01:51 GMT +316 October 2019
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    In this April 12, 2018 file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks after reviewing the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy fleet in the South China Sea.

    China Could Dethrone UK as Global Superpower by 2020 - Report

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    A study of geopolitical prowess by the neocon think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), has suggested that Britain still tops the list - right after the US - of the most powerful nations in the world. This however may change as China comes on the heels of London, according to the report.

    Titled 'Audit of Geopolitical Capability,' the HJS's study suggested that Britain has retained its unique capacity to "project and extend itself… around the world".

    In fact, the report said that London remained largely unaffected by Brexit, despite the pound sterling having faced one of its most unstable years in 2018 and the comments by UK defence minister Tobias Ellwood that Britain's soft power would be damaged by a no-deal Brexit. 

    READ: Pound Sterling Drops Amid Reports of British PM Delaying Brexit Parliament Vote

    The report

    China closely follows Britain in the list published by the HJS and represents a serious threat to UK's status of a global force.

    The study's Chief Analyst, James Rogers, warned that as soon as 2020, China' economic growth and naval investment could push Britain down the list.

    "Just 0.4% separates the two nations after China added approximately 65,000 tonnes of large new warships to its fleet since 2016, comparable to around one fifth of the mass of the Royal Navy combat fleet," the HJS said.

    Crew of the corvette Huangshi of the People's Liberation Army Navy (China)
    © Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov
    Crew of the corvette Huangshi of the People's Liberation Army Navy (China)

    China is better than Britain in 'technological prowess,' the report said, and if the UK doesn't boost its Research and Development spending, it risks "falling dangerously behind."

    "China's rapidly expanding geopolitical capacity poses a serious challenge to the West. Over the past year, China has added tens of thousands of tonnes to its Navy and if current trends continue — it will overtake Britain as a global power by as soon as next year. If the rules-based order is breaking down, the UK should urgently invest in its armed forces' projection capacities forward basing — not least in the Indo-Pacific region — if it seeks to halt this shift," according to HJS.

    HJS's reputation and its raking of countries were questioned online, as the news of the study appeared on social media.

    France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, India and Russia complete the top ten of the most powerful countries in the world, according to the HJS report.


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