The ROC had a bloody history. First it had to deal with the Maoists, who crumbled after their namesake leader's death. Then the Japanese invaded, which were defeated at a very heavy cost. After Japan was defeated, China under the KMT began to modernize in order to catch up to the west.
By 1969, China would ascend to the level of "great power". But by that stage, political scientists such as Noam Chomsky would be using the name Superpower to describe Germany and America.