China’s economy is even more of a ponzi scheme than that of most Western nations (including the US), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a force to be reckoned with even if there were a global fiscal collapse. Right now everyone can pretend to be friends but in the end it is all about resources and China cannot even remotely feed their population. Few countries can. Most countries are dependent upon imported energy/fuels as well. If the US economy collapsed, others may have some cultural resiliency to muddle through until a new economic order emerges, but most likely war will come before that can occur on account of the need for resources. The world economy is far too globalized for there to be an easy or peaceful adjustment.
On the matter of gold backed currencies, as I noted recently in one of these threads which nobody responded to, unless the paper currency is readily exchangeable for physical gold, it is not backed by gold. Every country in the world would say they have enough physical gold sitting in vaults to back their currency if they didn’t have to back their currency by making it actually exchangeable for gold. The physical gold claims would likely be a hundred times more than what actually exists. Again, look to Germany who tried to get their physical gold back from a bank vault in NYC and couldn’t. Then they went silent on the matter, most likely because behind the scenes they were told that their gold had been sold to others long ago and could not be replaced, and that to push the issue would set off a global financial crisis. My guess is that most of the physical gold govts hold does not actually exist, and in this regard we certainly couldn’t trust the Chinese to be honest about what they have.