I am usually not interested in trying to divine whether or not China is going to become a superpower. My lack of interest stems both from the inherent vagueness of the term “superpower” and from the fact that all such predictions are based on today’s facts, rather than on some supernatural ability to predict the future. Having thrown out these caveats, I have to admit there is a really interesting and thoughtful “debate” going on right now between John Pomfret (whose knowledge of China I greatly respect) and the China Comment blog (whose knowledge of China I also greatly respect.
Pomfret is in the China will not be a superpower corner, while China Comment says it will. Pomfret puts forth his views in a recent Washington Post article, entitled, “A Long Wait at the Gate to Greatness” and China Comment rebuts them in a post, entitled, “A Weak China?
What I see as important is not so much their positions on the will it or won’t it issue, but rather their excellent analysis of China’s situation today and how that situation may shape its future. Greatly simplified, Pomfret and China Comment disagree on the following:

Demographics. Pomfret says China’s demographic situation is dire. China Comment says China’s labor force has plenty of room to expand.
The Economy. Pomfret says it is overrated. China Comment says look at purchasing power growth.
The Environment. Pomfret says it is bad. China Comment says it can improve.
Ideology. Pomfret says China has none. China Comment says China is in the process of developing its mission.

The glass is both half full and half empty and both are worth a read.

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Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.