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A world in which the US is no longer No. 1

Journalist Fareed Zakaria writes of the rise of new global powers.

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While the United States remains the world’s most powerful country – militarily and economically – its place on the international stage is changing. The wealthiest person on earth is Mexican, the tallest building is in Taipei (soon to be surpassed by one in Dubai), and the biggest factories are in China. India’s film industry, Bollywood, is now the world’s largest, producing more movies and selling more tickets than Hollywood. And when experts identify the multinational companies that will become leaders in the future, they point to firms in Latin America, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

The US has even surrendered its supremacy in shopping malls. Only one of the world’s Top 10 malls is in the United States. And who’d have guessed that an American shopaholic with an urge to visit the biggest mall on earth would have to fly to Beijing?

These developments illustrate the central point of Fareed Zakaria’s illuminating and timely new book The Post-American World. Over the past couple of decades, a global transformation has seen countless countries experience remarkable economic growth. While the US will remain an economic power, the days of American economic preeminence, which characterized the 20th century, are over. According to Zakaria, this points not to the decline of the US, but to “the rise of the rest.”

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