A leader nation in the UN body or on the world stage not only has to be a great nation with strength having both economic and military power. This leader state must have statesman leadership capable of not only leading a strong and powerful nation but also moving the world toward a peaceful and prosperous global community. The U.N. was established on October 24, 1945 after the ending of WW II. Since then, the United States and the Soviet Union have emerged as the two strongest nations, respectively pursuing a capitalistic and socialistic society polarizing the world with constant confrontations, a prolonged Cold War. Even though the two leading nations have embraced socialism and capitalism to a different degree, the rivalry persisted. In the end, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990 under the burden of arms race and failed economic development.
Post Cold War, the United States has become the sole superpower, a de facto world leader. However, in the past quarter of century under the U.S. leadership, the world has not advanced toward a peaceful and prosperous path; contrarily, the world witnessed continuous wars and unrests in the Middle East and elsewhere, spreading worldwide threat of terrorism and recently the rising tension in the Asia Pacific as the United States initiated a 'Pivot to Asia Pacific' policy. Some international political analysts interpreted the current situation as the consequence of the rising China challenging the world leadership of the United States, but many more attributed the world problem to the poor leadership of the U.S.
In reality, as the world is undergoing globalization, a world leadership transformation and transition is necessary. In this process, the challenges lie in the fact that the leader must recognize that the member states in the world community have different governance systems adopting different ideology. It is a good thing that democracy as a method for reaching decisions has been gradually accepted by the world but democracy is not an ideology and cannot be promoted as a tool to target or replace any government or governance. Democracy has been accepted and practiced in large and small kingdoms (such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Bhutan, etc. in various degree and form) as well as in post WWII reformed nations (such as Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc.) Democracy as a method has also been practiced differently in different systems and institutions, for example, in business corporations, international non-government organizations and in the institutions established under the UN charter. The leadership for the world cannot be defined by neither military power nor economic power alone or created by one nation one vote election process. It has to be transformed and transitioned gradually to be effective in leading the world and to be accepted by the world.
The U.S. is the world leader at present but she must recognize the changing world is expecting an effective leader. The United States has the pre-requisites of a world leader, that is, a developed nation, a strong economy and a powerful military; however, the pre-requisites are necessary but not sufficient conditions to be an effective world leader. To lead the world, we need a statesman (or a team of statesmen) who not only can lead the United States to sustain her in the above mentioned pre-requisite conditions to be a world leading nation, but also can lead the world with convincing leadership, demonstrating the ability of understanding the world and providing a visionary blue print for the world development.
Unfortunately, the political system in the United States, although being stable for centuries and seasoned in practicing democracy, somewhat successfully, for many decades, but the leader the electoral system selects may not be able to deliver a right statesman fit to lead the world. Take the two presumptive presidential nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as examples, the former is a righteous and smart individual, who may be perfectly suited for getting the U.S. to be great again businesswise, but he may not have learned enough to understand and lead the world. The latter may be a well-experienced politician in the U.S. familiar with her political system but her motivation for power and lack of empathy for the developing world may not be fit to be a world leader either. Based on her adherence to the U.S. legacy in foreign policy, especially her China policy based on a biased view of China makes her a questionable world leader.
China is still considered a developing country even though the size of her economy is about to surpass that of the United States. The fact that China has risen both economically and diplomatically, amply indicates that the current Chinese leader (and his predecessors) has a clear grasp of the world from a developing country's point of view as well as from a great nation point of view. China started as the weakest permanent UN Security Council nation state on 1971 but she has earned her credits to become a respected and effective UN member. (The U.S. leadership should reflect on this!) China has openly declared that she desires to rise peacefully as a great nation and the facts are not far from that desire and the truth. However, the U.S. seems to be targeting China's rise as a threat and launches policies basically aimed to deter China 's rise. This approach (out of either insecurity or hegemony thoughts) itself is not what a true world leader should take. It is so obvious that if the U.S. would work with the fast developing China, it could be more productive for mutual benefits and for the World economy and development.
As the world is globalizing and transforming, the world leader must transform and prepare to accept a leadership transition. Military or nuclear power was never the effective deterrent tool or a slug hammer to control the world order. A genuine world leadership must have a broad and deep understanding of the developing world. An effective world leader must be able to offer a sincere win-win visionary development plan for the world. A true world leader must be able to rally the world and implement a solution to lead the world out of poverty and into peace and prosperity. Observing what the Chinese leader Xi Jinping has proposed, the ‘One Route and One Road’ inter-national development plan linking Asia, Africa and Europe, one has to give him credit for playing a world leadership role. It is time for the U.S. think tanks to study the world leadership issue so that a sound advice can be developed to help our elected President to transition to a true and effective world leader.