China lacks a “cosmopolitan culture” which is critical if it seeks to displace the U.S. from its global superpower perch. That’s the view among some senior Indian diplomats who know and understand China well. They defined “cosmopolitan culture” in these terms: governments that are open to ideas and expression, a willingness to sit frankly across the table and discuss contentious issues, open markets and immigrant friendly policies (until recently). The U.S. position in the world is helped by the fact that the dollar is the international currency of trade. The U.S. has also shown a remarkable ability to “remake” itself, for instance after the defeat and divisions of the Vietnam war or after the recession that followed the subprime crisis, and even today when it is the world’s leading technology superpower. In that sense, China has a lot of catching up to do.