Beating America

Chinamerica The Uneasy Partnership that Will Change the World

The devastation of Europe and Japan during World War II gave the United States a unique opportunity to dominate international commerce and, later, to dominate the world political stage as the biggest superpower. Before the war, Britain, France, and Germany were viewed as the world’s superpowers, but that ended in the ashes of ?res and bomb fragments in Dresden, Coventry, and throughout the rest of the Continent. During the decades in which Europe, Russia, and Japan recovered from the war’s devastation, the United States was able to exploit its own unchallenged economic and political power. The result was a new world order.

Another momentous economic shift is happening now. The rise of China as the second most economically powerful country is occurring in a historically short amount of time. The Middle Kingdom passed Germany, France, and the United Kingdom in 2008, and it raced ahead of Japan in 2009 to become the second largest economy on Earth. Furthermore, the Great Recession of 2008 to 2009, and the slow economic progress thereafter by the United States and the West, accelerated China’s pace. China is closing the gap with America in terms of gross domestic product (a key measure of economic output). While forecasters such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and others differ on exactly when China will overtake the United States, they agree that it will occur and that it is only a matter of a few decades.1

It is painful and bewildering for the American Colossus, which almost single-handedly rebuilt Western society after the devastation of World War II, to face the reality that it will lose economic supremacy. Essentially, the United States is in the same position that Europe was in after World War II-watching another car roar past it on the economic highway.

In the following chapters, I review the situation at the crucial in?ection point: in 2009 China’s economy grew 8.7 percent while the rest of the world’s economies declined. I describe how China and the United States are locked in a battle over national wealth. In addition, I explain how military strategies and tactics are being used by some countries and companies to successfully conquer new territories. Other countries, unfortunately, have ignored or misapplied these strategies and are now vulnerable to economic invasion.

Indeed, CEOs have replaced generals as the leaders of conquering armies. It doesn’t matter if one views this as a good thing or a bad thing-it is a fact of life in the twenty-first century. Global competitiveness at the corporate level is the way to win the international battle for wealth.

1. http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/redirect.php?gid=2&fid=33&tid=637756&goto=nextoldset

Source: Handel Jones, “ChinAmerica: The Uneasy Partnership that Will Change the World,” McGraw-Hill, 2010

Republished by Kajian Internasional Strategis


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