Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Desirable global trend

By Wang Hui (China Daily) Updated: 2013-01-07 07:42

Greater collaboration between the US and China would be advantageous to both and also benefit the rest of the world

The advent of a new year always inspires aspirations for the times ahead. A recent report released by the United States National Intelligence Council offers the world a crystal ball to gaze into the future as far as 2030.

In December, the council, following its tradition of predicating possible geopolitical trends over the next two decades once during each US administration, released its Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report. The 160-page document is a feast for the eyes as it offers possible answers to many of the questions perplexing people today, such as: How will global power shift? Who is going to lead the world? Will food security and environment degradation beset more countries in the near future? Readers with disparate concerns will have different understandings of the lengthy work.

From a Chinese perspective, two predictions made by the writers of the US report are noteworthy. First, by 2030 the United States and its allies will no longer enjoy the preponderance of power. By then, no country - whether the US, China, or any other large country - will be a hegemonic power. Second, the US will concern itself with the rise and trajectory of China in the years to come. The report mentions China more than 300 times and points out that the "US-China relationship is perhaps the most important bilateral tie shaping the future".

There is nothing new about the statement that US power will decline, except that it is the first official US acknowledgement of the fact. In recent years, many internal and external factors have contributed and will continue to contribute to the waning of US influence. Many of those factors, such as the rise of emerging countries and the world financial crisis, have been unstoppable. The wise choice for the US would be to go with the trend.

A world without the US playing the role of global policeman would not be at all bad. In recent years, the US hegemony has become increasingly unpopular. In the past decade, the world has witnessed a growing number of conflict zones, as the US has tried by hook or by crook to cling to its supremacy.

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