It is a former recipient of US aid and one of the most populated nations in the world.
It has a high unemployment level, poverty, and social unrest. Its population causes a challenge to the economy because the economy has to grow fast to meet the fast-growing demand from the increasing population. China’s influence internationally will not be strong unless its domestic economy is stable.
China has high cases of corruption which hinder economic development.
Various estimates show that more than one million Chinese are infected with HIV/AIDS and other epidemic diseases. The affected number is expected to grow with increased government spending on health.
China has fewer water reserves and high pollution levels. A high level of pollution increases social costs and reduces the water supply. China has high energy consumptions and energy prices. Initially, it was a net exporter of oil, but due to increased consumption, now it imports much of its oil used domestically.
The European Union
Currently, the economy of the EU combined is larger than that of the US and has a high population. The EU exports form a large part of the world’s total exports. The membership of Britain and France in the EU ensures that it has more men with arms and two countries with nuclear power. The EU is offering stiff competition to the US in international financial and trade matters.
Despite all these, its quest to challenge the US is constrained by few factors. Firstly, the EU military is weaker than that of the US, and again, the EU is reluctant to spend heavily on the military. The EU is a group of nations with different labor markets framework and states regulations. Hence the ability of the EU to restructure itself and make advances in investment will depend on the reaction of each country. For the EU to progress, it has to harmonize its social-political differences between member countries or else remain a group of countries with divided international policies.
The “Union has failed to reach a single common policy towards China because; each country has a varying history with China.” This has weakened the EU-China relationship in their bid to replace the US in the Middle East.
It has been an opponent of the US in the Cold War and still poses a threat to the US because of its nuclear powers. It has a good relationship with China and India, hence better placed to challenge the US. Its position to challenge the US economically is hampered by various reasons. Russia does not have enough resources and convectional forces to compete with the US internationally. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 immensely shrunken Russia: reduced coverage area, shrunken population, and a weakened economy. As a result, it will take some time before regaining its former supremacy in order to challenge the US. Although it is nuclear-armed, its military personnel is inferior to that of the US. It invests much in producing cheaper weapons to sell in developing nations instead of building more superior weapons. This reduces its future potential in international wars.