omnipotent.

What is more interesting in the real world is that even if you are a developing country, someone can force a crown on your head, tie you to a throne, call you a superpower and then saddle you with excessive so-called responsibilities.

The past week started with the whole world jittering before a superbug. The bacterium contains an enzyme gene that renders it impervious to almost all antibiotics. What makes it super worrisome is that researchers have found that the gene can be easily copied and transferred among different strains of bacteria and turn them all into superbugs.

Is doomsday approaching? The World Health Organization (WHO) told the panicked public not to worry, for these superbugs are not heralds of the apocalypse. Medical experts said that the super bacteria are highly resilient, but not highly pathogenic. They spread quickly, but are easy to prevent. The easiest and most efficient way of stopping their spead is frequent hand washing, stopping them from entering your mouth.

Yet the WHO's comforting message is only short-term. Should excessive use of antibiotics continue, super-superbugs might emerge. In that case, knowing whether the world can survive is anyone's guess.

What is already known is that 4,415 soldiers of the world's only superpower, the United States, did not survive the Iraq War. This was a war waged with no substantiated cause, and with no victory.

Seven years and five months after the U.S.-led invasion, the last week saw the last U.S. combat brigade pull out of the restive country and march into history.

At this historic moment, has the al-Qaida been destroyed? Or is Iraq on a course toward democracy, prosperity and stability? A resounding "No!" to both. The superpower is pulling the plug on its military presence in Iraq only because it cannot afford to stay mired in seemingly endless warfare.

On March 20, 2003, the United States shunned the United Nations, and unleashed the full fury of its military power upon Iraq. One month and 10 days later, standing under a huge banner that said "Mission Accomplished," then U.S. President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq. It was very superpowerly back then.

Seven years later, however, the picture is totally different. After over 4,415 troops have been killed, over 32,000 others injured and 742.3 billion U.S. dollars spent in the war, the superpower, tired and disillusioned, has no better option but to retreat.

The United States is pulling its service men and women out of Iraq partly in order to reinforce its forces in Afghanistan and avoid fighting simultaneously on two fronts. After leaving a mess in an unstable nation still plagued by insurgency, can the strategic policy shift break the impasse in another, similar country? Well, only time will tell.

The U.S. tanks rumbling out of Iraq send a clear message: Unilateralism is a dead end, even for the only superpower in the world.

While the superpower's power is being questioned, some axe-grinding officials and scholars are drumming up various theories crowning China a superpower.

The ill-disposed flattering was further hyped up by some Western media last week when official Japanese figures showed China has overtaken Japan as the world's second largest economy, though the latter is far richer in per capita income.

Moreover, the Pentagon termed China an economic superpower in a report released last week on China's military strength, in which the world's only superpower's Department of Defense deliberately exaggerated China's military development.

Such seemingly complimenting rhetoric is merely yet another "China responsibility" theory, underneath which lurks an attempt to hold China accountable for global problems and force China to assume international obligations beyond its ability.

With a per capita gross domestic product of only 3,700 U.S. dollars, about 10 percent of that in Japan, China is indeed a developing country. Any discerning eye can see that the superpower throne one has bound China to is meant to check China's development, and reveals the uneasiness of some Western countries in the face of China's relatively rapid growth.

Emerging on the heels of years of sensational "China threat" theories, which stem from a "stick kill" approach, the flatteries piled upon China reflect a "sugar kill" ideology, which experts say is more covert and likely to have a more adverse impact.

Yet what has become clear to the international community is that a smooth development of China, an important international player committed to building a harmonious world, benefits the whole world. And those with sugar in their mouths and sticks in their hands should also bear that in mind.

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