Greg Scoblete dismisses fears of future Chinese global hegemony:
Additionally, China has not proven that it can reorder its own backyard (although it clearly wants to) and they have never evinced any sign of having the kind of global ambition that so regularly infects America’s Wilsonians and neoconservatives. And even in the event China overtakes the United States and suddenly decides it wants to exert its benevolent hegemony over the world, it would be opposed by a coalition that would likely include – at a minimum – the EU, Japan, India, Australia, the UK and the United States. Almost every major power, that is, except Russia and Brazil.
As Scoblete notes, China doesn’t seem interested in pursuing such a policy. It is not clear why the Chinese government would want to pursue one. If the top priority of the current Chinese leadership is to remain in power, they have little incentive to pursue costly and dangerous schemes of projecting power to other parts of the world.
If China did try to pursue hegemonic ambitions, it would probably find Russia as part of the opposing coalition as well. We have already seen how Chinese claims to disputed territories have managed to provoke significant opposition from its neighbors, and the reaction of China’s neighbors to an even more ambitious China would be that much stronger. Russia and China already compete for influence, and Russia would see Chinese pursuit of continental or global hegemony as a direct threat. The world wouldn’t be reordered to meet “Chinese imperatives” because most of the world would not accept Chinese “leadership.” The main error that hegemonists make is in asserting that U.S. hegemony has to be replaced by another state’s hegemony. In fact, the existence of a single global hegemon is extremely abnormal and cannot be sustained over the long term. Trying to maintain that hegemony out of fear that the world will instead be dominated by China or Russia, as Ryan and others do, is to waste American resources to guard against a phantom threat.