After seeing China cross the 100 gold medal mark at the Asian Games 2010, I wondered whether the shiny metal might end up losing its charm amidst such a gold rush. But I was quickly convinced that it won't, especially when it comes to the Chinese for whom gold medals at the Games is just another way of displaying its supremacy in a world where the best way to exhibit one's might is through 'Soft Power.'
China takes the display of this Soft Power very seriously and has left no stone unturned in its effort to showcase to the world what it is capable of and let the world know it’s a force to be reckoned with not just financially and militarily, but through the influence that it has on others when it comes to sports and implied cultural ascendancy using Soft Power as a leverage. It's much easier to convince others if the speaking is done by your actions rather than wasting a lot of time verbally confusing many and convincing none.
The Chinese success in hosting the Olympics and the Asian Games with its trademark management skills, clinical efficiency and clockwork precision manifested beautifully by the awe inspiring opening and closing ceremony at both the Games made the world stand up and take notice. It was just another feather in an already boisterous cap that the Chinese so proudly parade to the world in a mild conjuncture that the world has started to acknowledge.
It is the Chinese way of saying, "It is our time now. The West has had their 30 second of fame and it's the Chinese millennium from here on in." I am sure that Indian, Japan, and not to mention the U.S. might have something to say about that, but there is no doubt that no one is taking the Chinese claims lightly. Although Indian shouldn’t rest on its laurels and see China surge ahead, there is no better illustration or a case study that Indian could ask for and I am sure Indian, the other developing countries, and even the developed countries could do very well to emulate, at least emulate what China has done right so far.
Although China is still far from being perfect through its dismal human rights record, pathetic pollution track record and an autocratic and even hegemonic mentality to its policies in world finance and politics, no other country is better poised to take over the mantle as the next superpower. Trust me, I say that with a heavy heart being an Indian, but it's the reality of our times and is something that we have to make peace with.
The Dragon is flying high, but it has to be careful as the weather could turn anytime and even a Dragon needs to be careful and watch its back. But as of now, it's China all the way whether we like it or not.