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It is not at all clear at this point that China’s rise, in particular, is going to have any serious impact on America’s future. This is not to say that China is irrelevant. However, China does not appear to be likely to supplant the US in terms of worldwide power.
What China might do is to give the US trouble in East Asia if the two countries cannot agree on some way to get along together in that region. At this point, China does not seem to have the desire or the ability to project military power anywhere outside its own region.
At this point, China is not stable enough at home for it to be a great power. It is still very worried about its own domestic problems. It does not have much of a way to project soft power because of this. Therefore, it is not likely to become a serious competitor for the United States in terms of international influence.
Economically, of course, China is clearly rising. However, it is not clear that it will be able to avoid the “middle income trap” and become a truly rich country. Until it does, it will not be a real economic rival to the US either.
At this point, America’s future is hinges much more on what America does than on what China does. China does not appear to be poised to be a great world power at this point.
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