Regarding China I get this from a neighbor who is a govt analyst on China here in DC:
China knows currently the US is shooting itself in the foot with our policies and becoming less relevant in the world becuase of it. Whether we get out of the economic mess or not...they still have the advantage.
If you get down to the basics....China is ok in their development if not everyone has a color tv, healthcare or a car in the driveway. So if their economic growth stagnated, no big issue. You're dealing with a country that would have no probelem "offing" a couple hundred thousand of its citizens if needed.
Whereas, the US has to make sure its citizens feel no pain...we'll buy you a box so you can get digital tv, we'll give you money for a car, we'll give you full healthcare.
Bottom line: We are digging a big hole....and chances are very good we will not be the leader going forward.