Mandarin will not become the next world language because English is politically neutral and is used at varying levels in several countries. On the other hand, Mandarin is mainly associated with China. No one wants to learn a language connected to a regime that heavily censors their media. The PEW Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project surveys found that people in the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan are more comfortable with the U.S. rather than China as a world superpower. English will remain the global language because of its association with international affairs already. For example, English is the only official language of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), not Mandarin. Some countries resist learning Mandarin. For example, the Vietnamese government does not want to emphasize Mandarin learning in Vietnam. Vietnam and China are in conflict over disputed South China Sea area. Young Vietnamese people would rather learn English over Mandarin. English is a language associated with free speech and free expression. English’s widespread usage allows ideas to be easily spread in English as opposed to Mandarin.  Mandarin, on the other hand, is closely associated with China, whose tightly controlled media and heavy censorship do not have associations with free speech. English's widespread usage and association with freedom will ensure its continued use for years to come.
No matter how much English is spoken across the globe and in different contexts, speaking English connects a speaker to the history of the English language—even the history of how English is a colonizing language. In many parts of the world, English "still carries the full weight of its colonialist past," as stated by freelance journalist and critic Jacob Mikanowski. Colonizers established the English language as the medium of instruction and language of higher learning in countries such as the Philippines and Kenya. In these contexts, colonizers created a language hierarchy in which English was a refined, higher-order language, and local languages were lesser. Even as international affairs are conducted easier in English, the language forces people to use an English-speaking worldview, which is not necessarily apolitical.