Wrong there. Up until the Ming dynasty China was actually the greatest seapower in the world, Chinese ships sailing through the whole of Asia and beyond trading goods. China was even close to industrialising a good 200 years before the West. However, due to the change of policies, i.e. laying a higher emphasis on culture than on science during the Ming dynasty, China decided to leave the world be and simply concentrated on itself.
Big mistake, as China learned the hard way. Japan forged a better path during the Meiji period.
Anyway, China and India shall be the superpowers of this century, the US has more or less had it (or will have it), and I must say I'm curious how the EU will develop.