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A Geopolitical Approach to China's Future as an Empire

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A geopolitcal theory developed by Randall Collins (1986) predicted the fall of the Soviet empire. The question now being asked is how long China will exist within its present frontiers. The unity of the state is threatened by overextension of resources, growing economic inequality, and ethnic separatism. An attempt is made to quantify the potential for separatism of the Chinese provinces. The highest scores were received by Xinjiang, Tibet, Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang. The pull of the strong Hong Kong and Taiwanese economies may create an integrated South Chinese economic space, stretching from Hainan to Shanghai. The pull from the Turkic and Islamic states in Central Asia may increase separatist tendencies in Xinjiang.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9663.00002

Affiliations: Runeberginkatu 42 A 32, 00260 Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: February 1, 1998

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