Increasingly, the initiatives are seized by mainly China & other developing countries in terms of leading the world in trade, scientific progress & exploiting life changing technologies. The powerhouse that the world looks up to, the US, seems to be in a rut when it comes to exploiting opportunities for the next leap forward, as it is mired in problems that have bedeviled it for years. Putting out the fires is becoming an all consuming & unrelenting job by itself!
One of the main thrust areas that can reduce tensions across the world is energy independence for all. The world has been beholden to few countries for oil & gas for a century. The technology for exploiting the renewable sources like solar, wind are shaping-up, but wholesale application is baulked by the lack of political resolve of big powers and maybe, the entrenched interests have a role to play. The world needs the drive & passion of US initiatives just like Henry Ford did when he mass produced cars. The US is still the land of opportunities for the free world, with an open mind to share its technologies with the rest.
China has seized the initiative in taking the lead in renewable energy sources like wind & solar. They are also slowly & steadily monopolizing the natural resources from across the world buying up oil, gas, coal fields & even agricultural lands for farming. Though competition in all fields is welcome for progress, what will befall other countries who will be increasingly beholden to them for the basics? The world is in awe of them for their progress, success in hosting mega events like the Olympics, World Expo & even having the westerners eating out of their hands, sorry chopsticks, forgetting the chopping down the trees needed for this indulgence!
China has to keep running, as the communist party that still rules them cannot fail with its tail on fire! The internet technology has made their ordinary Joe question their lack of participation in nation building. They feel that top-down approach is incompatible with a world power. As the western democracies are stumbling & need shock-therapies to focus, the Chinese are being given limited breathing space increasingly. China has also built-up the goodwill, as they are able to do business with all & sundry, buy up natural & national resources everywhere! They are friends with everyone including North Korea, Iran, Cuba & even Taiwan! The ground is increasingly slipping away from the western influences & the world does not seem to mind the shift! Nothing succeeds like success & when one edifice, mega event after another, is awe inspiring, the world will just lap it up as par for the course.
The political & economic landscapes are changing fast. The reality could prove different & change the total equation, just like the economic disaster that we are still grappling with, of course with, who else, China extending the borrowing limits, mainly to the US to keep the world economy from total collapse! It is a bear hug for mutual survival; strange bed-fellows, indeed! The rules of the game are changing, but we all play along hoping the music & the dance will last forever!