John McCain: What will a world in which the U.S. is not the sole superpower look like?
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election. McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations.
He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981, moved to Arizona, and entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for having disagreed with his party. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, has opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.
McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, but lost a heated primary contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election.
Question: What will a world in which the U.S. is not the sole superpower look like?
John McCain:I think the U.S. may not be the only superpower, but I believe we will still be in every measure the strongest nation in the world – whether it be economically, politically, militarily, including morally. I believe that we will still remain a shining city on a hill; but I think that there is no doubt that India and China are emerging powers. India, it’s pretty clear that their emergence will be economically. In the case of China, I do worry. I worry about their treatment of Taiwan. I worry about their treatment of human rights. And I’m worried about their environmental damage that they continue to inflict. I’m worried about their military buildup. If I had to bet, I would say it’s more likely that China will enter the world stage peacefully. But I think it’s important we maintain our military presence in Asia. I think we maintain pressure for human rights. And I think we have to do more to respect their violations of intellectual property rights and a number of other aspects. But . . . and make alliances with their neighbors in the region. We’re also concerned about their emergence, and one of those countries is Japan.
The United States will still be in every measure the strongest nation in the world.
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