There is clear competition between authoritarianism and liberal democracy. More specifically, competition between the U.S. and China. The pretext about a “win-win” relationship between the two has been snuffed out like an old cigarette butt, scuffed into the pavement of history in 2021.
Oh, how things have changed in China. The rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) the past one hundred years has been brutal, offensive, uplifting, inspiring and as oppressive as it has been impressive at times. The CCP’s powerful Central Committee has passed a resolution that is expected to enhance President Xi Jinping’s grip on power as the 21st century unfolds. The resolution calls Xi’s ideology is “the epitome of the Chinese culture and soul.”
I have been an observer and at times a small participant in the changes in China having a lifelong interest in all things China and have traveled extensively across the country for the past 30 plus years.
Forty five years ago, Deng Xiaoping introduced major economic reforms–lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and leading to it becoming the second-largest economy in the world, a superpower and has both economic and military muscle to flex on the global stage.
The US has been the undisputed ‘world champ’ economy since the end of WW11. Do we wish to remain in the number one spot? Then it is time to stop whining and complaining about China and start investing in our country and the American people.
To be clear, the Chinese government’s main goal is to restore their country to its historical greatness – a return to wealth, power, and world prestige. This point was driven home in Michael Schumann’s new book: Superpower Interrupted. The book offers atypical insights for understanding China’s place in the world, especially the drive to “Make China Great Again.”
During the summer of my freshman year at college, I was taking a career preparation course and the instructor asked all of us a novel and provoking question: “What’s your epitaph after death?” I thought twice and gave my answer: “To burn passion for an admirable cause.” This answer aligns with the goal I chose before entering the college, which refers to a sentence from a Chinese writer Zhiyuan Xu: “Students learn from the books in the high school. When they enter the college, they should broaden their vision and learn from everywhere.”
Can we lay down new stones to help create a better future foundation for China, the U.S., and the world?
The consequences of not finding a smooth way forward to manage the differences between the two largest economies in the world with the biggest and mightiest militaries are too dire to contemplate. What kind of future are we heading to if our leaders don’t find sensible ways forward?