The causes and rationale behind the fear of a rising China
It’s clear that China is currently a focal point of media attention, and we’ve been closely following what legislators, journalists and scholars are saying about the nation.
In a recent article in Time’s Curious Capitalist blog, author Michael Schuman examines the growing uneasiness on the part of Western nations that has coincided with China’s rising power. He cites China’s relatively recent and robust entrance into the realm of world of economic power players coupled with the nation’s inherently “un western” set of values and practices as the cause for this uneasiness. As he puts it,
“More and more, China is using its economic clout to offer an alternative to the U.S.-led political and economic system. Beijing routinely complains about the primacy of the dollar and wants its own currency to play a greater international role.
“China appears to be challenging not just today's economic orthodoxy and order, but the world's political and military framework as well. China isn't content just to sell more TV sets to the world, like Japan. The Chinese want to have more control over the world. And they want to use their economic clout to get it.”
In another recent article about China, Foreign Policy’s Clyde Prestowitz argues that the nation’s current status as a world economic superpower—and the subsequent U.S. discomfort may be the direct result of the actions of a single influential figure in U.S.-China relations: Henry Kissinger:
“It was the Opening that changed things in a way that has reduced America's relative power and influence while enhancing China's…. The U.S. market was opened to China's inexpensive, consumer-oriented exports while China's production centers were opened to off-shored U.S. factories, technologies, and jobs.
The result has been steady rapid growth of the Chinese economy and stagnation of the U.S. economy along with a dramatic and on-going shift in the global balance of power away from the United States. Surely this was not what Kissinger intended when he set out for his first meetings in Beijing.”
These are both interesting takes on the current state of China. We hope that the media continue to explore the detrimental impact this rising superpower has had on the U.S. economy, and discuss ways in which China’s unfair practices can be kept in check.
Read more about China’s currency manipulation.
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