The five global empires that I’m writing about are the permanent members of the United Nation’s Security Council.
Three have surrounded themselves with their colonies, and two have had overseas colonies.
France and Britain
France and Britain had overseas colonies, the conventional type where it’s obvious that the national aspiration is to extract the wealth of raw materials from the colonies and then to render the colonies entirely dependent on the colonial power for finished goods, often basic ones.
The International Organisation of La Francophonie serves as a reminder of the former French Empire. The French language cements the members. I don’t know any more about the status of the former French colonies.
A remnant of the British Empire is the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth). At one time, Queen Elizabeth II (or forebears) had been Queen/King of most of the realm. The Commonwealth still remains, but Elizabeth II is now Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
So what about the U.S.A., Russia, and China?
The People’s Republic of China is home to about 1.3 billion Han Chinese – people of Han ethnicity. The colonies around the Han people are (in counter-clockwise order): Inner Mongolia, the Xinjiang Uygur Region, Tibet, small autonomous reserves of people who are anything but Chinese, and Taiwan. China also maintains a sphere of influence around the People’s Republic’s borders. North Korea is notable in this respect.
What remains of the Russian Empire is loosely organized as the Commonwealth of Independent States – independent from Russia for the first time since 1791. Some former Russian colonies, such as the Baltic States, are more recent conquests from the era of World War II. The former colonies are, again in counter-clockwise order:  Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (the Baltic States), Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Mongolia.
Not so long ago, Russia made efforts to expand its empire into Afghanistan. Poland and Finland have often been within Russia’s sphere of influence. The Soviet Union spread its influence westward into Germany after World War II.
The United States
The first vision of a greater U.S. was the Monroe Doctrine (expressed in 1823) which determined to exclude European nations from interfering in the Americas. At the same time, the U.S. continued to colonize westward across North America, and eastward from California and the Northwest.
The U.S. captured Florida from Spain and its southwest from Mexico. People who were living in sparsely populated Tejas, a colony of Mexico, broke away. Anglos had being migrating to Texas, so it’s not surprising that the independent Republic of Texas joined the Union.
Puerto Rico and part of the Virgin Islands are colonies except in name. Alaska and Hawaii were former colonies and then joined the Union as States.
Cuba is an interesting case. Early in U.S. history, politicians saw Cuba as a natural part of the nation. Some regarded it as a matter of time before Cuba became a state. Never mind that the population mostly spoke Spanish. The riches of Cuba were ripe for the taking, and take the U.S. did. The U.S. wrote Cuba’s constitution. Cubans had a pro forma opportunity to ratify this constitution. Cubans asserted themselves by trying to amend the constitution, but they only succeeded in small ways.
Until the Cuban Revolution, Cuba was useful for an American lifestyle. Organized crime from the U.S. fed the vices of vacationers. The biggest losers at the time of the revolution was organized crime in the U.S. The open criminality in Havana could not be duplicated anywhere on the mainland.
It’s not a stretch to see that mobsters expected that President John Kennedy would vigorously wrest Cuba away from Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. President Kennedy was, after all, the son of a mobster.
To an extent, Canada is within the U.S. sphere of influence although they vigorously assert their political, cultural, and economic independence.
Looking at the United States of America, we see again a nation surrounded by its colonies.