Richard Hanania, president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, said the U.S. cannot indefinitely maintain its global leadership role in the face of China’s growing power and influence. Nextbigfuture believes the US will co-lead the world throughout the 21st century. Richard notices that projection that China’s economy will be twice the size of the USA by 2050. Nextbigfuture has made these projections for twenty years and agrees with those economic projections. China with half of the per capita income of the US would get to an overall economy about twice the size of the USA. However, history says that just having a first-place world economy that is double the nearest competitor does not mean unchecked world power.
Hanania notices that China-watchers who thought China would either democratize or collapse were all wrong. Hanania is correct that many of the anti-China watchers predicted what they wanted to happen. Many wanted to see China collapse or wanted China to democratize. Nextbigfuture never thought China would democratize or collapse.
Let us look at the current situation and expected situation and the balance of power in the world.
We can look at history and see that having twice as much economy does not mean dominance and does not even mean winning a one on one war.
China had ten times the economy of Vietnam in 1979 and they fought a border war with a few hundred thousand troops. It went back and forth but China did not gain anything from its attack.
China’s PPP (Purchasing Power Parity GDP) in 2026 is projected to be $38 trillion vs the US at $28 trillion. China would have about 24% of the world economy vs the US at 17.5%. Combined the US and China are less than half of the world’s economy. The rest of Asia is rising economically. China is slipping to 3-7% GDP growth. India, South Korea and ASEAN are keeping pace and often surpassing the growth of China. The rest of Asia will outgrow China over the rest of the century. This is especially the case as China is having demographic problems.
The US would tend to get the support of the EU, Japan, India, South Korea, ASEAN, Taiwan, Canada, Australia and other countries in a showdown against China. The EU would have a PPP GDP of about $20 trillion. India is projected to have a PPP GDP of $15 trillion in 2026.
The Asian countries like India, Japan, South Korea, and the ASEAN want the US to counterbalance China. Most of the EU is part of the NATO alliance. The population of the non-China Asian countries is about 3 billion. The EU and the UK have a population of about 650 million.
If China tries to bully its neighboring Asian countries that will push those Asian countries into a stronger counter alliance with themselves and the US.
China Will Be Better Able to Resist US Trade Wars After 2030
China with 30% of the world economy will be able to better resist US domination. After 2030, China’s consumer spending should exceed the US. This will mean trade wars will be more equal or in China’s favor. China will not be able to go crazy either because over 50% of the world economy will be the non-China and non-US parts.
Conflict Limitations and Key Technology
Nuclear weapons also limit the level of military adventurism that is possible.
SpaceX gives the US space dominance for the next forty years. The fully reusable Starship will mean a mach 15 to mach 20 vehicle that has 8000 miles of range and a 100 ton hypersonic bomb payload.
As Most of the World Catches up on Per Capita Income
China is catching up to developed country income levels aroudnd 2040-2060. The rest of Asia has either already done this before China like Japan, Taiwanm Singapore and South Korea. Other countries like ASEAN, India are only about 20-30 years behind China.
All countries in the world should be able to follow the formula to catch up and get to near to the per capita income of developed countries. In 2100, each countries GDP and share of the world economy will start approaching their share of world population. China’s population will be declining and might only be 1 billion out of 11 billion people. China would be at about 10% of the world economy.
If aging reversal is mastered around 2030-2050, then world population in 2100 is likely about 15 billion. China, Europe, Japan and other aging populations will do better to have a higher share of world economy and world power. If aging reversal does not happen then more of the world power shifts to Africa and South Asia from 2050-2100.
SOURCES – Wikipedia, the Hill
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.