Written by Frank Li
I was in China from April 3 to April 14. Aside from mourning my father on April 5 (Li Dexin and Lee Kuan Yew) and spending some quality time with my mother (who is 89, with Alzheimer’s), I causally studied China. Everything I saw just further confirmed my long-published belief that the 21st century will belong to China.
Here are three salient points as a summary of my visit:
- China is back!
- China is exceptional!
- 2015 will prove to be historically significant for China’s rise.
Now, let me elaborate on each.
1. China is back!
China’s annual growth rate is slowing down to 7%, which is a 30-year-low. But it is still very impressive by any standards, especially when compared with the rest of the world!
China’s prosperity is increasingly visible in America today by two counts at least:
- Tens of thousands of Chinese students are now enrolled in many universities in America. Most of them pay full tuition.
- More and more Chinese tourists are coming to America.
For those Americans who have any doubt about China’s prosperity, visit her! See China with your own eyes: the good, the bad, and the ugly!
In short, after centuries of decline, China is back, finally and for real!
2. China is exceptional!
Is China exceptional? Yes, perhaps even more so than America, because China is the only major ancient civilization that is rising to the top again after hitting rock bottom. That fact alone should rank China as one of the greatest countries in human history! In contrast, America is too young to be judged for historical greatness. For more, read: The Greatest Countries in Human History.
Both America and China are exceptional. But they are fundamentally different in that “American exceptionalism is missionary, while China’s exceptionalism is cultural” (Henry Kissinger on China). In a globalized world like ours, the latter has clearly proven it will outperform the former, just as we are seeing today! For more, read: Arab Spring, Four Years Later.
China faces many challenges with environmental pollution and government corruption being among the top, but both are becoming manageable. For more, read: Environmental Pollution in China and Corruption in China – Is It Really All That Bad?
Overall, the Chinese government, while far from being ideal, has proven to be extremely effective. China seems to have found a good balance between communism (i.e. too much control) and democracy (i.e. chaos). More importantly, China is striving to constantly improve. For more, read: Towards an Ideal Form of Government.
In communist China (1949-1976), the proletarians ruled and everyone shared poverty equally. In American democracy, the proletarians will eventually rule and everybody will become a proletarian. So communism and democracy are really the same, yielding the same result!
For more, read: Longevity: American Democracy vs. Soviet Communism.
Unless America fundamentally reforms its political system as I have suggested, the 21st century will belong to China. Any doubt? Just look at these three recent events:
- According to the IMF, China just overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest economy! Although it is in terms of the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) for now, it is just a matter of time in terms of the GDP. Note that in 1980 America’s economy ($2.8 trillion) was nearly 14 times China’s ($202 billion)!
- The creation of the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) led by China and America’s total failure to prevent it. It is, according to China, the first step towards democratizing international finances which have been dominated by the West led by America so far! Stay tuned for more democratization like this!
- The availability of the first significant Chinese TV Show Empresses in the Palace in English (e.g. @Netflix). It’s a concrete example of the cultural renaissance underway in China, which I believe will prove to be as significant as The Renaissance!
These three events are so significant that I believe history will prove that in 2015 China turned the corner in her head-on competition with America for overall superiority, especially economically and politically!
America, change or become an also-ran, second to China!!
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