There are many factors that contribute the the abilities of a country-technology, people, the power of the government, exports, imports, and so on. America is just one of the countries battling for dominance, and right by their side is China. The question is, who will emerge victorious? Will China become the next superpower?
No, China will not become the next superpower
China will be a catch-up country in military and mass technology with, struggling to lure international talent to its economy.
The influence of media and technology in the United States it too significant to overcome
China's present inability to crack the American influence on media and technology means that it will struggle to extend its influence. Even if they try, the US will undermine their efforts by increasing scrutiny on the authoritarianism of China.
The United States will ban the export of cutting edge technologies
The US will closely guard its innovation, and prevent China from replicating emerging technologies. If China pioneers more tech with global consumer appeal, the US will simply ban the import of these products to an American audience.
China's territorial desires only extend to formerly Chinese regions. They want unification with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other small sovereign states, but lack the ambition for further expansion. Their ideological divide with much of the West will also be a barrier to significant influence.
Much like Iran and North Korea, the US may decide to sanction China. Chinese reliance on trade and export with the US is too great to risk sanctioning, and therefore China may measure their threats to US global supremacy.
China's exponential growth will surpass the stagnating superpowers of the 20th century, establishing itself as a successor to the US's supremacy.
China will learn from and replicate the infrastructure of the West
China sends many students to North American and European universities. Many of these students go on to gather skills from the most powerful technology companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. The successful models of these companies can be brought back and adapted to China's needs.
With stagnation and division occurring in many Western democracies, China can demonstrate the effectiveness of its model of governance. With a single party and authoritarian structure, they can show how quickly infrastructure and reform can occur, enticing weary populations to their model.