Vince Dhimos answered the following question on Quora:
Do you see China as a legitimate threat to US hegemony? If not, what does China lack that the US possesses?
It’s not that China lacks anything, it’s just that China does not apply the concept of “hegemon” to itself. This is why Westerners, indoctrinated to believe world powers must all want to be the hegemon, in imitation of the US, which now shows signs of failure precisely because of its obsession to control every country and region, keep thinking China or Russia wants to be the next hegemon in a succession of global bosses.
Therefore, they mistakenly think China “lacks” something if it does not become the next world bully in history. China in fact has something the US lacks, ie, diplomatic skill that enables it to get along with others instead of bullying them with ultimatums, sanctions and bombs.
Like Russia, it accepts the concept of a multipolar world, in which there can be no hegemon because a hegemon implies a monopolar world (the world controlled by the US), which China and Russia both reject. I would remind the reader that Russia and China are well balanced against each other and neither could overcome the other sufficiently to become a hegemon. Neither side wants this either. They don’t want to follow the pattern of failure of the US.
The following is our translation of an article from a government owned Chinese site (sohu.com) that reflects the thinking of China’s leadership:
After the end of the bipolar political pattern, the world entered a period of multi-polarization.
1. The main reasons for promoting the development of multipolarization in the world are
(1) The multi-polarization of world economic power has promoted the development of multi-polarization in world politics
In today's world, with the rapid development of science and technology and economy, there is no power that can have the absolute advantage in all areas and control the world as desired. The process of economic globalization has greatly reduced the possibility of constructing a unipolar world; balance has led to changes in the political status and role of countries, so that China’s comprehensive national strength has increased. Russia is committed to revitalizing the economy and restoring its status as a world power; developing countries are adjusting accordingly, and the EU as a whole is increasingly influencing global affairs. The Japanese economy is strong and is attempting to become a political power and a military power. These countries and regional groups invariably advocate a trend in the world toward multi-polarization.
(2) The United States dominates the world in a unpopular manner and is opposed by most countries in the world.
Hegemonism and power politics are the main sources of danger to world peace and stability. Promoting the development of multi-polarization in the world is the only correct way for human society to avoid the harms of the unipolar world. The United States is currently in a relatively weak period; the European powers have become the main force that constrains US world hegemony; Russia and China are the main opponents of American world hegemony; Japan is unwilling to continue to be a US political pawn, and is eager to play the role of a political power in the world; the Chinese nation has become an important force in the world; We desire world peace, the growth of democratic forces, and the widespread existence and functioning of international organizations and regional organizations. US domination of the world is not only reversing the trend of world history, but reducing its own strength, making it incapable to build its unipolar world. The diversification of various forces in the world and the profound adjustment of relations between major powers are conducive to the development of multipolarization.
2. The characteristics of today's international landscape are mainly reflected in the following aspects
(1) A variety of strategic forces jointly lead the world affairs, and the international pattern shows a trend toward “one super and many strong”.
(2) Each activist pays more attention to national interests and dilutes ideological differences. National interests are fundamental factors that constrain and influence the behaviour of the state in international relations.
(3) In international competition, the military role has been declining, while the role of the economy and science and technology has become increasingly prominent, and competition for comprehensive national strength is fierce.
3. The formation of a multi-polarization pattern will be a long-term process
First, the hegemonism of the United States and the attempt to build a unipolar world are the biggest obstacles to the development of multipolarization. Second, the continuation of the Cold War mentality in the world, the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the North and the South, and ethnic divisions and religious disputes will also have various disturbances and shocks to the multi-polarization trend. Third, the formation of a multi-polarization pattern is a process of recombination and redistribution of interests among various forces in the world. This will lead to various uncertainties, and the process of multi-polarization in the world will be full of contradictions and struggles.