With the world becoming more and more multi-polar, the US dominance in international affairs is being constrained, but still its position cannot be challenged, experts attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting said on Wednesday.
"The relative power of the US to do whatever it wants is clearly diminished," said Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies of Oxford University, the United Kingdom, at a meeting titled "The Shifting Power Equation: Geopolitics."
Ash cited the situation in Iraq and Iran's nuclear issue as two examples that the US is finding itself in a more and more awkward position in world affairs.
He also highlighted the rising of new economic powers such as China and India as well as the revival of Russian power, saying the US super power is being more and more restrained.
According to Ash, the US super power is still multidimensional, but for the long term it will only become weaken unless it turns its attention to solving domestic problems.
Other panelists at the meeting agreed with Ash to a large extent, but they pointed out that the US power is still dominant now and will be so in the medium term.
The US may be a little unpopular today because of its unilateral actions and the setbacks in Iraq, but this is temporary, said Minxin Pei from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"A power shifting is taking place, but the power equation of the world has not changed," Pei said.
He said although China, India and some other countries are rising economically, they may not be able to catch up with the US in the next 20 years.
"The bases of those countries' rising are too low, and their gap with the US are huge," he said, adding that China's average GDP is currently only one-fifth of that of the US, and India is more behind.
Pei said emerging countries are more interested in balancing each other, and most of them face a lot of domestic challenges. These factors will further restrain their capability to challenge the US position.
(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2007)