The balance of power is constantly changing. Recently, the international system has undergone a massive shift characterized by the rise of China and the decline of the United States. For the first time in modern history, the global hegemon will not hail from the West, posing an existential threat to the Western countries that have dominated the world order for centuries. China has rapidly become the world’s second-largest economy after an intense modernization campaign in the late 20th century that lifted the country from poverty. Today, their economic, political, and cultural power is extending its reach across the globe. Meanwhile, the US has continued to sink, as it grapples with increased competition, political polarization, and systematic racial inequality. These changes will have profound impacts on the state of the world order, presenting opportunities for some and challenges for others. This series seeks to understand the reasons behind the rise of China and the fall of the US and what this new world order will mean for the world, including its effects on human rights, environmental sustainability, sovereignty, and trade.
The Mekong River in Southeast Asia has been an important river for multiple countries, but it is now threatened by the numerous dams built without much international coordination.