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One of the things that really irritates me in geopolitics is the belief that the US will soon fall sharply from its lofty perch as the world’s only superpower. It’s a chic idea that’s been expressed by many writers and academics as well as some people, and it often goes along with a belief that China will soon be a superpower itself (another idea which irks me terribly as well). This article from IHT’s Roger Cohen highlights what I find is one of the main problems with that thinking, specifically concerning China’s relative lack of action and guidance during the current financial crisis. While financially and morally, US world standing has fallen a lot, it will take more for it to be replaced by another country. The fact is that no other country has the ambition or resources or clout to step into America’s shoes and try to lead/ boss the world. The Soviets tried to and did a good job keeping up with the US, but only for a while. China’s leadership has often denied that it’s trying to become a superpower, and this is backed up by China’s often passive and even reluctant actions and stances on the world stage, such as in diplomacy and regional and international bodies. I don’t deny that the US isn’t as strong as it once was, and that its financial and economic shape are in very precarious condition, much of it its own fault. But let’s not jump to popular but misguided conclusions.

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