A new U.S. intelligence assessment says China is expected to surpass the United States as the leading economic power by 2030, but the U.S. will remain a top world leader.
The assessment was released Monday by the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
It predicts that Asia will surpass North America and Europe combined in terms of indices of overall power – in gross domestic product, population size, military spending and technological investment.
The report says the world will see an expanding middle class by 2030, and for the first time a majority of the world’s population will not be impoverished.
It notes an expected higher demand on resources, as the global population expands by about a billion to 8 billion people. It says nearly half of the world’s population will live in areas with severe water stress. It says China and India are vulnerable to shortages of key resources, while limited resources such as water and arable land could increase the risks of intrastate conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and parts of the Middle East.
Dependence and volatility
It says the United States will likely be energy independent, while Russia, Europe and Japan are predicated to see slow economic declines.
The assessment anticipates that the Middle East will remain the world’s most volatile region, and any future wars in Asia and the Middle East could include a nuclear component, making conflicts hard to contain and with global impact.
It also warns that countries including Afghanistan, Burundi, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen face a high risk of state failure.
The National Intelligence Council publishes a global trends report every four years. The report is an analysis of information from the U.S. intelligence community and experts in the U.S. and abroad.