Date of Award

Winter 2-1-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Thomas DeLuca, Ph.D.


This thesis aims to determine China’s current role within the international system and whether or not it has achieved the status of a superpower nation and thus, the ability to shift global polarity. Due to China’s recent economic success, scholars have been debating if China has already become a superpower, will become one in the future, or if it will never attain this status. This thesis will suggest that by observing the United States’ journey to becoming a sole superpower after the end of the Cold War, and its consequential shifting of global polarity, it is possible to determine where China currently stands internationally. Through the comparison of China’s economics, military advancements, and international involvement, to that of the United States during and immediately after the Cold War, it is determined that China is on the path to becoming a superpower and consequently, shifting the structure of the international system. However, through this analysis, it can also be determined that China has not yet attained the title of superpower. Although China’s economic rise has given it some necessary factors to become a superpower in the future, it has not yet attained this status.

Included in

Asian Studies Commons