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The Centennial Global Strategy of the United States

The Centennial Global Strategy of the United States: The Historical Evolution of American Global Hegemony Since World War I (Chinese Edition)

By Dou Guoqing (Author), Colonel of the People's Liberation Army and Postdoctorate Researcher at PLA National Defense University.


The world is undergoing profound changes. The past century of world history, which witnessed the all-around transition from the Versailles-Washington system to the Yalta system, as well as an technology revolution and the subsequent global political, economic revolution, has been colorful 100 years. In the process, the United States, while promoting its values and manipulating geopolitics, has become an arrogant, self-centered hybrid that measures others’ corn by its own bushel. It practices long-arm jurisdiction, sets standards for justice around the world and has gradually established global hegemony. As the U.S. turned from the margin to the center of the world stage, the most dramatic centenary changes in human history took place. Fences between countries are being demolished, and it has become an irreversible macro trend that all must go forward or backward together.

For all the vicissitudes in the process, the U.S. remains the most important variable in the changing landscape. Whether it stays strong or declines, continues to dominate the international order or returns to isolationism will have a decisive influence on the overall orientation of global change. To predict future changes, one must first study America’s global strategy over the past century.

The historical process of its gaining global hegemony since World War I is not a simple matter of the U.S. military going from weak to strong but involved the U.S. taking advantage of its national strength to seek victory in wars, build military superiority and formulate an international order amid dramatic changes on the global stage.


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  • All hegemons in history have made the most of their inherent advantages. Compared with ancient Rome in the West and the Qin and Han empires in the East, as well as such immediate predecessors as Great Britain, the U.S. has two natural advantages as a successor. One is that it has been immune from the erosion of a system of feudal centralization. It became a major power through its innovative vitality. In the 15th century, to escape from religious persecution in Europe, especially in Britain, numerous Puritans found their way to North America with aspirations to resist autocratic oppression and ensure justice. These “pilgrims” wished to turn their new land into what Massachusetts immigrant leader John Winthrop called “a city on a hill” — a place that everyone admires.

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