China may be even worse at the hegemony game than the U.S. From John Mueller at responsiblestatecraft.org:
From the foundering Belt & Road Initiative to its so-called ‘wolf warrior’ strategy, Beijing is just not the threat we make it out to be.
Many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and elsewhere are sounding an alarm over concerns that, as China develops, it will become the dominant power in its region, a “hegemon” that will have too much “influence” there and do damage to U.S. security interests. For example, in 2017 the National Intelligence Council opined that “geopolitical competition” was on the rise and the Chinese sought “to exert more sway over their neighboring regions and promote an order in which U.S. influence does not dominate.”
Accordingly, as it is often suggested, military hardware must be deployed to somehow keep that from happening.
However, to a degree, we already know what Chinese “hegemony” looks like. Over the last decade, China has established a major military and especially economic presence, and it has tried to convert this condition into influence. These experiments in hegemony — China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which has stressed construction loans to countries across Eurasia, and its rather belligerent “wolf diplomacy” antics — have substantially foundered and have, if anything, proved to be counterproductive. The experience does not bode well for future efforts, and it does not justify alarm.