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  • 1921- Devastated by the largest war in historyEurope still remains the center of economic,  

  • military, cultural, and diplomatic power. Yet  the Great War has opened up an opportunity for  

  • a nation that has to date remained largely a  'middle' power, influencing its own region of  

  • the world but largely ignored by the rest of the  planet. American dollars now fuel investments  

  • in countries the world over, and America's  ascension as a superpower has officially begun.

  • In 100 years the United States went from  a second rate power to the world's sole  

  • Superpower- with some even postulating that  American dominance in culture, economics,  

  • military, and technology is so profound, the  United States may be a 'hyperpower'. But Russia  

  • still dogs America's every step, and China, a  modern miracle story, has in fifty years recreated  

  • itself from a nation of backwater farmers  to a close competitor of the United States.

  • So what could the next 100 years hold in storeWho will be the world's superpower in 2121?

  • A superpower is defined as a nation that  can project cultural, economic, diplomatic,  

  • technological, and military power across the  world. During the Cold War two superpowers  

  • competed to shape the world in their  own image- the United States and the  

  • Soviet Union. In the end, American culturaldiplomatic, and economic power outstripped the  

  • Soviet Union's technological and military  prowess, and helped speed the collapse of  

  • the communist regime. Today, only America  remains as a superpower- despite competition.

  • In 2021 the closest competitors to the United  States are Russia and China, yet both these  

  • nations still struggle to fulfill several of  the qualifiers for superpowerdom. Both Russia  

  • and China cannot project military power very far  from their own shores, and struggle to make their  

  • culture relevant to the people of the worldChina's great economic might rivals the United  

  • States' own, while Russia has fallen hopelessly  behind due to a lack of a diversified economy  

  • and overreliance on volatile fossil fuel marketsDiplomatically, Russia still maintains great  

  • clout in Europe, but struggles to be relevant far  outside the European theater, while China jockeys  

  • to gain influence across Asia and the developing  African continent. China directly competes with  

  • the United States in technological breakthroughsthough falls behind in domestic innovation and the  

  • ability to translate breakthroughs into products  the world wants to buy. Russia still creates some  

  • of the finest engineers and scientists in the  world, but struggles to keep those brilliant  

  • minds from immigrating out of the country  to greener pastures elsewhere- like the US.

  • In the next 100 years, at least one pattern  is clear: China rises, Russia falls.

  • But predicting the next 100 years is far more  difficult than it was to predict who'd be a  

  • superpower in 2021 while looking ahead from  1921. That's because our pace of technological  

  • breakthrough has only accelerated  since then, and even more importantly,  

  • the rate of revolutionary technological  breakthroughs has increased exponentially.  

  • These are the technologies that are true  global game changers- the wheel, gunpowder,  

  • the compass, the steam engine, space flightthe internet, smart phones, 3d-printing.

  • In the past, population and economic  trends made for very good predictors  

  • for forecasting the future of global  powers. In the next 100 years it's  

  • quite clear that technology will be the  greatest influence on who reigns supreme,  

  • and with both China and the United States  emerging as leaders in artificial intelligence,  

  • it's likely one of these two nations will be  the world's technological superpower in 2121.

  • Here the United States has several advantages  over China in its bid to become 2121's top dog.  

  • Namely, the US is still a global leader  in turning technological breakthroughs  

  • into consumer products- a strength  it has enjoyed since the Cold War.

  • Part of China's problem in fueling innovation is  its lack of diversity. Over 90% of its population  

  • is native Han Chinese, and while immigration  from Africa has been increasing lately, China has  

  • serious problems with luring the world's citizens  to become Chinese citizens. Consider that there  

  • are approximately 100,000 Americans who have made  the move to China- while there are approximately  

  • 2.5 million Chinese living in America. China  may be the world's oldest continuous culture,  

  • but the world doesn't seem particularly  interested in said culture at the moment.

