Xi Jinping and Barack Obama Rao Aimin/ZumaPress

The US Still Runs the World

China does not run the world; and, with doubts about its economy's long-term prospects now rattling stock markets worldwide, it appears unlikely to do so anytime soon. From trade to monetary policy, the potential for global leadership still rests with the US.

WASHINGTON, DC – Reports of the death of American power have often been greatly exaggerated. In the 1950s the Soviet Union was thought to have surpassed the United States; today, the Soviet Union no longer exists. In the 1980s, Japan was widely regarded as on the verge of overtaking the US; today, after more than two decades of Japanese stagnation, no one would take this scenario seriously. And in the 1990s, monetary union was considered likely to propel Europe to greater global prominence; today, the European economy is frequently in the world’s headlines, but not in a good way.

Now it is China’s turn. Until recently, China, in many people’s view, was poised to assume global leadership, if it hadn’t done so already. Today, doubts about the Chinese economy’s long-term prospects are rattling stock markets worldwide (including in the US).

China matters, and its economic policy, including how the exchange rate is managed, must be taken seriously. But China does not run the world, and it is unlikely to do so anytime soon. The potential for global leadership still rests, believe it or not, with the US.

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