Exactly. When people are talking about how China is going to be an unchallenged superpower, I’m always reminding them that this country is on the verge of being ecologically destroyed… It’s awful for the Chinese people, they’re paying this greed.
Tbh, I’m sure China will be a global/regional power. It’s been one for close to 4000 years, after all. It’s just reverting to its natural state after the downfall caused by the Opium Wars + failure of the Qing Dynasty to modernise in contrast to Japan.
But I don’t see US hegemony being challenged so easily. China does have a lot of internal issues to work out, and I find it laughable when non-Chinese Westerners portray the current political status quo there as some sort of stable equilibrium ideal for economic growth…like please. Maybe in their privileged bubble when they don’t see what things are like for poorer Chinese or middle-class Chinese (Western privilege can insulate Western expats from a lot of stuff). The people very often fed up with corruption, pollution, lack of transparency are Chinese citizens. There are thousands of strikes, riots and protests every year but the state media won’t report it too much. The state controls the media but the population is very net-savvy and are hardly brainwashed, and they’re very aware of and discontented about internal corruption. I feel like eventually the current system won’t be sustainable- it’s not definitive that it will collapse dramatically but imo there need to be reforms.
By comparison imo the US is in a better position- a lot more natural resources still unexploited, lower population to land area + the fact that it can attain energy independence soon enough + continues to attract highly-qualified migrants. These kind of things help to sustain superpower status. Not that the US doesn’t have a lot of serious problems like antiblack racism, healthcare system that needs to be fixed and economic inequality but I guess I feel like overall, portraits of US decline vis a vis China are kind of exaggerated.