I was going to write a post about how although American hegemony is not great for the world Chinese hegemony would be much worse and riffing off the recent imbroglio between the CCP and the NBA. However, I just finished reading Michael Beckley’s new book Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World’s Sole Superpower and it reminded me of my own Chinese hegemony skepticism. Beckley makes the strong point (in my opinion) that in terms of material power the U.S. is much more powerful than China and will remain so for quite some time. Mostly this is because although China has experienced a tremendous growth in it’s hard power resources over the last few decades it still is far behind the U.S. and because of it’s own problems will be unlikely to catch up. Beckley’s approach in the book is to compare China and the U.S. on net power measures as opposed to gross power measures. To me this is one of those approaches that once you come across it seems so obvious that you wonder why no one else has brought it up before. This is all to Beckley’s favor. When you compare the U.S. and China on net measures of hard power the U.S. retains a superior edge on China and when you extrapolate the costs China will continue to have to pay in the future we probably shouldn’t worry about Chinese hegemony but rather Chinese collapse (some Beckley himself argues here). None of this should be read as an apology for American hegemony by me. Beckley at the end of his book outlines internal problems the U.S. faces but in my opinion is a bit to sanguine about them. I came away from reading his book more convinced the multipolarity is in the world’s future as opposed to unipolarity of either the U.S. or China.