Vincent Boland: China has its limits as a superpower

Rumours of the party-state’s ascendancy and its decline have been equally exaggerated. It is just flexing its considerable muscle

20th December, 2020
Vincent Boland: China has its limits as a superpower
Graffiti of China General Secretary Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump in Berlin: the West needs a balanced and grown-up policy towards Beijing. Photo: Getty

For the past three weeks, as US president Donald Trump tweeted obsessively about his ‘stolen’ election victory and the death toll in Europe and the US from the Covid-19 pandemic kept rising, China did what superpowers do – it demonstrated its super power.

On December 1, a Chinese spacecraft named Chang’e-5 landed on Oceanus Procellarum, the Moon’s Ocean of Storms. It gathered samples of rocks, carried out some experiments and did a bit...

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