TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Is China's success a wake up call for the United States?

Americans have long assumed that in spite its faults the United States has the best overall system in the world. The success of China has cast doubt on that premise. Like it or not, we are in a serious competition with China. What is at stake is the role of the US Dollar as the dominant reserve currency. Power shifted from the British Empire to the United States when the Dollar beat the Pound Sterling. The Chinese Yuan is not yet even a secondary reserve currency but expect that to change.

How should we respond the Chinese competition? Should we view this as a matter of survival and prepare for the inevitable fight, or should we take this opportunity to learn from the Chinese to improve our system?

The first challenge is the Global Climate Change crisis. The world is looking for a country to provide leadership to solve this crisis. If China acts and we continue to be politically deadlocked, China will win the competition for international prestige. The world would be more willing to accept the Yuan over the Dollar.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 2 2013: China has an advantage in the sense that it has cheap labor and lots of people who are willing to work for soooo little. I was told overtime pay doesn't exist. No such thing as vacation benefits. No specified hours of work in a week. Not even sure if they have some form of social security. The only real success of china i believe is cheap labor and this is the driving force for what i believe is their success. Nations from the west treat workers differently and therefore labor is expensive.
    China's growth to me is some kind of illusion for now because they havn't really took a step into inovating products by themselves... more of copying items and selling them cheap. I've seen quite a lot of people from China in our malls looking at our handicrafts... why? they will send the items back to china and copy them. My friend used to create native handicrafts for sale... he mentioned that when a Chinese (from China ) client asks for a sample,.. expect them not to buy any item at all and you can look for your sample flooding the market cheaply afterwards.. China's success is mass production and cheap goods/labor. This is of course temporary. The Japanese used to be like that but they quickly started producing high quality and innovative items. China will probably soon be something like Japan. I do not think there is anything for the west to learn from China. China is actually the one learning from the west.
    • Jul 2 2013: Would you change your mind when China puts a man on the moon.

      http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china//china_moon_page.html
      • Jul 3 2013: No. Putting a man on the moon is something other countries have done. It is however by no means a small feat and if China does that i would applaud them. But for me its nothing big in terms of innovation. I understand you have a certain fascination for China and its development. For my country however we don't like China.. unlike other superpowers that supported weaker nations, China is bullying its way into getting what it wants. To me it is a bad sign.. It has supported Syria and some African dictator countries just to get what it wants from those parts of the world. China still needs to learn more about its role in developing the nations of the world. Its not just about money money and earning more money. They have to learn to use all that money to better themselves and other people. They recently complained that other Asian countries investing in Australia and the US did not meet any restrictions. But chinese companies are having problems getting in, not because other countries don't like them but because they don't have a good record in handling business and honesty. Profit is their most prized mentality and they put it before its own people. China is importing toxic materials into my country as toys. These children's toys are laced with extreme amounts of lead. I suppose the manufacturers know lead is toxic but why keep exporting these products into countries they know have weak legislation controls over these products? they know its harmful yet profit is their aim. A single bad apple reflects a problem with the overall chinese mentality. Not all of them of course but it shows there is a quality and hidden social problem with their system. You can read more on the book "poorly made in china" by Paul Midler and I understand perfectly what he means.
        China as it grown rich however will probably soon change and I really hope they do.. I hope they realize soon the world needs them as a rich country to spur developments in other that need it badly.
        • Jul 15 2013: Do you think supporting the opposition is much more honourable than supporting the " dictator"?
          Whether you support which side(by selling weapons or giving funds), it will only make the civil war worse and endless. How many people died because of that war? It is a disaster, and both sides should be responsible for this. And the war end? You might look at the domestic conflict in Iraq.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.