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PostChina, US, and Hegemony Revisited (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 04/27/19 3:51 pm)
In my original post comparing the trends in US versus Chinese geopolitical economies, I stated that "while the US government is allowing global big business to squeeze the middle class to the breaking point, the Chinese government has made enormous progress developing their infrastructure (energy, transportation, food production, advanced manufacturing, etc.) and in some areas they have already passed the US."
This is why I have to shorten the time lag before China overtakes the US in economic terms.
JE responded, "The Chinese path to lift people out of abject poverty was through manufacturing with cheap labor. Now this model has moved to places like Vietnam. What comes next for China will be more difficult. Also, as people no longer have to struggle for daily survival (food), they start clamoring for 'luxuries' like a greater political voice. And this is at a time when Xi is tightening, not loosening, his grip on power."
Those words seem to all be true, and I agree with them. However, JE has neglected a few things when comparing the US and Chinese economies. First, we have severely underestimated Chinese capability to learn in preparation for the next phase beyond just the ability to do cheap manufacturing. I was not kidding when I said China has made great progress developing their infrastructure. Their success developing their own infrastructure (and their large US dollar reserves) is driving their growing success in establishing economic political leadership with many developing countries. The New Silk Road not only strategically connects China to Eurasia, but also Africa and the Americas via all sorts of infrastructure projects. The Chinese have learned to become the master builders.
What kills me with admiration, envy, fear, and frustration is that while they have already accomplished so much, our lousy governments have allowed my beloved USA to slip so badly over the years for lack of democracy, corruption, etc. Never mind the Chinese gaining ground. We must stop these trends or we are doomed just like the great Roman Empire.
JE comments: I filed this one under "Decline of West." China's per capita GDP is still about 1/6 of the United States, but the trends are what so worry Tor Guimaraes. Also, consider the great strides China has made in soft power throughout the developing world.