Recent tensions between China and its smaller neighbors over territorial disputes in the East and South China Sea is seen by many as a sign of aggression as an emerging power. Will China be another colonialist, imperialist or a benevolent dictator?

Clarence Chua caught up with Dr Martin Jacques, the best-selling author of “When China Rules the World,” in Kuala Lumpur recently to find out more about the Middle Kingdom and its growing ambition.

China is the most populous nation and has overtaken Japan as the second largest economy in the world. But is China a superpower that could rival the United States?

“Definitely not. China is at the beginning of becoming a global power but in that sense it’s still a long way behind the United States. Economically it is still not strong enough. It’s still a developing country. Its foreign policy is not yet reached the point of, sort of comprehensiveness. Of course, in military terms, China is very very pale shadow of the United States.”

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