  • If China wishes to rise to superpower status  in 2121, it will have to greatly increase its  

  • diversity and the appeal of its culture to  global audiences. As an authoritarian nation  

  • led by the Chinese Communist Party, few people  are willing to trade in their freedoms for a  

  • nation which has none of the basic rights ofmodern democracy- such as freedom of assembly,  

  • the press, and speech. This is unlikely to make  China more appealing than the United States to a  

  • prospective immigrant, specially when they could  be the next to face genocide such as the Chinese  

  • genocide of the Uighur people. However, this  lack of rights is also a potential powder keg,  

  • which could seriously derail China's plan to  become a global superpower. Even today there is  

  • a growing movement against the Chinese Communist  Party, largely spearheaded by Chinese youth who  

  • have traveled and lived abroad, then returned  home to a dissatisfied life controlled by the CCP.

  • The US has its own issues to face in the next 100  years, but it is at least a politically stable  

  • nation. However, growing wealth inequality  is putting serious pressure on the American  

  • way of life, and if not addressed before future  technologies concentrate wealth even more in the  

  • hands of the elite, could become America's own  powder keg that derails it from superpowerdom.

  • China also faces a very serious population  problem in its future- and it's likely not what  

  • you think. While today it is the most  populous nation on earth, by 2121  

  • some experts predict China will actually  shrink by as much as 300 to 400 million.  

  • Part of this is the natural decline of birth rates  in a first world nation, where individuals have  

  • more opportunities and thus choose to improve  themselves before having a smaller number of  

  • children later in life. Of much greater concern  though is China's ticking population time bomb.

  • Thanks to the one-child policy enacted in  the 1970s in a bid to control overpopulation,  

  • China now has a population that is aging  faster than almost anywhere else in the world.  

  • As more and more Chinese enter retirement, there  are fewer and fewer young workers to take their  

  • place in the economy. Pensions, social securityand the care of the elderly soon threaten to  

  • place an extremely serious burden on China, and  social programs to encourage women to have more  

  • children are not finding any purchase amongst  China's women. The disparity in men and women,  

  • thanks to a preference for boys  over girls during one-child only,  

  • only fuels the pending fire. In 2019,  there were 114.61 men for every 100 women.  

  • Compare that to the US, which in 2020 had a much  more even ratio of 97.95 men for every 100 women.

  • The Chinese language also makes it more  difficult for it to become a global superpower,  

  • as it is a very hard language to learn and must  compete against English, which has the advantage  

  • of being much simpler and already being the  default language of business around the world.  

  • The Chinese are acutely aware of this problemwhich is why English is compulsory in most Chinese  

  • schools- but you won't find Mandarin being  compulsory in global schools anytime soon.

  • With all of our focus on the US and China however,  

  • we've missed two other contenders  for superpowerdom in 2121.

  • India is expected to be the world's  most populated country in 2121,  

  • with a population over 1 billion. HoweverIndia faces the challenge of lifting many  

  • millions out of poverty. Currently, India ranks  at number 131 in the Human Development Index,  

  • while China ranks at number 85. Increasing  tensions with two of its neighbors- China  

  • and Pakistan- could also derail plans to  become a superpower should war break out.

  • By 2121 the nations with the  greatest population gains  

  • will all be in Africa. As the continent  rapidly catches up with the rest of the world,  

  • it'll be able to assert itself with  more effect both at home and abroad.  

  • For long its plentiful natural resources have been  exploited by other nations, yet as Africa rises it  

  • will be able to better manage and control the vast  stockpiles of natural wealth on the continent.  

  • And with the fastest growing populations  in the world, a unified Africa could field  

  • a military that dwarfs all three of today's  greatest powers- the US, China, and Russia.

  • So who will reign supreme in 2121?  It's a tough question to answer,  

  • but given its long term political  stability, diverse population,  

  • strong culture, two big oceans to protect it from  war, and current status as sole world superpower,  

  • it's likely the US will remainsuperpower in one hundred years.  

  • It's possible, but unlikely that China will rise  to become a second superpower in that time period,  

  • though it will certainly remain Asia's most  powerful nation- or perhaps be eclipsed by a  

  • rising India. Africa meanwhile, if it managed to  unify, may not become a global superpower by 2121,  

  • but will certainly become a contender for world  superpowerdom in the following one hundred years.

  • Now go watch This Could Be The  Most Powerful Military in 2050,  

  • or click this other video instead!

1921- Devastated by the largest war in historyEurope still remains the center of economic,  

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Who Will Be The Superpower Nation in 2121?

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    Summer posted on 2021/05/09
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